Is LinkedIn Just A Waste Of Time?
Ask the average person about LinkedIn and you’ll get the following responses:
“Get out of my life!”
“Get out of my inbox!”
*loud, passionate groan*
And yet, every so often you hear someone speak in its defence. “I got my last job through LinkedIn,” they say. Career experts are pretty pro-LinkedIn, too. But anyone who has engaged with the platform knows it can be super annoying. It’s definitely not the most loved social network, that’s for sure.
So should we opt out of LinkedIn? We asked Andrew Morris, the Director at leading recruitment company RobertHalf for his professional perspective on the most common gripes.
Nope – not if you’re open to finding new work or business opportunities. “Recruiters use LinkedIn essentially to find the talent in the market,” says Andrew Morris, which means your dream job could just land in your lap. Andrew emphasises how crucial LinkedIn is to the recruitment business – it’s their top tool. “It is integral to getting a job in the 21st century because that’s the way people tend to do mini background checks and look at people and their professionalism in order to gain their next opportunity.”
It’s also great for finding new jobs. “You can obviously use it to find a new opportunity. If you’re doing that then you need to make sure that your page represents who you are as a person so making that look professional, making sure that you’ve got a great LinkedIn photo.”
You get too many emails
Easy – turn them off! Go to “Settings” and then “Communications” in the app or desktop version.
You get random invites to “connect”
You don’t have to accept everyone who invites you to connect. “It’s a personal choice. If you wanted to make it strictly about your industry then you would ignore it,” Andrew says. But he also says the more connections you have, the more you’ll come up in recruiter’s searches, so it might be useful to click accept.
Ultimately, what you’re looking for is a network of people in your industry. “The more that you have with your own industry sector will bring into account more people and more connections within that specific area.”
Endorsements: are they even worth it?
LinkedIn puts a lot of emphasis on getting ‘endorsements’ from your connections. It’s basically like getting a reference from your former boss – except from a recruiter’s perspective, it’s not nearly as reliable.
“The quality of the endorsement isn’t necessarily going to get you additional business or get you that new job. That will be on how you present and what your references are like,” Andrew says.
Your feed is full of nonsense
If your LinkedIn feed is anything like mine, it’s full of humblebrags and “career learnings” borrowed from self-help books. Andrew’s advice? Just ignore it. “It’s like any social media. If you’ve got it on your phone, it’s your choice whether you look at it or not.”
How to get your LinkedIn to work for you
If you’ve decided to put aside your cynicism and actually use your LinkedIn, Andrew has some tips. Firstly, make sure your work history is up to date.
“It really is no different to managing your own personal resume. For whatever you have on your resume, you want to have that online because, one, it’ll give you credibility within your sector, and also it will give you credibility if you’re looking for a role or wanting people to find you on LinkedIn.”
And make it look good, while you’re at it. Andrew says that he often finds people treating LinkedIn like they would other social networking platforms, and using a profile picture that’s far too casual. “Remember it is a professional network. It’s not your Facebook account. So having something that is professional, like you would want to be perceived in business is critical.”
Amelia is the Editor of The Cusp. You can find her on twitter @amelia___m or instagram @ameliamarshall.