Over the last three weeks I have noticed a marked increase in the number of secret service ninja's that have been reading my profile on LinkedIn. Of course what I really mean, is that they have put their LinkedIn accounts to appear as anonymous – they don't want to be seen searching profiles. Why? Why the need for the secrecy?
Now before all you recruiters, headhunters etc start waxing lyrical about needing to keep things confidential, I do understand there are a few times when this might be necessary – especially on competitor talent searching (if you are an in-house recruiter). Note I said a few times, not all the time.
So what is so special about you that you have to remain secret all the time?
Are you a member of the Royal Family?
Are you working for the CIA?
Are you embarrassed to be a recruiter?
Have you got such a poor LinkedIn profile that you don't want anyone to see it?
Do you not want candidates and clients contacting you and referring you to their friends and colleagues?
You see, every time you visit someone's LinkedIn profile normally (without blocking visibility), you leave a great big fat link to you and your company. If you have set up your LinkedIn profile correctly and have a good headline, explaining exactly what you do, with a good headshot picture, then you are leaving an inviting calling card for you and your company. You are actually sowing your personal (and company) brand around LinkedIn.
Human nature is one of natural curiosity. The first thing that most people do when they have seen who has viewed their profile (right hand side bar of the LinkedIn home page when you are logged in), is to click on that profile that has looked at theirs. We all do it. Every time.
I want to connect with like-minded people from my industry and I want to see who has viewed my profile. Most of the time I reach back out to the people that have had a look at my profile, make contact with them and (if relevant) connect with them. Most of the time this is the first time I have seen these people, and I probably wouldn't have seen them without that initial viewing. They have found me on a search, come across me because of interesting content that I have posted or have been referred to me by their networks.
And as I have said many times before, you do not know who these people are connected to – you don't know their networks, their friends, colleagues and who they influence. A quick visit to your profile and seeing what you do, may trigger that contact to make a direct contact or referral with you that turns into your next placement or business opportunity,
But of course if you are playing the LinkedIn ninja game, none of this will happen to you, as they won't know you have paid a visit in the first place!
Go to your account settings on LinkedIn (top right hand corning of your profile) and change your settings to visible to anyone.
Now go back to your normal task of searching for and connecting with people on LinkedIn.
Take your black ninja outfit to the charity shop – you won't be needing it anymore.
For all of you that will continue playing LinkedIn ninja's, good luck to you in your world of anonymity, as I won't know who you are and it won't matter anyway.
I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them helping them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.
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