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Your Privacy is Important to You.

You value your privacy and aren’t the least bit concerned that your lack of “presence” will have any effect on your current or future career. You’re confident your experience and position will speak for you. And, while that may be true there is another view you should consider.

Your presence may be less about you and more about what others can gather about you.

You know who you are, your strengths, your accomplishments, commitment to the organization and community. You’re confident that even if you wanted to transition your career you should be okay. But what do others know about you?

When I launched Intero Advisory in 2011, unemployment was considerably higher than today, and many of our clients were holding onto the jobs they had while others faced looking for a new job for the first time in decades. They needed to build a presence quickly.

Today, the job market is more competitive than ever. Employers have more qualified applicants to choose from and the ability to reach out to find people they are most interested in hiring.  Guess what? Whether you stand on the career ladder, you need to build a presence quickly. Why? If you aren’t present in a relevant and meaningful way, someone else is, and you’ve left yourself in the dust.

If you can’t find the someone or something you are looking for online in less than a minute (that’s probably generous) do you move on? Most likely. We don’t have time to search (in the real sense of the word). To many of us, search now means to be presented with not an in-depth discovery of something or someone.

When I review a list of profiles for an upcoming training, I put their name in LinkedIn’s Search bar and sometimes if they have a common name (most of us do) I will add either their city, industry or company to help find them faster. If I can’t find your LinkedIn profile with those qualifiers, I move on because I assume you have not developed your LinkedIn profile. And, if I am wrong and you have a profile you still haven’t written it, you are quickly viewable.

Yes, there are other ways for me to find you on Google and LinkedIn. I can go to your LinkedIn Company Page or do an Advanced Search, but that takes time, and each additional click makes it more difficult for your profile to create a great impression.

Two examples come to mind. The first is a CEO who was adamant that he didn’t need any online presence and his privacy was most important. What he failed to realize was that because he decided not to manage his online presence others would. Our conversation prompted me to google his name, and we found the top two Google results were about his family with details that mentioned their names, residence, and personal affiliations. He was horrified.

Another leading C-level executive had no LinkedIn profile or presence found that someone with his same name was involved in some nefarious activities in the same city he was. For the person who didn’t go further than the Google search that could be confusing and potentially damaging.

While I appreciate the privacy conversation, it still shows a lack of understanding. Is it privacy your concerned with, or, is that an easy way to say you can’t be bothered? You decide.

LinkedIn isn’t about diminishing your privacy. They provide several ways to create a professional presence that demonstrates your relevance and valuable insight. How can that not be beneficial to you or your current organization?

Over my next few posts, I am going focus on privacy. For those using LinkedIn well and regularly, I think you will also find some helpful nuggets since LinkedIn is always adding and removing features.