Thursday, October 11, 2012

Has LinkedIn got you that job yet?



With today's high unemployment, one may think that doing everything that they can do to secure a job is important.  Some think that networking is the key, and will go around talking to everyone they can in order to get a job.  While this may not be a bad strategy, and one that is considered a viable job strategy, others are taking that idea of networking online using a site that has been peddled hard by the media.  And that site, the bane of the employment hunt, is called LinkedIn.

Now, I will admit, I had a LinkedIn account, and I got a lot of spam from the site saying that someone added me or wanted to put me in their list of contacts.  Sometimes it was from a person who I knew, but usually it's someone who I didn't know, often from another country.  The reality is, our connection would have never helped either of us find employment.  In essence, we were both kidding ourselves by linking up.  For example, a fisherman in Zimbabwe is probably not going to help me hook up with a job here in the United States, and I am not going to help him line up employment in Africa.  While stranger things have happened, I am not about to spend my days playing the "LinkedIn lottery."  Truth be told, LinkedIn is the kingpin of waste. 

If you think LinkedIn will land you a job, you might want to go down to the local clinic and get a lobotomy. 

(A)social networking is good for making a fool out of yourself online.  It's good for alienating you from the real world.  But it's not good for obtaining real life objectives.  That's because time spent on (a)social media is inversely related to accomplishing things out in the real world.  I say the real world, because the online world is largely imaginary. 

As an employer I would have a very hard time taking people's profiles on LinkedIn seriously.  The internet is known as the land of lies for a reason.  It's easy to fudge the truth.  People do it all the time on a regular resume, but on the internet it's even easier.  Plus, you're not just showing a piece of paper to employers, you're showing off your wonderful credentials to your friends, family, acquaintances, and those who you are competing against.  Who sends a copy of their resume to a person they don't like?  Only on LinkedIn can you add that guy from college who annoyed you and show him you got a big management position or an elite engagement happening overseas.

Other than making people jealous, LinkedIn has very little utility.  Sure, you may be able to find job hunting tips on their "amazing" forums.  So what?  You're just advertising yourself to LinkedIn "predators" who are searching for fresh blood to add to their bloated profiles.  And, like Facebook, the more people you are connected to on LinkedIn, the less of a professional life you probably have.

Say what?

You heard me.  It's hard to grasp at first.  People tend to want to think that if you have a lot of internet friends you must have a life.  But the internet is not real life.  It's just a bunch of pixels.  Sure, those people are real.  Well, sort of.  People are generally not that real on the internet.  People are far different behind closed doors and behind the light of a computer screen than they are in person.  People will write and say things online that they would never say in person.  There are little consequences to be had for lying, being a jerk, acting like a fool, or padding your LinkedIn resume with outright bulldandy. 

Do you want to make it all better right now? 

I have an amazing way for you to fix the problem with LinkedIn.  Unlink yourself from the disastrous site right now.  Delete your profile and never look back!  There's no reason for you to be there.  You're not going to find a job on the site!  Heck, you're not going to find anything on LinkedIn or any other (a)social media site except for a bunch of time wasted, heartache, and mental anguish.  You'll just upset yourself looking at the competition: competition that is built on lies. 
Are some people ready to end it all for (a)social networking?

People have a hard time deleting things from the internet.  Many have invested countless hours, sometimes hundreds of hours, in building these profiles.  Some people have invested more time in building a Facebook or LinkedIn profile than others spend building their own homes!  That just shows the extent of the problem.  But that is only the beginning.  Morning news shows have toted these sites, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, so hard that many people have been duped into believing that they are positive additions to their lives.  Some people honestly believe that they are better off by virtue of having profiles on these sites in their arsenal.  Hell, some individuals claim that sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are NECESSITIES. 

Recently I read a Weekly World News article about Facebook being shut down (a joke, obviously).  The comments were lined with people stating that they could not live without Facebook. 

Comments included:

"If this is real please kill me now."

"I can't believe it! All my data on FB! Now my aunt will never see pictures of her beloved baby again.... :'("

"no my birthday is on the 22 i will kill who ever is making this happen"

"if yall shutdown fb how can people contact to their relatives"

"PLEASEE I BEG YOU, I WILL KILL MY SELF IF YOU SHUT IT DWN:( THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE I HAVE FRIENDS IM A LONER AND HAVE NO CAR TO GO UNITE WIT FRIENDS SO I POST EVERYTHING FROM MY HOME PLEASEEE DONT SHUT IT DOWM I WILL GO OUT AND HARM OTHERS"


This was just a taste of what I found in about 2000 pages of comments.  Some people are literally (claiming) that they are ready to lay their lives down for (a)social networking.  Some claim to be ready to die for Facebook (which is highly unbelievable, but crazy nonetheless). 

Perhaps you have followed this blog for a while now.  Maybe you are new to it.  Either way, as you read through the posts you are probably thinking that there is something wrong with the way people obsess over (a)social networking.  Maybe you think that you have invested a little too much time in trying to babysit your profiles.  Maybe you don't agree with how everyone thinks that life should revolve around sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Maybe you are sick of seeing these sites listed everywhere you go.  Maybe you don't have a profile on them and feel like you are left out of something that everyone thinks is overly important.  Maybe you wonder if your LinkedIn profile will get you that job?  No matter what you are thinking, I hope that you are starting to understand that (a)social media -- media that brings people AWAY from real life interactions and AWAY from real life relationships -- is not as good as everyone claims it to be.  Maybe you are actually seeing (a)social media destroy the lives of your friends and family.

Do you notice that your once creative friends now spend time on Facebook instead of creating?  Do you notice that your friends now try to compete with others on the internet and proclaim the mundane?  Do you watch in horror as your family and close friends stop growing as individuals and just seem to rot behind the screen of a computer?  Maybe you wonder if you are behind that glow rotting as well.  Turn it off and do something with your life right now!  Don't waste your time creating and babysitting a LinkedIn profile with the false hope that (a)social networking will find you a job.  (A)social media doesn't give you anything, it only takes things away.  If you want that allusive job, you must take the job search to the streets.  Sometimes the old fashioned ways of doing things are better than the newfangled ways that people flock to like angry birds.  Pounding the pavement will probably always be better than making a LinkedIn profile.  It may not be as much fun, but you're only fooling yourself if you think that LinkedIn is going to somehow "link you in" to a killer career. 

Wake up from the dreamland and get yourself off that chair and onto the streets.  If you are unemployed and you need to find a job, the harsh reality is that you have no time for (a)social media.  That's the cold hard truth.  LinkedIn may be a way for those who own some stock in the company to make some money (in the short term at least).  Further, you can bet that the same media sites that were out there advertising LinkedIn like a flower advertises pollen to a bee, were big investors in the site.  News and media programs don't advertise this stuff out of the goodness of their own heart.  They advertise it because they have a financial interest in the site.  So, the next time you see a program advertising an (a)social media site that is probably going to do you no good (or worse), you might want to ask what they are getting out of it. 

I'm not saying that it's bad that a website brings in revenue.  But you have to take into consideration the cost to you.  Is the site bringing in revenue because it offers a genuine service, or is it bringing in revenue because people are becoming addicted to it?  The reason (a)social media makes billions of dollars is because it is addicting.  Just like cigarettes, gambling and pornography.  Those things take more than they give back.  (A)social media is no different, and LinkedIn is there with the rest of them.

There is no job out there that is "just waiting for you."  You have to actively go out and find it.  Now, print out a few copies of that resume, go outside, and look for work.  Chances are the companies will send you back to the computer to do an online application with a personality test (a nice little invasion of psychological privacy that has no real bearing on how a person actually is as an employee).  But, at least you will get the chance to apply for the job.  You won't get that by virtue of having a profile on LinkedIn.

9 comments:

  1. So...
    Several months ago I deleted my LinkedIn account for the exact reasons I deleted my Facebook. As a professional however, I have to deal with the lovely reality of people Googling my name. Unfortunately, an anonymous-only participant rate my teacher site with a snarky comment was showing up at the top of my Google search. My colleague in career services suggested I resurrect my LinkedIn and work on a blog and a few other things to create a more positive web presence. I've taken the advice, but the time dump stops there. I will not be spending hours "social networking." It's unfortunate how much the Google search has taken presidence over the real world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder why you should change who you are. If you sometimes have a snarky tone, the world should not expect you to change. Sometimes such a thing can be a virtue. To have to fake yourself to look good to others can be damaging to your own psyche. Instead, be yourself. Those who find success are those who are comfortable being themselves. Even those who are on occasion snarky on the internet.

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  2. I have had the exact same problem. My LinkedIn was coming up cached and did not give a good impression of me. So, I had to go back and reactivate it and redo the information there so Google would not cache the version that was not impressive.

    Sadly, employers and others are obsessed with these internet "profiles" that people are making and are often using them to judge others. They actually believe that people are who they really claim to be on the internet. And many wonder why they can't find good people... It's sick.

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  3. Never made a linkedin account, and never will. A friend asked me why, and was trying to get me to check it out. I told him that it wouldn't serve my best interest. At the end of the day, if I have to find a job, it will be through spending the time searching for one. If a job is going to fall into my lap, it can happen in any number of ways that don't depend on Linkedin. Linkedin is just a money making vehicle via becoming a middle man

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    Replies
    1. You are saving yourself a lot of time and heartache.

      Delete
  4. I`m a headhunter and hire people mostly through Linkedin. Just because Facebook is a waste of time it doesn`t mean that Linkedin is also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder how many headhunters make their way through the masses of individuals on LinkedIn that hope to get that illusive job. I have heard stories of people getting jobs on the subway by virtue of looking pretty in public, but that doesn't mean I would search for a job in such a manner. Could you imagine, hopping on the subway with a nice haircut and purple bow tie hoping to get a job? Maybe I could walk from train to train asking people in suits if they are hiring managers at their jobs!

      The reality is that there are millions of people on LinkedIn and few get hired. Most people just post on the message boards and keep a resume, praying that they even get noticed by someone who will choose to hire them.

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  5. When someone's online persona overpowers their "real life" person-something is wrong.

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  6. Hi. Im 31yr old professional. LinkedIn sukz. It never helped me to find a better job.
    I deleted LinkedIn account yesterday and this week I will also delete FB account. Because I hardly get to log into facebook and my real personal life is so much better than this virtual life. I deactivated fb account too many times but now its time end it completely.

    ReplyDelete