Should I Keep My LinkedIn Account?

October 13th, 2015

I got an email from a colleague who says he’s had this one question for a few months:

“Why should I keep LinkedIn?”

This is a good question.  Perhaps, maybe, you shouldn’t. Maybe you should delete it.

For most people, let me suggest that there’s no harm or commitment or money involved in keeping their LinkedIn account. It doesn’t make sense to delete your LinkedIn account, simply because it takes almost nothing to get it, and keep it up.

I’m not one of those LinkedIn enthusiasts that almost-blindly declares that you HAVE TO, or that not being on LinkedIn is a “deadly mistake” (um, it’s not deadly), or that “if you are not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist” (I’ve quoted recruiters on that one, though).  Not being on LinkedIn is not the end of the world.  Your career will not collapse, and you won’t be the laughing stock of the block if you don’t have a LinkedIn account.

The cost of having a LinkedIn account is so low (no money, just a little bit of time), and usually there is NO HARM (barring the weirdo stalkers that some people have to deal with) that I’m an advocate of having one.  Here is my advice for doing the least amount possible on LinkedIn:

  1. Get a free account
  2. Spend a couple/few hours on your Profile.
  3. Ignore all the invitations you get from people (unless you want to take a half second and accept

That’s a low-maintenance approach to having a LinkedIn account, and as far as some people are concerned, “existing.” If you are wondering how to optimize your LinkedIn Profile, check this Pluralsight course: LinkedIn Strategy: Optimize Your Profile. You can get a 30 day pass to Pluralsight, no credit card required, through JibberJobber – just check out the video here. All of my advice to help you have a great LinkedIn profile is in that video.

Let’s go back to the question… what if you aren’t’ getting any value out of LinkedIn? It’s “not working” for you? It seems like too many articles I read about LinkedIn on mainstream sites have more negative comments about LinkedIn than positive comments. Many people are frustrated, not finding value, etc. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found.

My argument is simple: in less than a couple of hours you can have a good-enough profiile, and then move on to the rest of your life. Really, nothing to lose.

If you want to do more, you can. If you want to get more, you can.  You’ll have to put some time and effort into it.  You’ll want to watch my LinkedIn: Proactive Strategies course on Pluralsight (again free, this is how).

Why would you keep it, and do nothing with it? Perhaps someone will find you. A new boss, a new partner, etc.

Why would you not keep it?  Perhaps you are worried about getting spam through LinkedIn. Or recruiters won’t stop bugging you. Or you really do have a stalker.  I’m not going to say you have to have an account. You can certainly live without one, and you can do very well. It’s not a requirement for success.

But for the cost, it seems like an easy choice to make.

 

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One response to “Should I Keep My LinkedIn Account?”

  1. Nick Hughes says:

    Regardless of what people say about LinkedIn, it is important to have some form of online presence, especially for executives. There is an expectation to be searchable on LinkedIn as most other executives, key influencers or contacts are found on there. Think of it as a personal branding exercise where you need to convey the right message and make a positive impression out there.

    It takes a couple of hours to a basic LinkedIn presence. If further optimised for ‘value-added’ content, it can bring many opportunities for networking contact and for job hunting, headhunters are actively searching for exec-level candidates. Whatever you do, invest some time in completing the profile (boosts search results) and find what level of public profile visibility you are comfortable with.

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