I have had two interesting conversations recently with respect to the right balance between personal and organizational content in a LinkedIn profile. The first conversation was with a client who was under pressure from his employer to add corporate content into his profile summary. The employer wanted to convince my client that this would be good to show his alignment to the organizational brand and values. My client was uncomfortable with this idea and, while not anti-company, was protective of his personal brand.
My second conversation was with a person considering a Personal Branding Program. In preparation for meeting this person I checked his LinkedIn site. To my surprise I found that his LinkedIn profile contained only one line about him! The rest of the profile was about the organisation he worked for and included a number of corporate blogs and presentations. This person had lost almost all of his own professional identity. When I told him what I had observed about his LinkedIn profile he told me that he was actually looking to leave the company. He realized that he had lost himself professionally over the past two years. He rushed home to change his site content that afternoon.
With employers and recruiters frequently requesting Facebook access, and organizations using the full force of social media to promote their brands LinkedIn could slip from the grasp of the individual! So, what right does an employer have to require an employee to put organizational material on their page, what sort of material is appropriate and where it should be placed?
Here’s what I think about having corporate copy on your personal site:
- It must add value to your personal brand. If it degrades it in any – leave it off.
- It must be copy you are happy with. As your network will assume you endorse whatever is on your site then ensure that you do. If not happy feel confident to refuse or request an edit.
- Place this copy in the ‘Experience’ section under your current position. Only have information about your current employer on your site. Make the summary section at the top of the page only about your brand.
- Link your site to the organisation from the “Companies Page” and via the website links provided (one of the three available to you)
- Company presentations are fine if they add value to your personal brand. These are most valuable when they are in your name (You presented them) or they include content about you and your role.
What is your experience in this matter and what rules do you suggest for corporate copy inclusion?
Richard Anderson, Managing Partner at Point Ahead delivers Personal Brand Strategy for mid-career executives wanting to take control of their careers. Richard works successfully with Australian organizations and individual clients in navigating the emotional and practical challenges of developing an engaging personal brand for both personal and organizational success.