LinkedIn Doesn’t Work

Like that.

I’d like to interrupt the expected “LinkedIn for The Salesman” series for this important announcement.

You can’t get a job just because you use LinkedIn.

I liked both Mary Ann and Ginger.

And it’s silly to compare my dad with your dad…

Missed opportunity

My first nit comes with this article from Forbes – though I definitely appreciate the reference to Jon Stewart humor.

Stewart is just doing what he does – offering people the chance to laugh at interesting situations. I’ve got no problem with it. That people would say “I’ve been using LinkedIn and still don’t have a job” is an indication of something else – not that LinkedIn isn’t a good system to help people find employment.

I’d be concerned if everyone who simply creates an account on LinkedIn suddenly “found” a job – because anyone can poke some buttons to create an account. Being a successful professional takes work…

But Forbes doesn’t just laugh with Stewart, it went on to offer some reasonable advice – that is, until it got to here:

An important tip, so that your LinkedIn notes don’t come across as Spam: take the time to personalize each note you send through LinkedIn. Never use the automated default message.

But wait just a minute – what kind of notes could this be? The one that comes to mind is the “connect to me” note – and I agree that connection requests should always be personalized, but they’re not just “notes”, and you’d never want to send one to someone you don’t know! (Don’t Send An Invitation When You Want An Introduction!)

If you’re sending “notes” through LinkedIn, you’re sending them to the people you connect with – and they would already be people you know and trust, so the messages shouldn’t be seen as spam in any case. (Favorite Linked Things)

If you’re inviting people to connect, they’re already people you know and trust, and yes, you should personalize the messages – but don’t call them “notes” – they’re “requests to connect”. (Connecting To Your Past With LinkedIn)

And lastly, if you do want to meet new people, do it with an introduction, and then you’ll have the advantage of getting introduced by someone that already knows and trusts both of you! (Getting Introduced)

So the article is close, but misses on the details.

Apples and oranges

The folks over at Business Insider however appear to have it backwards. Their article wants us to believe that Google+ is better than LinkedIn for the job seeker…

Apparently the author over there didn’t follow my recent “Jumpstart Your Career With LinkedIn” thread. She’s saying Google+ is better because:

  1. It’s easier to connect (because you can follow anyone, not just people you know and trust)
  2. You can share stuff easily
  3. You can label the people you follow
  4. You can share stuff with the different labeled people
  5. You can video chat with the people from 1, 2, 3, & 4 – maybe even for a job interview

But of course, if you’d like to find friends of friends and get introduced, I’m not sure how you’d go about that with Google+…

“New” or “Different” – I could accept those labels. “Better” – not so much.

Different objective

And so I return to – if you change the focus of your activities, you may well find a new tool that is helpful.

If you decide to screw the deck instead of nailing it, the hammer isn’t that useful.

But just because someone has created a new flavor of ice cream doesn’t mean it will sell more than vanilla or chocolate.

And saying that my dad could beat up your dad is just silly;-)

LinkedIn may not be the only thing you have to do to find a job, but let’s not crown the expansion team as champion based on press releases, ‘eh?

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock


  1. Since I opened this discussion, it’s nice to be able to quickly follow up with someone who writes about LinkedIn and does get it.

    Thom Singer posted LinkedIn and the New Hire – and he’s spot on.

    His “Coffee, Meal, or Beer” rule is a practical adaptation of my advice to know and trust the people you connect with.


  2. Steve,

    Thanks for the shout out and link. I have over 1000 connections in LinkedIn, and I have very few exceptions to my “Coffee, Meal or Beer Rule” (some strangers pre-dated the adoption of the rule, and then there are people with whom I have gotten to know via other online tools, and the relationship has the digital equivalence to a meeting). Also a few strategic exceptions make sense!

    I agree with your point about Google+ being new and different. Beyond that, nobody knows what it is yet.


  3. Every time I’ve used contacts in LinkedIn to get an introduction, I’ve been told by my contacts that they don’t know the person that I’ve asked to be introduced to or anyone that does know them. Why does LinkedIn falsely link people?

  4. Kelly,

    Thanks for the visit and comment!

    Yes – you’ve noted the problem of indiscriminate connections… How can you get introduced when there’s no personal knowledge?

    I expect you’re connecting to people _you_ know and trust, but those people are connecting to strangers.

    The solution – tell your friends to disconnect from people they don’t know and aren’t willing to make introductions to. (actually, I’m not sure why your friend wouldn’t introduce you to someone they didn’t know – it’s kind of like “Mr Smith, please allow me to introduce my friend Kelly, She’s …” It’s not like your friend has to know Mr Smith to introduce you…)

    But in any case – when you connect to people you know and trust, you can make those introductions in both directions.


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