9 Lives for Women Blog

Unveiling the Wizard of Linkedin | November 19th, 2012

Linkedin can seem like a giant electronic wizard—a powerful force without any leaders in plain view. That’s why I was excited to find out that one of my former recruiting colleagues is now working “behind the veil” at the networker’s land of Oz.

This colleague gave me the opportunity to look learn more about Linkedin’s reach and operations—which include more  than 3,000 employees throughout the U.S. and in 20 major cities around the globe.

Most importantly, I got some great facts and figures for job seekers who may still have some misconceptions about the value of the truly all-powerful Linkedin.

First, I want to make sure that all my readers in job search mode read a really great Linkedin generated article, “10 Tips on Building a Strong Profile”. My sense is that many job seekers still struggle to create a Linkedin profile recruiters will notice—and this article has all the straightforward pointers you need.


  1. Myth 1.  LINKEDIN IS JUST FOR STRIVERS, NOT ACHIEVERS. Even though I have spent years telling women to maximize Linkedin, I admit I have mistakenly considered it a less useful tool for those at the very senior levels. I have now been told that that about one-third of Linkedin members are at the senior levels, including about 6 million in the C-suite. That’s good news for job seekers looking to link their way to influential contacts and for C-suiters who are guaranteed to find at least a few important new connections.
  2. Myth 2.  LINKEDIN IS A JUST A PLACE TO NETWORK—NOT A PLACE TO FIND A JOB. First of all, Linkedin’s corporate talent solutions (i.e., recruiting tools) are used by 85 of the Fortune 100 companies. There’s no question that Linkedin gets you closer to the movers and shakers–members are executives from all the Fortune 500 companies. More than 2.6 million companies have Linkedin company pages, including lists of key employees in your network. And 187,000 professional jobs are listed on Linkedin by non-profits and companies large and small.
  3. Myth 3. LINKEDIN IS A MECCA ONLY FOR BIG CORPORATE TYPES If you’re not looking to work at a large corporation, you will find plenty of company—and connections—on Linkedin. Roughly half of Linkedin members work at companies that have less than 5,000 employees. About a quarter of that subgroup works for much smaller companies that have less than 200 employees.
  4. Myth 4.  IT’S QUICKER AND MORE DIRECT TO FIND A JOB THROUGH A RECRUITING FIRM. It’s true that many recruiting firms have good relationships with hiring managers, but in a difficult economy employers are doing everything they can to save money and avoid placement fees. Many smaller contingency recruiting firms are really getting pushed aside, and even the retained search giants are relying heavily on Linkedin. Through a high-level outplacement firm source I learned that that Spencer Stuart, for example, is closing their online registration process. This prestigious firm will not be retaining resumes previously submitted to them or accepting new ones directly. Now candidates will submit information about their experience solely via LinkedIn.  If you need further proof that recruiting firms are no longer the holy grail in job placement, take a look at Linkedin’s 2012 Talent Connect Conference. This event drew top talent management professionals from companies like American Express, Autodesk, Dell, the American Red Cross, Aon Hewitt, Bloomberg, Comcast, Fidelity, Genentech, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prudential, Starbucks, The Nature Conservancy and many more. One of the conference discussions focused on how to increase talent acquisition without increasing internal recruiter headcount or expenses. Check out the conference program videos to see how extensively employers are using Linkedin.
  5. Myth 5.  YOU CAN BE UP AND RUNNING ON LINKEDIN IN A SNAP. Well…it’s true that it’s not difficult to create a profile, but it takes some careful thought to assemble the information in a way that will bring you results. It’s not just a matter of cutting and pasting your resume. Again, check out that “10 Tips on Building a Strong Profile” article (or ask me for some help!).
  6. Myth 6.  THE MORE CONNECTIONS YOU HAVE THE BETTER. Quality is more important than quantity, and relevance is key. You should not invite random people to connect or necessarily accept every invitation you receive. Some potential connections can be looking to sell you something or be far outside your realm of interest. Recruiters are indeed attracted to people who seem to be well connected and active in their fields, but 100 relevant connections are better than 200 randomly clicked.
  7. Myth 7.  YOUR PROFILE IS THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GET EXPOSURE VIA LINKEDIN. Your profile is a great marketing tool, but you should also join groups in your industry and areas of interest—and comment on postings of other group members. There are more than one million Linkedin groups—virtually something for everyone. And when you get Linkedin Updates and Linkedin Today emails—read them. These notifications help you keep up with your connections and give you opportunities for exposure as you acknowledge career moves and comment on articles and posts.

So many times women tell me they have run out of networking connections—and that’s just not true. Linkedin alone has more than 187 million members—with two new members joining every second.  Any Linkedin member has endless networking possibilities down the yellow brick road toward a job.  –KAS

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