How To Not Act On LinkedIn: Know Your Platform

Cops are very particular and passionate about the law, just like doctors are about health, or firemen about practicing fire safety (see: Phoebe’s boyfriend Vince). Someone like myself, who is very into social media and all of its purposes and benefits, is as you may have guessed, particular and passionate about how it is practiced as well.

Let me break down, in the very broadest of scopes, what the main use of the social media ‘Big 3’ has been. I’m not the subject matter expert on this, just making observation of the purpose that the platforms have been or are currently serving, regardless of the creator’s intent:

Facebook: Sharing your life story in a less character-limiting environment, uploading as many pictures as you desire and organizing them in enumerable albums, creating and inviting people to events, and playing Candy Crush Saga. If you fancy, your dog even has their own page and his favorite movie is Air Bud (classic).

Twitter: You have 140 characters so make it count. Your links will be shortened to 20 characters to provide a few crucial more characters to drive your main point home. Twitter is great for sharing quick information, single images or videos, or posting on behalf of your other social media apps for ease of sharing (Instagram, Foursquare, etc.) It is definitely on the more attended end of social media platforms by news outlets and magazines so it has a more informative side to it as well.

LinkedIn: Reserved for professional networking. The header on their homepage boasts “the world’s largest professional network.” You know what is NOT professional? Asking someone you don’t know to help you find a job at your company for them. Or better yet, asking someone you don’t even know to relay any in-tell on a job you might know of for them at a different company, circa Lew:
LinkedIn No-NoI don’t know that I have ever known a ‘Lew’ before none the less this particular Lew. We are not connected by any contacts, only the Greater Chicago Area and the same college. My college was not even that big, and I dabbled in a lot of departments and activities, and Lew and I have still never managed to cross the same person’s path. Yet, he thinks it is appropriate to ask me to find out if my company is hiring on his behalf.

My initial reaction: completely inappropriate.

It's not an exception, it's the rule.

It’s not an exception, it’s the rule.

But, there is always the devil’s advocate:

“But if your company is desperately seeking someone with his expertise, it is like he is doing your company a favor” – maybe, but any credible company in desperate need of someone in accounting/economics (or any field) has their role posted on major job boards and probably already has dozens to hundreds of applicants. Applicants are starving, industries are not having trouble filling the spots they need. This is what Justin Long would call the rule.

“You remember how it was when you first graduated and needed a job…” – you’re absolutely right, it was rough, but I never once thought that it would be logical or professional to reach out to a total stranger, with no buy-in to you or your brand, and ask them to help me find a job.

All things considered, my final reaction: completely inappropriate.

Disagree? I encourage you to share your point of view, being exposed to different ways of thinking is what makes the world go ’round.


Miscellaneous Related Thoughts

Networking versus Spinning Around and Randomly Pressing Send
His InMail was of perfect grammar and tone, but it is the unspoken word that speaks the loudest. He attended several universities and has even had previous jobs, the right move would have been to contact people in his network, who can at least put a personality and experience to the name.

Being Approached by Strangers on the Internet
You can internally giggle at the word stranger, and how it makes you think of a white van and candy all you want, but the truth is if you don’t know the person they’re a stranger to you.
I don’t ever recommend talking to someone you’ve never met or heard of on the internet, regardless of the social media platform, website (exceptions can be made for sites like Match, eHarmony, etc. who were made to function that way safely), or happenstance of interaction. People sometimes add friends on Facebook because out of their 936 friends they have a whopping 1 in common with the requester; I also don’t recommend that. People have their own levels of trust and are free to and will do what they choose. However, Facebook and Twitter were made to function as a more social platform than Linked In. So if you don’t mind a total stranger having access to where you went to high school or your favorite movies, by all means, add everyone Facebook’s algorithm suggests you may know (and their dogs).

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