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It seems like LinkedIn is the website many college students gravitate towards when it comes to careers and looking for jobs after graduation. It makes sense - after all, it’s what many people know. It’s the Facebook for getting a job. With features like "making connections" and the ability to create a profile that essentially summarizes your whole resume, it’s not very often people think about the ways in which LinkedIn doesn’t help with landing you that job. Here are 5 ways we think LinkedIn is failing when it comes to what matters most - results.
Everyone knows what a profile looks like; it’s basically your resume on the screen available to "more people." Resumes do not prove to hiring managers what your skill sets consist of. You can list all the skills you have and their website makes it easy to search for things you may have forgotten to mention or didn’t realize you could include. Your list of skills can go on and on, and getting endorsed for skills only adds to that list, but perhaps unbeknownst to you, more and more companies are finding resumes (in any fashion) to be unreliable.
According to the Harvard Business Review many companies are realizing that "while resumes can match an applicant’s skills to the role, they are poor at predicting how well the applicants will interact with the company’s culture and future colleagues.
Before going in to add your work experience, awards or education, you begin your profile with a strong summary statement. As far as you know, this is your chance to show your personality, your values and your goals as a future employee. But what are your chances of really getting in touch with the right people that are going to give you an opportunity in person? I know that when I was focusing on getting my LinkedIn profile to an "expert level" I thought recruiters were going to find me left and right.
Building connections takes time, sure, but I didn’t realize how unconnected I really was with recruiters. Sending "Inmail" messages is the most direct way to gain someone’s attention, but unless you have unlimited funds, you are only privy to a handful of those messages let alone hoping you send them to the right people. Otherwise, you just wasted them. Oops! I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t afford LinkedIn’s premium product. Putting cost aside, you are essentially sending messages to people you don’t really know and that is always a risk, even if it is housed within a platform like LinkedIn.
You have the added bonus of including a personal message whenever you decide to connect with someone, and likewise, people have the option to connect with you as well. However, while you may aim to keep everyone in your professional network, in fact, professional, you may come across friends and colleagues that you are friends with on Facebook and add them.
Their tag line is "the world’s largest professional network" and essentially what most people have come to see LinkedIn as is "Facebook for Professionals." This is not to say good connections cannot be made, but more and more people that are seriously looking for jobs are using other software and niche companies to make a strong impact because they view LinkedIn as a digital Rolodex with too many people attached to it and no real opportunities coming from it. With over 400 million members and not a real way to connect with them for actual interviews, it’s hard to stick out in a good way.
The biggest issue with LinkedIn’s network is that there is no place for companies to test and evaluate the skill-sets that you have. You can learn about companies and make passive connections that may (and there is a small chance) lead to a real interview, but there is outlet for connecting with the people that will be hiring you in real time. If you want to pursue a career in SEO or become a software engineer for a company like Google - chances are you will have to demonstrate what you know. Recruiters are finding that they can save more money and increase the happiness level of their employees if they hire right the first time. Part of what that means is being able to work on projects and/or overcoming challenges that will show the department that is hiring you are someone who not only talks the talk - but walks the walk as well!
More and more companies are realizing the importance of being able to see if candidates will fit in with their already existing culture. In order to accurately test for that, they need to see what kind of personality you have and whether or not you know how to be a good team player at work. Will their employees want to go out to lunch with you or find that you are really "one of them"? These are the questions that more and more younger companies are asking and want definitive answers to. More and more college students want more than just a paycheck and simultaneously get to see if they want to be a part of the companies they are working on projects for. Soft/Behavioral Skills are not really taught in school, but highly valuable for companies. More hiring managers are of the opinion that behavioral skills are a must, even over technical skills, because those can be learned.
If you want to start making an immediate impact in your future, take the first step by signing up for a free profile with ProSky. You will be able to create a profile that hiring managers and recruiters will have access to and actually connect to YOU with in real time. You will be able to converse, collaborate and actually start working together before any offers have been made, giving you and the company an opportunity to see if there is a mutual fit.