Those of you who have worked with me will perhaps remember some of these pointers but I thought it might be useful to mention them here.
Safety First – I do believe that LinkedIn is a safe place for police officers but this must include the caveat not to include anything that offers personal information for anyone other than your connections. On the lightest end of this is showing your location at your work headquarters rather than the home address suggested by LinkedIn. So for the MPS just offer SW1, Thames Valley Police just offer OX5 – you get the idea. On a more worrying level – and I saw this only today hence it’s inclusion – do not ever attach your CV. The one I saw today offered a home address of a serving officer! Coupled with the risk, in my experience, attaching a CV on LinkedIn will not capture the notice of recruiters or potential employers – this would be like finding a needle in a haystack. By all means, do include your well crafted CV content on your profile, but no addresses please.
Pictures – I do realise that including a photo can make one feel vulnerable – I hate mine with a passion – but they are so important. We humans thrive on the visible – adding a picture tells such a story the most important of which is that you are friendly and would be easy to chat to should the viewer – recruiter, potential employer or helpful new connection – wish to get in touch. It also takes you from just a name to a real person who deserves consideration. You do not need a professional picture – your smartphone will do it brilliantly. A head and shoulders picture of you smiling into the camera with a plain background is all you need. But please, nothing where you are cutting out others in a bigger picture, on holiday, in the pub or the like – or indeed in black tie or giving a speech – this will create quite the opposite impression to the one you are seeking!
Anonymous Viewing – I do appreciate that you have spent many years investigating and, one presumes, doing so discreetly and unseen. And now you are going to have to turn most of that around. When using LinkedIn it is hugely beneficial to be seen – this opens up the opportunity for people to reach back to you and connect – often people like me who have a depth of understanding of LinkedIn and an extensive network – these two aspects alone could prove invaluable to you. Equally, I bet you hate anyone looking at your profile anonymously – who was that? Is it someone to be concerned about? Is it a potential employer? Knowing that, isn’t it kinder and more sensible to just see and be seen?
Warmest to all
Angela Hackett – Director Police into Private Sector