If you’re like most college students (or most other people, for that matter), chances are good that you spend more time on Facebook than you do on LinkedIn. But if you’re concerned with furthering your career (and you should be), it’s time to switch over to a more professional network. We share 20 great reasons why you need to be spending your time on LinkedIn much more than Facebook, and we hope they motivate you to make a change for the better.
LinkedIn was created to connect professionals in online networking; Facebook was not. Although both services have evolved to include elements of each other, they do still remain true to their original purpose, and LinkedIn excels at presenting a professional front.
Although experts are increasingly flocking to Facebook, it’s still hard for some people to take the site seriously. On LinkedIn, the setting is much more open to gaining expert status and credibility. Forums, question and answer sections, and groups make it simpler to connect and share your knowledge in a credible way.
Although some colleges take a lax approach to social media, many still frown on Facebook connections between students and professors. But on LinkedIn, connections are typically seen as a positive thing, opening you up to the resources that your professors can share with you, including positive recommendations.
Facebook is on track to hit the 1 billion-user mark this year, a figure that basically obliterates LinkedIn’s comparatively small 135 million plus users. One might think that more users means more exposure, and that would be correct, but on Facebook, you can’t be sure that the millions of users are actually online to hear about your professional life. On LinkedIn, you can expect to reach a more targeted audience that is connected to you, interested in your work, and willing to listen to what you have to say.
A recommendation on either LinkedIn or Facebook is a great way to put your best foot forward, but you’re simply more likely to land one on LinkedIn. Recent stats show that 36% of LinkedIn users make a recommendation, compared to 27% of Facebook users. LinkedIn also has a 57% interested recommendation response, compared with 42% on Facebook.
While on Facebook, you may be surfing to find out about the latest cat video or your friend’s wedding photos, but LinkedIn tends to lead to a more task-driven visit. Users log in to check out job and collaboration opportunities, people to hire, and relevant industry news.
While you can search for people and terms on Facebook, LinkedIn really shines in this category. You can search for companies, find people to connect with, get news, and more on LinkedIn. Your profile is also highly searchable, and represents a great tool for allowing recruiters to find you.
Although LinkedIn functions as an online resume, it’s also a time saver when it comes to creating one that you can print and hand out. Use this feature to stop neglecting your paper resume and have something to hand in.
Experts report that students who regularly surf Facebook do not do as well on tests. In fact, some students suffered by as much as an entire grade. They believe that using the social media site takes up valuable study time.
Facebook and LinkedIn are both experiencing growth in applications shared on their sites. But LinkedIn stands out for the number of candidates who actually apply. You can expect recruiters to go where the interest is, which clearly rests with LinkedIn.
Facebook is fun, but for most users, it takes up much more time than it should. In a comparison, researchers found that Facebook visits resulted in stays of 405 minutes per visitor, compared with 17 minutes on LinkedIn. It is much wiser to spend 17 focused minutes on LinkedIn than several hours frittering your time away on Facebook.
In a recent comparison of job search markers on Facebook and LinkedIn, LinkedIn beat Facebook handily in every category. The most interesting and revealing, however, was social employee hires, with LinkedIn earning 73% and Facebook at a low 22%.
While your friends on Facebook may be sharing music videos that you scroll right past, LinkedIn works hard to bring you content that is the most relevant to you. The site sends emails to users with the most-shared news, groups that belong to your job focus, and contacts you’re likely to be interested in getting to know.
Facebook is growing in this respect with better Pages, but LinkedIn still wins the battle of employer research. You find out who works there, who used to work there, whether or not you have any connections within the company, and more.