I'm honestly a bit surprised that I need to give this particular LinkedIn tip—but a couple of recent interactions on the platform have led me to think it's LinkedIn advice worth mentioning.
LinkedIn is a bit of a hybrid: part social network, part professional network, part recruiting tool.
But as a professional LinkedIn profile writer, I think it's important to mention that we need to use a very different set of filters on LinkedIn than we do on, say, Facebook.
Everything we write, post, or comment on LinkedIn immediately becomes part of our profession identity—our brand—online. Prospective employers and recruiters are looking at that brand to determine whether a given candidate is a good fit for a new opportunity.
Given that (obvious) fact, it's a bit surprising—but LinkedIn, like every social network, does have its share of trolls—or folks who may look like trolls because of offhand, often arrogant or condescending comments.
You know, the responses that boil down to, "Geez, that's really stupid! I'm like, way smarter than you are, dude!"
Now, the comment may be a bit more articulately worded than that—but that's the bottom line. And that's a really dangerous image to cultivate on LinkedIn.
Because LinkedIn is where recruiters go to look for talent. My sense is that any decent recruiter is going to scope out a candidate pretty carefully before getting in touch.
And if someone looks like a troll? Odds are good that person isn't going to be the first person a good recruiter will contact for a fantastic new opportunity.
Because if someone looks like they're going to be trouble on LinkedIn? They'll probably be trouble throughout the process.
Of course, this LinkedIn tip isn't for hardcore trolls. They're not going to get the point, and if they do comment it will be, well, predictable. That's fine. That's what "block" is for.
But as a professional LinkedIn profile writer and executive career coach, I'm offering this piece of LinkedIn advice for people who, of course, aren't trolls—but like all of us, may occasionally type off a response or a comment on the platform that could cause problems down the line.
So watch what you say. That's important advice on every social network, of course—but it's particularly critical on LinkedIn.
Because if the right recruiter sees the wrong comment, it could mean you'll miss out on a great opportunity. In any fierce competitive space, it's paramount that you not allow something as simple as an ill-considered comment reflect poorly on you."