3 Bad Assumptions You’re Making About LinkedIn

AssumptionsMany people, unfortunately including job seekers, are puzzled about why LinkedIn is so highly recommended.

These people are skeptical. They think LinkedIn’s good reputation is all hype, mostly because they have posted their resumes on LinkedIn with no results.

So, unfortunately, many people avoid LinkedIn. These are the reasons I hear most often –and all three are built on bad assumptions about LinkedIn…

LinkedIn is Only for Active Job Search

The basis of this assumption is that as long as you have a “permanent” job (seriously?), and your job doesn’t require you to have any interactions or any visibility with anyone else, you don’t need a LinkedIn Profile. That kind of thinking belongs to people who wait until the ship has sunk before they look for their life jackets and start to inflate the life rafts.

You have an online reputation. LinkedIn helps you manage it.

Unless your job is being a spy or someone who must be invisible, LinkedIn is the foundation of your online reputation management — a key element for anyone who works today, whether that work is hedge fund manager or administrative assistant.

According to recent studies, the vast majority of us, especially recruiters and hiring managers, Google job applicants and people we are considering hiring or working with. Typically, Google shows LinkedIn among the top entries on the first page of search results.

So, when searchers find your LinkedIn Profile on Google, show them who you are, where you work (if employed), and why they should work with you. Have  a robust Profile that describes what you do, documents your accomplishments, and brags about your employers (including the one you were very glad to leave). And, make yourself visible in the appropriate LinkedIn Groups.

Recruiters Will Never Find Me on LinkedIn

People making this assumption are usually forgetting that LinkedIn is a search engine!

Simply creating a LinkedIn Profile, particularly a skimpy one, doesn’t guarantee that job offers will magically appear. If you think that LinkedIn is just another online resume, like job boards of old, you aren’t paying attention to what is happening now.

LinkedIn is where the recruiters are – but you must be find-able!

Recruiters use social media, and LinkedIn in particular, to find candidates qualified for their job openings. A solid presence on LinkedIn – full of appropriate and relevant keywords – gives you the ability to present a portfolio of your achievements and accomplishments.

LinkedIn helps show what you can really do, when given an opportunity. But you need to include those keywords. Or you’ll never be found. And never given an opportunity.

LinkedIn is Just Another Job Board

Yes, LinkedIn does have job postings, but it is not simply a job board. Successful careerists know this, and they use LinkedIn to show the world who they are and what they do as well. They demonstrate that they understand how to use the leading social network for professionals, every day.

LinkedIn is NOT just a job board. Here, your active participation matters!

When you are “active” on LinkedIn, which means more than just completing your profile, you are demonstrating that:

  • You can successfully navigate the online world which is so essential for successful businesses, nonprofits, governments, and other people and entities
  • You pay attention to what is important for professional visibility today
  • You understand how to use and leverage LinkedIn
  • You publicly claim, in front of your colleagues, friends, and family, the qualifications and accomplishments you put on your resumes and job applications

If you are in an active job search, I recommend you spend as much time working on your LinkedIn profile and participating in LinkedIn Groups as you spend on all job boards and social networks, combined.

If you spend 20 minutes a day on Indeed; an additional 20 minutes on a local or niche job board or your favorite employer’s career site – then you should spend at least 60 minutes a day on LinkedIn!

LinkedIn is that essential – for both your current job search and your long-term career.

Since employers look for employees in LinkedIn, then that’s where smart job seekers focus their attention and polish their visibility. Today, staying visible and active on LinkedIn is smart career management, too. Maybe, tomorrow another site will be more important, but, currently, LinkedIn is unavoidable. (I wish I owned some of the stock!)


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Work Coach Cafe!




Susan-P-Joyce-AuthorAbout the Author: Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 2011, Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoachCafe.  A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org, is a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a columnist on HuffingtonPostAOL Jobs, and LinkedIn.  Follow Susan on Twitter.



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