In Career Discussions, LinkedIn

It’s a great tool but are you relying on Linkedin too much? It’s a great way to connect with people you may not run into in person and it’s a great way to build your network. When used the way it’s supposed to be used, it’s a pretty powerful business networking tool. That said, it’s still a social media site and while it’s “social media for professionals” it’s still a social tool with limitations and downfalls. 

LinkedIn can be used to help build a professional network but it should not be relied on to do so. In fact, there are a number of things you should not rely on LinkedIn for. We’ve got a few of those things here. 

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You should not be relying on LinkedIn…

For Recommendations 

LinkedIn has a great tool for getting recommendations from people you’ve worked with and you should definitely utilize it, but you should not rely on it when it comes to making sure connections and professionals see those recommendations. Here are a few reasons:

  1. They bury them toward the bottom of your profile and people (even professionals) don’t have very long attention spans. 
  2. Not everyone uses LinkedIn so if it’s the only place you have them, you might be missing opportunities. 

Tip: If you’re asking for a recommendation through LinkedIn, ask the writer if it’s ok to use on other platforms, like your website. 

For Only Industry News 

While it’s probably a better place to get industry news than Facebook, LinkedIn is still a social media site. The content you see is still curated by individuals. There are still users that don’t know that LinkedIn should be used for business purposes and post that rant their great aunt had about that one article that’s two years old and really not that accurate. 

As more people join, the type of content being shared is expanding beyond business articles and posts and even the once professional site is being flooded with arguments and unreliable content. 

As with all sites, just make sure you trust the source of anything you read and check it for accuracy before sharing. 

To Be a Resume

It’s simple; companies still want resumes. Do not send a potential employer a link to your LinkedIn in lieu of a resume…you probably won’t get the job. 

To Find Work

LinkedIn has a great job search tool but it shouldn’t be the only spot you’re looking for jobs. If you’re creating posts about looking for work, make sure you’re getting the word out beyond LinkedIn. Again, LinkedIn is a great tool for connecting but not everyone is on it. Not all companies post their jobs there and there is still the possibility of spam posts. 

For Networking

LinkedIn is a great tool for this but it’s not the only tool and nothing beats face-to-face interactions. Don’t just spend your time making connections on LinkedIn. Go to networking events, have friends make real-time introductions, set coffee meetings, have lunches. Use LinkedIn to make an initial connection and then take the networking offline. 

Relying on LinkedIN In General

In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to NOT rely on third-party websites more than you have to and LinkedIn is still owned by someone else even though you have a password and all your information is there. When you log on, you are still at the mercy of a third party and that third party knows the rules and can change them at any moment. If they change the rules and you’re not following them, you could get kicked off. You could even get kicked off or locked out of your account unexpectedly. Connections and conversations stored in LinkedIn won’t be there forever which is why it’s a good idea to bring any conversations that start on LinkedIn off of the platform and into the real world. 

The moral of the story? Use LinkedIn to its full potential but don’t forget how things were done before it was around!

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