Today’s blog is more of a rant.
This is unusual for me as you probably know. I like to share positive career and job finding experiences and tips with you. Yet LinkedIn’s recent sneaky tactics have let me down.
Last year I spent a lot of time promoting LinkedIn to hundreds of individuals facing major upheaval in their careers through job cuts and company closures.
How many other career management tools enable you to promote yourself, find jobs, network with decision makers and do market research all in one place? For FREE.
But is LinkedIn free?
What is your reputation worth?
A few weeks ago I was sent an email from a coaching colleague asking me if I was aware that LinkedIn had quietly introduced new settings with the default set ON which allow them to use your profile information, name and photo in third party advertising.
My initial reaction was disbelief – this was a Facebook tactic! Would that explain why I had been starting to receive unwanted e-mails and spam from people I wasn't connected to?
Within a few minutes I had alerted my entire LinkedIn network of 422 contacts (which is not inconsiderable) and changed my settings to OFF.
Is the price of “personal branding” our privacy?
Sara Maim’s article in today’s Independent shrugs off privacy concerns claiming that we are all becoming individual brands, selling ourselves online.
“Welcome to the lives of anyone under 23. We are the social networking generation. Our lives have been played out online since before we hit our teens.”
You have to smile …
If I think back to my early twenties when my career was a series of jobs to earn money to pay back student loans and save up for a mortgage, I might have said the same thing. Shrug off the future you can’t imagine.
Yet we are all living longer. And the Facebook and LinkedIns of the world have elephant memory banks that can come back to haunt us just when we want to get serious about our careers.
Would I suggest you use LinkedIn to promote yourself online – YES.
However, have your eyes wide open and recognise that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Social networks will always find ways to make money – with your data – so check your privacy settings regularly and create a personal brand that will contribute to your career success, not destroy your reputation.
Katherine Wiid, founder of Recrion, is a Career Management Coach and Behavioural Specialist. Helping you to move away from uncertainty towards clarity in your working life. Telephone 01780 484910.