LinkedIn: Professional or Personal Profile?

LinkedIn: Professional or Personal Profile?

Posted on 04. Aug, 2014 by in Job Seekers, Resumes and Letters

Is your LinkedIn profile a professional or personal social media profile? Is there a black and white delineation for you? Or is this a grey area? There seems to be much debate about the topic out there. Recently someone at my firm suggested we educate our Associates on what to say on their LinkedIn profiles. Many were in favor of this; I, however, was not as I believe that LinkedIn is truly a personal social media profile that is used for professional purposes.

Why?

You Take It With You – Not as in a riddle about death way, but your LinkedIn profile follows you from job to job or all your side gigs whatever those may be. It is not your employer’s property nor are you required to give it back along with your laptop and key fob when you change jobs. It’s yours, all yours!

It’s Your Choice to Assemble a Profile – Certainly none of my employers ever mandated I create a LinkedIn profile and I’ve never heard of one that does. If it’s not required for your job, it must be a personal social media profile.

Personal Data – LinkedIn doesn’t just have categories for your professional history, but includes ample places for more personal information. This does include your contact information like home email and phone numbers as well as Interests, Organizations you support, personal blog/website, and Volunteer Opportunities. It’s not all business all the time with LinkedIn.

Connections – Are you really only connected to professional colleagues? Probably not. I’m certainly connected with friends, my spouse, oh, and my mom. Hi mom!

It is my opinion that LinkedIn is a personal social media profile used for professional purposes. Meaning, anyone can do whatever they want and connect with whomever they want using their LinkedIn profiles and receive whatever benefits or consequences as such.

Disagree? Debate me in the Comments section below!

Cassie Sturdevant

Cassie Sturdevant is a Senior Recruiter for Impact Advisors, a healthcare IT strategic and implementation services consulting firm just named 2013 Best in KLAS for Overall Services. She specializes in humor and follow up.

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2 Responses to “LinkedIn: Professional or Personal Profile?”

  1. John Lynn

    04. Aug, 2014

    Great discussion. I agree that your LinkedIn profile is personal. However, the clothes you wear are personal as well. You don’t give them back to your health IT company when you’re done. However, a company might consult you on what you wear on the job. So, it’s perfectly fine for a company to do something similar with employees and their LinkedIn profiles. Your profile is part of what you bring to the job and is an asset that can be leveraged for the company. Of course, it’s an asset that if you make it valuable can find you your next job or keep you in your existing job as well.

  2. Cassie Sturdevant

    04. Aug, 2014

    Yes, though your argument makes the assumption that LinkedIn profiles are a requirement for a job, which most are not. Clothes, however, are a requirement of jobs. You are required to wear clothes to go to work, therefore a company can pass judgment on the clothes worn by their employees – uniforms, for example. Unless a social media profile is a requirement for the job, I hesitate buying into an employer being able to assess requirements of their employees LinkedIn profiles.

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