Brokes populi: Are you over LinkedIn?

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Are you tired of flavorless requests to connect, invitations to join message boards you have no connection to run by people who have jobs you have no interest in? Because we certainly are, but it tipped over into almost Facebook-timeline levels of rage when we got an email yesterday declaring “your LinkedIn profile has been viewed 11 times.” What followed was a page right out of the OKCupid confidence undermining handbook, showing pictures of who viewed your profile and stats on how many times it was seen, leading you to either get the stalker heebie jeebies or to realize you are a complete failure at presenting yourself as a hirable candidate because WHY IS NO ONE SEARCHING FOR ME???

But also, Linkedin has never done us much good other than give us a place to find out what former bosses are up to and give persistent PR people another way to try to pitch us stories. So does anyone get use out of this thing?

We have heard of some stories of recruiters reaching out to people through LinkedIn, and, to be fair, as Faye once aptly stated, “I don’t think we have the kind of jobs people get headhunted for.” Hooray journalism!

We’ve also heard the theory that LinkedIn is like Facebook for old people, who are scared off by fluffly Farmville games and would rather discuss business strategies with their fellow college alumni. Of the site’s 147 million members,  67 percent are age 25-54, and 58 percent are male. And here’s a helpful chart with even more data, if you’re so inclined.

The whole thing comes off a bit sycophantic, where anyone you might have a slim connection to wants to add you to bolster their own professional standing (as opposed to Facebook, where they want to add you to further spread pro-baby picture propaganda).

So, what are we missing here?

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  1. Ways I have used LinkedIn when great things have happened to my career:

    -When they offer the free trials of “JobSeeker” or “Optimum” or whatever, take them. During those months, the number of calls I get from recruiters increase by approximately 5000%.
    -If you’re looking for a job at a specific company, search LinkedIn to see if you have any distant connections there, then message them or use that “ask your connection to connect you” function. Seriously. Buy this person a coffee and pick their brain.
    -Make your profile super SEO-friendly so that when recruiters or companies are looking for someone who’s a journalist but can also do PR and they search “journalism press release,” your profile comes up before someone else’s does.
    -Everytime you make an edit, that resurfaces your profile so headhunters are more likely to see it if you’re in their network. It’s worth making frequent small edits.

    It’s so easy to make your LinkedIn profile look snazzy and be discoverable just by filling out as much as possible and using diction you think recruiters are probably also using when they search. Expand your network. Use the “People You May Know” section. It’s worth 30 minutes of your time because after that, it does all the work for you.

  2. LumpedIn is just a constant reminder that I’m as terrible at digital professional networking as I am the face-to-face kind.

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