Is LinkedIn Becoming Just Another Resume Site?

 

I have blogged quite a bit about LinkedIn being an important site to maintain a professional presence on. We’ve discussed what to include or not include in a profile and why it’s a good idea to give a comprehensive picture of what your skills, job history, and education entail. So why is LinkedIn under fire from job seekers as well as employers?

Sites like Career Builder and Monster have been around for quite some time. Typically, these sites offer free memberships to people who are seeking jobs while they charge employers to post job listings. This makes sense, right? The job seeker and the employer both benefit, as the seeker is able to browse and apply for many different listings, and the employer gets a wide variety of applications to choose from.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, has always billed itself as a place for people to make professional connections. At first, the ability to look for a job or a new employee on the site was just a perk. Now, LinkedIn is turning job hunting into a business entity. While it does seem like a natural fit for the site, since the focus is on professional skills, some people feel as though LinkedIn is going about this shift the wrong way.

If you choose to post your resume or apply for jobs on LinkedIn, there is the opportunity to pay roughly $30/month to have your resume bumped to the top of the pile on job listings that you apply for. However, employers can see by a special badge that is assigned to your profile that you have in fact paid for this upgrade. So while your application may be more visible, employers are also able to tell that you paid. This may accomplish the results that you’re looking for – employers may look more closely at your application. But it may also have the opposite effect. Employers may discount people with paid memberships, assuming that they are underqualified and need to pay to have their application bumped to the top of the proverbial pile rather than let their experience speak for itself.

So essentially, LinkedIn is profiting not only from companies who choose to pay to advertise open positions on the site, but also from job-seekers who pay their monthly fee.

So does all of this mean that you shouldn’t use LinkedIn? No. I think it’s still important to maintain a great presence on the site. While it can be used for job hunting, it’s still a great place to network and showcase your skills. If you are using the site to find or post a job, understand how the process works specifically on LinkedIn and consider carefully whether the paid membership is worth it. Also, if you are an employer, it’s always important to review as many candidates as you can. You never know who could be the perfect fit for your company.

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

Facebook Fatigue: Do You Have It?

 

Social media, Facebook in particular, has seen an amazing rise in popularity over the past few years. And as with anything that gets very popular very quickly, people are beginning to feel burned out. Facebook is no exception to this rule.

Facebook hasn’t exactly helped its own cause, either. Just in its first year as a publicly traded company, the network rolled out many changes – much to the chagrin of users who don’t like the new or different features. These changes often include tweaks to the network’s privacy policy, which has caused an uproar many times.

Here are some reasons that you might be experiencing Facebook fatigue:

Oversharing

Facebook invites people to share every single detail of their lives with the world. While it has certainly opened a door to better communication with friends and family, it has also forced us to learn more about them then we may have ever wanted to know. From political views to bathroom habits, it seems like nothing is safe from Facebook. Seeing this chronic oversharing can make anyone feel burned out from using social networks.

Privacy Concerns

As I mentioned earlier, Facebook changes its structure and subsequently its privacy practices on a pretty regular basis. While users can control their privacy settings (for the most part) Facebook often makes it so that you actually have to go to your settings and change them in order to maintain the level of privacy that you had previously. Many Facebook nay-sayers talk about the network not caring about the privacy of its users – making it hard to protect their online privacy. Are they right?

Too Much Interaction

Being an active user on Facebook forces us to interact with people. While yes, this is the point of social networking, sometimes feeling like we have to respond to comments or post details that we would rather not share can lead to burnout. While yes, you do choose how much you want to put out there, sometimes Facebook can make us feel pressured to put details of our lives into the world that we might not always be comfortable with.

Facebook is an amazing tool for staying in touch, sharing information and photos, and setting up events. It has certainly made a big impact on how we live our lives. But it’s a good idea for each of us to set our own personal boundaries for making social networking a pleasant experience.

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

Taming Tech-Age Troubles: When NOT to DIY

 

For small business owners, “do it yourself” (DIY) tends to be the default when it comes to managing a business. After all, budgets are tight (or completely nonexistent) and we want to keep an eye on where we’re spending money. Taking care of certain business tasks on your own is typically fine, but some things are best left to the professionals.

How do you know if you’re better off hiring someone else to take care of an issue?

  • It will be more time-consuming to complete it yourself.
  • It requires a higher level of technical skill than you possess.
  • The task stresses you out.

Out-of-the-Ordinary Computer Issues

You’re probably comfortable installing updates when your computer prompts you to, but if your computer’s gone wonky, you need to back up data, or want to install software, you might be better off calling the pros.

Companies like Geek Squad offer affordable computer troubleshooting and assistance, and can remove viruses and spyware or help you set up a wireless network. Prices start at under $200, and you have the option for remote assistance.

Graphic or Web Design

When I first formed my marketing company, I was convinced if I understood the basics of using Photoshop, I could design my logo and website. Ha. Twenty hours later, I was a sweating mess, cussing at my computer. (There’s a clue you shouldn’t DIY!) Now I leave the design work to professionals who can complete what took me days in just a matter of hours. My site and branding look more professional, and not as if a five-year-old created them.

Hundreds of graphic design and web design companies will be more than happy to share their portfolios for your perusal; pick the one whose style best reflects your desired design. Or go with a crowdsourcing design site like 99designs. You enter the specs on what you’re looking for (modern-style logo using green and blue) and dozens of designers will submit options. You choose the one you like best and pay a flat fee (typically under $500).

WordPress or Website Issues

While plenty of easy-to-use content management systems (CMS) exist to help even the least tech-savvy entrepreneur create a website, sometimes issues crop up that fall outside your scope. I know I’ve had trouble editing WordPress themes to change the color or remove a sidebar. The danger of DIY here is you can screw up your website, which won’t help you attract new visitors or clients!

Fantasktic solves WordPress issues like those pesky 404 pages, as well as assists with migrating your website to a new host, for $99 per issue. Not bad, considering how much time you’d waste trying to fix it yourself.

Social Media Management

I know plenty of small business owners who are adept at updating their Twitter and Facebook pages. Kudos to them. But I know others who either only update once a month, or have given up completely. Let me be clear: You need a presence on social media, whether or not you “get it.” If your customers are spending time on social sites, you need a regularly-updated profile wherever they hang out.

That being said, if you’re not the best person for the job, it’s worth the expense to hire a social media professional or firm to take over the management of your accounts. With a little help from someone with social media savvy, you stay “top of mind” with your followers while you build brand recognition online.

Accounting

Again, some business owners have no issue handling this task, but for those with a bigger staff or more complex accounting concerns, doing it themselves can prove disastrous—and could even lead to an audit. Keeping detailed accounting records of expenses and income is a requirement for every business, so if you’re not able to juggle your own finances, find someone who can.

The idea of hiring a small business accountant might make you cringe, but many work on demand, meaning you only pay when they update your accounts. That makes them more affordable than full-time accountants.

SEO

This is another field that might require more technical skill than you’re ready to deal with. Great search engine optimization (SEO) requires ongoing development of your content marketing and keywords. If you don’t have the time or understanding to work on moving up search results, hire a professional.

Investing money, especially hundreds or thousands of dollars, can be daunting for a small business. But in critical areas essential to your business’ growth, it’s worth the investment; spending a little can net you big results.

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s also the founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and contributes to several sites, including ChamberofCommerce.com, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, CorpNet, Small Business Trends, and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.