Posted on May 2, 2013

Are you available?Do you wish you had a new job? Are you in an active Job Search? Do you want more business or sales?  Do you want to build your network?

You may have a well-written LinkedIn Profile, with the right keywords to attract opportunities and connections, but you may be making a mistake on LinkedIn that’s keeping you from getting contacted. I discovered recently, that even if you can find a person you are looking for on LinkedIn, it may still be difficult to contact that person!

I was trying to Connect with to a former colleague that I’d worked with a long time ago (over 15 years ago).  We had worked pretty closely together, and I figured he’d be a valuable person to reconnect with since he was a highly accomplished professional at the time. I was excited when I was able to find him on LinkedIn. And, was even more excited when I found that we had both changed our careers rather drastically, but we ended up working in closely related fields. Unfortunately, when I clicked “Connect,” LinkedIn required me to provide his email address. As we’d been out of touch for quite some time, I didn’t have his current email address.

“Well, I’ll just go find it,” I thought. But it was not as easy as it would seem. I went back to his Profile and clicked on “Contact Info” (as indicated by the red arrow in the photo below).

Contact Info

A box dropped down to show his contact information (similar to mine shown below):

LinkedIn Contact Information Picture 17

But his email address was hidden due to his privacy settings. Next I tried Googling him, but didn’t find a listing. I tried searching in Facebook for him. No luck. I tried to see if we were in any LinkedIn Groups together, but we weren’t. And, I am a member of 50 LinkedIn Groups (the maximum number allowed), so I couldn’t join a Group he was in. So I ran out of time and gave up.

Much later, I was building my LinkedIn network when I decided to try again. This time, I realized that I hadn’t scrolled down to the “Additional Info” section of his profile.  Bingo! He had his email address and phone number. I entered his email address as required by the prompts and was finally able to Connect with him.

All this trouble got me thinking about availability and privacy.

How forthcoming should you be with your contact information? As a service provider, I want people to be able to easily find my contact information. It’s how I build my client base. However, someone who is not a service provider might not want their contact information as visible, simply for privacy reasons.  But if you don’t give your email address, someone you know may not be able to connect with you.

So, if you want to reconnect with old colleagues and classmates, if you’re in an active Job Search or if you want more new business and customers, consider making your email address a little easier to find.

Next week I’ll let you the best places to put your Contact information, so that people will be able to send “Link Requests” to you.


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