“I pretty much hang around and point out my staff’s shortcomings, talk on the phone, and complain about how things should be ... Sometimes I make a sales call.”
Art Flater became something of a celebrity thanks to this amusing LinkedIn profile. The owner of an office equipment company based in Waukesha, Wisconsin, also claims to have “invented the 2-hour lunch break, which has been adapted by sales slackers everywhere” .
But Kellie Tomney, owner of personal and employer branding company Stand Out Advantage, says Flater’s is a high-risk strategy. “I would only recommend using humour if it is truly authentically you – and it should be used with caution,” she says.
LinkedIn now has more than 200 million users worldwide and is increasingly being used by recruiters and employers to research job candidates and employees, as well as by many others before business meetings. The Australian Financial Review asked two experts for their top tips on creating an outstanding profile.
1. Get on it. Peter Williams, chief edge officer at Deloitte’s Centre for the Edge, says “LinkedIn is definitely not new but it’s the dominant business social network. You’ve got to be on there.”
2. Don’t lie. “While you might get caught lying on a resume, the chances of getting caught are higher on LinkedIn,” Williams says. “This makes you lose credibility with people who know you.”
3. Don’t be too honest. Tomney, who also works in recruitment, says she’s come across LinkedIn profiles that announce things like “I’m not a team player”. “It attracts attention for sure, but what employer or connected sales person is going to want to deal with you?”
4. Remember who is watching. Williams says he is interested when a staff member or competitor starts “polishing” their profile or receiving lots of recommendations – “it’s a tell tale sign you are looking elsewhere”, he says.