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Sorry if this question has been asked before, I looked up [LinkedIn] and nothing similar came up on the first 3 to 4 pages.

Questions:

  1. Does not having a LinkedIn or Facebook profile adversely affect employment chances?
  2. To all the hiring managers and team leaders here in the community, are you ever annoyed or concerned when an applicant (who has the skills for the job) does not have a social media presence?
  3. Are hiring managers more likely to interview applicants with a LinkedIn profile (perhaps because they can see how professional the applicant looks in their headshot or because they have endorsements/recommendations)?

I am wondering if my lack of social media presence is hurting my job search. A lot of hiring managers/employers look up job applicants' profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook. While I do have a Facebook account, I've deactivated it as I haven't used it in many years. My LinkedIn profile is incomplete, and I have a few useless connections (maybe 3 or 4). The main reason I have a LinkedIn profile is that it allows me to look up and learn about the team/interviewers at a company where I have applied for a job and received an invitation for an interview. And I think hiring managers do this too from time to time before they interview applicants.

I never felt comfortable making my resume public. For me, there is something really unsettling about LinkedIn; it feels like there are bugs crawling underneath my skin. I have seen many of my peers outright lie in their LinkedIn profile.

Extensive knowledge of econometrics and economic modeling; advanced analytical and research skills; proficient in data processing and Stata, EViews, R, MATLAB, ... (emphasis mine)

Like I literally know these people - "Proficient"? C'mon. How can someone who's taken two courses in econometrics in a graduate program say they have extensive knowledge of this incredibly intricate subject? I'd expect an economist in the Bank of Canada, an economic policy analyst at a research institute or govt. organization, or a professor of applied economics to have extensive knowledge of econometrics and economic modeling.

There's so much lies out there that I don't feel comfortable listing my jobs/skills/experiences in LinkedIn. I don't want to play this game. I don't want to embellish my skills and experiences to be on par with them. Grandiloquent language and what not.

I am not socially awkward, I can hold a conversation when it's meaningful, but I don't enjoy meaningless chitchat. I don't like posting on social media, and I don't like taking photos of myself. I don't have a razor-sharp, professional looking photo for my LinkedIn profile. That's not who I am, or what I look like on a daily basis. Even if I completed my LinkedIn profile, it probably wouldn't be very effective since I am introverted. I'd probably only connect with my supervisors and professors. Colleagues, not so much.

How big of a drawback is this? I know many employers hire based on the LinkedIn profile of their applicants. Sometimes people get hired directly from LinkedIn; jobs are not even posted on jobsites. I know almost everything is becoming online nowadays, and I can't help but feel like a Neanderthal. I also feel like everything that I'd like my employers to know is already there in my resume, and that there's nothing additional that I can put in a LinkedIn profile (other than endorsements and references from my supervisors and people I've worked with). Not sure if these are something hiring managers/employers value.

I'm just trying to understand what I am doing wrong, and if I should bite the bullet and explore the avenue - put up a fake smile, take a headshot, and dive right in. Honestly, knowing that I have a public profile is going to really, really haunt me.

Field of work: Economic Research / Economist / Policy Analysis / Data Analyst
Potential employers: Government / Think Tanks / Research Institutes / Consulting Firms / Academia (research)

Note: I've seen the question linked in the comments. That didn't answer my question. That question mostly talks about Fb, Twitter, and Instagram, whereas my focus is on LinkedIn. Also, their field of work is in marketing/customer relations/PR, where as my field of work is in economics/research. So answers will differ based on that.

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  • I've been in many meetings about whether we should make an offer to a candidate or not. Not once has a social media presence (or absence) been brought up.
    – Abigail
    Oct 17 at 10:26
  • A smiling photo is not "fake" it shows the most pleasant side of you, the image you want to display to a prospective employer. It's been proven, humans are naturally drawn to smiling babies, as feelings of admiration, protection and love are awakened. Don't confuse Linkedln with Instagram or Facebook. Then again, use, exploit social media to your advantage, it's has nothing to do with selling your soul or principles if you have a social presence. TIP: Make your resume relatively short, sweet and end on a high note.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 16 at 21:08
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LinkedIn does NOT need to be social

tl,dr: you misunderstand how LinkedIn works: you can keep it entirely professional without disclosing anything social at all.

LinkedIn is primarily a resume posting board that's easily searchable by recruiters and hiring managers. That has made it in many countries the number one candidate search tool and by ignoring it you will miss out on many great opportunities. If you local hiring manager with a great job is looking for someone with your exact skills, your name will NOT pop up, but 10 others will. Chances are you will not be hired for this job.

All that needs to be on LinkedIn is the same info that's in your resume. You can keep it entirely professional. There is absolutely no need for social decoration: no one cares.

I don't have a razor-sharp, professional looking photo for my LinkedIn profile.

You don't need one. In fact many good profiles have no photo at all.

I'd probably only connect with my supervisors and professors. Colleagues, not so much.

Doesn't matter. No one cares about connections or recommendation.

Everything I'd like my employers to know is already there in my resume, and that there's nothing additional that I can put in a LinkedIn profile

You have it 100% backwards. Without a LinkedIn profile, they are never going to see your resume. You want them to FIND you on LinkedIn so you can actually send them your resume. Once you are in contact, LinkedIn isn't relevant any more.

My LinkedIn profile is incomplete,

That's a problem. A messy or incomplete profile reflects badly on you. Honestly it's not that hard: spend half an hour copying/pasting from your resume and you are done. Update maybe once a year or when something significant happens. If you can't even do that: delete it. No profile is still better than having a sloppy/messy one.

I am wondering if my lack of social media presence is hurting my job search.

Yes and no. No one cares about Facebook or the social noise on LinkedIn. However by not having a professional LinkedIn profile you are opting out of the primary candidate search tool and you will be overlooked frequently, even if you are a perfect fit for the job.

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  • So for hiring managers to find my LinkedIn profile, I'd have to keep it public right? And then anyone can just look me up? This is already making me anxious ...
    – AIQ
    Oct 16 at 14:29
  • That's your choice: in order to be found in searches you need to be visible. Otherwise you have to find your next employer yourself. If it's any consolation : more than 10% of the entire world's population has a LinkedIn profile , so you are NOT sticking out.
    – Hilmar
    Oct 16 at 16:31
  • 3
    @AIQ LinkedIn is basically the bastard child of a job bank and Facebook. Your profile is your resume and whatever you decide to post to your "timeline", which can be nothing if you choose so and there are absolutely no consequences of not posting or not interacting with someone else's posts if you have a decent profile. If you're looking for a job, you can mark it as open for job opportunities but still keep it hidden from people in your organization and people who don't have a recruiter profile. Oct 21 at 13:39
  • @JulianaKarasawaSouza Oh see I didn't know you could do that. That makes it much doable for me. Thanks!
    – AIQ
    Oct 21 at 14:13
  • @Hilmar Hey, just wanted to give you an update. I finally completed my LinkedIn profile. It's not the same as my resume, I made it a bit more general and removed specifics like what was the name of the project I worked on, etc. I had to use my adblock to remove the whole "People you may know" column on the right - it was bothering me so much. I kind of still feel my profile is a bit ~ weak? I don't have any skill endorsements or anything. But it's complete. I guess I will have a better chance now. Thank you!
    – AIQ
    Nov 4 at 0:51
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Yes, it does hurt to not have a LinkedIn profile.

Primarily, LinkedIn is one of the primary places hiring managers have to go out and prospect for possible candidates. Being on LinkedIn means unsolicited job inquiries over time, which the happily employed can find annoying but are valuable to the unemployed or those seeking alternate employment. If you are seeking a job, having an active LinkedIn profile will allow people to reach out to you.

Secondarily, a LinkedIn profile allows hiring managers to (loosely) validate your resume. While anyone can put anything on a piece of paper, real other people from those companies aren’t likely to connect with you or recommend you if you didn’t really do it! So even for inbound candidates, I like to look at LinkedIn. The network effect exists, and if you’re connected to a lot of good people I know I’ll probably have a slightly higher opinion of you even if I don’t reach out to any of them.

Facebook, no, though I know in some countries it falls more in the work niche and could fit in for Facebook. In the US for professional jobs, I’d never look at a Facebook (unless I got a hint the candidate might be a Nazi or something that would make me want to verify their personal stuff isn’t going to reflect poorly on the company).

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  • 3
    "The network effect exists, and if you’re connected to a lot of good people I know I’ll probably have a slightly higher opinion of you" - Sad, really for me.
    – AIQ
    Oct 15 at 20:07
  • 9
    Yes, well, we live in a society.
    – mxyzplk
    Oct 15 at 20:20
  • 2
    There have been some very high profile instances of social media costing jobs though.
    – Nelson
    Oct 16 at 16:08
  • 1
    This kind of begs the question, “What happened before LinkedIn” or social media for that matter?
    – Dan K
    Oct 17 at 6:15
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    @DanK, well obviously, before LinkedIn, people didn't get hired.
    – Abigail
    Oct 17 at 10:22
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This will certainly depend on the industry and type of work you do. It will also depend on what the hiring manager is looking for.

For me, you not having a LinkedIn profile wouldn't hurt your chances directly, I would not evaluate you as less qualified because of that.

However, if the other applicants for the same job have a strong LinkedIn profile that shows off their talents/value better than their resume, that could boost them and hurt your chances indirectly. In the end, looking for a job is a competition to be the best candidate and you may need to adjust your approach to match the competition. If your field/industry values LinkedIn profiles, you may need one to keep up.

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Does not having a LinkedIn or Facebook profile adversely affect employment chances?

No.

Any information relevant to the specific position that you are applying for that you can post on a social media page should already be written into your resume.

No company with a competent hiring staff will pass on a qualified candidate just because they have little or no social media presence. Any company that requires or emphasizes their employees engaging in social media is probably not worth your time.

Having a social media presence can help in that employers routinely seek out candidates on social media. This can benefit you in the sense that a company you were not aware of, or not aware that they had a position open, would reach out to you. Keep in mind that this is nothing more than help getting your foot in the door. Your accurate resume and interviewing skills will still supersede that fact that you participate in social media.

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  • 4
    But "getting a foot in the door" is the most difficult step and LinkedIn does indeed help a lot with that. Once you are in contact, resume and skills are more important, but getting into contact in the first place is the hardest part!
    – Hilmar
    Oct 16 at 13:24
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Not engaging with LinkedIn will make it harder for you to find jobs, and harder for people who are hiring (or recruiters) to find and engage with you - so in that respect it does hurt your chances of finding a job.

However, once your CV is in front of someone (or you're sitting in an interview with them), whether or not you have a public LinkedIn is irrelevant to the vast majority of people who are hiring. In some sectors (such as defence, security and other sensitive areas) it might even be seen as a plus, and as evidence that you understand basic OPSEC.

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