Friday, January 20, 2012

Hiding on LinkedIn

I ran into an article today on BusinessInsider titled GET HIRED: What 6 Hot Tech Companies Want To See In Your LinkedIn Profile. There are other similar articles out there that discuss how to use LinkedIn effectively to find a job.

I used to use LinkedIn pretty heavily, subscribing to a lot of groups, following the messages, and answering some questions from time to time. My profile was pretty filled with info. I even used to add links to my blog and other relevant sites.

One day I gave up on LinkedIn. I quit every group that wasn't exclusive (for example, my research group from grad school is exclusive to alumni members). I removed everything from my profile except for previous employers and schools. I even generalized my job titles to remove keywords.

Why? Headhunters and recruiters were getting really annoying. I was getting atleast 1-2 e-mails and phone calls a day. If I got job postings that were atleast somewhat relevant to my skills, experience, and interests, I wouldn't mind. However, it appeared most head hunters simply spam job postings to as many people as they can. Headhunters/recruiters seemed to scour groups to find people to contact and would e-mail people based on specific keywords in their profile.

For example, my job title at one point was listed as "Linux System Software Engineer". What job postings would I get? I would get job postings for "System Administrator", "System Engineer", "Linux Field Engineer", etc. Basically anything that matched any keyword in my job title. When I was unsubscribing to groups, I realized that one of the groups was even started by a recruiter.

So, I now hide on LinkedIn, keeping a shell of a profile so only ex-coworkers and friends can find me.

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