I’ve been invited to speak at a networking event about LinkedIn, where many of the participants are nonbelievers of this great online networking application. My initial reaction when I was asked to speak to the naysayers is to tell them that LinkedIn isn’t for everyone, but that would be the easy way out.
Given that approximately 94% of recruiters/hiring managers use LinkedIn to find talent, a job seeker would be nuts not to be on LinkedIn and using it aggressively to look for employment. And this is what I need to convey to a room of people, some of whom will be shaking their heads.
While it is true that some of the attendees maybe beyond help, below are some excuses I plan to meet head on.
I don’t have time to create a profile
This is a common complaint; however, the prospect of creating a profile should not break their will. Copy and paste their résumé to their profile and go from there.
What do I mean, “take it from there”? Remember that the LinkedIn profile is not your resume. Whereas your resume lacks any mention of a subject (you), the profile should include personal pronouns, making it more personal.
Take your LinkedIn summary, for instance, it tells people a story about you and is generally longer than the resume summary. Talk about your passion for what you do (the why), explain who you serve (the who), and finally explain what you do and who well you do it (the what).
The experience section can be very similar to your resume. However, you can even personalize this section. Here’s an example of what I meant:
I extended my training expertise by volunteering to train 5 office staff on our new database software. All members of the team were more productive as a result of my patient training style, increasing the team’s output by 75%.
I won’t have time to Update once a week
Quite honestly, posting an update once a week is not that hard to do. It’s as simple as commenting on a topic, attaching an article, posting a great quote, letting people know what they’re up to, etc.
That would be the bare minimum. If you want to take it to the next level, think about your activity as more. Engage with your connections by communicating with them. Write meaningful comments to what they share, instead of just liking it.
For now, do what you can in terms of sharing information. Just make sure the content your share benefits your connections.
There’s no way I can get 50 connections
Hogwash. LinkedIn allows users to download contacts from their e-mail account from the very beginning of registering for membership.
One just has to select the members they want to invite and soon acceptances and invites will come their way. Someone has to initiate contact; it might as well be them.
Note: I do not advise this way to make connections; instead go to their profiles, read them carefully, and send a personalized invite after selecting “Connect.”
I’m too young or too old
This is my favorite excuse to squash like a fly. When you’re young is the best time to start on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will most likely not offer you immediate gratification, but your initial investment will lead to a lifelong pursuit of networking.
As far as you older attendees, I didn’t start using LinkedIn until I was in my mid-forties, and in a short period of time I’ve become well versed in the online application. Today’s forties is yesterday’s thirties.
So, don’t give me this excuse. I will say that if you’re starting from the ground floor, building a quality network and accumulating endorsements for your connections will be more challenging. But you can do it.
I don’t think people in my industry use LinkedIn
This is a valued point. Some industries don’t use LinkedIn to network as much as others. This is a tough mindset to break, albeit a faulty one. Think about occupations within your industry. For example, managers, accountants, project managers, and others are required for all industries.
Out of curiosity, I did a search for the most common and least common industries represented on LinkedIn. This list can be found on an article written in 2016.
The Top 10 Industries On LinkedIn
- Information Technology and Services
- Marketing and Advertising
- Human Resources
- Computer Software
- Financial Services
- Staffing and Recruiting
- Management Consulting
The Bottom 10 Industries On LinkedIn
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Legislative Office
- Railroad Manufacture
There are some excuses that will be are hard to counter, and I wrote a post on this. These are excuses I cannot counter:
1) I’m just curious; someone told me I’m guaranteed to get a job using LinkedIn.
2) I’m computer illiterate.
3) I’m afraid of putting information about myself on the Internet.
No one can offer the solution to every excuse, but the five listed above will be a breeze to counter. If you have another excuse, or two, let me know. I’ll add it to the list.
As always, if you enjoyed this post, please share it.
Bob, Great post. I have a great story for you. The excuse I get most often is that people in their field are not recruited on LinkedIn.
Well, I had one attendee that claimed 3 of the 5 excuses. A High School Football Coach and History Teacher, north of 60 sat in my workshop staring blankly like a deer in headlights. Finally, he raised his hand and said, Greg, I never heard of a teacher being recruited via LinkedIn, I am no spring chicken, have never used computers for more than e-mail, and I don’t think I can find that many people to connect with. I just don’s see how this is worth any of my time.”
He looked completely lost. So I just said, “You are right, most teachers or high school coaches are not recruited using LinkedIn. But I guarantee you, LinkedIn will help you network to find many more opportunities. He said he can not see how it will work, but would like to work with me to give it a try. I helped him to build his profile, develop a strategy to grow his network, and a marketing plan to generate opportunities. The easiest part was to build his network. I just asked him to start looking up his former colleagues, players and students on Linkedin. Within 3 weeks, he went from about 20 connections to over 400 connections. His former players and students were thrilled to connect with him. Next, he started letting the people he connected with that he was looking for an opportunity, and if they knew people that worked at his target schools.
Within another couple of weeks, he was interviewing at several schools, thanks to introductions from his former players and students. Within a few weeks more, he was offered a position.
Now he uses LinkedIn to keep in contact with his former colleagues, players, and students. He loves it!
Do you think LinkedIn has no relevance for you or your industry? Don’t be so quick to judge.
Greg, I love this story. You really thought outside the box on this one and proved the point that a great LinkedIn profile is not the only thing needed; one also needs to connect with others. Thanks for sharing. Here’s the basis for your next post. Call it, LinkedIn can work for everyone…well almost.