Random Thought — The LinkedIn Thing Again

In my last post I spoke about LinkedIn, how one can get lots of “connections” and how one’s network can grow exponentially from people you’re connected to. In it I asked “How Good is LinkedIn”, and went on to mention that although my list of connections, or first level (or degree) network of 184 people, which “links” me to 2,521,000 people, thus supposedly making my “network” that much bigger.

Since then, I have received a few emails from good friends/past colleagues who said LinkedIn could serve me well, and they did make an effort or recommendation for different jobs to me (none of which I was suited for), but nevertheless, my “network” was doing it’s job. I even followed the advice of one good friend, and still nothing.

As much as I truly appreciate the efforts of some past colleagues who are really great people, I still don’t quite get LinkedIn, and here’s why. Before the intraweb thing, back in the day my dad (and probably most of yours too), networks were done by meeting people at professional gatherings, charity events, or at the local bar (or pub).

People exchanged business cards, good talk, and pretty much had a good example of who the other person was, especially at those fundraisers or charity events where everyone had a drink in one hand and talked business, family, sports, etc.  Then people would decide whether that other person was worth adding to their network, and in most cases kept a long business, and sometimes personal, relationship or friendship with that person and or people. That’s pretty much how things worked back in the day.

So, if someone lost their job back then, they could call their friends, who knew them well, then they’d call some of their buddies, and someone would vouch for them, and so on. Next thing you know that someone had a job — unless the economy sucked completely. Like now, though I think things are starting to turn around slowly.

In other words, networks worked. I feel that I must be missing something here in regards to LinkedIn. It says I have a huge network. I post in the updates section, that all of my first degree connections can see (and anyone that sees my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/gregschumsky)that I’m looking for a job.

Also, there are people in my first degree connections that are recruiters for some companies I’d really like to work for, who happen to be hiring, which I believe I mentioned in my last post. When I email them or attempt to contact them through LinkedIn, shouldn’t they make some sort of effort to get back to me within a reasonable amount of time, since I passed the secret handshake test?

So, again, I ask those of you who think Linkedin is all that, or maybe I’m expecting too much, then show me what I’m doing wrong.  Meanwhile I’ll keep adding connections, because there’s really nothing better to do for now, and maybe one may hold the key to my new job.

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