Monday, July 11, 2011


Watching the various “social networking” sites as they compete with each other is fascinating.  I don’t understand some of it, but then I’m used to some level of confusion much of the time anyway….

Linkedin is now positioning itself as a place to put your best case resume so you will be miraculously found by the employer of your dreams (and live happily after).  
Facebook has added “BeKnown” as the place to do your business networking and where you can post your resume and then have the employer of your dreams discover you, so you can live happily ever after….

Does anyone actually know someone that got recruited off of Linkedin?  I’m a Career Coach and work with between 150 to 200 people a year and have yet to encounter someone who had that happen.  I know that it does occur, it’s just not all that common. 
The challenge is that all of us bring a lot to the table and it is very unusual for all of it to apply to a particular job we’re interested in.  I’m an old guy, so I’ve had a lot of time to wear different hats, including Teacher, Salesman, Developer, IT Manager and now Career Coach and that doesn’t begin to capture my volunteer work.  Turns out I’m not all that unusual in today’s market.  I was told when I was in college that I would likely have 3 distinct careers, my kids were told to expect 7!  So back to Linkedin, Which of those skill sets do I represent?  Which set of accomplishments?  How do I represent them?  How do I capture 50 years of work history in 400 words or less?  For that matter, how would I capture 4 years of college in 400 words or less? 

Linkedin works great for claiming a set of experiences that demonstrate your brand, your core strengths, those things you always do.   It works really well for connecting to your business friends.  It is truly amazing for allowing us to know what those friends are doing today.  I’m not so sure about how good it does as an advertisement. 
Facebook is fabulous at helping us know what our personal friends are doing.  It also has some semi-serious security issues and it includes a connection to that cousin/friend we all have who has a few “boundary issues” and has been known to post the pics from his last trip to BurningMan…..  My point here is that BeKnown becomes a very hard sell, just because Facebook is so successful at creating/documenting personal and family communities. had some additional thoughts and took the time to post them here.

An additional consideration is the amount of time spent on the computer.  We have all heard that “networking” is the key to your next job, whatever your profession is.  While Linkedin and Facebook (and Biznik and ….) are fabulous at documenting and tracking our network, the primary source of new connections is getting out and meeting people.  I have certainly heard and read about people getting jobs via connections they have made and only made electronically, it just is not been the case for people I have worked with.  I also have yet to meet someone who has told me about this as something that happened to them, so hoping that it will work seems like a very bad percentage play. 
There are tools that we know work: custom resumes, Linkedin connections, letting your friends know you’re looking, volunteering, researching companies and following what they’re doing, etc.  Focusing on these is a full time job, adding a tool with very uncertain value doesn’t look all that exciting.

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