LinkedIn: The Social Media Job Connection Lie?

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I paid a monthly fee to use LinkedIn and I wish I could get my money back.

Don Allen, Publisher – Editorial Opinion (Don Allen is the publisher of the Independent Business News Network (IBNN) out of Minneapolis, Minn. He welcomes all comments and concerns to ibnnnews@gmail.com)

A few years back I joined the mighty social media, career, job website LinkedIn. I thought it would be an opportunity to get my business name out in the public sphere and maybe gab a few of the consulting jobs floating around. I hear a lot about people leaving Corporate America and becoming experts in marketing, communications, organizational design and social media. Of course, my LinkedIn account would grow to over 1000 connections and intersect with friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…but what good would that do me? I can contact those same people on Facebook; if they were hiring, they might post it there first – or even call me. If LinkedIn is expected to be this giant career, job and connection website, then (in my opinion) why aren’t people talking more about the successes they had career wise with the website versus posting links to stories you can find on Facebook and Twitter business accounts?

LinkedIn boasts that is the world’s largest professional network. 400 million strong. It says you can “Connect. Find. Be found” – like any other social media website; they say LinkedIn can “Power your career” – I’m still trying to figure out how; and also, “Learn and share.” I don’t know about the learning since there are studies that argue that nobody really cares about your politics or anything else on Facebook and you really can’t change anyone’s mind; ergo Donald Trump.  I like posting photos of the family; it’s a safe bet and you get many likes.

If LinkedIn was a web portal that really assisted in building your professional identity online and one might be able to stay in touch with colleagues and classmates, that means it would really help its users to “Discover professional opportunities, business deals, and new ventures, while getting the latest news, inspiration, and insights you need to be great at what you do.”

The challenge I have with this website are challenges I have with many career, job websites that are structured to do great things, but feed into a narcissistic impulse to “one-up” your many followers…and that is not helpful.

Virtual Job Fairs are an interesting breed of deceit. In a story on LinkedIn, “Virtual Career Fairs are Changing the Way Employers Recruit” (2015), the story talks about traditional career fair and how they have remained relatively unchanged since the 1950’s; except in the 1950’s, you might get an interview on the spot with a person hiring versus the firms public relation guru who in my opinion are only there to hand out stickers, pens, stress toys and business cards; okay, then you’ve heard the phrase, “Sorry, you have to apply online.” (Our Veterans in the United States get hoodwinked with this virtual job fair stuff regularly. It usually comes from local state agencies who want to make it seem like they are collaborating with profession or job seeking soldiers).

This to me is how the LinkedIn process works; post your resume, some pay a monthly fee (or fee and be very limited to a glorified social media site) to chase people who look at your profile (I did…wish I could get that money back). LinkedIn post jobs that look great, but can be found in a number of places with the chance the job ad was a EEOC requirement because the firm from the ad has someone internally.

What’s exclusive to LinkedIn are their colors and logo. I’ve never heard of anyone getting a job directly attributed to LinkedIn, nor do I think I will. In an age where GenerationTech™ can connect with anyone instantly for any reason, is LinkedIn the old dinosaur?

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