Have you ever felt guilty thinking... “I want to look up the woman I’m interviewing with on LinkedIn, but I’m nervous she will think it’s creepy and I am stalking her.”
“Stop right there!”: LinkedIn is not Facebook. There is a difference between social and professional networks.
The professional networking tool was specifically designed to connect people with one another, so you should not feel “creepy” contacting someone via the site. On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg and Co. know it’s “stalker-ish” to scroll through your ex-boyfriends tagged pictures — that’s why they don’t have the same notifications LinkedIn does. No one would utilize Facebook nearly as much if the person we “creeped” knew we were, in fact, creeping.
Similarly, if it was considered weird to check out people’s pages on LinkedIn, then its “People Also Viewed” feature would not be enabled, because then no one actually would use the site! In fact, potential employers often are impressed when they see you took the time to research and connect with them — and the story of how every job, project or the reason I opened my own company in 2009 is proof of that.
So the next time you’re not sure if it’s considered creepy to look someone up on LinkedIn, take the risk and put yourself out there. Show that you’re interested in the company and the people who work there. Most important, don’t be shy about utilizing this amazing tool to ask the right questions and truly get to know your potential boss.
More often than not, it will be a risk you won’t regret taking.