Why are You on LinkedIn in Business and at Work?

I’ve been a LinkedIn member since 2004, when it was entirely free, in beta and invitation-only. After Gerry Crispin presented a workshop on web recruiting at my local SHRM chapter, he offered to invite any of us to join LinkedIn if we gave him our business cards. I gave Gerry my business card, and he sent me the LinkedIn invitation the next day. (Gotta love that follow-up.)

I was hooked. For the last 10 years, I’ve used LinkedIn as a productive and profitable recruiting, sales and marketing platform. At this writing, it’s reported that nearly 79% of all jobs are filled on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not recruiting instant soup, however – there are many tools and skills in the Corporate Recruiter toolkit in addition to LinkedIn.

I was also a beta paid Business Account user. As an incentive to sign up for a paid Business Account, LinkedIn sent you a free LinkedIn polo shirt:

LinkedIn Polo Shirt

I’ve never worn this shirt. White and me don’t mix, given my penchant for coffee-drinking, particularly in the car.

Since I’m a high-functioning LinkedIn geek, I periodically conduct LinkedIn workshops and presentations to share my LinkedIn experience, strength and hope with business owners, recruiters and job seekers. In the spirit of full disclosure, I don’t work for LinkedIn and I don’t own any LinkedIn stock. During one of my presentations a few years ago, one workshop participant did not want to share any identifying information – name, past work experiences, degrees, certifications, their name, etc. on LinkedIn.  “Why are you taking this workshop?” I asked. “I just wanted to see what LinkedIn was about,” they replied. “The workshop was helpful, because it confirmed my decision not to be on LinkedIn.”

I’m clear about why I’m on LinkedIn – are you? Do you know that your Communications Preferences (Types of messages you’re willing to receive on LinkedIn), located under the Settings for your LinkedIn account, signal why you’re on LinkedIn? And that when you set up your LinkedIn account, the default is to leave all of these preferences checked until you go in and change them?


LinkedIn Communication Preferences


During my tenure running a corporate recruitment function for a national company and in my role as their executive recruiter, I considered it poor form and contradictory messaging to potential candidates to advertise on LinkedIn that I was open to career opportunities. Consequently, I kept the “Career opportunities” box unchecked on my LinkedIn profile during that tenure.

Do you know why you’re on LinkedIn? And if you do know why you’re on LinkedIn, do your Communication preferences reflect those goals? Inquiring LinkedIn geeks (like me) want to know.

LinkedIn Profile Graphic Aug. 2014


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