I know that LinkedIn is immensely popular. 450 million users worldwide, says so. But how many Aussies really truly embrace it? Last week as I was updating my own LinkedIn profile, I did a search of my previous work colleagues, friends and old clients and could find hardly find any of them there.
The ones who did have a profile had the barest of details, and definitely no superlatives or adjectives. Just yesterday, even, I spoke to a client, who, despite looking for a permanent role for the past two months had only just put his profile on. He received an email and a call from a recruiter, a couple of days after. He was surprised.
I find this bizarre.
LinkedIn has been a head-hunter’s best friend for the past five years or so. So why don’t we, as Australians, instinctively embrace it?
Is it that we’re not great writers when it comes to writing about ourselves?
Is the Aussie Tall Poppy syndrome going on here? Unlike a resume where we can control who we send it to, a LinkedIn profile broadcasts our claims to the world. Are we afraid that if we publicly announce what we’re good at, that someone will contact us and tell us we’re not? I wonder whether we associate it with what we see as US style self promotion – all a bit too, “salesy,” where absolutely everyone’s a winner and out there.
Do we not know what LinkedIn is about, or just don’t see the value in networking? Do we put it in the bucket that says “a bit desperate”? Or is it because we have to ask people to link up with us and endorse us? Will we feel slightly foolish if they say no? Or is it simply just another online thingie we need to master. I guess effectively we’re updating our resumes in our leisure time. Who really wants to do that?
For anyone who has any doubts about LinkedIn, here are a few facts that might inspire you.
Recruiters will Google you. LinkedIn gives you one Google reference you can control. Social networks aside, unless you’re a blogger, publisher or write web content for a living, you don’t have much control about what ends up there.
Recruiters love LinkedIn. They scan it all the time. They see candidates on LinkedIn as “passive job seekers,” mainly working and therefore more attractive. This is a weird psychology to me, but it’s true.
LinkedIn is a bucket of virtual business cards. If you want to network you can contact people directly. You don’t even have to be brazen about it. You can join groups who share similar interests. Often groups hold free events. There are hundreds of them. It’s a great way to hook up with people in your industry.
Don’t make me preach any more. I know what I’ve just written won’t be new news for any seasoned networkers. And for any North Americans reading this, I don’t think you’re all show offs! I actually do think you do LinkedIn pretty well.
For anyone else, just get over your fears and get on it.
Update: OK, with 8 million users in Oz, maybe it’s finally taking on?