So why would a job seeker look anywhere else for their online networking? I think there are 3 reasons why it is a bad idea to corner yourself, as a job seeker, to just LinkedIn.
But first let me preface this by saying I LOVE LinkedIn and have used it for years. I'm not saying not to use it, but that it can be limiting for the unique needs of a job seeker if that's the only tool.
Reason 1: The 1-Resume Problem
It is common knowledge when applying for a job, the candidate should customize their resume to that position.
I've blogged about the importance of keywords before. Basically, if you want Google to return your name when a recruiter searches a keyword, you need to have chosen the right ones to put in your profile.
When going for a job, the hiring manager will look to see if your resume is generic, or if you have really addressed the organization's concerns.
LinkedIn only gives you one resume.
And to make matter's worse, people are actually uploading a traditional resume to be downloaded from their LinkedIn profile. Once someone get's control of that document, you have no idea where it will end up. And if you haven't' customized it, you could be written off completely.
I have several clients who are testing the waters in 2 or more different industries. There is no way for them to cover all bases with just LinkedIn alone. If you are looking to have multiple online resumes, I highly recommend an online resume service called VisualCV.
Reason 2: The Boring Personality Problem
The first thing I teach clients is to have a very clearly defined personal brand before writing your online profiles. And then when crafting their value statements, to make sure to take yourself from commodity and into personality.
There is always going to be someone smarter, more educated and more qualified than you. Especially these days. (Don't worry, you are still the prettiest/handsomest person ever.) So the sooner you can take yourself out of simply listing your skills and into demonstrating your value, the better.
LinkedIn's framework is limiting. Yes, there are now ways of uploading videos and slide-shows. Xing.com offers users many more application features, such as mind mapping, document sharing (free), car-pooling, Wall Street Journal and more. These combine to create much more personality online then ever before.
Reason 3: The Unwritten Rules of LinkedIn
There are some unwritten rules that make networking with large numbers of people difficult.
For example, if you decide to add someone to your network that you've never met, they are perfectly encouraged to say, “I don't know you," and ignore your request. If this happens too many times, you get a polite wrist slap from LinkedIn.
In response to this, LinkedIn Open Networking was created.
I would encourage you to join this group and take advantage of thousands of people willing to accept your invitations and help you get out there and meet possible job opportunities.
[This article was originally posted on an earlier date]
Joshua Waldman is the founder of Career Enlightenment and specializes in helping job seekers leverage social media to find work quickly.
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