In terms of professional networking, I’m a loser. More precise: I lost 6 procent in profile view ranking in the past seven days. LinkedIn informed me about this loss. This online social business network advised me to add a photo and summary to my profile in order to be discovered for my next career step. They’d calculated that this would result in at least eleven times more profile views.
My profile could definitely use a boost, as it displayed the precise number of connections instead of the “500+ we stopped counting” of the social hotshots. Making the summary, based on some carefully chosen LinkedIn profiles was simple (“Thomas is an entrepreneurial lecturer with a true passion for building innovative knowledge bridges and value-adding valorisation. A careful blend of can-do mentality, first tier cognitive capability and ability to think outside the box makes him the holistic inspirer that is required in paradigm-shifting processes with spot on results”). It would give me at least twenty two times more profile views, I reckoned.
But the photo was not so easy. I mean, I don’t want people to contact me because I’m hot and sexy; I want them to focus on my skills and capabilities. So how would I Photoshop my photo then: young and eager or mature and wise?
My wavering mind was woken up by the sudden mailbox sound of an incoming LinkedIn endorsement… for Dutch… as a native Dutch speaker... This triggered a rollercoaster of thoughts: What else was there to endorse? I’d probably missed the bus already; well, maybe not entirely, but only managed to catch the last bus… the one that does the late-night-round-about route; I didn’t even want a next career step; head hunters better not contacted me, those opportunistic bastards, etc.
The rollercoaster ride stopped when I remembered the reaction of this respected researcher to my inelegant networking attempt at my first academic conference: “Forget those stupid cards, lad! The networking is tonight, in the pub… if you want to be remembered, you’d better get drunk with us.”
“I am a social hotshot”, I smiled and switched off the computer.
Thomas Thijssens, lecturer at SBE