4/25/11 - Don’t Create Two LinkedIn Profiles!
by Joshua Waldman
In the last 7 days, I’ve been asked 3 times this same question:
“How can I use social media to promote multiple businesses/interests and also have a profile that is effective for job seeking?”
Someone said to me recently, “There are 14 million unemployed in America. That’s a lot of entrepreneurs!”
There are people who have found their passion, or at least a business interest they wouldn’t have had the freedom to pursue if they were still employed.
That is wonderful.
The problem is if you are a job seeker AND you are running your own business, you are now split between two goals.
I’m not saying it’s impossible. In fact some of the case studies I’ve shared recently show stories of people switching between freelancing and employment. And they are successful.
After all, the principles of personal branding, marketing and other business concerns are similar to what a job seeker would use. So by all means, start a business while going to job interviews.
But whatever you do, don’t create two LinkedIn profiles!
Ignore this advice and drive yourself insane in 6 months, guaranteed.
YOU are Not Your Job
You are brand you, what ever that brand is. Period. None of your profiles have anything more than that. LinkedIn is not a company profile, it is a personal profile. If YOU are job seeking AND selling real estate, then that’s you. You can’t hide. Nor should you.
The same goes for Twitter or any other social media profile. If you own a business, then create a business page on LinkedIn and Facebook. But don’t pretend to BE the business.
And if you can’t decide what you should be, then share your journey.
LinkedIn is About Networking
LinkedIn is not your online catalog or personal website. The value of LinkedIn is who you are connected to, how you can give value to them, and what you can ask for in return.
Imagine having two profiles, each one connecting to different people. How would you know who to connect with or what account to login to? Or, imagine having to duplicate invitations, doubling your work. Networking is hard enough.
But What if My Side Job Jeopardizes My Employment Chances?
First, ask yourself how much business LinkedIn gets you for your side gig. Then ask yourself how many job interviews you can get with LinkedIn. If you can run your business on LinkedIn, and you don’t need to find a job. The choice is obvious. Stop looking.
But if you NEED the job and your biz isn’t getting new clients from LinkedIn, AND having it on your profile might hurt you, then take it off. There is a higher chance of your business failing then you getting a job, believe it or not. Designate LinkedIn to job seeking.
But, if mentioning your biz in your profile doesn’t affect your employment prospects (and chances are it won’t) then:
- Have a paragraph for both biz and career in your summary.
- Mention both in your headline.
- Create custom links to both in the links section.
- Don’t beg for work, or you’ll have some explaining to do to your customers!
If you are getting serious with a company, you are going to send a customized resume anyway. As always, comments are welcome.
Joshua Waldman is the founder the Career Enlightenment blog and author of “Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies. He specializes in helping job seekers, frustrated by the traditional job search, leverage social media to find work FAST!