Lately I’ve seen a lot of discussion about LinkedIn from the business strategy side. I’ve heard about this stuff (discontent) for the last two years, but it seems that the blogs are hot on the topic.
For example, Jaculynn Peterson wrote LinkedIn’s soon-to-be-missed opportunity, questioning LinkedIn’s strategy and the LinkedIn offering to its users (not recruiters or business users, but us regular folk). This is a hotter issue as more and more people find themselves in a job search, and turning towards the internet for help as they try and network into a new job.
Isn’t LinkedIn perfect for this? If so, why are they not more accommodating to professionals in transition? Read Jaculynn’s post for more.
Another post which might scare some users into non-action is ValleyWag’s “LinkedIn: Where the PR is hot but the business is not.” They posted a message, supposedly from an insider, which talks all about the bad stuff going on under the hood – not with the technology but with management and leadership. I can see people reading this as a “sky is falling” message and almost encouraging them to go elsewhere.
Here’s my take:
Right now, LinkedIn is the place to be. Recruiters are using it more and more as a tool, and it’s catching on more as a place to find passive job seekers. Even if you are an active job seeker, it’s good to hang out where the passive job seekers are, don’t you think?
LinkedIn is the 800 lb guerrilla. There is lots of talk about other professional social networks, but no one is successfully unseating LinkedIn right now. Plaxo Pulse might have been the network with the most opportunity to make an impact on LinkedIn’s position, but it made hardly a ding. Even the older, huge networks like Spoke should have been able to have an impact on the market but I rarely hear anyone talk about them.
What have you got to lose? So what if you set up your LinkedIn Profile and start to accept invitations? The signal-to-noise ration is not nearly as offensive as you would find on networks like MySpace and Facebook. You won’t get poked or super-poked, or see offensive pictures or have to worry about how someone else’s interaction with you will affect your brand. Seriously, spend an hour or two, get set up correctly, and then you can at least have a presense. You gotta be in it to win it, right?
LinkedIn is not optional. If you are a professional, you must be there, and you must have some kind of strategy (even if it’s quite passive). If you are in transition it might be the main tool to help you land again.
If you need help creating your LinkedIn Profile, talk to Career Resumes. They have expert resume writers who can help ensure your Profile is onbrand, compelling, and stands out. If you are still trying to wrap your brain around a LinkedIn strategy, consider getting my LinkedIn book, or following my LinkedIn blog.