Career, Get the Job

Tips From the Brazen Careerist

December 1, 2009

Penelope Trunk—the former professional volleyball player turned professional blogger (Brazen Careerist) is a must-subscribe-to blog for hilarious takes on getting through life and managing your career.

A recent post on the lies about social media caught my attention–Penelope writes:

LinkedIn is great. I’m on LinkedIn. I have 650 connections. At first I wondered, why do I need this list of connections published on LinkedIn? What was the purpose of it? But now I get it. With LinkedIn, people can tell that I am a very connected person.

Most of you already know I’m well connected—I’m a print journalist, blogger, and startup founder, which are all very network-intensive jobs. But if you’re someone who doesn’t know how to tell whether someone is connected, LinkedIn is a great scorecard.

Potential employers like LinkedIn because they can glance at your LinkedIn profile and get a sense of how connected you are and how much money you make. (Yes, large networks correlate to large salaries.) That’s the utility of the scorecard.

But what you cannot do on LinkedIn is build a network. Networks are built on relationships, which grow from conversation. LinkedIn is not for conversations. So you need to go somewhere else to build your network, and then, when it’s big, display it on LinkedIn so you’ll look great.

I agree–before you even start looking for that next big job or do a career change be sure your LinkedIn is full of all those contacts you’ve accumulated over the years–whether they’re old high school friends, former coworkers and college buddies. Join LinkedIn here.

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