On Maintaining a Professional Internet Presence: LinkedIn Edition

Today I was reading the LinkedIn group for new international masters students at VU Amsterdam’s business department.The group contains useful information, updates and other things that are helpful for preparing you for your arrival to Amsterdam.

However, I did notice that many of the other international students seems to have missed that LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals and as such you should maintain a certain level of professionalism yourself.

The following is just an example from a post in the group but it illustrates my point. I admit that this is a semi private post and no one outside the group is likely to see it. It does however rub me the wrong way and has no place in a conversation. I dearly hope the posters English level is higher than this or it will be a pain for those that will work together with her. Harsh but true as VU, in my bachelor level experience, requires hard work to succeed.

So lets analyse what is wrong:

  • No capital letters in the name. This looks unprofessional to say the least.
  • Incorrect name of the university and no capital letters this time either. This doesn’t exactly bode well. VU Amsterdam or Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam would be the correct way of writing the university’s name.
  • No capital letters, where there should be, except in Greece and Amsterdam. This appears to be a recurring theme.
  • Too many exclamation marks. I can see why she is excited about the whole situation but two and three exclamation marks respectively makes it seem like she is a teenager.

I can respect that English isn’t her first language and that this is a semi-private environment but this is still on LinkedIn so personally I would like to a bit more professionalism. If nothing else think about potential recruiters, many whom use LinkedIn. I bet you they will be turned off by a Marketing student who doesn’t write in a professional manner.

Proof reading and actually making an effort to look somewhat professional in your writing does make a big difference, in my opinion. If someone doesn’t bother with capital letters in their own name, on a site that is all about promoting yourself as a professional then I wonder how well they would perform in a corporate environment

On a unrelated note: 24% of the students in the LinkedIn group mentioned before is from Greece. That is an insanely high number from such a small country, I guess the Greek youth is desperate to escape their bankrupt country?