Random Thought — How Good is LinkedIn?

Earlier in another post,  I mentioned I’ve been on the job hunt the last 3 months or so due to a big layoff at work. Never saw it coming, but to be honest, I was job hunting before that, after having been doing the same thing for 8 years. But I was happy at my job, loved my co-workers, my bosses were always good to work for, and it was a nice environment, though I was ready for something more challenging in my professional career.

So, I’ve been a part of LinkedIn now for the last 3 years — maybe longer. I really don’t know. Not a fan of FaceBook or mySpace since they’re really not “professional” social networking sites. But here’s the thing — I have now 176 connections on LinkedIn. That gives me a network of 2,479,200+ other professionals. WOW.

Yet, not any one of my 176 connections, i.e. people who have either asked me to join their network, or have joined mine on my request have had ANY effect on my job search. Not even people in my connections who work for companies I’ve applied to and I’ve sent “inMail”‘s to (LinkedIn’s email system…), have replied back. Hmmm, and I know I shower each morning so it can’t be me…or can it?

I’ve been working for a very long time, over half of my lifespan so far on this planet. I have a very diverse background in business, creative, management, customer service, teamwork and so on. I know how to get a job done on time and budget. I don’t screw around. I hit the ground running, and when there’s a hole that needs to be filled, I’ll jump in and fill it.

LinkedIn has what one would consider a cool feature — Recommendations. You can ask past employers, colleagues or clients to give you a recommendation, and that shows up on your LinkedIn profile, so when someone sees your profile either by snooping around, or at your behest,  they can kind of gauge what kind of person or employee you are.

So, I really want to know what the purpose of LinkedIn really is. So far I’m gathering it’s not for any of us looking for a new job. That would be too easy. Is it just another Facebook pretending to be a professional networking site, which by the way, I’ve heard a lot of success stories of people getting new jobs through the latter…

How many people in my network are willing to help me find a new job, or those who are hiring (or are part of the hiring team) actually care, esp. those in my network I’ve reached out to? So far my guess is zero. To be honest, if it were the other way around, I would be willing to take a look at someone’s work and resumé, and if they were a possible fit or not I’d at least let them know- not ignore them.

So to me, so far LinkedIn is no more helpful than sending tons of resume’s out via email or company websites. I’m just as anonymous it seems either way. I really don’t want to think this is true. Until someone in my network helps me in my job search or at least responds back to jobs I’ve applied to at their companies, then I dare anyone to prove me wrong.  And you all know who you are.



4 thoughts on “Random Thought — How Good is LinkedIn?

  1. I have discovered that rarely does the World come to one’s door. To have an effective network, one must engage their network on a regular basis.

    I have recently increased my efforts in this area by identifying a specific set of contacts (about 70) that I want to be part of my business network. My goal is to enhance my personal relationships with these contacts by getting to know them better and having them getting to know me better.

    Is this easy? No, It’s a lot of work.

    This is how I’m doing it:
    – phone calls
    – e-mail messages
    – personal meetings, e.g. coffee, lunch
    – meeting at events, e.g. SD Business Journal CEO event

    I use LinkedIn only as a tool to see what people are up to, and to increase my web presence.

    Maintaining a lively network is important, and it’s done the old fashioned way; interaction.

  2. Yes, I understand the importance of keeping in touch with people on my network. I do email them, call once in a while and so on. That mainly happens with people I’ve known and worked with in the past. However, the newer people on my network, i.e. the one’s I want to know in order to expand my territory, and or the one’s at companies I really want to work for and coincidentally are hiring, have proven so far to be a complete shot in the dark, even though they accepted my invite to join my network on LinkedIn. If they don’t respond to emails or even phone calls I have left, then the theory of doing it the old fashioned way, e.g. interaction, is pretty much null. Unfortunately, the people I have worked with and do interact with (you are one of them) don’t have an in to these other companies I am attempting to get into. I want to get to know the people in my network and similarly have them get to know me because I think that would be mutually beneficial to both parties. But if they don’t want to interact beyond “joining my network”, then what?
    Got any better ideas?

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