Job hunting is a job by itself, and if you’re currently looking for work, chances are you’re using social media networks to extend your search, which is a brilliant step. With over 800 million users worldwide, LinkedIn use is one of the most popular social networks. Basically, it allows users to create profiles, display resumes, and search for opportunities listed by recruiters.
Sounds like a job searcher’s dream, right? Maybe not. While LinkedIn offers some value in the job search arena, it may not be the best tool for the job.
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A Little History of LinkedIn
The genesis of LinkedIn can be traced back to 2003, when Reid Hoffman, the founder, was looking for an assistant. He posted an ad on Craigslist and received a flood of emails in response.
He needed a better technique to narrow down the prospects and devised the concept of a professional “linked-in” network. Its original objective was for company employees to communicate with other company employees, but it has developed greatly since then and now focuses on professional networking and career advancement.
What Is The Use Of LinkedIn These Days?
While Reid might have looked at LinkedIn as an opportunity to create a better job listing site, it has definitely evolved beyond just a job site into a competitive social network. Not only do employers post positions on LinkedIn, but professionals share their recent promotions, share presentations or thought leadership articles, and often use the site as a way to track their professional accomplishments.
LinkedIn Use Has Expanded Beyond Employers And Jobseekers
The fact that LinkedIn continues to expand its feature offerings beyond just job listings has extended its user base, as well. As a job seeking site, the target demographic for LinkedIn would have simply been employers looking to hire someone and jobseekers looking to find a new position.
With status Facebook-like status updates, light blogging capabilities, and the ability to create a Curriculum vitae (or long-form resume for those in US), LinkedIn has also extended its user base beyond jobseekers and hiring recruiters to everyday professionals who want to connect with their colleagues on a professional network, share their successes, and engage other professionals in job-related conversations.
Relying on LinkedIn Can Be Detrimental to Your Job Search
Is LinkedIn still a good tool for a job search? It was. I say was in the past tense because LinkedIn has changed over the years, and not all for the better, as you will see as you read.
I’m not here to tell you that you should never utilize LinkedIn to look for work. Not at all. LinkedIn is a robust search engine that may be used with other tools to effectively search for a job.
Are you about to embark on your next job search? Still unsure whether LinkedIn might assist you in landing your next opportunity? Here are five reasons not to rely solely on LinkedIn for your job search.
1. LinkedIn Job Listings Aren’t All That Great
With all the talk about how fantastic LinkedIn is, you’ll be surprised to learn that a large number of job posts are below the bar. To be honest, LinkedIn has become a bustling platform, and locating a genuine listing may be as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. Every day, both job searchers and recruiters are taken advantage of, which begs the question of whether it’s really worth the effort, especially when there are good alternatives like Indeed and Glassdoor.
2. Political wingnuts have infiltrated LinkedIn, as they have every other social network.
When you think you’ve finally achieved some peace and quiet, you come across political memes on LinkedIn. The intense political debates sap the fun out of a positive atmosphere, and buzzkills abound, especially if you’re looking for work.
3. Use of LinkedIn has become a bit of a “professional” meat market.
LinkedIn is no longer a secure platform. Are you surprised that there is a legitimate article on “How to pick up women on LinkedIn”? Search for dating on LinkedIn, and you’ll be amazed at how LinkedIn, a professional networking site, has morphed into a dating site, with sexual harassment of users, particularly women, becoming disturbingly normal since male users outnumber female users.
The unfortunate part is that there is nothing you can do about it. There are no rules in place to ensure that the harasser is apprehended.
For a site that we had great hopes for, unsettling individuals should not be caught lurking and asking people out on dates, even more so now that the web is saturated with dating websites.
4. LinkedIn isn’t a career-focused social network anymore.
We are all aware that LinkedIn is not what it was a few years ago. You used to be able to rely on the site for legitimate and interesting job postings every day, as well as more career-focused social networking, but that is no longer the case.
In reality, the platform is nothing more than another social media platform. It’s teeming with influencers, bloggers, and self-promoters. Imagine having to bumble your way through that trying to find a job opportunity. Attempting to game your network for professional prospects and connections may be extremely frustrating.
5. LinkedIn makes jobseekers pay for premium features
LinkedIn charges job seekers for access to premium features. There is a saying that you must spend money to make money, but this is only true if the benefit is worth your pennies. While the majority of LinkedIn users have free basic accounts, there are premium choices available, which means that you must pay $29.99 monthly to access the premium features.
These features include:
- The ability to communicate directly with recruiters.
- The opportunity to examine the profiles of users who have visited your profile.
- The ability to check the profiles of applicants who have applied for the same jobs as you to compare and see how you match up.
- Additional compensation information on job ads.
- Access to on-demand learning videos.
- Assistance with interview preparation.
The price might be justified, but it is contingent upon your ability to maximize the features. For instance, how far advanced in your career are you? An applicant with greater experience would benefit more than an entry-level candidate, as their profile will appear more polished.
Why Using LinkedIn Is Growing And Why People Keep Asking If LinkedIn Is Dying?
Let’s be clear. LinkedIn is not dying. In fact, the social network continues to show quarterly user growth year-over-year. While 2021 did see a large number of retirements from the baby boomer generation, the sheer number of millenials and Gen-Z workers entering the workforce will surely offset the boomer exodus. That means more professionals looking to create connections via social media.
While LinkedIn definitely isn’t dying, it it surely evolving. And while we’d like to believe that LinkedIn keeps true to its roots, we have to concede that its expansion has become too exponential to contain. With more than 800 million users, it is larger than Twitter, with less than 400 million. Although the site has indeed become more accommodating and adaptable, job searchers need to use it in conjunction with other sites, not as the primary professional networking platform.
Is LinkedIn still useful?
Without a doubt, LinkedIn is still beneficial despite its flaws. However, focusing exclusively on one job board will leave you disappointed if you’re looking for employment. To conduct an effective job search, you’ll need to leverage as many resources as possible. In fact, while the professional social network of LinkedIn contains a wealth of essential information and services that can assist you in landing a gig, there are more effective ways to locate work. If you rely solely on LinkedIn, you may miss out on valuable job opportunities listed elsewhere.
If you are wondering how to use LinkedIn for your job search, check out this YouTube video to learn more:
Why Use Linkedin?
If you are a professional working on growing your career and your occupational network, there are a lot of upsides to using LinkedIn. Connecting with other professionals, finding like-minded colleagues, sharing successes, and yes…even finding a new job. I’m not saying that LinkedIn doesn’t have any value. It’s just that it might not be the job board that Reid Hoffman originally envisioned and it might be a better social network than a job board.
While LinkedIn can still be a useful tool, it is simply a single option in the job seeker’s toolbox. What do you think of LinkedIn as a job search tool? Let us know your job-seeking tips in the comments.