LinkedIn Checklist: 10 Tweaks for Control Freaks (Part 1)

Writing Control Your LinkedIn Presencean executive résumé is baffling for many of the folks I speak to every day.

Too often the résumé becomes a bloated version of one written straight out of college, and by mid-career there’s so much information that it’s tough to be objective about what stays and what goes.

Then comes LinkedIn, posing as a résumé, but not really being a résumé because of its public nature, norms, and new boundary-pushing ways.

To be absent from LinkedIn is to marginalize opportunity. To be on LinkedIn without understanding it, however, is to potentially invite career gaffes and public blunders in a new age.

The result of all this confusion is a shell of a LinkedIn profile that looks like its owner doesn’t care.

Happily, LinkedIn offers a variety of settings and controls so we can sleep at night, and perhaps instill more confidence to meaningfully build out those profiles so LinkedIn can actually start working for us.

Here are five I’ve prepared for you to tackle this weekend. I’ll post the next five in seven short days. 

Control Tweak #1: Use a personal email address and password as your LinkedIn login credentials.

We like to fantasize that we’ll always be in control of our work email addresses until we relinquish them by choice. Also, we happily live with the assumption that our work email isn’t being watched.

Both assumptions can be wrong, so take the time to use your own email address as a login credential.

While you’re at it, use an entirely unique password. Your security adviser will thank you.

Related post: 4 Reasons You Need a Career-only Email Address

Control Tweak #2: Turn on or off your activity broadcasts. (Settings > Profile > Privacy Controls) 

Letting connections know when you’ve made changes to your profile can increase the visibility of your profile. Score! But even LinkedIn notes that “you may want to turn off this option if you’re looking for a job and don’t want your present employer to see that you’re updating your profile.”

Control Tweak #3: Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile (Settings > Profile > Privacy Controls) 

When you visit someone’s profile, for whatever reason, the evidence of your visit is left behind and later made available to the profile owner. That’s good in some cases, and then there are times when you’d rather remain anonymous. My clients are always surprised to learn this, so it’s good to consider how you want your actions to appear.

Control Tweak #4: Select who can see your connections (Settings > Profile > Privacy Controls)

Some of us should let our connections remain public. Others of us should not. If LinkedIn is your client list, for example, that’s a confidential lineup and shouldn’t be for public consumption. My connections are set to “only you” (private), and the only way you’ll see who I’m connected to is if you’re a shared connection. Decide what’s right for you.

Related post: How to Hide Your LinkedIn Contacts

Control Tweak #5: Change your profile photo and visibility (Settings > Profile > Privacy Controls)

My profile is set to “everyone,” which means anyone — whether logged into LinkedIn or not — can see my photo. The benefits include being perceived as a real person — an active profile — versus an unfinished shell of a profile. (Presuming you’ve taken the time to complete your profile.)

There are, however, people who want to control their visibility outside of LinkedIn, so LinkedIn offers visibility to “my connections,” “my network,” and “everyone.” I found this helpful recently when a cautious client had good reason not to show her photo to the world, particularly as facial recognition becomes the norm. (I won’t go into detail, but I was certainly glad LinkedIn offered the control, and in her case, I made the rare recommendation not to include a photo at all.)

Important caveat: Always check on past, current, and future company policies related to LinkedIn and social media. You may be free to make your own choices, but you want to check first.

LinkedIn’s latest user interface has streamlined many of the complexities that previously surrounded its settings. If you’ve made it this far, be sure to spend a bit more time poking around the various buttons and links on LinkedIn so you can rest easy and know your profile is behaving as you would like.

Tune in  next week for five more tweaks to satisfy your inner control freak!

Jared Redick

Visit: The Resume
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
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Call: 415-397-6640

One Response

  1. […] week ago, I posted Part 1 of my ten tips for better controlling your LinkedIn […]

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