do serious people still use Linkedin?
March 16, 2022 8:31 AM   Subscribe

When I was active in the recruiting world some ten years ago, Linkedin was an important tool. It was how recruiters identified people to headhunt - at least at levels below C-level exec - and it was a necessary part of one's public information profile. Is this still true?

I ask because it is looking likely that I am going to have to get back into the working world, after several years out of it. It's a... daunting prospect.

For reasons, I nuked my Linkedin profile when I left my last official job several years ago. I signed back up just now and it looks like it's mostly fluff: articles, listicles, and pointless comments from people I don't know. This could just be because I haven't connected the account to my contacts yet, I realize.

Anyway, my question is for the lawyers, comms people, freelancers and other non-techies: is it even worth doing? My regular professional experience isn't recent enough to be headhunted anyway. I'm not sure what I'd be using it for, but I guess for finding out where people I know work, getting ideas, and being visible to them as "looking"...
posted by fingersandtoes to Work & Money (23 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It's certainly relevant in tech, so you can be found by recruiters. No-one cares about your listicles.
posted by StephenF at 8:36 AM on March 16, 2022 [13 favorites]

Yes, recruiters still use Linkedin to track down prospects, though it is based on profiles job titles/companies/keywords.

The dumb fluffy listicle crap that goes down in the actual feed I've never used in my life, seems to be for more sales focused people who are really trying to self-promote and "network" but in my case it's just been about maintaining an updated profile, and using that to apply for jobs or letting recruiters find me.
posted by windbox at 8:37 AM on March 16, 2022 [8 favorites]

I have a couple of young adult kids, and it's been useful for them to use me as a springboard, in order to find connections to companies that interest them.

I don't really get the whole social aspect, on a day-to-day basis, but it has been really useful for tracking down old friends and workmates.

I don't intend to change jobs any time soon, but I keep my profile current so that other people can find me, and I look credible when my kids connect to someone through me. *shrug*
posted by wenestvedt at 8:50 AM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm a freelancer. Like others are saying, I use it for my profile only, and keep it current. It feels useful at that level, but I'd never waste my time engaging with the feed or comments or whatever other nonsense there is.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:53 AM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

I've got an interview in four minutes with a company who found me on LinkedIn. So yeah, people still find jobs that way. That's all I use it for, though. You can skip over everything on the front page, the lists and pointless posts and so on. The only thing that matters are your personal profile (essentially your resume - I didn't even send a resume to this company I'm interviewing with because they just printed off my LinkedIn profile) and your inbox.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:57 AM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

People have attempted to headhunt me a few times off my LinkedIn profile. If you're open to being contacted for those purposes, sure, spend a few minutes setting up a reasonable profile. (Or, if you prefer to host your own prettier portfolio/resume somewhere, set up a really basic profile and link out to it.)

I absolutely do not look at or engage with the content feed - that's likely all nonsense unless, I suppose, you find when you hook up your contacts that one of them is for some reason creating a stream of engaging, interesting content and then putting it...there, for some reason?
posted by Stacey at 8:59 AM on March 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Just a few weeks ago, a recruiter contacted my wife - who is not in a techy field - via LinkedIn and yesterday she received a job offer.
posted by Hatashran at 9:00 AM on March 16, 2022 [5 favorites]

Yes, LinkedIn is definitely still in use in the working world.
posted by woodvine at 9:05 AM on March 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Like others have said, you can basically ignore the social media stuff. In my field (legal), recruiters actively use LinkedIn and it's a useful tool for a job search.

I had to scrounge for recommendations, and LinkedIn was also a good low-key way to approach former co-workers.
posted by mersen at 9:14 AM on March 16, 2022 [3 favorites]

nthing what everyone else says: the feed content is of limited value for professional purposes, the groups have been of negligible use to me, having my profile on LinkedIn has been highly useful. (I actually had to trim mine severely early on, due to the number of scrapers who would ping me with jobs that didn't have anything to do with my experience...they were sent to me because I was an editor for the Java Developer Connection and the headhunters' algorithms thought they'd found a Java developer. No, no, no, no, no.)
posted by Tailkinker to-Ennien at 9:14 AM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm in marketing/comms and yes people use LinkedIn. Also, as both a job seeker and someone on the hiring side, I find their jobs board to be the best of the bunch for generalist job boards (which, to be clear, is damming with faint praise).

The groups and feed are mostly stupid but as I have continued to refine my profile (especially what roles I have in the "open to work" section and in my summary) it does suggest companies worth following.
posted by misskaz at 9:46 AM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Apologies for the double post: I also like using it to see if there are folks in my network or connected to first-degree connections at companies where I am considering applying. I haven't had a ton of luck on that front but have gotten some good warnings/intel on companies I was interested in from those kinds of connections. If you see a job post, click on the company name, then click on their people tab and LinkedIn will display if anyone in that list is connected to you or someone in your network.
posted by misskaz at 9:50 AM on March 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I work in a large professional services firm, HQ in the U.K., but with offices all over the world. LinkedIn remains one of our primary recruitment sources.
posted by JJZByBffqU at 9:57 AM on March 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: LinkedIn for profile and fill-in
GlassDoor for company and salary band research for confirmation
Jobscan to test your resume through ATS filters
Fishbowl for complaining that someone insn't in FAANG (or MANGA, dependent on your anagram choice)
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:06 AM on March 16, 2022 [17 favorites]

Best answer: Yes, definitely. I do a fair amount of hiring and if someone doesn’t have a LinkedIn (with a large network) it’s a red flag. This is for professional “desk” jobs in an industry where relationships are important, YMMV. People even apply for jobs just be giving the URL of their LinkedIn in lieu of a
resume; or even if a resume is submitted internally we will just send around their LinkedIn.

Outside of recruiting, I am constantly looking at the LinkedIn’s of clients and partners to see who they are; i.e. before a call with someone new.
posted by amaire at 11:02 AM on March 16, 2022 [3 favorites]

Every REALLY serious recruiting convo I've had in the past 6 years has started with "we found your profile on LinkedIn and you look like JUST what we need". I've taken two of those offers.
posted by ersatzkat at 12:11 PM on March 16, 2022 [5 favorites]

Same experience as ersatzkat. I get the impression LinkedIn is the only resource that recruiters are using these days.

Some tips I like to share:

- ONLY connect to people you've worked with or know personally. Cultivate that list carefully.
- Do NOT accept connection requests from recruiters, unless the previous tip applies.
- Talk over LI's internal message gizmo and don't share your personal email address unless you're ready to proceed with a company.
- Recruiters will contact you blindly. If you set the "I'm looking!" flag, you'll get 3x the contacts.
- Recruiters will contact you blindly, as in they pay no attention to your location or preferences about contact. Ignoring them when they do this is not impolite. Or, just use the "no thanks!" one-click response.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:36 PM on March 16, 2022 [4 favorites]

Hi! In the advertising world--mid-level, not C-suite--and I use it regularly. I post new work that I'm proud of (aka that I want recruiters to see) and I occasionally like things posted by agencies I'd like to work at (to get the algorithms to show my profile to their recruiters). And I get hit up by recruiters all the time via LinkedIn using these methods. I post work maybe once a quarter, and I sign on to like other people's shit maybe once a month, so it's not a huge lift to maintain your presence.

Your profile doesn't need to be hugely robust--a watered down version of your resume. Just enough for recruiters to know that your work is relevant and to make sure that you are real and connected in your industry. Connect with as many people you know as you can (so your profile doesn't look like a bot), have a decent profession-looking photo (not some crappy cropped candid), and turn on the 'looking for work' setting.

Agreed with the above that I often look up people outside of my company to see what relevant info I can glean from their profiles to give me the lay of the land before kicking off conversations with them.
posted by greta simone at 2:06 PM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Hey there — I’m an academic librarian, and I am contacted a few times per year to apply for things based on my LinkedIn. Rarely is it a clear fit, usually a recruiter who just keyed in “library,” but every once in a while it’s something interesting.

As others have mentioned above, I do use it for “who do I know who knows Person X” stuff. Also for general intel on orgs.
posted by cupcakeninja at 3:00 PM on March 16, 2022

I found my last three jobs via LinkedIn. I really only use it for that - job postings and connecting with recruiters. I don't engage further. If you're going on the job market I recommend keeping your profile up to date and using their job search module (along with other job hunting tools out there like Indeed, etc).
posted by nayantara at 3:19 PM on March 16, 2022

A little out of left field, but I’m an artist and search for galleries around the US that I want to rep me on LI. And they in turn can see my professional background of course. I don’t use the feed or post new work regularly there. It’s been a good source for researching and reaching out.
posted by artdrectr at 5:27 PM on March 16, 2022

Like others, I ignore all of the 'social' stuff, but I do keep an active and current profile. I'm not seriously looking for work but keeping my eyes open and applying for things that look really interesting and, every single time I've applied somewhere, someone from the organisation has viewed my profile. When I'm considering hiring people, I check for a profile on LinkedIn and use that to test consistency with their resume etc.

In short, useful but annoying. Worth spending a small amount of time to set up and keep current.
posted by dg at 5:34 PM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yes I still used linkedIn, but also: did people ever use the social media part? Public posts on linkedIn are like my filter for bozos: if you posted more than once in the past year, I automatically don't trust you to be good at your job.

I use linkedIn to:

1. keep my resume up to date
2. understand the job my coworkers claim to have
3. understand education and past experience of people i encounter in slack, or see on the news
4. find jobs to apply to when between jobs
5. setting the 'im looking for work' flag so recruiters can find me when they search for roles i can fill
6. talk to recruiters who initiate conversations with me, though these days i mostly ignore them as im gainfully employed.
posted by pwnguin at 12:00 AM on March 21, 2022

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