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This question already has an answer here:

I do not provide my personal data, including my real name on social media. I don't accept any Facebook friend requests or LinkedIn connection requests, which my friends understand.

However, I was wondering, how much it can hurt my future job chances. I am open for job offers, but do not want my name being "googlable" or any other personal information, as we simply do not know, who and what can do it in 40 years, and there is no simple way to "erase" our name from Internet.

Does it look strange, that someone who worked for three IT companies doesn't have a LinkedIn profile?

marked as duplicate by Lilienthal, gnat, keshlam, Masked Man, Chris E May 25 '16 at 15:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Just like Facebook friends are not necessarily friends, LinkedIn "connections" are not necessarily real connections. Most of my invites are just recruiters. If that sort of connection is important to you, go for it. Otherwise, keep away. This is all up to you what you want to use for communications. It will only be important if you can't be contacted easily (e.g. if you abstain from e-mail that might be a problem). – Brandin May 25 '16 at 8:35
  • If you use a fake name on LinkedIn (which is against their TOS) you essentially have no LinkedIn profile. Your question shouldn't be "is it strange that I have no connections" but "is it strange that I have no LinkedIn". I've reworded your question accordingly. – Lilienthal May 25 '16 at 9:18
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    Your second question contradicts your original post here. Can you clarify what your situation is? Do you have a LinkedIn profile under your actual name and just no facebook profile with your real name? If you do have a profile but you just refuse to connect then that's not a duplicate. – Lilienthal May 25 '16 at 9:31
  • @Lilienthal I have facebook and linkedin with fake names and no friends and no connections. I am right now considering accepting connections from HR person - this is the reason why I have asked this question. Also, I totally do not agree that this is duplicate - I am asking specifically about connections, and question that was pointed out as duplicate is about LinkedIn as portal and account as a whole. – xinus01 May 25 '16 at 20:56
  • @xinus01 Like I said, if you have a LinkedIn profile with a fake name, you effectively have no LinkedIn profile. How on earth would you bring that up in conversation? "So John Doe, I see that you're not on LinkedIn, any particular reason?" - "Oh no, I do have a profile, but under Roger LeClerc." - "...I see, I'll send you a connection request so I don't forget your profile." - "No thank you, I don't accept connection requests." Frankly, the same goes for Facebook if you have no friends there. You don't have to participate on social media, but don't claim that you do when you clearly don't. – Lilienthal May 25 '16 at 21:28
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Whether it is strange, weird or not is essentially a cultural matter.

My context is Denmark in Northern Europe - where working in IT and not having a LinkedIn profile could probably be viewed as slightly odd. It doesn't need to be that thorough - most profiles are basically headlines - but an empty LinkedIn profile with a fake name and zero connections could signal that you are either 'off-the-grid paranoid' or have 'jobs, but not a career'. Not a show-stopper if you know your stuff - but if you have 2-3 other 'quirks', it could work against you.

Regarding what LinkedIn may be used for, I have actually gotten two freelance jobs via LinkedIn (bypassing recruiters) - but that is the exception rather than the norm. LinkedIn IS used intensely by recruiters - and not participating probably does come at a cost, but it is difficult to measure lost opportunities of this sort.

The biggest hassle - apart from people posting stuff that (IMHO) belongs on Facebook or similar - are the numerous connection requests from recruiters who have not even viewed my profile. These are rejected, as it seems they merely want to recursively spam my connections.

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Social media is a tool, just like anything else, you can use it how you want if you understand the pro's and cons. I don't see anything unusual in what you do. I have had a fb profile for a couple of years but I don't use it to land me work, just to connect with family and discuss things of interest with random people in groups. The only thing I've tried selling through it is one of my books, and I think ten sales tops would have been the result in a year, but I must admit it's a terrible book.

I've never had a Linkdin and probably never will.

To me these things are just tools, and like any tools, you evaluate their usefulness and potential in your own context and then either use them or not. Would they be a sales portal? A potential job portal? Useful networking with your peers? etc,. Personally I don't see a need, so I don't use much and it wouldn't bother me if someone else didn't. But I'm all over google anyway due to some of my work which has nothing to do with social media.

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LinkedIn connections are only as important as you make them. You are in control of who you connect to, and why you are connecting to them. I have been on LinkedIn for some time and primarily accept connections from individuals in my industry (information security), and or groups.

When I joined groups (pre-spam and sales) I had an opportunity to speak to peers, analyze processes, thoughts, frameworks, and models that have helped immensely. Equally, I have taken an enormous amount of time and effort to answer questions, write "Pulses" (equivalent of a blog for those that don't know what Pulse is). This enabled other peers to either criticize, give guidance, and at times praise that in turn led me to many wonderful opportunities that I would have otherwise NOT have seen.

I have been dealing with computing pre-Internet, and am aware of the dangers that "everything is permanent" which enables me to think twice before I speak. So LinkedIn is ultimately what you make of it. Nothing more, nothing less.

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