The LinkedIn Problem

Are you receiving too much promotional SMS lately? Is your email inbox being bombarded by all types of advertising emails? Are you concerned about how every other company around has got your contact details? How are you getting ads which are related to your age, gender or interests? How advertising companies know so much about you when you never register/subscribe for any newsletter etc.? Are these questions bothering you? If yes, I have one more question for you. Are you searching for a job on LinkedIn?

Advent of LinkedIn was welcomed with open arms by job seekers as well as employers. It provides a unique platform where job seekers can post their detailed professional profile for employers who can find suitable candidate easily. It also facilitates cross-border job hunt which is very tough otherwise. Advantages of LinkedIn can’t be covered here; neither it’s my intent to do so.

In order to get attention of companies, job seekers tend to provide some really important information on their LinkedIn profiles that includes, but not limited to, contact numbers and email addresses. In addition, they also provide personal details like age or date of birth, country, gender, etc. This looks a very good approach because the more information you share, the more it will help employer to find out about why you are the correct candidate for the job. Head hunters can post a job on their profile, you can ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on a job post they can have a look at your profile; and that’s where things are going horribly wrong at LinkedIn.

With advertising getting more and more personal, companies are more concerned to publicize themselves among their target audience. For that, they need details of people on massive scale and for same reason; information about people has been treated as a ‘commodity’. Just like you sell your car or home to anybody, information about people is also sold to advertising companies; and those who are involved in this business, LinkedIn has been a blessing.

Just look at some of the posts that I came across at LinkedIn.

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Above post is so generic in its nature that it includes almost all the professionals in Pakistan. For job seekers in Pakistan, Gulf region is generally an ultimate priority and if someone is really looking to hire for GCC from Pakistan, he will have definitely more than 100+ applications for every job post he has. In fact, if the guy who posted this is serious about hiring for GCC, he will publish a detailed job description so that only those apply who are genuinely interested and have the required qualification and experience.

Have a look at this one too.

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You just go to your university and ask final year students about who is interested in this job post. More than 90% of them will raise their hands and will be ready to share their CV for this post. Who doesn’t like to join a multinational company in Singapore or Dubai? And the result is right there; 2311 likes + 783 comments and the one who has posted this, has got access to information of at least 3000+ people. Please, don’t tell me that you seriously consider this guy may go through all of these profiles, please!!

Last, but not the least, here is another one.

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Above post is a ticket to access 21000+ profiles that are connected to the field of Engineering, Finance, etc. These profiles can be further divided on the basis of gender, age, interests, location, etc.

I will advise my fellow job-seekers on LinkedIn not to like/comment on any such post which doesn’t share a job profile. Serious head-hunters always provide job details and they will never ask you to like or comment. If you trust such kind of data gathering posts, it will demoralize you as you will be expecting at least an email or interview call. However, you will never get either of them and this will push you to think negatively, about yourself and the job market and you will end up receiving stuff like this.

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