LinkedIn, Tinder and the Field of Dreams

As a career coach, I frequently get asked the question “Does LinkedIn actually help with finding a job?”
The answer is a resounding YES; however, I have noticed that many job seekers misunderstand the site and, as a result, have limited success.
There is a general assumption that, because recruiters are heavily using LinkedIn, that today’s job seeker can simply post a profile to get employed.  I call this phenomenon the “Field of Dreams Mentality,” as it’s built on the premise “If you build it, they will come.”
Sadly, in today’s market, there is no guaranteed easy way to find a job and tools like LinkedIn are only effective if you are willing to put in the time and effort, not only to make a strong profile, but to tap into LinkedIn’s true power: the ability to use technology to facilitate human connections.
In many ways, LinkedIn is more like an online dating site than the field of dreams.  Don’t worry, it’s nothing like Tinder, but viewing your job search as a relationship building exercise, rather than a transactional application, will generally render much stronger results.
Take OK Cupid for example-This free dating site allows members to search for potential partners based on factors like personal interests, life goals and religion.  It’s essentially a database of eligible (or mostly eligible) singles seeking partners with similar life and relationship goals both small and big.
Once you find someone you are interested in, it’s up to you to build the relationship by moving forward at a pace which is comfortable for both parties.  This process could start with a series of over-analytical messages and awkward blind dates at coffee shops, but if you are strategic in who you seek out, it could transition to a serious relationship with marriage potential.  By that stage, Ok Cupid is no longer involved.  The technology served its purpose: it found you someone to date.  It was up to you to transition the conversation offline and build a real relationship.
LinkedIn is very similar: create a profile that attracts your ideal job or employer and you may generate some passive interest, but if you want to increase your chances of finding your dream job, use LinkedIn as your entry point and focus on networking and building professional relationships.
Not sure where to start?  Fortunately DU’s Career Services team offers great LinkedIn support and resources.  To learn more:

1)      Join our Alumni LinkedIn group (students are welcome too!)

2)      Sign up for our “Create a Professional and Compelling LinkedIn Profile” event coming up on April 9th

3.)     Check out this informational video “Leveraging Alumni with LinkedIn”

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