Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have made it easier than ever to stay connected to loved ones. For cancer survivors specifically, sites such as CaringBridge.com and MyLifeLine.com provide a valuable experience of community and support during and after treatment. But when it comes to work and our professional lives, there is one social media platform that is in a category unto itself: LinkedIn. As such, the site is best used by following certain “rules of the road.”
A recent article published by The Muse suggests asking yourself these three questions before publishing to your LinkedIn profile:
- “What does this contribute to my professional image?”
Does your impending post paint you as smart and motivated, illustrate a recent accomplishment, or otherwise characterize you as a valuable asset to current or potential future employers? If you’re not sure, reconsider your urge to share.
- “Would I feel comfortable bringing this up in a job interview or formal meeting?”
Your #1 goal in an interview should always be to discuss your qualifications as a candidate, just as the top priority at a meeting is to discuss a specific project. Similarly, LinkedIn should be viewed as a forum for creating your own professional, online brand.
- “Am I posting this same thing on Facebook?”
With LinkedIn, the emphasis is on “networking,” not “socializing.” And while you may cross over to share news about a new job on both platforms, your vacation pictures and birthday party invites are for Facebook alone.
We recently held a webinar on building an effective LinkedIn profile, which addressed some concerns that cancer patients and survivors have about posting to their LinkedIn page, such as, “How can I de-emphasize a gap in employment on my profile?” and “Can I use an old photo if I am currently experiencing physical side effects of treatment?” To watch a video recording of this webinar, click here.
For more information on using LinkedIn and creating a professional online brand, check out the following Cancer and Careers resources: