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The coach: ‘Is LinkedIn a waste of time?’

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AJ careers expert Matthew Turner explains how to get the most out of the pre-eminent careers social network

Is actively engaging on LinkedIn worth it? I am not a natural on social media, and often feel swamped by it.

Matthew turner

Matthew turner

LinkedIn has its detractors who say its claims to be a job-finding tool are overrated. Like all social media, it can be a considerable drain on your energy and bandwidth, with little gain. It all depends what you need it for. 

In terms of architecture, those who recruit find it helpful, as can those who want to use the groups functions for building specialist areas for discussion (so for example if you want to share knowledge about architects working on education projects, setting up a LinkedIn group can be an effective way to do this). 

You can also build up profile as a specialist. If you set up a group and actively pursue discussion topics on a given issue you are close to – be it stone masonry detailing or architectural regulation in Dubai – others will see you as a ‘go to’ expert in this area, which can eventually bring all sorts of openings.

But, ultimately, for me the most convincing reason for being on LinkedIn is that it provides you with an up-to-date ‘little black book’, tracking where people you know are currently working. People tend to move around in all sorts of interesting ways, transforming to be competitors, suppliers, potential collaborators, and even potential clients. 

So don’t go mad about it, but keep your listing up to date, be specific about any specialist areas, and accept invitations from people you actually know.

AJ coach Matthew Turner is an architect and careers consultant who runs the Building on Architecture consultancy. To contact him with your questions, tweet @TheAJcoach or email him in confidence at hello@buildingonarchitecture.com

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