Friday, March 23, 2012

Bad times to have LinkedIn profile (Part 3)

In the previous post we saw that LinkedIn (and other similar social networks) could become zombies of your time and personal space, unless you dedicate time & efforts to select and configure the available options according to your preferences.

Let me first state that I like professional social networks like LinkedIn. I am now 33 and I do not really remember if I have ever applied for a job off-line. Many times, the initial contact for a successful job application or freelancer contract was through my LinkedIn or Monster profiles. I remember when I joined LinkedIn for first time they had to add my country of origin, Bulgaria, to their country list.

Having said that, there were some really bad times when I wished my Internet footprint was smaller.

3. Destructive information

Let's face it, it is very easy to put destructive information on your profile. I am not talking about silly blunders like selecting a 'I could drink 2 Liters rakia' picture for your profile. These are clear and can be easily avoided (although I must say I had such a picture live for a while before noticing :)).

Here is an example for a hard-to-notice destructive information from personal experience.

Recently I took a long vacation from my regular job. I wanted to work on some personal projects. My start-up,, was one of these projects. In order to promote the project, I put a new job line 'Founder of' on my profile. I did not notice that by doing so I have automatically moved my regular employer to the 'past jobs' section.

This had some undesirable consequences. Clients of my regular employer immediately spotted that. They questioned the financial and organizational integrity of my employer. The management hat to explain if why and how they are loosing a key employee.  

Before changing my LinkedIn profile, my colleagues contacted me from time to time for some urgent questions and support requests. This was actually quite desirable, as I had arranged for a way to get compensated for the extraordinary support during my vacation. This activity ceased shortly after the change of my profile.

Here is my summary for the series 'Bad times to have LinkedIn profile'.
1. If you are trying to go into a new professional area, LinkedIn makes the issue of the cat chasing its tail even worse
2. In order to save your personal time and space from web zombies, you need to dedicate time & effort to configure your social network profiles and LinkedIn options.
3. A simple change of the information on your profile could trigger destructive consequences, including damaging the reputation of your employer and reducing your opportunities to advance in your career or earn extra money.

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