LinkedIn - the Modern Day Rolodex. Least that's how I see LinkedIn yet as a career management specialist, I'm oft surprised when my candidates oppose the idea of having a LinkedIn Profile. 'I don't want people invading my privacy'; 'stealing my personal information'; 'my ex stalking me'; 'people pestering me to connect'; 'no one I'd want to connect with'; 'I'm shy, I don't like to put myself out there; 'I don't have Facebook or Twitter - why would I want LinkedIn?'
'People will steal my personal information!'
Common and valid (if obsolete) objections for let's face it, who doesn't balk at memories of James Murdoch arguing ignorance over News International's phone tapping scandal, Julien Assange sharing hacked top secret dialogue, Jennifer Lawrence finding her private photos splashed across the net? Of course we're wary about our privacy.
- The thing is, security protocols on sites such as LinkedIn are well managed for the site's reputation rides on its commitment to protecting its members; and the privacy settings within are readily accessible and in our own hands.
What's more our private lives are not on show here, we're talking about the professional version of ourselves being visible - to clients, potential customers, head hunters, long lost friends, colleagues; and for those in the job market - recruiters.
'But I have business cards!'
Sure, people can contact you via your business or v-card provided they have one, your company's website may even showcase your Biography and yes, your colleagues already know where to find you. But what if your position suddenly became redundant? Would you want your 'Personal Brand' at the mercy of an obsolete business card or out of date Bio? Your specific knowledge and expertise subjected to a former client, customer or colleagues' vague recollections? Look on LinkedIn as your modern day Rolodex.
'I don't want people pestering me to connect!'
Given 90% of people Google you before they meet you for the first time, 98% recruiters and head hunters use Social Media in general to find suitable talent, 97.3% use LinkedIn and 65% rely exclusively on the site alone* to find talent, you will want these people to find you. Preferably your well executed professional LinkedIn Profile showcasing said expertise. Not wanting people pestering you to connect? Get over it!
Social media dinosaur? Noooooo!
With 380 million users globally, 7 million in Australia alone, 2 new members joining every second, those without a profile are already being viewed with suspicion. Technically disadvantaged? Something to hide? Don't be 'that' social media dinosaur your younger colleagues scoff at for it ain't going away. Might as well embrace huh?
Think of LinkedIn as your mini 'Personal Brand' marketing website. And it's free! And once you've established your profile you'll be pleasantly surprised at the amount of people who will want to reach out, connect; even head hunt or job offer you. Dig into the many additional offerings LinkedIn provides and you will soon be wondering just what all that fuss was about!
Stay tuned for my hints and tips for building a profile that will stand out and set you apart from the masses. Once done we'll then take your fresh new profile from the driveway to the free-way!
* Bullhorn Reach Social Recruiting Activity Report