60% of all jobs are found through networking. As someone in the process of searching for a job, the debate about which networking site is better became suddenly relevant to my life. I try not to spend too much time on either site, but I had established an account at both Facebook and LinkedIn and had built up a decent network. I’ve always really thought of both sites as a waste of time more than a networking tool.
When my job search began, the first thing that popped into my mind was the vast amount of incriminating photos that were posted online. I spent hours untagging myself from my drunken college memories. I spent even more time deleting unruly wall post comments and “sheep throwing” references on my Super Wall. While, I knew that Facebook had a privacy option to keep my information from the public, I still didn’t feel secure. Given the large number of people in my network, and the fact that I pretty much accept anyone who asks, I really wasn’t sure who was an “insider” and how many of them were potential recruiters.
LinkedIn was completely the opposite experience. I spent hours building up my profile and matching it up to my resume. I dug back into all my past employment ventures and started getting back in touch with former co-workers. The main complaint about LinkedIn is that you don’t spend any time on the site. And it’s true; to get the LinkedIn experience you really just need to update your profile once in a while and accept or deny connection requests. However, I was actually surprised to see how many of my contacts had already signed up for LinkedIn. I think this was mainly due to my business and consulting background. Many of my contacts are older and missed the Facebook boat; the only way to connect with them online is through LinkedIn.
So I guess the lesson learned here is that Facebook is for fun and LinkedIn is for getting a job. The caveat, however, is that if I weren’t looking for a job, I probably wouldn’t even touch my LinkedIn profile. Once I become employed again, I’ll rejoice when I can finally throw a sheep at my best friend and rejoin the group “I Don’t Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look like a Dumbass.”