At this point in our technological evolution, we are all fairly comfortable with the idea that if we aren’t paying for a service (i.e. Google, Facebook, etc.) then we are probably the product. I am reminded of this fact every time I see a LinkedIn profile where the individual has filled out the Personal Details section that LinkedIn urges users to complete.
Here is the hard truth. As an HR professional, I am just short of horrified that a professional networking site encourages professionals to provide their age and marital status. Since these are questions that have long been off the table when it comes to making hiring decisions (whether that is actually practiced is for another post), it would seem that a professional networking site would steer away from asking for – and then sharing – these kinds of personal details.
When it comes right down to it, these questions are not there because they are critical to networking and career management. They are there despite the site’s stated intent.
Here is my recommendation; leave these unnecessary personal details off of your profile. If you feel guilty about it, you can always upgrade to a professional account.