I visit LinkedIn every workday (and some weekend days). It is a tool that I use to keep informed of the activity of people in my network.
I find that there are 3 types of LinkedIn users.
- Active users. These people have regular activity on LinkedIn, are most visible, and continue to try to get the most value out of the tool to increase the value received from and given to their network.
Comment: As an Active LinkedIn user, I have an affinity for others that see the value in LinkedIn.
- Drive-by users. These people only visit LinkedIn when they are looking for a job. They have lots of activity when job-hunting, and next to zero activity when they are comfortable in their role. Generally, these people are not networkers by nature, and consider LinkedIn similar to a job board circa year 2002 with some additional bells and whistles.
Comment: For the Drive-by crowd, I feel badly that they are not able to get the most out of LinkedIn. Generally it is not in their nature to network, so they are not able to get solid value out of LinkedIn. But it is nice to see them every few years. I can always tell when someone is looking for their next job, even if they haven’t told their current employer.
- One-timers. These people have visited once, filled out a profile, and have 100 unread LinkedIn messages. They most probably were told that they need to be on LinkedIn, so they are. The value they get from LinkedIn is less than zero, because opportunities cannot find them and they lose out. People think they have the same job and title they did in 2005, when in fact they are much more valuable today. Or are they?
Comment: Non-users don’t get LinkedIn, but maybe they don’t need to, so I don’t feel badly for them.
If you’re a Drive-by LinkedIner, focus on making networking and LinkedIn part of your professional routine. Otherwise you’ll find yourself re-building your network connections every few years. Know that if you give to your network when you don’t need them, your network will work much harder for you when you do need them.
What kind of LinkedIner are you?