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LinkedIn Is Not A Social Networking Site

I know a number of people are going to disagree with me on this but read on and then tell me what you think.

LinkedIn is a professional networking site.

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the rest are social networking sites.

Sure LinkedIn has some of the features of other sites like:

  • Events
  • Groups
  • Applications
  • A photo

Here is why I say it is different:

  • Do you post the same photo on LinkedIn as you do Facebook?
  • Do you use the same language, style or tone?
  • Do you leave the same updates?

Hopefully you do not.

Take this a step further with mistakes I see Recruiters make in treating social networking sites like LinkedIn:

  • Posting jobs relentlessly (or least when the economy was better)
  • Not participating in conversations
  • Not establishing relationships with people
  • Treating the sites like a searchable (for as much as they are) database

Job seekers are not immune to the mistakes in what they are doing on LinkedIn:

  • Much too casual photos
  • C U Later type of language
  • Sending connection requests that are very informal

There are no “rules” to this but some folks are not using common sense when they go from one to the other.

For my Recruiter friends and I mean this with a lot of respect, we need to use the sites the way they are and not they way we wish they were. By that I mean these are social sites. So participate, engage, contribute and communicate with people in a social setting.

OK, I feel better now and feel free to tell me why I am wrong :)



I agree completely. I see it in my friends who are just graduating. They don't know how to keep it seperate.

Jim D'Amico

Dude, I hate to be the first one to disagree,but your hypothesis is only partially correct. As a Mason, I and many brothers use LinkedIn as our social site, particularly through the groups function. We prefer it to FB because of it's less skanky feel. I've made a lot of good friends through linked in.

Now from a recruiting stand point I agree entirely with you.

Finally, don't forget lunch Wed. sir!

Brandon Patton

I completely agree. It's a huge pet peeve of mine when people (including several colleagues of mine) lump LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter all together under the umbrella of "social networking". LinkedIn is and should be treated as a professional networking site. If you're going to use the same language, pics, etc. that you use on Facebook, no one's going to look at you as a professional.

Robert Zuniga

I agree with most of your differences in LinkedIn and Facebook/Twitter/MySpace. However, LinkedIn without the social networking is The whole point, I think is to add value to my contact list by sharing contacts and opportunities (social and business).

For entrepreneurs, this is a key benefit of LinkedIn. It's not all about static resumes, personality adds appeal.

Grant W.  Hiesterman

I recently "rejected" a LinkedIn invitation to a gentleman with 3,200 connections but wanted at least 6,000. I shared with him the purpose and vision of LInkedIn (it is actually printed on the site) as a professional networking media for people we actually knew and could speak personally about.

In a nutshell, he was offended and I received hundreds of responses about how unkind I was (it got posted on a group site within LinkedIn). The good news is I received even more responses supporting me from folks who understood this: LinkedIn is not meant to be a social tool. So, get off LinkedIn if you are searching for a friend or buy a dog.

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