August 25, 2016

LinkedIn or LinkedOut?

Does anyone still use Linkedin?

Better yet, does anyone gain meaningful connections and job prospects through Linkedin?

These are some tough questions in today's online world. If the answer is "yes," then I'm probably using Linkedin in all the wrong ways.
Cute, blonde, and/or professional?

I remember first learning about Linkedin and creating an account in my early 20s, like many people my age. It seemed like a great idea at the time, having a professional social media presence so my Facebook could focus on drinking and cat photos. I also felt productive, networking (whatever that means) without really doing anything. I didn't have a great use for Linkedin when I made my account in college, but I was convinced that this would be an important and handy tool in the professional job world.

Fast forward to how I currently use Linkedin. I log on (in?) once every six months, mainly because I've checked my e-mail's spam folder and I have so many sad, desperate e-mails from Linkedin "friends" begging me to accept their connection. These are usually friends, so I feel bad. Of course, Sally Joe! I will add you to my Linkedin network.

Once I've accepted those connections, along with weird acquaintances and creepy old business men, I peruse my suggested connections. There are so many! Lots of them are very distant connections I would never add on Facebook, but because of how I perceive Linkedin, I assume it's okay to add anyone. Famous figure skater from the '80s? Add. Cute smile and I have no idea who you are? Add. Former pro football player now lawyer? Definitely add.

Then I reassess my profile and realize it's horribly out of date. I left Hens on Ice a year ago and I'm no longer a college student. Whoops. I update my profile with my current work situation, and replace the selfie with a blonder one, but that's it. Linkedin prompts me to add info about my job duties, skills, or general talents. I refuse because I'm busy, and I save that for when I'm actually applying to a job. Are employers looking at my basic profile? I don't really know. But that creep from high school apparently is.

No and no.

I also see that all these connections have "endorsed" me on important skills like Facebook, event planning (what?), and Adobe Creative Suite (what'd you call me?). What's this about? Is Apple's hiring manager really going to look at my profile and say, "Oh, five of The Hen's friends endorsed him on using an iPhone 5c. Hired!"?

With no dream job offers from Apple or The Onion, nor any helpful communication from any of my connections, I log off for another 6 months. At least I felt like I was networking without putting on a suit, and now I know I'm an endorsed expert in public speaking and event marketing. What's your Linkedin story?

KEEP READING! "Twitter and the Other T Word."
"I Quit."
"The Power of the Unfollow!"

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