Written by Jesse Sannicandro
LinkedIn has quickly become my latest obsession. I created an account after Dawn Ross, Director of Career Services and Employer Relations, visited my professional writing class to give a presentation on resumes, cover letters, elevator pitches, and LinkedIn, but, it wasn’t until recently that I started becoming an active member.
On a lark, I asked a person who conducted a mock interview with me if I could add him on LinkedIn and he said, “Of course.” After I requested him as a connection, I realized that I only had seven others in my network; two of these were my parents and another was my sister. Not wanting to look like some kind of dweeb, I hurriedly started adding as many people as I could so I wouldn’t have fewer than ten connections.
This is when I started to become fascinated with the idea of LinkedIn. I started adding people willy-nilly. Many of these people were my peers and friends from school, while others were bosses of mine. Most shocking was when old girlfriends started being suggested as “people I may know.” And so, I started going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole that is LinkedIn.
I started thinking, LinkedIn is like Facebook, minus all the social drama. While I was excitedly relating my newfound experience with LinkedIn to someone more savvy in social media than I am, she told me that indiscriminately adding people was a major red flag. I was playing the popularity game, thinking that the more connections I had, the more professional and well-connected I would look. Ultimately, she said, this could end up hurting me. She advised that I should not have random connections unrelated to the field in which I am searching.
I’m still learning. But, after getting some pointers, there are certain major aspects that I plan to focus on, so I can best utilize this professional social networking platform.