Although written two years ago, this post is still relevant.
“Are you on LinkedIn?” That’s my favorite question of the day. Some of my customers say no, and we leave it at that.
But others turn their nose up at the greatest online networking application out there and give me excuses as to why they’re not on LinkedIn.
Here are 8 excuses about being on LinkedIn—and using it effectively—I’ve heard from job seekers.
1. I don’t need LinkedIn to find a job.
Of the many excuses I’ve heard for not being on LinkedIn, here are three of my favorites related to using LinkedIn to find work.
A self-assured job seeker told me that he doesn’t need to be on LinkedIn, that he’s found jobs before without social networking. That was before LinkedIn existed.
Another person told me she was going to get her job back in a few weeks, so why waste her time with LinkedIn. Nothing for certain, especially a verbal promise that you’ll have a job.
Yet another person once told me he wouldn’t lose his current job. He looked so smug as he said this that I wanted to tell him I wouldn’t bet on it.
The remaining excuses for being on LinkedIn relate to putting little effort into their profile, connecting with LI members, or engaging with their connections.
2. My LinkedIn profile is great. One day I received a phone call from a gentleman who wanted to skip my LinkedIn Profile and Using LinkedIn workshops so he could attend the third and last one.
While he was explaining over the phone his expertise in LinkedIn, I was looking at his profile which was sparse and only showed 94 connections. His inflated opinion of his profile was definitely faulty. Perhaps he’d been given poor advice.
3. I don’t want to connect with people I don’t know. Here’s the thing, networking—whether it’s in person or online—is about meeting people and developing relationships.
Not everyone will turn out to be a valued connection, but if you don’t extend yourself, you’ll never know the potential networking offers. You’ll know how you can brand yourself by connecting with LinkedIn members.
4. I don’t have the time to use LinkedIn. I hear this often in my LinkedIn workshops. This is a huge excuse. I only ask them to spend 20 minutes, four days a week on LinkedIn.
Just because I am on LinkedIn approximately 30 minutes a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year doesn’t mean my workshop attendees have to do the same. That would be crazy.
5. I posted my résumé on LinkedIn, so I’m done. Whoever told you this has their head in the sand. Start your profile by copying and pasting the contents of your résumé to your profile. But that’s just a start–from there you’ll turn it into a networking document.
Your résumé is a document you send out when applying for a job, while your profile is a place people come to learn about you as a person and professional.
Keep in mind that your résumé and profile can’t display contradictory information. Don’t mention accomplishments you don’t have on either documents. This may cause suspicion.
6. I don’t want to brag. Related to the previous excuse, what you’re really saying is you don’t want to promote your value to employers and potential business partners.
You’re not bragging if you state facts and provide proof of your accomplishments and you stay away from superlatives, like “excellent,” “expert,” “outstanding”…you get the idea.
Too many people have given me this excuse for not promoting themselves both on their résumé and LinkedIn profile. These are people who have a more difficult time getting to the interview.
7. I don’t know how to post a status update. I get this. You’re not sure how you can provide your connections with relevant information.
You’ve just been laid off and lack the confidence to write words of wisdom. Don’t sweat it. Let others educate your connections.
Read blog posts from your connections or from Pulse and share those. But please make sure you read them before hitting “Share.” Read how to share valuable content.
8. I don’t want to endorse anyone; it’s a disingenuous. The argument against endorsing others and being endorsed is that people endorse others without witnessing them demonstrating their skills, whereas recommendations are from the heart.
This is valid. However, endorsements are here to stay whether we like it or not. But there is a solution: if you want to endorse someone, contact them and ask them which skills they feel are their strongest. Read my hints on endorsing others.
Remember the guy who told me he’d always have a job? Now he’s serving coffee, a far cry from what he was doing. He contacted me and asked if I’d review his LinkedIn profile. At first I was inclined to say no, but I couldn’t hold his ignorance against him.