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What are your profile settings on LinkedIn? Are you anonymous? Do you get riled by people who are anonymous reviewing your profile? You’re looking at it the wrong way and wasting time!

I got involved in a discussion on LinkedIn recently. The person starting the discussion was pretty vehement that he was offended by people’s anonymity (ie. that people can look at his profile and he can’t see who they are.) I got involved in the discussion, and to be fair, I was so in the minority, so I am blogging to get the last word (yes, please comment away!!)

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion

This is my view. LinkedIn is one of the only platforms in the world where you can see who has looked at you. Yes, it frustrating when some who is anonymous looks, but it’s the control freak in me that gets uppity and wants to know more – but that’s irrelevant. I feel that the glass if half full – I CAN see the majority of people who view my profile, and that’s great!

It’s a Recruitment System, Dammit!

LinkedIn is a Recruitment System – let’s get that straight. This is not my opinion, it’s a fact! Recruiters pay (sometimes) to use it. LinkedIn makes a fortune from this and also selling to corporates space to advertise their vacancies and pimp their company pages. They also make a sweet sum from Job Seekers – have you seen that people who are active in the job market can pay to have their data given precedence over others in job searches and candidate search results? LinkedIn have a 360 model there!

Recruitment is one of a number of industries which operates under cover. Candidates do it, recruiters do it, clients looking to make a decision on a candidate do it –they all adjust their settings and go underground. So I get frustrated when I hear the rec industry getting a bad rap for being anonymous – most of my clients aren’t, they are happy to show their faces.

What harm can it do?

Absolutely nothing – no-one is dying because of it. Yes, it’s really frustrating, but look away from your PC and get frustrated by the staple that won’t come out of the recycling, or the shredder that jams. You can do more about that.

It’s Free – You Signed the Terms

Have you read the terms of LinkedIn? Bet you haven’t (I have, but then my job needs me to). Roughly translated, you are (likely to be) using it for free, thus you have signed up to their terms. They have the data that you added (did they hold a gun to your head?), and they make it accessible to others. Not just recruiters, but to people looking to come and work for you / buy from you – focus on that… it’s important.

Perhaps the guy who was getting a little riled (and I do understand why) is getting checked out by an ideal client who prefers to be anonymous? Yes it would be lovely to know who, but he doesn’t get that data from his website, so why would LinkedIn be any different?

The Glass Is Half Full

My advice? Focus on the positives. LinkedIn is ACE (tech term). I say this because it totally nails your professional online identity. It allows you to be present 24/7 even whilst you are on the beach. Your “bad” if you don’t take advantage (my son is introducing me to lots of “youth talk”).

I’m connected to more recruiters than most (my business works with recruiters) and I get on average 20% of my profile views are anonymous. I am not fazed by this issue. I get giddy, though when people do show their face and they are right up my street.

None of us needs to work with everybody on LinkedIn (200million people plus is a big ask), so why should I care if I can’t see them.

The ultimate solution? Get yourself off of LinkedIn. But what a shame and a waste if you do.

We run LinkedIn for Recruiters courses for time-starved recruiters, who think they have a handle on LinkedIn, but want to improve their profile, increase their relevant application response and place more jobs. Read about the courses here.

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