She broke my heart when she asked, “Is LinkedIn the same as Career Builder?”

by Rich DeMatteo on February 15, 2011 · 27 comments

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Something very disturbing happened to me last week and after I pulled my jaw up off the floor I realized I needed to share it here.

A recent college graduate that I’m friends with on Facebook had a status that said, “Jobs….Jobs”.  Naturally, I sent a private message to see if I could help her in anyway.  We went back and forth a bit through private messages, talking about the kind of job she was looking for (entry-level marketing) and what she was doing in her job search.

Eventually, I asked her if she was using LinkedIn.  Want to know how she responded?

“Is Linkedin the same as Career Builder?”

Yes, she really asked that.  A recent college graduate had no idea what LinkedIn does, what it is, or even knew it existed.  That just kills me.  It crushes me.  I was almost angry.  Actually no, I was and am still a little bit angry.

I began explaining to her how it works and why it’s an effective career tool.  Her next statement literally sent my jaw about 4 inches lower.

“What is the address (URL)?”

She literally asked me for the website address.  Either she didn’t know how to use google or is really that lazy.

Who is to blame?

Is it her fault?  Her college?  Should LinkedIn take the blame?  Honestly, who is to blame here?

She’s a good kid.  I haven’t known her very long at all, so I can’t comment on her character.  I was a little angry she didn’t go to google and type in Linkedin, or at least guess and type “LinkedIn.com” in her browser.  But, it’s not her fault.

The college she attended has a very active career services department.  I know for a fact it isn’t their fault.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know who is to blame here.  I’m seriously asking for your thoughts and opinions, because I just don’t get it.

We aren’t talking about a small website.  LinkedIn has over 90 million users in 200 countries.  It even started around the same time Facebook did.  Over 80% of recruiters go to Linkedin before anywhere else for talent.  I mean, this is a big time website here.

So why?

What’s your answer?  We can all say that Facebook and Twitter are flashier and more fun, but why else is LinkedIn flat out avoided by many?  Let’s discuss…

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