Why Obama Visiting LinkedIn To Have A Town Hall Made Sense To Talk About Jobs

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner hosts President Barack Obama at a company town hall broadcast publicly on the internet on Sept. 26, 2011.

Earlier today, President Barack Obama visited the Computer History Museum to talk about jobs and the state of the economy in the United States. Now, regardless of your political views, there’s no denying that we are in some tough times. While this may seem like anything but a good photo opportunity for the sitting president to show how “hip” he is to technology, I would like to believe that there is so much more symbolism behind Mr. Obama’s appearance with this particular tech company.

But let’s face it, it’s not that big of a stretch, is it? LinkedIn is one of the top technology companies out there and has done something remarkable in getting people back to work. With an unemployment rate in this country currently centered around 9.1%, there are only 32 million jobs available. The old days of finding a job are no longer viable and we know that the best way to be offered a job is usually through who you know. After all, the adage is correct “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and LinkedIn is on point to help provide that information. Sites like Monster.com, CareerBuilders, and Yahoo! HotJobs have fallen away at the wayside and no longer are suitable or relevant to helping connect recruiters, employers and job seekers in a hip and relevant manner.

But why? Why LinkedIn? Because it’s trying to innovate the way that job seekers find employment or expand their network. Before, sites like Monster.com were cool because they offered businesses a cabinet filled with resumes at their disposal, but with little interaction. But what has happened since the days of the recession? Job seekers need more and while other career sites have become more cluttered and older, there’s just not enough information and helpful resources for those that need it. And that’s the service that LinkedIn has solved.

President Obama at LinkedIn for America Jobs Act Town Hall

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the latest infographic to come out of LinkedIn in terms of helping to find “economic opportunity” here in the US…some key facts: the top industries of this network include higher education, marketing/advertising, information technology, and healthcare. For those interested in working for small businesses, then LinkedIn is your route since over 4 million users are employed by small businesses and that just keeps growing year after year. Lastly, this social network loves to give back to returning veterans as well with over 360,000 veterans on the site across a wide array of professions. So LinkedIn has its advantages over Monster.com and its other compatriots.

As I was watching the LinkedIn Town Hall, I felt that having this meeting live-streamed and shared across the Internet while partnering with one of the top sites for finding a job and getting connected was a sign of the times for folks to realize the power that LinkedIn has accumulated over the years to help folks find jobs, Sure, it’s a competitive marketplace, but what this service does is offer you the ability to post your resume, receive critical recommendations from your friends, co-workers, associates and other referrers to help you stand out, And who knows what else will happen in their future, but they have helped shape the way people view their resumes.

It was very well-timed and demonstrated that LinkedIn and the White House understood the technology that people are using to get the information they want to share and read. Could they have done this with, say, Facebook? Probably not –  it would have been the wrong audience, both watching and also there in person. What about YouTube? Not conducive to talking about jobs. Twitter? Been there and done that and those wouldn’t be relevant to the conversation about employment.

And that’s why it all makes sense.

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