Let's talk about LinkedIn etiquette.

14.09.23 | By Alyce McNeil | opinion

Let's talk about LinkedIn (and how to talk on LinkedIn).

Since when does professional mean no personality?

From Facebook to Instagram, Snapchat to TikTok, you seldom stray from your true self across these platforms (Tumblr was a whole different story). And yet, on a (now) primarily social platform like LinkedIn, we’re permanently on our best behaviour — like we’re scrolling wearing a freshly pressed white shirt and slacks. 

It’s “Great post!” this, and “Congrats on the new role” that. If we put those through the Instagram filter, they’d probably say “SLAY” this, and “Of course you did!!” that.

And in 2023, studies have shown that our careers make up an integral part of our character and sense of self, unlike our parents’ generation who were primarily interested in proving unbridled loyalty. Congrats Dad on your 45 year work anniversary, by the way.

So it’s fascinating to witness LinkedIn have the power to turn even the quirkiest, wackiest, and weirdest of people into sensible and well-mannered social supporters. I’ve never dished out a “Kudos!” in my entire life, and yet, the auto-prompt on my ex-colleague's promotion felt so… appropriate.

These days, the market isn’t only looking for qualifications, experience, and exposure. They’re after someone with gumption. Grit. Charisma. Personality. A great culture fit that can crack a zinger whilst simultaneously running the numbers. So why are we hellbent on watering ourselves down to appear palatable on a platform secretly demanding individuality?

The posts and comments that stand out to me are the ones dripping in personality. Not forced humour or storytelling, just pure honesty and sentences that would come out of their mouths at the pub (sans potty mouth). This is how to not only accurately sell yourself, but stand out against the sea of same.

LinkedOut with the templated copy, LinkedIn with the:

  • Comment you’d actually say IRL.

  • Sharing articles you’ve read and then giving a hot take.

  • Flexing shameless self-promotion. We don’t share much of our work achievements on the gram (or if you do, nice), so pump up your tyres and show off a few things that may not make it to your CV/folio.

  • Following brands and companies you love. And then follow the figures who are in charge. Message one and say why you love their work. Don’t have a hidden agenda, just express admiration.

  • Profiles that actually represent who you are. You should read your bio and think that’s what I bring to the table — both the desk kind and the lunchroom kind.

Like attracts like, and if you bring your authentic self to the channel that’ll likely supply your next gig, you may just beat out another identical candidate. And I’d love that for you.

Go forth, and don’t let me catch another kudos.

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