One recurring theme in my book is the need for job seekers to take online relationships offline. Now, the free iPhone app LunchMeet facilitates offline meetings with your LinkedIn connections. LunchMeet syncs with your LinkedIn account and identifies connections who are available to meet for lunch, coffee or drinks.
I love the concept of LunchMeet and decided to try it last night. I logged in using my LinkedIn username and password. The app prompted me to set a time slot I was available to meet. After choosing a date and time, I searched to see who was available to meet. None of my 1,028 LinkedIn connections appeared in the search results. The only result was a “Vice President of Information Technology” in the Printing industry (LunchMeet identifies people outside of your LinkedIn network who have indicated they are available to meet, but LunchMeet only reveals the title and industry of the people).
Finally, LunchMeet posted the following update to my LinkedIn profile so my connections who aren’t using LunchMeet will see the note about my availability and (presumably) inquire about LunchMeet.
My initial thoughts about LunchMeet:
- I continue to think LunchMeet is a great concept designed to facilitate offline meetings.
- More people need to use LunchMeet for it to become a powerful networking tool.
- Some professionals might shy away from posting their availability out of fear that “unwanted connections” (e.g., vendors) might take advantage of securing meetings with them.
- I’m not inclined to meet with non-connections such as the Vice President of Information Technology in the search results above. My preference is to use LunchMeet to develop the relationships I’ve already created on LinkedIn.
Have you tried LunchMeet? What are your thoughts?