WILL I BE LEFT OUT IF I’M NOT LINKEDIN?
I can already hear a loud sigh as people start to think about how many sites they need to be active in and how many people they have to follow and how many passwords they can possibly cram into their already over-stuffed memories.
People often ask about Linkedin. My husband asks me on a weekly basis; when he gets thirty more invitations to Link in with someone. I explain it yet again and he ignores it like he does his Facebook requests. He’s just not that into networking online. He’s great in person and he wants to keep it that way.
But Linkedin is an animal unto itself. It has a real use and the people who are involved with it do it for very specific reasons. It is a business site. It’s a networking tool, but it’s not for real social interaction. The people I know who use it are doctors, lawyers, accountants, and people with job, jobs. And many of them are nowhere to be found anywhere else on the web. You don’t find a lot of writers and artists posting there. It is all about getting, finding and referring people for jobs
I read a figure the other day that eventually 88% of hiring will come from the Internet. There go the headhunters and job recruiters out the window.
If you fill in your page the way you are supposed to it involves your resume, both education and jobs held and as many recommendations as you can get. They like recommendations. They love recommendations. You see things like –
“Andrew Hortense was an excellent worker. He was always on time, diligent and very creative. You could always count on him to come up with original ideas, then follow through on them with enthusiasm and attention to detail. And most importantly Andrew is a team player. He would be a wonderful member of any marketing group.”
You don’t see pictures of Andrew in Cabo with his ex-girlfriend, hammered at Margaritaville. You don’t see Andrew’s wedding photos and the new baby. You don’t see Andrew posting a photo of a dog doing something lewd with another dog. It’s just not that kind of place. Nor do you see a thousand-word-blog written by Andrew when his wife leaves him for the barista at Stump Town, followed by lots of conciliatory comments. There are no thumbs up or down. It’s not a movie review site, or a site to post the books you are reading. Yes, you can put your Twitter up there. Yes, you can link your work if it’s on Twitter but people don’t really look there for those things.
I learned about about a lot of this from Sree Sreenivasan who is Dean of Student Affairs at Columbia Journalism School and also teaches a kick-ass class in how to navigate your life online.
Sree was very emphatic that if you put yourself on Linkedin you have to fill it in, completely. It needs to look professional.
When I just logged in I found this on my page.
The sad thing is I thought I had done an OK job. That little bar that tells me I’ve only filled in 60 % of what I’m supposed to reminds me of my report cards. “Tracey would do very well if she concentrated more, talked less and completed her assignments.”
If you are looking for jobs outside of media and professional sports, I suppose it’s a good idea to get Linkedin. If you are looking to expand your brand and connect with other like-minded souls and share ideas and stories, photos of your puppy, the beach at sunset and just life, this is not the spot.
Honestly, I never go on this site. I accept people who ask me to link up. I did go on last night as this hot Italian guy sent me an invitation and I wanted to see his picture up close. I then went on just now so I had more information to write this piece. Oh and check out the Italian again…
The one thing about the site and this is a big deal – they list jobs. I just typed in writer and this is what came up.
Those were all I could fit on screenshots.
It has a real use and as jobs become scarcer and scarcer Linkedin becomes bigger and bigger.
In terms of what I have been talking about the last week, blogging, outreach, branding etc, it’s not a player. Though if you want to be all over the net and connected in as many ways and on as many sites as humanly possible, then go for it. If you have a tradional profession where jobs come about through referrals and interviews totally go for it. And the good news is they won’t let you put up the photo at Margaretville with – “What was her name?”
Hot Italian Guy – Every now and then the site surprises you.