Job Seekers Don't Know About LinkedIn …. Whuh???

July 3rd, 2008 | by Jason Alba |

If anyone should know what LinkedIn is, it is the job seeker.  Not that LinkedIn is just for job seekers, or just for employment purposes, of course.  But it’s a great place to be if you are a professional concerned about your career (job seekers fall into this category).

So I was quite curious when I was on JobDig’s website and saw their poll asking “Are you on LinkedIn?”  Check out these results:

I couldn’t believe the response… 51% has never heard of it??? Job seekers who don’t know about LinkedIn?  Lots of thoughts flew through my mind, one of which was, no matter how much press (and money) LinkedIn gets, and what their growth rate is, there is still a TON of opportunity to grow.

Here are other misc thoughts:

  1. Maybe JobDig has a readership/viewership that is not the same as LinkedIn’s (avg user makes over 100k, etc.).
  2. What is “our” role in spreading LinkedIn’s brand?  Isn’t it good for us if more people join and use LinkedIn?  (my answer is NO, I’m NOT an evangelist for LinkedIn, and people are going to use it or not… but it’s not my role to be their marketing agent)
  3. Many of these job seekers probably don’t understand the value of networking in a job search… I know I didn’t when I started my search in 2006.
  4. There is a lot of noise online, and with hundreds of thousands of social networks, it’s easy to get lost in the fray.

And, with enough people logging on and wondering what the heck they are supposed to do (same prob I have with, they aren’t getting as many product evangelists as they could.  That’s the nature of the beast, though… a sophisticated system isn’t always intuitive.

For the 25% who said “yes, I think I still have an account,” or “Nope, what’s the point,” perhaps they should pick up a copy of I’m on LinkedIn — Now What???

Thanks, JobDig, for the survey results!

  1. 7 Responses to “Job Seekers Don't Know About LinkedIn …. Whuh???”

  2. By Thomas E. Kenny on Jul 3, 2008 | Reply

    This information helps to put online professional networking into some perspective. Meaning, LinkedIn isn’t the one and only end all professional networking solution that everybody is using.

    You’ve inspired me to blog on the same topic although from a different view point of not assuming others know what we know and the value of sharing what has worked for yourself with your network.

    Maybe that is networking (or blogging) 101, but it can be easy to some times overlook sharing the basics, thanks!

  3. By Business Networking on Jul 3, 2008 | Reply

    I’m surprised that it was even that high. I would think it would more like 75% “never heard of it”. Online business networking is only being used by early adopters at this point. Think about it, Linkedin has 22 million profiles. That’s less than 10% of the population in the US. If you consider that Linkedin is also global, subtract the Chinese, Indians, British, and other major countries, you are probably down to 10-15 million profiles from Americans. Also consider that they have 5 million monthly users, mostly recruiters and salesmen. If you are not looking for a candidate or client, you probably don’t go there every month.

    I run a business networking site so I know we are in the very early days of online networking. It will be mainstream in 3-5 years.

  4. By Jason Alba on Jul 4, 2008 | Reply

    @Tom – you are right, it’s good to put this into perspective. Sometimes we forget how different we are from others. And yes, we can share with others.

    @BN – hm… I wonder what I would have guessed. I think it has a lot to do with the demographic of JobDig visitors. They advertise their site in their own newspaper, which you can get in the stands at grocery stores and places like that. I would have guessed maybe 25% of professionals didn’t know about LI.

    Reminds me of a comment I heard a few months ago that “LinkedIn has gone mainstream.” Perhaps not.

  5. By john harperjohn on Jul 4, 2008 | Reply

    I gave a presentation to CPC Job Connection in Danville CA last Saturday

    It continues to amaze me how many job seekers do not know how to leverage the Internet for their careers.

    I met with one of the attendees a few days later and showed her my LinkedIn profile. We were sitting across the street from Kaiser in Walnut Creek, CA. I asked her what kindo of position they might have that she would be interested in. I posted a question on LinkedIn and within 5 minutes had a contact for her in the Kaiser HR department.

  6. By Ari Herzog on Jul 8, 2008 | Reply

    It’s just as important for job holders to have a LinkedIn account as a job seeker. But informally polling my ~200 LinkedIn contacts tells me many are on the site for this reason or that but few use it to its potential. Many seem to have a LinkedIn profile as just that: a static profile they update once and never return to.

    Thanks for the link to JibberJobber.

  7. By Jason Alba on Jul 8, 2008 | Reply

    @John – excellent example of how to use LI effectively, and a good case for having a strong network (which could mean size, or types of people in your network)!

    @Ari – great point, that is one reason why I wrote my book. And… you didn’t know about JibberJobber?

  8. By Ari Herzog on Jul 8, 2008 | Reply

    Nope, didn’t know about it. Only came across your blog recently so haven’t seen your book yet.

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