14

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.

7
  • 2
    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 '19 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. Feb 27 '19 at 20:27
  • 2
    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. Feb 28 '19 at 14:48
  • 1
    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. Feb 28 '19 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 '19 at 16:54

10 Answers 10

14

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.

4
  • 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 '19 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 '19 at 8:47
  • @BoboDarph I can unfollow the spammers? That's awesome - thanks so much for that.
    – user100600
    Feb 27 '19 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 '19 at 8:51
8

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!

6
  • 3
    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.
    – mmmmmm
    Feb 27 '19 at 10:38
  • 1
    Spammers, not recruiters, is a better word. +1
    – virolino
    Feb 27 '19 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. Feb 27 '19 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. Feb 27 '19 at 15:27
  • 2
    @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 '19 at 5:14
6

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.

2

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.

2

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.

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 concur about getting the messages for jobs without care of location, or skillset. I suspect the recruiters use a bot of some sort that is sending these messages. However, as I mentioned in my own post, this is not unique to linkedin, it's just that it is much easier to message people than on other sites that use your resume info.
    – Dan
    Apr 26 at 14:27
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.

2
  • 3
    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 '19 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 Feb 27 '19 at 12:41
0

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.

This was my exact feeling of LinkedIn for a while. A couple of professional people I know told me to get a LinkedIn profile and I ignored it until I started looking for a job recently. I am a software/website developer.

I decided to start a profile and like you, I got a whole lot of recruiters that spam me. However, diamond in the rough I was able to secure a new job, purely by accident locally and on top of that people I know knew this person and vice versa. So I'm able to make a new job comfortably knowing that people I know also knows this person and the interview process was peaceful.

So I don't know if your experience will be the same, but I did like it. I plan to deactivate my linkedin soon once I start my new job because as you know, I'm getting spammed by recruiters. I just ignore them.

Edit: I also want to add that the recruiter spam is not limited to linkedin. I also get the spam from dice, indeed, and zip websites. I think the major difference though is that on linkedin they can directly message you as oppose to the other sites that can only contact you based on what you have in your resume.

Edit 2: Also linkedin has a unique way of getting badges. You can get a badge for your programming skillsets and be able to show it off. It's a nice touch for people looking at your profile. I think that shows you can do the job and have the skills to do it.

0

Yes, it is important for people in tech. Not mandatory, but helpful getting jobs, if you want to get jobs.

As a tech manager, most of my recruiting and initial interaction with candidates happens on LinkedIn. Keep in mind that the other major options for someone in my role are:

  1. Open call for candidates from the Internet, which gets you 99 useless applications for every 1 useful one, which is super slow and wasteful

  2. Pay recruiters 30% of a year of salary to vet candidates for you, which is super expensive

Therefore my startup and others like it use a "seek" model instead of a "sift" model for finding experienced candidates. I end up doing a lot of my recruiting actively on LinkedIn, often from people I know or people they know that I can ask them about. Many techies don't even have a traditional resume any more, just their LinkedIn page, which is fine with me, it's a lot easier to share with others and there's a lot of other tooling which integrates with it (I use Gem, for example, which is like a candidate management tool that works with LI).

There are other sites where you can search job seekers (indeed, etc.) but they are generally worse - just keyword matching on resumes, instead of the kind of cross-referencing, declared interests, posted work, and other stuff possible in LI). So since LI is the predominant ecosystem, it gives best results when trying to hire using a seek model.

Of course if you are not looking for a job right now and are on LI you might get contacted about jobs you don't want. LI provides various tools for blocking actual spammers. As for real jobs - a) should you ever really not be looking? Unless you are working your perfect job for more money than you can stand, it is probably good to be aware of offers. And b) why be resentful about that? It's like someone offering you a sandwich and you saying "no thanks I just ate," then getting angry at people offering you things seems... weird. Making contacts, posting things you've worked on, and so on builds up a virtual 'rep' for you over time which will make it a lot easier to get jobs, and times are not always super fat even in tech.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .