Someone recently asked me how I generate ideas for blog posts. Honestly, I’m rarely at a loss.
Just the other day, a Twitter follower DM’d me (that’s twitter-speak for sent me a direct and private message) asking if I’d written a post on “whether or not to note one’s illness/involvement in an association on your LinkedIn?” No. But it’s question/topic that’s come up with clients and worth a discussion. And I’d welcome your input!
LinkedIn offers extraordinary opportunities for everyone but especially for those of us who are limited in getting ‘out in the world’. LinkedIn allows you to expand your network and meet new people, create relationship and connection around shared interests, and showcase yourself without ever leaving the internet. All this without spending your physical energy.
Yes, I’m a big fan of this social media vehicle (even if I don’t make use of it properly or fully myself) and encourage job hunting clients to make use of this tool
But back to the Twitter question: what to include in your profile?
First, have you created goals for creating your LinkedIn Profile? Are they specific enough so you can use them to benchmark yourself as you write the copy? For instance, you might set a goal as: I want anyone who lands here to be interested enough in me that he/she will follow up with an email.
With that in mind, you should be able to decide what makes sense to include or not. But I know it can be a slippery slope when chronic illness impacts your work life.
Once again, there are no rules when it comes to living this life with illness. But I’ll offer some things to consider and welcome any comments you can add to this discussion:
- Your profile page, as the experts say, is your branding page. Your task is to design your online identity so it’s a quick study for anyone looking at it.
- If illness has nothing to do with the job you’re searching for, what reason do you have for mentioning anything about it? Ask yourself, what makes me think this?
- If living with illness is directly related to your job search, what do you want people to ‘do’ with this information? What can you include that will achieve that goal?
- If demonstrating your activism in groups builds your “brand”, will including disease associations hurt you or create an unfavorable impression? Ask yourself, what makes me think this?
- If your activity in an organization will bring people to your page and that organization is a disease-related association, can mentioning your relationship to the association hurt you? Ask yourself, what makes me think this.
Planning to use LinkedIn or already have a presence there? Either way, check out this valuable tool written by my career colleague, Miriam Salpeter: Social Networking for Career Success: Using Online Tools to Create a Personal Brand
Now, if only I would practice what I say and beef up my own Social Media presence…..