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From my time spent on LinkedIn recently, I get the feeling that most users are in marketing / digital marketing, sales, product management, accounting, and recruiting.

Is LinkedIn important for software engineers, though? Or do people in tech meet in different spaces, say, Stack Overflow's careers website?

My newsfeed on LinkedIn just seems to be a never-ending stream of recruiters and product managers saying very boastful things about themselves and their colleagues, e.g. saying they're remarkable, phenomenal, extraordinary. It's kind of annoying and I'd rather deactivate my LinkedIn account if it's not useful to me. It sometimes even feels like a slightly more professional version of Facebook.

  • LinkedIn is only important if you're interested in following the sycophantic ramblings of unoriginal group thinkers, or if you are captivated with and motivated by corporate "Thought Leaders" and "Influencers". – joeqwerty Feb 27 at 12:11
  • It's the Microsoft of job sites, quite literally since they took it over. Many people use it to find work and indeed for a lot of them it's the default option, but you no more need it for your career than you need, say, Outlook to send an e-mail. – Matthew Barber Feb 27 at 20:27
  • I will just add a comment: Don't let your LinkedIn profile become a new Facebook profile, keep it professional and don't feel bad for not "connecting" with everyone. – gustavovelascoh Feb 28 at 14:48
  • The main (and this is big) benefit of Linkedin is it's acting as a rolodex for business contacts. Imagine you lose your job but suddenly you can contact every developer you've ever worked with for references and networking. It also acts as a nice visual display of your skills, although this can work both ways if you accidentally make a fool of yourself. – Canadian Coder Feb 28 at 15:45
  • What's your question? Important for what? What problem are you trying to solve? Note that Workplace is not the right place to get opinions. – Chris Feb 28 at 16:54
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My last two contracts were from Linkedin contacts. Found my current job through a Linkedin ad. IMO a good Linkedin profile and a healthy set of contacts is very helpful in finding a job in the IT market. Protip: just unfollow the spammers. I also report posts that are junk/unfit for LI.

  • Same here. I still mainly use Jobserve, but Linked in is getting more useful. Get a good photo (not a selfie, or you-in -the-middle-distance). Pro-tip for contractors: don't include any details for your current position, unless you've been there a good while, or have a long term extension. – Justin Feb 27 at 8:43
  • @Justin what is the risk if I'm a contractor and list details about my current position? I'm pretty much exclusively looking for temp / contract roles, so was curious to know your reasoning – user100600 Feb 27 at 8:47
  • @BoboDarph I can unfollow the spammers? That's awesome - thanks so much for that. – user100600 Feb 27 at 8:48
  • @user100600, Unscrupulous agents will contact your current client / boss and offer cheaper / better contractors. Or worse, trash your reputation to get you fired (so they can get commission on your replacement). This advice doesn't apply if you're working for a really big company, or through one which has a preferred supplier list / exclusive with your current agency. As I work through my own UK Limited company, that's always at the top of the list, sometimes with a sketchy description of current technology. – Justin Feb 27 at 8:51
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It's just another avenue, you don't rely on it as a solution to a problem.

6

Were newspaper ads in job seeking pages listing your qualifications essential to find a job?

New (social) media are just another form of self advertisement combined with networking to multiply the chances.

None are essential or important.

They may however raise probabilities of getting hired and that's all they do.

5

Having a Linkedin profile helps you get found by recruiters. That is sometimes quite annoying, but in the end it's how you find the best jobs, in my experience.

Way more helpful than having a profile is USING it. Stay connected to people, congratulate them on achievements, send them birthday wishes, and ask how they are faring. Every now and then, an opportunity will arise in the conversation. You can take that yourself or refer one of your contacts. In short: build a network!

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    That feels like spamming people to me. If I received those thanks and wishes I would likely block you or at least note you as a bad prospect. – user151019 Feb 27 at 10:38
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    Spammers, not recruiters, is a better word. +1 – virolino Feb 27 at 11:11
  • @Mark: really, would you? That strikes me as odd. My former colleagues seem to be happy to hear from me and to chat a bit. Some are rather terse, some are very chatty, but they are friendly. – Jörg Neulist Feb 27 at 15:26
  • @virolino: Yes, most recruiters don't research very well. But some do. For me the gold-to-garbage ratio is worth it. – Jörg Neulist Feb 27 at 15:27
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    @JörgNeulist: I am happy for you that you found gold. I have yet to find any gold, but the garbage is mountains-sized. 99.99% of it is from people I do not know, not from colleagues to say "Hi". – virolino Feb 28 at 5:14
1

My short answer, LinkedIn is not important for any people. The biggest experience which I had by using LinkedIn was getting insane amounts of job-related spam. I still have the account just because I am too lazy to delete it. I am also a procrastinator.

It is much better to use dedicated sites, if you want to find a job. Even better, search for companies that you want to work for, and contact them directly.

The worst experience on LinkedIn (happens all the time): the recruiters do not read the profile. They do not care about the information you write. It does not matter to them where you are, where you want to go. Many times, it does not even matter that they write to you in a language which you do not even understand.

Worst recruiter: she asked me explicitly to lie about the professional experience I had, just so she could land a contract and get some money. I refused her and removed her from the list of contacts. I also rejected her new attempts to become connected.

Edited to add: You practically answered your own question in the question itself. Your own conclusion is the conclusion of most real professionals I know.

1

I was actually contacted last month by an Amazon recruiter via LinkedIn. The reason for contact was because my credentials and years of experience appeared to be a good match for one of their job openings.

I think the chances of direct contact by a reputable company really depends on your type of experience, and the number of years worked. In my case I had database experience and turns out they needed additional experience to include that outside my actual job description.

For entry-level jobs, people just out of college, or those in the common fields that are saturated with applicants- I suspect Linked is used to view your credentials after you've been selected for an interview but not necessarily as a tool to contact you for employment.

0

Linkedin is not just a good way of finding a job or being contacted for a job but it is also a tool used by recruiters when you apply in a different way.

One of the first things we've done in the past when inviting someone to join us for an interview is to google them.

We work in a dynamic and friendly team and we want to ensure we don't have just a good technician but also someone we can enjoy spending our work days with.

If in that case we google the person and we find their linkedin profile, if it is good and professional that just satisfies the tech prospect of it. If there is a Facebook account found, we just look around as well to see how they interact with others, if there are any newspaper articles, you get to know the person.

For example, one of my close friends when he came for the interview at my previous job, we looked him up and found that he had broken his leg during his honeymoon, this was something we raised during the interview and it also helped bringing down his nervousness.

Interview is a 2 way street, they research you and if you can, you research them.

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    I am surprised that anyone would be made less nervous by having a personal injury and their honeymoon brought up in a job interview! – Quentin Feb 27 at 11:59
  • @Quentin it was the circumstances surrounding their incident and their good sense of humour, which highlighted how he was a good match to the company environment we were looking for – fireshark519 Feb 27 at 12:41
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Yes. In my opinion, it is by far the best way to find jobs in tech, as well as getting found by recruiters. Every week I'm contacted by at least one recruiter asking if I'm interested in new opportunities, even though I have set my profile to "not looking for a new job". There's simply tons of jobs in there.

I found my three last jobs in there, including one abroad. So, I think that yes, it is very important.

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