LinkedIn: The Panopticon System
Your LinkedIn profile is a digital representation on display 24 hours x 365 days. So, suit up because you are being
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Have you heard of the Panopticon? It is a prison where all the cells are arranged in a circular fashion, and the guard sits in the center. None of the cells can see each other, but the guard can see them all.
What does this mean? The fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that they are motivated to act as though they are being watched at all times. Thus, the inmates are effectively compelled to regulate their own behavior.
Take a look at the remains of a panopticon from Cuba. Read this article to know more about panopticon.
Image source: Altas Obscura
Does the concept of a panopticon apply to us LinkedIn users? It does. Just like how the inmates regulate their behavior for the fear of being watched by the guard whom they cannot see; our LinkedIn profile is being constantly watched by viewers we do not know. It means we have to always regulate our digital self to be at its best.
Last week we focused on different sections of a LinkedIn profile and how it impacts our overall appearance. This week we will talk about the anatomy of a well-branded profile.
Start with your Profile Picture
We have covered the details of choosing the right picture for your profile before (click here for the article). But I want to re-emphasize the importance of having a picture suitable to your profession. The obvious no-nos are sunglasses, a hat, a cropped group picture and a photo with a friend. A friendly and approachable face gets more traction and here is another hack – smile with your eyes.
Sync your Cover Picture
The cover picture should sync with your profile. The head picture should be in line with your story. The background image appears on the top of your profile; use it to set the context and show what matters to you. So, I have chosen the logo of my startup as my background. If you are not a founder like me then you have many more options to choose from. Please refer to this article on the ideas of choosing the right cover picture.
Be creative with the Headline
There is no rule that your headline should be your job title. You have all the liberty to get creative. Use this space to say a bit about how you see your role and why you are doing it. In fact, you can tell a lot about you in that one line below your profile picture. Consider the example below. The structure of the sentence says more than I am a founder. It gives a glimpse into my personality.
S for summary & S for story
Generic summaries add no value to your profile. Turn your summary into a story, not into a list of accomplishments and skills. Treat it like an elevator pitch to your audience. Write in the first person, use keywords and for guidelines read our article on writing an effective summary
In a nutshell, complete your LinkedIn profile. Do not leave any blanks. Look at the elements described above as pieces of a jigsaw that when put together forms a complete picture. Only when all the sections are coherent your profile will give a clear message and appeal to the right audience.
Do you have any questions related to job search or career enhancement? Ask us here.
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