Everything That You Really Need to Know About LinkedIn

I’ve been on LinkedIn since 2004. I use my Ron Burgundy voice and tell people that I’m kind of a big deal, but when it comes to my personal LinkedIn profile, I am a hot mess.

Hold on, I can explain myself.

I am not looking for a job. I don’t want to see you humblebrag on your career. I am just on LinkedIn to spy on you.

But I am different than you. You work in Human Resources (or whatever) and you need to take your professional career seriously.

Why LinkedIn works so well

I like that LinkedIn offers an effective and efficient spoke-hub distribution paradigm for the corporate professional.

  • You create a professional profile in one spot that is validated by crowd-sourced scrutiny.
  • From there, you can manage your career (apply for jobs, research companies, read popular articles in your industry) and pay attention to your career in a way that wasn’t possible 10 years ago.
  • And, you can stay connected to former colleagues and advisors in a way that is neither too personal nor too intrusive.

Does LinkedIn work as a strategy for job seekers? Heck yes. So does networking, looking on corporate websites and seeking out employee referrals. This isn’t a zero-sum game.

Can I find passive candidates on LinkedIn? If you meet someone in life who isn’t looking for a job and isn’t open to a new and better opportunity, keep looking. Passive candidates are so 1997. In a few years, half of the workforce will be contingent.

The rise of the portfolio worker is here. Talented people will flock to a system where it’s easy to discern real opportunities (and real recruiters) from fake ones. That talent marketplace is probably LinkedIn. Although it could be something else. Spending time on LinkedIn now will help you prepare for the future.

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Is LinkedIn — and social networking — a distraction and a waste of time? Sure, yeah. But life is a distraction if you are Buddhist or a Jesuit.

Very few of us are as strategic as we think we are. You should participate on a site like LinkedIn to understand its power and its limitations. In fact, this is why Jennifer McClure and I travel all over the globe and preach social media awareness to Human Resources professionals.

If you are too busy to pay attention to current trends, the future will sweep you out to sea.

(I’ll see you there, I guess.)

You can find more from Laurie Ruettimann at her blog, The Cynical Girlwhere this originally appeared.


Laurie Ruettimann (LFR) is a former Human Resources leader turned influential speaker, writer and strategist. She owns a human resources consultancy that offers a wide array of HR services to human resources leaders and executives. Check out her LinkedIn profile here. You may know Ruettimann as the creator of The Cynical Girl and Punk Rock HR (retired), which Forbes named as a top 100 website for women. You may have also read her book, I AM HR: 5 Strategic Ways to Break Stereotypes and Reclaim HR. (RepCap Press, 2014.) 


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