Is LinkedIn for Blue Collar Job Seekers or Workers?

January 4th, 2010 | by Jason Alba |

I’ve been thinking about prospective users of LinkedIn for a while and continue to ask myself how’d I’d answer the question:

Jon is a line worker at a manufacturing plant.  Or a miner.  Or a ________. It’s a blue collar job.  You find blue collar jobs differently than you find white collar jobs… why should Jon get on LinkedIn?  Isn’t that overkill?

So what do you think?  If you have a cousin (Jon) who just got laid off from a blue collar job, do you think LinkedIn would be a great resource for him?

  1. 6 Responses to “Is LinkedIn for Blue Collar Job Seekers or Workers?”

  2. By Robert Merrill on Jan 4, 2010 | Reply

    My opinion is “YES” with a great big caveat: Does Jon naturally like using the web to connect with and communicate with others? If Jon isn’t going to feel overwhelmed with getting online once in a while to check and share messages, then I can’t see why “staking your claim” out on LinkedIn can be bad. Any publicity is good publicity, right?

    Additionally, consider that Jon, who knows Mary–a marketing manager–through a personal connection is connected to Andy, a hiring manager at the new plant going in down the way. Andy has been looking to hire people like Jon for a while and because they both know and trust Mary, he gets slotted in past many other candidates for an interview.

    One other consideration is that, if Jon ever hopes for a management position, building his LinkedIn network little-by-little NOW rather than THEN is much more effective, not to mention easier, and yields a greater return in the long-run.

    Just my €0.0139 (approximately 2 cents)

  3. By Nichole Bazemore on Jan 4, 2010 | Reply

    Given the example above, yes, I do believe LinkedIN could be a valuable job search tool for blue collar job seekers. The problem, however, is that the site is not promoted to that demographic. It’s touted as a social networking site for middle to upper-level, white collar professionals. Unless something is done to include blue collar workers in evolving job search methods, such as using Linked IN (and encourage them to use it), I’m afraid we’ll have a whole class of capable, experienced workers who will, essentially, be “left behind.”

  4. By Will Knott on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    First off, why not?

    While LinkedIn is seemingly not designed for Blue Collar workers, depending on the profession, he could get some work out of it.

    Hiring managers tend to be on LinkedIn, also if Joe is not just an employee but something like a gardener, he could be hired and get a recommendation by someone on LinkedIn. So much the better.

    Even if Joe is an employee, lets say factory worker, here is a place for him to meet other employees in the same company. Mix the blue and white collars. Mix ideas. At the blue end you see how things are done now. And can see what small improvements can be made, and maybe see who can help make those changes on LinkedIn.

    Should the company close, he is now findable on a search engine should a new company do a background check (And they will). Findable with a few recommendations is not a bad thing.

    At absolute worst, its a waste of his time. Since when was wasting time on a social network that unusual?

  5. By Jason Alba on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks Robert and Nichole – EXCELLENT dialog and thoughts over on the LinkedIn Answers area where a number of other people have contributed…

    Check it out here.

  6. By Gary Donnelly on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    I come from a manufacturing background somewhere in between the blue and white collar segments(I guess you would call me gray collar?). Most of my colleagues, former managers, HR reps and directors are part of my network. Any time I have contact with anyone I have worked with or supervised I always urge them to get on board if only to remain in touch with these same people minimally. As Robert stated there could be those direct contacts. If I land a supervisory or management position I’m going to want to know where I can immediately find not only the best employees that I know but ones that can be readily referred to me as well. LI could be that one-stop to building a top to bottom efficient organization that CEOs dream of.

  7. By Professional CV on Feb 24, 2010 | Reply

    Simply, YES! The answer for job seekers in this enviornment is to get an inside line on the opportunity. An informational interview if you like. LinkedIn is like a white collar white pages, so why would a blue collar worker not join to find the managers who are doing the hiring, over the HR/recruiter?

    Secondly, many blue collar people with experience are as wanted by employers as white collar (and paid as well). So again, why not?

    Further, I would suggest that if “Jon” had long term career plans for development, early membership of LinkedIn gives a positive sign of ambition.

    The only downside is PC skills, but I don’t see that as a problem. Most now have a Facebook account, and personally I would say LI is easier to operate just more business orientated.

    Hope this helps – good luck!

    Best Regards, Ian McAllister

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