Do you need a LinkedIn Profile to be trusted?

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]
I have a question for you; the post title isn’t it. But first a bit of background

For those that don’t know I frequent the Twitterverse quite a bit and am generally happy to chat with people in the open on Twitter about anything that interests me. Yesterday evening I struck up a conversation on Twitter with @Jerry_Albright, someone who follows me and whom I have followed for some time and is known to many through his blog Jerry and I share a professional interest in recruiting and as of last night I now know that we also enjoy fishing. So the conversation continued. After a while I get a question from a completely unknown Twitter user. Not a problem as this happens a lot and I concluded that this person follows Jerry or had searched on conversations around fishing and decided to join in. Always glad to talk fishing with people. On further investigation, his Twitter profile indicates that he too is interested in recruitment, so two points of common ground. Tweets go back and forth and nothing alarming happens at all. However being curious by nature I decide to find out a bit more about this chap.

My first port of call is always LinkedIn. I am a big fan of LinkedIn and have been using it daily in my professional business life since early 2004. In fact I found out this week I am member #150,542, which is very cool. I use LinkedIn lots, far more than I use Facebook or any other platform, Twitter aside, as a recruiter to find potential candidates and as a Group owner to engage with other people. So when it comes to looking into someone’s background, even if it is just to find out where they work or have worked, where they may live, to get an idea of who they are, LinkedIn is always the first place it turn to. Invariably it provides me the information I need. So when I looked this chap up, searching different permutations and couldn’t find a LinkedIn profile, it unnerved me quite a bit. Was I right to feel this way?

Now he is likely to be completely genuine and has done nothing at all suspect or underhand. There are many genuine reasons for not having a LinkedIn Profile. Am I right to question and doubt or am I narrow in my thinking?

So the question I have for you all is:-

Would you trust someone on Twitter if you couldn’t find a profile for them on LinkedIn?

  1. Was there no link to a website in his bio?

    • Nope, nothing, just the bio

  2. OK, that is pretty odd. You’d think an active Twitter user with an interest in recruiting and SEO would have a web presence. I hope you didn’t share your deepest darkest secrets… 😉

    • jane f
    • March 27th, 2011

    If I was looking to work with them, I would certainly look them up on LinkedIn, but I don’t think its a precursor to trusting someone in general. I know people who have more than one Twitter profile and use the accounts for different reasons – personal interests vs job related etc. I think its still early days to expect people to have a full digital footprint.

  3. I find it fascinating how few people in the NHS have a LinkedIn profile – particularly HR people. And those who do, don’t actively use it or put anything of any real detail on there.

    However, for someone involved in the recruitment industry, I would expect them to have a full presence on LinkedIn. So I understand you where you’re coming from. Why don’t you ask him/ her?

    • It’s not so much about whether he is genuine or not but more about general attitudes to LinkedIn.

      When you consider there are only 100m people on LinkedIn, which means the majority of business people don’t have a profile, why did I expect him to have one at all? But at the same time was I suspicious just because he didn’t have a LinkedIn profile or because being interested in Recruitment he didn’t have one by all accounts he should have one?

  4. Hi Gary. Like you I often look to cross refer Twitter and LinkedIn. And I do know folk who I’ve come to trust who are on one and not the other, and on neither. It’s not usual and it does happen. I check Google too if the others bring up nowt. Rarely is someone as untraceable as your mystery fisherman though. Perhaps it’s Cap’n Birdseye?

    Cheers – Doug

  5. What is interesting about this is that I believe in this world of online interaction people increasingly look to check whether you are authentic or not.
    Engaging with someone online is great but we do seem to have a natural human need to confirm that the other person is real and genuine as well as looking for things that you may have in common.
    LinkedIn can be lots of things to different people but one great use of LinkedIn for all of us is that it provides a great opportunity to show people who we really are and I believe that is pretty critical for successful online engagement in business.

  6. Perhaps you could advise me too – I was recently approached by an in-house recruiter via Direct Message on Twitter. He was looking for some advice. His team had recently set up a corporate Twitter account and he wanted my thoughts.

    When I went to reply to him, I found he wasn’t following me so i couldn’t respond via the same channel. I sent him an @message and assumed he would see it, start following me and we could start a conversation. He didn’t.

    The link in his Twitter profile went to his company’s main global website, so that wasn’t hugely telling about who he was. I used Google and soon found him and his company email address. So I am certain that he’s a real person.

    I felt uncomfortable just sending him an email out of the blue. My email address is fairly easy to find but he’d chosen to contact me via Twitter.

    I went to LinkedIn, thinking that a recruiter interested enough in Social Media to set up a personal and company Twitter presence would be there. He wasn’t. I found this very strange. The first question in any feedback I give him will be – why prioritise Twitter over Linkedin?

    So at the moment, unless he has checked his “@Mentions” tab on Twitter, he won’t know that I acknowledged his message.

    What would you do next?

    • In these circumstances I’d forget about it. It’s not as if you wanted to contact him for something you wanted

    • Oli Moore
    • March 28th, 2011

    A Recruiter not on Linkedin – Eye Brows are raised.

    That said some people just haven’t found LinkedIn yet. I wouldn’t be deeply concerned. Did you check Facebook?

    That said why not send a message on twitter and ask if he’s on Linkedin as you would like to connect due to common interests… etc!

    Happy Fishing 🙂

  7. Anyone who seeks to engage in dialogue via Social Media that does not have an accessible Profile somewhere is either not worth talking to or up to no good.You wouldn’t do business with someone who didn’t have a bank account.Maybe he was fishing!

    • Robert
    • March 31st, 2011

    Possibly a more important question – how do you find out what LI user # you are? 🙂

    • Haha – if you Click on View Profile in LI and look in the URL for the page you will see ID=a number anywhere from 1052 to 100,000,000 or therabouts. that will be your ID number

  8. haha I’m always slightly suspicious of people with no trace of a linkedin profile 🙂

  9. Some years ago I was given a bad reference by a man that I did not know and who had never even met me. He did this when a person who had once reported to him rang him for a reference on me (he had seen that I had worked at his ex company on my CV). After some months of investigation I was able to trace the referee and I found out that he was my ex bosses successor, a man he did not like.

    Linkedin facilitates such appalling behavior. I believe that if someone is not prepared to give a reference in writing and copy it to the candidate then he should put up and shut up.

    I have sen that Linkedin are actually encouraging references to be taken behind a persons back. I for one will be deleting my account shortly.

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