We’ve seen more and more stories recently of people finding work through LinkedIn. In fact, most recruiters I talk to say they are actively seeking candidates through keyword searches on LinkedIn.
So why would a job seeker look anywhere else for online networking? I think there are 3 reasons that it’s a bad idea to limit yourself, as a job seeker, to just LinkedIn.
But let me preface this by saying that I LOVE LinkedIn and have used it for years. I’m not saying not to use it, just that it can be limiting for the unique needs of a job seeker if that’s the only tool.
Reason 1- The 1 Résumé Problem
It is common knowledge that when applying for a job, the candidate should customize the résumé to that position.
I’ve blogged about the importance of keywords before. Basically, if you want Google to return your name when a recruiter searches a keyword, you need to have chosen the right ones to put in your profile.
When going for a job, the hiring manager will look to see if your résumé is generic, or if you have really addressed the organization’s concerns.
LinkedIn gives you only one résumé.
And to make matters worse, people are actually uploading a traditional résumé to be downloaded from their LinkedIn profile.
Once someone gets control of that document, you have no idea where it will end up. And if you haven’t customized it, you could be written off completely.
I have several clients who are testing the waters in two or more different industries. There is no way for them to cover all bases with just LinkedIn alone.
If you are looking to have multiple online résumés, I highly recommend an online résumé service called VisualCV.
Reason 2: The Boring Personality Problem
The first thing I teach clients is to have a very clearly defined personal brand before writing their online profiles.
And when crafting a value statement, make sure to take yourself from commodity and into personality.
There is always going to be someone smarter, more educated and more qualified than you. Especially these days. (Don’t worry, you are still the prettiest/handsomest person ever.)
So the sooner you can take yourself out of simply listing your skills and into demonstrating your value, the better.
LinkedIn’s framework is limiting. Yes, there are now ways of uploading videos and slideshows.
Xing.com offers users many more application features, such as mind mapping, document sharing (free), car-pooling, Wall Street Journal and more. These combine to create much more personality online then ever before.
Reason 3: The Unwritten Rules of LinkedIn
There are some unwritten rules that make networking with large numbers of people difficult.
For example, if you decide to add someone to your network that you’ve never met, they are perfectly encouraged to say, “I don’t know you” and ignore your request. If this happens too many times, you get a polite wrist slap from LinkedIn.
In response to this, LinkedIn Open Networking was created.
I would encourage you to join this group and take advantage of thousands of people willing to accept your invitations and help you get out there and meet possible job opportunities.