I’ve sometimes said I specialize in social media for the socially reluctant. I did in fact mean those who were reluctant to share themselves on social media but it may be that those same people are reluctant to network in person too.
Many of us are very private people who don’t want to put much about ourselves out there publicly. Can you afford not to have an online presence? There will be a presence there by default. That identity may say you are dated/don’t know about social media/don’t know how to manage younger employees who use social media all the time. It may say you’re not confident enough about your professional experience to share it publicly.
Without a photo, it’s very difficult to verify that you’re the “John Smith” I met last night and that I would love to talk to about a great opportunity. Without a profile at all, there’s little chance I’ll bother to even try to contact you. If you have a profile but don’t have many contacts, I may wonder if you’re well-connected enough in Silicon Valley to bother with. Harsh but true.
There are components of your profile you’ll want to control carefully. You may not want to advertise your age – LinkedIn doesn’t ask you to fill in your age but your dates of graduation may show it just as blatantly. You may not want your current employer to think you’re looking for another job and there are ways to set up your settings to make your search less obvious. Have you connected to others in your professional field to keep current and be aware of the latest developments and/or job opportunities? Make sure you’re a member of a few relevant groups. Do you have a very exclusive, high-level of contacts and you don’t want all your connections to see your other contacts – you can “hide” them from view. Though in general the point of social media is to encourage connections, it can be appropriate to retain some privacy.
I believe that the more you see that you can carefully craft and control your online presence and visibility, the more you will appreciate the ways in which you can use LinkedIn.
I am a believer in the value of LinkedIn to grow your relationships and your brand and that it can offer great opportunities for business opportunities or jobs. I would love to talk with you about the benefits to you being more active on LinkedIn and the type of activity that would work best for your personality and your goals. Please schedule a free 20-minute strategy consultation to see how I might be able to assist you.