Years ago I made a decision to stay off of Myspace. Fast forward several years and I've applied that same decision to Xanga, LiveJournal, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and (as much as I can while still owning an android phone) Google +. don't need all the mundane details of peoples lives and they don't need mine; any major announcements (Death, Marriage, Baby) will make their way to me in time.

I have however had several people (none of them interested/capable of hiring anyone) point out that in this day and age it just looks weird if someone doesn't have an online presence, almost like they have something to hide.

I can see the logic in this argument, but it still irks me that this may be required. How would a hiring manager react if he were to ask for a list of my online presences and I really didn't have any? About the only thing I could give him would be my SE credentials.

  • Wanted to answer, yet my experience is too limited to provide an adequate answer. However don't worry, several of my (IT) colleagues are not active on social media. They are no less social or anything ;) – Luceos Sep 2 '14 at 14:33
  • It depends what you do. If you are applying to Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and you don't have an active account with Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, you may have a hard time convincing them that you understand their business model and that you appreciate the value of social media and that you know how to use social media effectively. Or that you are outward looking despite your online non-presence. – Vietnhi Phuvan Sep 2 '14 at 14:46
  • Similar, though perhaps not quite duplicate question. – Telastyn Sep 2 '14 at 14:54
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    This is an interesting question, I'm wondering how employers would react to it if I gave them my SE credentials instead of facebook creds. I think even if the questions I ask are silly some times (it gets worse the further back in time you go), it shows a more professional attitude than my sepia filtered mac'n'cheese. – Sidney Sep 2 '14 at 14:59
  • I once applied to a company that was Facebook for bikers. When asked if I had a Facebook account I told them I didn't choose to have social accounts. They were not impressed by that response. They also were extremely small, had horrible working conditions from the looks of it, and declined to go forward with me. With that said every other interview I had didn't really care, my Facebook account, is a private account that nobody except my family can see. – Donald Sep 2 '14 at 16:04

As someone involved in the hiring process for non-social media software development, the only one I care about is LinkedIn. And even that is minimal. If you don't have an account, then I wonder if you're not interested in developing your career, or aren't in touch with what's going on online, or are some weird curmudgeon who is going to cause problems for my team.

Maybe you aren't interested in developing your career, because you're not ambitious. That's okay.

Maybe you aren't in touch with LinkedIn because you haven't job hunted in years. Or because you don't think it's useful/effective. That's okay.

And maybe my team is full of grumpy curmudgeonly sorts. That's okay.

But if you come into the interview without a LinkedIn account and then do other things that make me worried about you being out of touch... Not having the social presence stops being a quirk and starts being a indicator of much worse personality traits.

  • my linkedin account is pretty much empty, simply because I value my privacy and that of my employers and customers. I work (and worked) on projects where the customer doesn't want it known who is working on it for example, for security reasons. – jwenting Jun 12 '19 at 9:18

It's still a huge "it depends".

Some jobs won't care.

Some jobs will be just as happy that you ardently maintain your privacy.

Some jobs will see it as a gap that makes you seem to be an odd fit.

A big question is how much does the job itself want you to be able to use social media to communicate with others, and/or to advertise the business. I think it's a safe best that you are not applying to a job called "Director of Social Media" or "Technology Evangelist" - two positions that assume you have a strong knowledge of how to use social media, an interest in actually using social media, and that you'll be using an online presence to push the organization's goals further.

For the average job in the average software development world? Is there such a thing. The jobs are as widely varied as the people. It's got a lot to do with the group. Some small companies are so extremely social media friendly that they will likely have trouble communicating with you if you're not there. Others are so hostile to social media, that they will probably be thrilled that you have no interest.

At this point, figure that it's as much an aspect of your personality as anything else. Some jobs want it, some jobs don't, some don't care.


I think it depends on your field, so if you are in the computer buisness (for eg software developpment) an online presence in some programmer community is a big up for your hiring process. the same applies if you are in a sales buisness or other fields that needs discussions and convincing of people, a good online presence proves that you are a peoples person. However in some other fields, online presence dosn't make a difference in the hiring process and I thing a hiring manager shouldn't even ask for your social media references like for example scientific/academic fields.

It's my opinion, may be there are hiring managers who ask for social media references to just look at how your life looks like, an honest answer like "I am old school" should clear all doubts.


There will be employers on all sides of the spectrum on this issue. I'm still amazed at how many companies don't even put their current employees on the company website for fear of recruiters stealing people. There are some recruiting sites that are evaluating software developers based on their online presence (blogging, SO sites, git hub and open source project contributions.).

If you're looking/considering other jobs, I can't see why you wouldn't create a LinkedIn account and keep it purely professional. This would eliminate some of the paranoids who think you're hiding something.

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    "I can't see why you wouldn't create a LinkedIn account and keep it purely professional" -- because, much like the rest of social media, it is drama littered with all sorts of unnecessary interactions, such as when people "endorse" you for stuff they have no clue about your competence about... – amphibient Apr 6 '15 at 17:30

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