It is close to a year now that I have created an active LinkedIn profile. I casually opened the account as a student and left it abandoned for years. Sometime in 2018, I decided to revisit it and update it. And so far, I have enjoyed the benefits of that but to a limited extent.
LinkedIn, as far as I know, is branded as a platform for professionals, especially to hire and be hired. While it is almost a necessity for applicants to have LinkedIn accounts, I am skeptical of the platform’s ability to deliver based on what it is branded for (i.e. hiring).
It is easy for you to get a job through LinkedIn if you have the right education, the right experience and you are walking in the career path you love. However, when any one of this is off or you want to change your career path, life becomes difficult via LinkedIn.
I have heard lots of people lament about LinkedIn in recent times, saying that they couldn’t get jobs or go the direction they want in their career. Some even go as far as hating LinkedIn for that. I saw someone explain recently that Twitter has given him all he hoped LinkedIn would. But why would Twitter be a competitor to LinkedIn? I mean, Twitter is not even trying to be a competitor.
Now we go to the infamous analogy about square pegs and round holes. LinkedIn helps to promote your qualifications and tries to find you jobs that fit those qualifications. When recruiters posts jobs, they give a vivid picture of the qualification they want. A job seeker sees that and thinks, ‘this is not for me’. And when they find something that seems to fit, something is wrong with it or they are out-competed. Now, that is fair but when a person has been out-competed several times, they start thinking it’s unfair.
Why does Twitter stand out? It is because the emphasis is more on the person. There are no round holes, only square pegs, and other pegs. There is a little bit of empathy that enters the fray. Instead of the job seeker looking for where they fit, the uniqueness of the job seeker is made obvious to a recruiter that cares.
Too many times I have seen people on Twitter come out to the open to say they are employed and would like to be employed in a certain line of work. In almost every case, I would see a tweet sometimes later appreciating retweeters because they now have a new job. Isn’t this the future of recruitment? Looking for openings around can be so futile compared to announcing yourself for your social circle to help you land a job.
I have seen this method used for businesses also. People share their products or the result of their skill and ask their community for a social boost. This method is aiding businesses so much and cutting out the time used in seeking jobs and the emotional downtime that comes with being rejected.
Does that mean LinkedIn is going out of business? Of course not! Many of those hiring would still want to see your professional profile, and LinkedIn is still best for that. But when it comes to actually getting you a job, LinkedIn appears to be somewhat behind the curve.
I know you can share content on LinkedIn too, but it is not as hot as Twitter. There is this unspoken thing in LinkedIn that says expressions must be professional and work-related. But Twitter is for expressing anything on your mind. You can rant as much as you want on Twitter about anything. This is why when people are on LinkedIn, they probably have their work-face on, but on Twitter, the atmosphere is much more relaxed and eased up that you can feel people’s pain in their expressions.
Here is something for you to brood on: Someone who would not get your attention professionally on LinkedIn would easily do on Twitter by saying the right things
You could be so impressed by a person on Twitter and be convinced you want to hire that person and then you see the LinkedIn profile and it is something that wouldn’t have gotten your attention if you had come across it (as you usually do) on LinkedIn. This boils down to the fact that people are first human, before they are candidates. You can make the person you need into the right candidate but you can’t make the candidate into the person you need.
I have worked with several people thus far, and none of them chose me because of how qualified I am. Over 90% of them saw something I did and really liked it. And when someone randomly notices me based on my qualification, they often start talking to me about something I am not interested in.
Let’s not forget the issue of career transition. It is so difficult or even almost impossible trying to get started in another line of work (even at entry level) when your education and experience go in another direction. For example, I am fascinated by management roles (and of course, I’ll get one I like soon) because of how easily I bring out the best in other people, but an education in engineering and work experience that is filled with writing jobs looks so awkward. The popular insight people give in such cases is to go to school to study a related course in that line. But that is no guarantee. Also, often times, school wipes out the innovativeness of people and replaces it with textbook ideas. This is where a platform like Twitter where personal expression reign thrives for the current state of job seeking.
The world is breaking down the fence between professionalism and personality. I hope LinkedIn can spot the change and adapt quickly. And I hope Twitter gives more room for such to thrive
So you want a job? Have a good LinkedIn profile but look for a job on Twitter by announcing yourself, what you can do and perhaps what you have done (with a little catchy true story).
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