LinkedIn is, well, let's just see what Wikipedia has to say.
LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) is a business-related social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 9 February 2012, LinkedIn reports more than 150 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Czech and Polish. Quantcast reports LinkedIn has 21.4 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 47.6 million globally. In June 2011, LinkedIn had 33.9 million unique visitors, up 63 percent from a year earlier and surpassing MySpace. LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol "LNKD".What a mouth full. I should have just typed it's an (a)social networking job site. Many people have profiles on this site, and like many, I did too. Well, until about five minutes ago. I never really used the site, nor did I find my dream job from it, but I had an account nonetheless. I decided it was silly, however, and got rid of it.
Is my life any better now that I got rid of it? Not really. But it's no worse either. You see, I never really expected to find my dream job (or any other job) from the site, even though at one time I spent some time making an in depth resume and adding a few of my friends and college classmates to my contacts. However, that being said, I have never been asked at an interview about my presence on the site, nor did I ever get an interview or job lead from LinkedIn. I never found much use out of the site and I never could understand how it could be the job magnet that morning news shows tried to make it out to be.
According to Wikipedia: LinkedIn has also been praised for its usefulness in fostering business relationships. That's great! However, to me it was just another (a)social networking site, and for that reason I let it go. I do not know a single person who has used it to get a job, or has been helped by LinkedIn in finding a job. Perhaps I am friends with people in the wrong field? However, that being said, I think LinkedIn - like other (a)social networking sites on the internet, having a profile there, and making a profile (and babysitting that profile) - is a huge waste of time.
Most people would agree that making a resume is important in a job hunt. Many also agree that a good cover letter is important. Some would say that spelling words correctly on an application and not using textspeak is also something one should do when job hunting. Some people even may go as far as to say that researching the company you are applying for is important. Myths and legends speak of people who dress up for an interview and have rehearsed the interview in advance. However, should one also keep their LinkedIn profile current, just in case? Perhaps this is a waste of time that could be devoted to another job-hunting task. Perhaps the marginal cost of being on LinkedIn is too high, and the marginal benefit of having a profile set up and checked in on is too low?
Could it be argued that being on LinkedIn may hurt some applicants? Well, if someone has information or writings on the internet they are embarrassed of, they may not want to be on LinkedIn. It is said that a person should always search their name or their internet screen names. It is a good idea to make sure that your presence on the internet is clean. Many things on the internet can be a pain in the rear to get rid of, and if a prospective employer finds uncouth media placed by thou on the internet, you may lose the chance of a very lucrative position. I have heard stories of things posted on sites such as Facebook and Myspace disqualifying people from jobs and college admissions. People feel invincible on the internet. You can be whoever you want to be. You may say something that would have got you punched in the face had it been a face-to-face conversation. You can lie about how great you are, because nobody can see that you are a pale and frail 23 year old kid who is clad only in Spongebob Boxers behind that faint computer screen glow.
The verdict is still out whether if LinkedIn is good for job hunting. I never saw it as anything more than a professional (a)social networking site. I even heard of it called an "Adult Facebook". I don't know what exactly that means, but if it's compared to Facebook, it can't be too good, right?
Have you had any luck being LinkedIn? If so, share with us in the comments below.