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Sarah Palin’s on LinkedIn. You should be, too

Categories: Career, Uncategorized


The Huffington Post reported last week that former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has posted her resume on LinkedIn.

I have to admit, I don’t really see the point in the snark about this. For all I disagree with her politics, the former governor is super savvy when it comes to social networking. And smart women know the importance of social networking.

I’ve been trying to use Facebook solely for socializing, and LinkedIn solely for business, but I have to admit that it’s become really difficult to keep things separate. For one thing, the line between work and the rest of your life gets blurry when you’re friendly with your former colleagues. How can you refuse to ask your boss to be friends with you on Facebook when you’re Facebook friends with your former supervisor — who used to be his boss?

(I don’t use MySpace at all. If LinkedIn is to Facebook as your business card is to a scrap of paper with your name and phone number scrawled on it, then MySpace is akin to writing your nickname on someone’s arm with a magic marker. I don’t really know yet where Twitter falls on the networking spectrum, but I use it and I like it — for marketing, for meeting new contacts, for finding out what’s going on.)

Regardless of which site you choose to use for networking, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.) Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to be asked about — or held against you — in an interview.

2.) Toot your own horn. It’s not like a paper resume, where you’re encouraged to keep the information to a single page. Take the opportunity to detail as much as you can, and go as far back into the past as is relevant — you’re not limited to your most-current experiences. Keep the language professional, but feel free to add your awards, accolades, and additional skills — this is your chance to shine.

3.) Gather recommendations. On LinkedIn, recommendations are like those references you’re supposed to provide upon request — except that they’ve visible for all to see, all the time. On Facebook, create a fan page for your work, and ask your friends to join. You’d be surprised at how many people know — and like — what you do.

4.) If you have a professional blog, link to it. Think of it as a chance to show off your online portfolio. If you don’t have a professional blog, link to examples of your work instead. Linking to your current company’s website is fine, especially if it showcases some of your accomplishments. Linking to your family’s online photo album is not.

5.) Direct people to your LinkedIn profile or Facebook page. Don’t just use the default URL that came with your profile — change it to something easily recognizable, like your name, and use it along with your signature at the bottom of emails.

What social networking sites to you use and why?

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6 comments so far...

  • I don’t use any of them. I don’t want to be contacted by people I don’t know, unless they locate me through my business’s website or other intentional business communication. I don’t want to contact others anonymously, either. And I certainly don’t want any personal information about myself to be “out there” with my actual name on it.

    Surely I’m not the only person who opts out in this respect.

    SKL  |  October 26th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

  • I understand what you mean SKL. A lot depends on how you use the social networking sites. You can make it so that only the people you know contact you, and you can limit the information you put out there, too. (LinkedIn is the best option for this kind of business networking.) But if you’re not in a field where networking is necessary, then opting out makes the most sense.

    Lylah  |  October 26th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  • SKL, contact through LinkedIn is not anonymous - you can only be contacted directly by people who already have your email address. If I want to contact a friend of a friend, the request is sent to my friend, who then personally forwards it to his friend. It’s truly a fabulous networking tool - I have gotten two jobs through my LinkedIn connections - one contract position, and one full-time job where I have been for the past three years. I will connect to just about anyone I know on LinkedIn. I am much more selective about Facebook - only people I consider friends, and all of my information is private, available only to those who I have accepted as my friends. Still, I try to be a little careful about what I post, because you never know what someone will decide to redistribute.

    a mom  |  October 26th, 2009 at 4:23 pm

  • Oh, and as for snark about Sarah Palin on LinkedIn - she hasn’t updated her information in the past year, so it still shows her as McCain’s running mate and the governor of Alaska. One of the more important things to do when using these sites for networking purposes is to keep your information current.

    a mom  |  October 26th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

  • I agree - is tough to separate - I try to keep Facebook personal because I want to network with my church, my family, areas that a potential employer doesn’t need to know about.
    My LinkedIn is professional information (the online resume if you will). I hesitated to put up my picture as that can even be problematic (you don’t want to get booted out of the running based on a photo, something that otherwise wouldn’t be seen until the interview was extended) but right now am adding it.

    Mich  |  October 26th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

  • I am on LinkedIn, but unfortunately, I don’t have a professional blog (I tried…I failed on that score - writing about relevant topics at work was just too dry and too much like what I did all day to begin with) to link to it.

    I just started Twitter hoping to gain some attention to Mom on Reserve and I’m on Facebook purely for social stuff - old classmates, roommates and friends sort of thing.

    I have a My Space I never check simply because I’ve had it since My Space was first created - jumped to it from Friendster, the site that started it all…

    Phe  |  October 27th, 2009 at 9:21 pm