An article on Observe.com post entitled “The death of LinkedIn” caught my eye. This post spoke mostly about how business is being conducted on Facebook and no longer on LinkedIn. But I want to speak about job seekers on LinkedIn.
One claim the author makes in his article is that LinkedIn is now only populated with recruiters trolling for job seekers. Reading this article left me thinking that if LinkedIn is, in fact, where recruiters dwell, it needs to step up its game in order to make it the ultimate platform for job seekers.
1. Many recruiters I see posting on LinkedIn are posting on Facebook at a greater rate. I asked one recruiter why I haven’t seen him on LinkedIn as much, as LinkedIn is my preferred place to hang out, and he told me he sees more candidates on Facebook.
This is true. SilkRoad.com presented an alarming figure stating that more job seekers (64%) are on Facebook, while more recruiters (87%) are using LinkedIn to cull talent. Job seekers should smarten up and hang out where the recruiters are. That would be LinkedIn, by the way.
2. LinkedIn’s groups are not what they used to be. Ever since LinkedIn took away the ability to search for people in groups and communicate directly with all members, regardless of degree, participation has waned. Yes, there was spam and yes, group members complained; as a result we have now is less activity.
Groups are supposed to be platforms for conversations, as well as business transactions. But this is not happening as it was supposed to. The aforementioned article may be correct on this front when the author writes:
“Facebook groups are much more valuable nowadays for business than LinkedIn. There’s so much value and quality in conversations that it’s unbeatable.”
When LinkedIn placed Groups in the Work area—rather than making it prominent on the navigation bar—this sent a message of the unpopularity and, perhaps, death of Groups.
3. LinkedIn giveth and LinkedIn taketh. The feature that hooked me on LinkedIn was one that LinkedIn did away with around a decade ago. I’m speaking of Answers, which created a community that was asking questions and answering them. Granted not all answers were of the highest quality.
Many of the same people are turning to Quora, but the community that was created with Answers was affected by this move. Other features that have disappeared are Events, Reading List (people are still searches for a post I wrote on this feature), to name a couple.
4. You’re on your own with LinkedIn Pulse. No social media platform has the reach LinkedIn has for sharing one’s knowledge. Whether you’re in business or unemployed, you can share articles through Pulse.
LinkedIn hasn’t made efforts to dissuade its members from sharing information, but it has made reaching out to your connections more difficult.
LinkedIn once alerted your connections of every article you wrote, which gave you ultimate reach. This is no longer the case. LinkedIn made it clear that you’re responsible for marketing your own articles.
If what the aforementioned article says is true; only one percent of your connections will see your posts (based on a large network), you better do a great job of marketing your articles.
5. LinkedIn ain’t sexy; Facebook is. Facebook is emotionally charged; people might write stupid things. They post topics on politics, current events, and share photos of their vacation in Italy. There are no secrets on Facebook; people pour out their souls. But it’s all good to Facebook friends.
So why do I find myself spending approximately 50% more time on LinkedIn than I do Facebook? LinkedIn is a great source of gaining knowledge. I learn more about my industry than I do on Facebook. Nonetheless, the unspoken rule is don’t show too much personality in your LinkedIn updates.
6. LinkedIn makes job seekers pay for previous features. I haven’t paid a penny on Facebook and services have remained consistent; whereas LinkedIn requires its members to upgrade to premium accounts to recoup the features they used to have.
Case in point, with the advent of LinkedIn Lite, users must upgrade to Sales Navigator to retain Advanced Search features, tagging, and the full blown profile, among other features. This is an $80 a month investment.
I have suggested that all members pay a flat fee in order to be on the same page, and if they want high level sales or recruiter features, their companies can pay for said features. My suggestion that every LinkedIn user pay $9.99 a month is not popular; however, it would separate the true users from the ones who rarely use LinkedIn.
Good News: you can use Google to find a LinkedIn Trainer on LinkedIn. I wanted to find people in the Boston area, so I used this string:
site:linkedin.com (inurl:in OR inurl:pub) -intitle:directory -inurl:dir -inurl:jobs “greater boston area” “linkedin trainer”
LinkedIn isn’t dead
I stopped bashing Facebook in my LinkedIn workshops exactly one year and five months ago when I joined Facebook. Immediately I fell in love with it. But I also realized Facebook is a platform for a different purpose. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. So I interact differently on the two platforms.
LinkedIn has forced us to do with less, yet many LinkedIn faithful still spend more time using LinkedIn than Facebook. Some aren’t even on Facebook. I continue to use LinkedIn, because I believe it is the best way to network online.
Business to business networking, job seeking, developing relationships, disseminating and gathering information are LinkedIn’s purposes. As long as another product doesn’t come around that can promise these features, LinkedIn will stay alive.
Photo: Flickr, Coletivo Mambembe