Monday, June 29, 2009
Why LinkedIn is not the ultimate search tool for future jobs
As I was researching the top of job searches through various social media channels for one of my clients, I found this great blog on the Top 10 LinkedIn sites for job searches. As a big advocate of this six-year-old social media portal, I know that LinkedIn can help in a job search. Yet, LinkedIn is not the ultimate solution for all for job searches.
The problem with LinkedIn is that it’s only a part of the job search process. It does a great job of housing the resume and it identifies people in a network that can help open doors for a future job.
What makes me really dubious about LinkedIn as the ultimate tool is the long maturation process needed to build a relationship within it. It took me at least nine months before I began to meet potential clients with my LinkedIn profile.
The buzz behind LinkedIn makes novice users believe that it will magically create job openings for them. However, most people don’t have a profile that is completely free of resume speak. If you have looked at the more than five thousand profiles that have come across my screen, I would say that 95-percent or more have transferred their resume directly into their LinkedIn profile. These types typically cause me to quickly ignore them.
What job searchers need today is a dose of reality. Yes, a well written LinkedIn profile can raise visibility to your accomplishments but novice users haven’t built their network of trusted advisors or job champions with it.
However, those new to the online search process should develop, according to Joshua Shipsey, the founder of cardboardresume.com, is a group of job champions. These folks have the influence to walk a resume into a decision maker’s office instead of hoping that someone will find a resume from the stacks of them sent to them for a public job posting. Furthermore, a job champion may be aware of an opening that isn’t even posted on the web.
Shipsey would advise people to get out among their friends and associates to let them know they’re looking for a job. He suggests friends from church, the local PTA or other civic groups such as the chamber of commerce. For younger people, that family mafia of aunts, uncles and other relatives also serve as a great resource.
This effort to find a job is kind of like that classic Biblical parable where a farmer sows seeds. Some will land on rocks; others will get eaten by the birds. However, a few of them will actually find their way to good soil. By using a well established network of friends and colleagues, a person can begin the search for a new job with the hopes of finding some leads.
Don’t get me wrong about LinkedIn. I believe that it’s a great way to network. Yet, not everyone has gotten onto this social media channel to the point that putting a lot of hopes into using it will generate a job interview commensurate with a person’s skill sets.