Of late I have come to the realization that, as a recruiter, besides a person’s location and industry, the most important part of a potential candidate’s LinkedIn profile is the “View Recent Activity” button.
Because it shows how a person acts publicly in what is supposed to be a professional network.
One woman today posted a photo of her new born baby. The post was apologetic in tone. “Sorry I have not been updating you recently but I have a good reason…” Does she really think her LinkedIn network noticed her absence? And why is she sharing details of her personal life, literally, with the world? Would she bring her personal life into the workplace as well? Would it just be about births (which is understandable) or will her co-workers have to hear complaints, comments, criticisms and praise about her family day in and day out?
Now the birth of a child is a joyous occasion. The death of a child, parent or colleague is not. It’s sad and we can all feel sympathy but the same questions I posed above also hold true when publicly announcing a tragedy. These announcement, both happy and sad, are perfect for Facebook but not for LinkedIn.
And then there is the politics. A woman recently opined that is was a shame that the person who apparently was going to attack Donald Trump failed. (I reported her because such comments are inexcusable and possibly criminal.) A man shared his opinion that President Obama will go down in history as the greatest president of all time. (From the comments posted one would be excused for thinking he was kidding.) And then there are the pictures/posts debunking Black Lives Matter. The list is endless.
Will these individuals bring politics into the office? No employer wants that.
So think twice when you post non-professional or purely personal commentary or information on LinkedIn. It may cost you a job offer. (It will be interesting to see if anyone is ever fired for a LinkedIn post or comment and, if they sue, what the verdict will be!)
Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter and career counselor. He is the author of Success! As Employee or Entrepreneur and A Hooker’s Guide to Getting a Job: Parables from the Real World of Career Counseling and Executive Recruiting.