Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Don't Forget The Implications Of Transparency

Sometimes I - still - forget that by publishing so much of my life online, people know what I've been up to. That pub talk about the restaurant I went to, the film I saw, the meeting that went well, the train that was delayed is known-news for those that already read about it on Twitter. Of course that's no great revelation; it's a choice I made to be transparent and authentic, a case of what you see is what you get.

So bearing in mind the benefits and drawbacks of the transparecy that comes from social media, I was surprised to get a LinkedIn request from someone who seemed to have forgotton the new rules of engagement. I received a LinkedIn invitation from a woman I'd never heard of who'd opted for the 'I have worked with you in the past' option; a woman who explained she was contacting me on behalf of someone else, a recruitment consultant. So, what was wrong with that?

  1. If you want to use LinkedIn to hustle for business, that's fine. But just be honest. Don't suggest we've worked together when we haven't.
  2. It was sent by someone on behalf of someone else. The whole point about LinkedIn is 1-1 *authentic* connections, not connections via conduits.
  3. Do your homework. My LinkedIn profile is available to see. It clearly states that my employer's business name happens to be my own name. That means I work for myself. So asking me if I'm happy in my current job and would I be willing to look at other jobs is a lazy approach, they could have tailored it to me if they bothered looking.
  4. So transparency is two-way right? So I looked up the recruitment consultant's profile on LinkedIn. He lists loads of current roles (which is fine) but I don't see recruitment consultant anywhere near the top of that list. That tells me a lot. He should have thought about that.

So, remember the rules of engagement have changed. Social Media can be harnessed as a tool to drive new business, but don't be lazy, don't be impersonal and don't bullshit. And then - you might get somewhere.

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