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.
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!