“Are you using LinkedIn in your job search?” That’s one of the first questions I ask my clients when I sit with them. Most of them say they are using it frequently.
Others say they rarely are, and a few admit they aren’t using it at all and give excuses for not being on the greatest online networking application there is.
Here are 8 of the most common excuses I’ve heard from people who neglect LinkedIn.
1. I was told to join LinkedIn when I was working but haven’t used it
This is basically saying you don’t use LinkedIn. I have a Pinterest account but don’t know my user name or password. I didn’t see any reason for using it. How ignorant on my part.
I get this. Your boss or colleague suggested you join but you weren’t encouraged to use it for your benefit or the benefit of the the organization.
Smart organizations, especially those who believe in the power of B2B, will strongly suggest that LinkedIn be part of your routine.
2. I don’t need LinkedIn to find a job
A self-assured job seeker told me he didn’t need to be on LinkedIn; that he’s found jobs before without social networking. That was 15 years ago. Times have changed.
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, just a verbal promise that she’d have a job.
And another person once told me he would never lose his current job as the assistant to the city Mayor. He looked so smug as he said this that I wanted to tell him I wouldn’t bet on it.
3. My LinkedIn profile is great
One day I received a phone call from a gentleman who wanted to skip my LinkedIn Profile workshop so he could attend the more challenging workshop, Using LinkedIn to Find a job.
While he was talking, unbeknownst to him 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.
4. 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.
5. 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. I see some of them shift in their seats, their eyes roll, some groans.
Using LinkedIn to find a job is an important tool in your tool chest. It’s worth it to put in the effort to help supplement your overall networking campaign.
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.
6. I posted my résumé on LinkedIn, so I’m done
Whoever believes 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.
Read this popular article on How to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
7. 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 avoid using superlatives, like “excellent,” “expert,” “outstanding.” They’re empty promises.
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.
8. 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. At first share blog posts from your connections or from publications you enjoy reading.
This article provides ways to engage with your connection as opposed to just being active.
9. LinkedIn is too complicated
This must be what my daughter is feeling, as I haven’t seen her on LinkedIn…at all. I’ve also heard this from older job seekers who feel they can’t master the technology.
Granted I use LinkedIn on a regular basis, read articles from my colleagues, and have taught it to thousands of job seekers; you don’t have to be an authority on LinkedIn to use it.
LinkedIn might not be as sex as Instagram, but it’s purposes are to help you land a job and, once you’ve landed that job, use it for business purposes. What’s complicated about this?
Remember the guy who told me he’d always have a job? He went on a stint of serving copy, 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.