Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn has been specifically identified as a professional, academic and work-related platform. Many users who join LinkedIn do so in order to present themselves to the world as professionals and experts in their field (Kim & Malek, 2018).
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Therefore, one’s profile on the platform has to be detailed to ensure they attract the right people to engage with depending on their career objectives at the time. Indeed, recruitment agencies are also using the platform to learn more about their job candidates. One can state that proper content management and presentation can lead to the creation of a successful and prominent online brand. This essay offers a comparison of two LinkedIn profiles with the aim of improving one (the personal one).
The personal LinkedIn profile will be compared to that of Jason Keath, the CEO of Social Fresh. Jason’s profile was selected as he is a key player in the marketing field and his profile offers a creative way of selling oneself to the world. Four criteria will be used in this comparison. The criteria are content, presentation, followers, and volunteer work.
As stated, one of the criteria for comparison is the content provided in both profiles. One of the clear similarities between the two profiles is the provision of work experience and education. Both profiles provide enough detail to ensure the reader/viewer understands the things the individual has accomplished so far. Additionally, both profiles have some activities going on that allow the viewer to understand some of the things the individual is interested in at that moment.
Another similarity between the two is that they both have good profile pictures that are clearly visible. Dhillon (2014) argues that a good profile picture is essential in making people trust other people’s profiles.
Despite the similarities, there are some key differences in the content of both profiles. Jason’s profile has an added section on “Articles” while the personal profile does not (Keath, n.d). The “articles” section on LinkedIn provides individuals with an opportunity to write about important things in their lives and careers at that particular point. Utz (2016) explains that this content is relevant as it confirms one as an expert in a particular subject.
It is important for the “Articles” section to echo the passions and work objectives of the individual. It is also important to note that the personal profile has more details in its “accomplishment” section. Again, this is crucial as it gives the viewer more information on the candidate’s interests and progression in his or her career. It is also important to note that Jason’s entries are more detailed than those of the personal profile.
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This is important as it allows the reader a full understanding of each of the entries made in the profile. On the same note, Jason’s “About” section also includes other ways people can contact him. Carmack and Heiss (2018) confirm the importance of including additional contact information on LinkedIn as one cannot ideally interact with the potential candidate or partner unless he or she is a “connection” on the platform. The additional contact information should be made public to ensure anyone interested in reaching out for further discussions can do so with ease.
The second criterion of comparison is presentation. As mentioned, LinkedIn helps individuals present and sell themselves to the world. Thus, presentation of the available content is important. One of the main similarities of the two profiles is that both have ideally used the LinkedIn in-house template to present their data. Utz (2016) argues that one of the limitations of LinkedIn is that there is no easy way of customizing the template to create new and fresh ways of presenting one’s work. Since both profiles used the same template, the flow of information is similar.
One of the major differences between the two profiles in regards to presentation is the use of multimedia. Jason’s profile has fully embraced different kinds of multimedia to make the profile livelier and interesting. Indeed, the personal profile has all the information one needs to present on the platform. However, the personal profile appears boring and dull due to the fact that only text (prose) is used as a method of presentation.
Jason has incorporated various images of himself and work-related pictures, alongside PowerPoint presentations and other similar multi-media visuals. It is important to note that Jason has also used multi-media visuals on his “About” page. This is important as it attracts people to read what the profile owner wants to communicate across. It breaks the monotony and makes the profile interesting.
The third criterion focuses on followers. Towards this end, both profiles have several organisations and people they are following, and those that follow them. One of the main similarities between the two profiles is that they have active followers. The “Activities” section allows one to note some of the things the profile owners have been doing on the platform. One can clearly state that both profiles actively follow and interact with their followers (including the people they follow). The LinkedIn template allows for users to not just connect with people they know directly, but also people they might know indirectly.
However, Jason’s profile has more followers than the personal profile. One can argue that the reason why Jason’s profile has attracted more followers is the fact that he has presented himself as a thought provoking leader in his field. As mentioned, his profile is also very interesting and engaging. The number of followers one has relates to the number of recommendations one gets as well. It is important for individuals to connect with people they know and have worked with in order to get good recommendations. Looking at the two profiles, it is clear that the personal profile has fewer recommendations due to the fact that it also has fewer followers compared to Jason’s (Clermont, n.d).
The last criterion of comparison focuses on volunteer work. Utz (2016) explains that one of the reasons for inclusion of volunteer work in the LinkedIn profile is to determine the concerns an individual has towards his or her society.
There are two main ways in which one can document their volunteer work on LinkedIn. One is through highlighting charitable activities one has undertaken. The other is through offering pro-bono services to others that might be in need. Whereas both profiles have not used the “Volunteer” section to highlight some of the charitable work they have done, Jason has added a volunteer experience in his “Experience” section. The personal profile lacks any information about volunteer work done and this can communicate lack of interest in activities that push the society forward.
Several recommendations can be made from the comparison done in the previous section. One recommendation is that the personal profile has to be re-organized to present relevant information in an interesting and attractive way. The use of multimedia on LinkedIn is based on the fact that many online users prefer visual aids to reading text when interacting on such platforms. As stated, there are numerous ways in which one can incorporate multi-media visuals in his or her LinkedIn profile. One way is through presenting articles and other relevant data through PowerPoint presentations. Additionally, whereas the personal profile has a profile picture, it lacks a cover picture. Therefore, an inclusion of an action picture as a cover picture for the profile is recommended.
On the same note, the use of links in the various sections of the LinkedIn profile is recommended. Links are important as they offer more information on the accomplishments of the individual. Li, Cox and Wang (2018) argue that LinkedIn ideally allows for users to also highlight links to other sites. Individuals in this day and age have websites that host their curriculum vitaes. Such links can allow recruiters and other interested parties to get a deeper glimpse into the experiences and skills of the individual.
Additionally, videos that have been put up on other sites, such as YouTube, can be posted on LinkedIn to make the platform more interactive and attractive. As a lecturer, the user can record some lectures and talks and post them on the platform to attract and create a better online brand.
Indeed, it is also recommended that additional and more detailed content be provided in the personal profile. The use of articles on the platform has been crucial in ensuring recruiters, and other interested parties, understand the career objectives and passions of the individual (profile owner). Content management is key in building a personal online brand. Looking at the two profiles, one can argue that Jason’s has more potential of attracting recruiters and partners than the personal profile presented. One of the main reasons for this is content management. Towards this end, one can argue that content management is not just about the type of content provided but also the way the said content has been presented, and how often it is updated.
In conclusion, LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for professionals in different fields to present themselves to the world. A detailed LinkedIn profile should sell the individual to the right people to ensure the said people advance in their career. Two profiles were compared in the essay to try and determine how to best present oneself online. Four criteria were used to compare the two profiles. The four criteria were presentation, content, volunteer work and followers.
It is important to note that the two profiles chosen had some similarities. However, many of these similarities were based on the fact that both profiles used the same LinkedIn template to fill in their details. The extent and the way of presenting the information, however, differed.
The comparison made confirms the thesis that content and the right way of presenting said content is essential in building a good online brand. It is the differences noted that led to the understanding of how one can sell him or herself online best and build a better and stronger brand. Several recommendations were realized after the comparison. One such recommendation was the use of multi-media visuals in the LinkedIn profile. This would make the profile richer and more attractive.
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Carmack, H. J., & Heiss, S. N. (2018). Using the theory of planned behavior to predict college students’ intent to use LinkedIn for job searches and professional networking. Communication Studies, 69(2), 145–160.
Clermont, A. (n.d). LinkedIn [Profile page]. Web.
Dhillon, K. (2014). Maintaining professionalism online: An interview with Dr. Kevin Pho. UBC Medical Journal, 5(2), 27–28.
Keath, J. (n.d). LinkedIn [Profile page]. Web.
Kim, W., & Malek, K. (2018). Social networking sites versus professional networking sites: Perceptions of hospitality students. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 17(2), 200–221.
Li, X., Cox, A., & Wang, Z. (2018). How do social network sites support product users’ knowledge construction? A study of LinkedIn. Online Information Review, 42(3), 304–323.
Utz, S. (2016). Is LinkedIn making you more successful? The informational benefits derived from public social media. New Media & Society, 18(11), 2685–2702.