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.
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