Stop Doing This On LinkedIn Now - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Social
News
9/30/2014
08:40 AM
50%
50%

Stop Doing This On LinkedIn Now

Watch out for these missteps that might undermine your presence on the professional networking site.

"At one time, there wasn't much there," she said. "People just saw [LinkedIn] as a profile. But [now] LinkedIn's homepage is a newspaper that has been curated by people within your network."

If your homepage seems to be too much noise and not enough substance -- and that's not an imaginary issue on social media these days -- there's a simple way to cut down on unwanted information. Go to your account's Privacy & Settings page and click "Customize the updates you see on your home page" in the Account section.

6. Stop announcing to your current boss that you're looking for a new job.
As long as we're on the subject of Privacy & Settings, unwitting LinkedIn users might be advertising to their current boss and coworkers that they're looking for a new job. It's become a digital equivalent of the careless co-worker who, in a bygone era, left copies of his resumé in the shared office printer tray. Steve Levy, head of global recruiting at Kaltura, points out that if you're on LinkedIn in the first place, you're probably connected with your current boss and co-workers. If you're making significant changes to your profile, those might show up on their homepages or in their email digests.

"If you're in a job search, don't broadcast to the world that you've updated your profile," Levy said in an interview. That might sound strange, but it's prudent strategy if you still value your current paycheck. Again, there's a quick fix, one that allows you to remain reasonably active on the site without announcing to your boss that you're on the market: Go to Privacy & Settings and click on "Turn on/off your activity broadcasts" in the Profile section. ("Broadcast" is the operative word here.)

It's not foolproof. Some managers might be keen to check the profiles of direct reports they're connected with from time to time, even if they're not getting homepage or email notifications about you. Levy ultimately shrugs his shoulders: "Oh well," he said. "If they ask you why you're looking, you tell them why. Maybe some things are things they can fix. In business, you're supposed to be able to talk to your boss about things. If it's not working out, it's not working out."

7. Stop trying to hide your age.
Ageism in IT is real. So people in the middle or later stages of their career would be forgiven for being a bit skeptical of LinkedIn features such as -- oh, I don't know -- the very prominent photo showcased on every profile. That photo includes a fundamental implication: Appearance matters. (To each his own, but leaving the photo blank is generally considered a basic LinkedIn no-no.) Then there are the things that have always been not-so-subtle indicators of age on the traditional resumé, like graduation and employment dates.

Trying to "massage" or flat-out hide your age on LinkedIn is counterproductive, at best.

"Age discrimination is ugly, and it's out there," Serdula said. Yet any of the "tricks" -- using an old photo or hiding dates, as examples -- quickly fail once you land an interview, and as a general rule Serdula advised against omitting basic information, noting that missing data is often considered a red flag among recruiters and hiring managers.

"Put yourself out there in the most positive way. Own your age --  use it as a benefit. There are companies out there that value your experience. Why would you want to waste your time going after companies that don't value you? Even if you were to get hired, why would you want to support a company like that. I say: Own your age."

Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click. Get the new Enterprise Social Network Success issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest today. (Free registration required.)

Kevin Casey is a writer based in North Carolina who writes about technology for small and mid-size businesses. View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
10/1/2014 | 7:08:41 AM
Re: Own your age ...
There are valid reasons on both sides. I would hope that companies like LinkedIn would be more open about the preferences and choices you can make to set your preferred level of privacy.
glenbren
50%
50%
glenbren,
User Rank: Ninja
10/1/2014 | 12:02:40 AM
Re: Own your age ...
They should at least let people know they're doing it, and there's an option to turn it off.
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2014 | 11:25:54 PM
Re: Own your age ...
@glen, agreed. always struck me as a feature that most people would want turned off.
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2014 | 11:15:35 PM
Re: Own your age ...
glenbren, LinkedIn benefits from as many status updates, work anniversaries, etc., because it gives them more excuses to send you emails to let you know I changed my profile pic, or have been at my current job for 3 years 1 month and 21 days --- all to drive traffic and engagement. More people coming to the site more often, adding information, feeds their data machine and their dream of creating a data quilt of the entire job market.
glenbren
50%
50%
glenbren,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2014 | 1:04:43 PM
Re: Own your age ...
Great tips! Especially about turning off notifications. I never even knew my actions were being broadcasted until I started getting notices of other people's actions and realized they might be getting the same about me. Wouldn't you think the default would be not to send them?
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2014 | 12:49:23 PM
Own your age ...
That's great advice. Most people could manage their profiles to shave off 10 years or so, but as soon as a potential employer starts checking your paperwork, the game is up. While I expect most employers get why someone would fudge their age (more so than, say, inflating their titles or education) it's still less than honest.
Slideshows
Reflections on Tech in 2019
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  12/9/2019
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll