Watching changes in social networking platforms and keeping up-to-date on their ever-changing tools can be a full-time job. My colleague, Jason Alba, author of I’m On LinkedIn, Now What?, posted yesterday about a new development in LinkedIn search that is important for job seekers. He explains that when a non-paying LinkedIn user reviews a third-degree connection’s profile, LinkedIn does not share that person’s name in the headline. (It lists the first name and last initial — see photo below/right).Ã‚Â
It then prompts the user with two choices:
1. To expand your network to enhance your opportunity to connect with the user at a second-degree level. (This would be free, but takes effort.)
2. To upgrade to a paid account that will allow the person to easily find full names for third-degree contacts
This is an interesting development, and Jason notes that it probably is a precursor for other, similar moves by LinkedIn to withhold information and potentially encourage more people to become paid members.
However, at this point, LinkedIn really does not have the upper hand in preventing people from identifying full contact information or names of those whose last names it may withhold. I can (at this point) still see the entire actual profile of my third-degree connections (sans last name in the headline). Any information they share in their profiles (including listing an email address or full name in their profile or Summary section, their personal websites, Twitter accounts, Slideshares, etc.) is still readily available.
My advice to job seekers (and everyone who wants to make it easy — and free) for people to know who you are? Include your full name in your Summary section, link your other professional websites and social networks that have links to your work or work products and consider sharing an email in the context of your Summary.
While it is possible that LinkedIn will become draconian and try to prevent us from sharing this information, or that it will set things up so we cannot easily access other identifying information (such as Twitter account, websites, etc.), that is not the case right now.
Help someone find you by updating your profile. And, consider having your own social resume — a website that you control to share information you want people to know about you. Contact me if you’re interested in owning YourName.com, but could use some help creating a fully operational site that search engines will love and will showcase your best professional information!