Butcher, baker, candlestick maker; Out of sync with LinkedIn


Count LinkedIn among those social networking sites that I’ve never fully grasped.

It calls itself “The world’s largest professional network: 300 million strong.” It would appear 299,999,999 others are getting a lot more out of than I am.

According to one Internet definition, LinkedIn’s goal “is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally.”

The network allows users to create profiles and “connections” to each other in an online social network which can potentially represent real-world professional relationships.

These connections can then be used in a number of ways, including:

  • Obtaining introductions to connections of connections;
  • Finding jobs, people and business opportunities; and
  • Allowing employers to list jobs and search for potential candidates.

I joined a few years ago because, well, I don’t know why. I suppose because others I knew had done so.

It’s really served me no other purpose than to occasionally reconnect with a former classmate or colleague.

LinkedIn, apparently feeling I’m always looking to better my position in life, also regularly sends me emails titled “Jobs you may be interested in”.

Whatever algorithm LinkedIn is using to generate this missive would seem to need some tweaking, however.

Over the past month here are some of the jobs LinkedIn believes I might be interested in (and, mind you, I’m a writer who handles marketing and media communications for my employer – all of which is clearly stated on my LinkedIn profile):

  • General surgeon;
  • Certified public accountant;
  • Director of health services;
  • College director;
  • Commercial loan underwriter; and
  • Director of engineering services and transmission planning.

As near as I can tell, LinkedIn figures out who has a college degree and who doesn’t, then it shunts the appropriate open positions to those in each category.

How else does one explain why a networking site would think someone with a Journalism degree might be “interested” in being a general surgeon, a CPA or an engineer?

Of all the emails LinkedIn has sent me over the past few months with “Jobs you may be interested in,” only one position has been even remotely close to what I actually do.

Perhaps I should be flattered that LinkedIn thinks so highly of my abilities that it believes me capable of such a wide array of professions. And to think my high school guidance counselor never believed I’d amount to much.

LinkedIn costs something like $1,200 annually for its premium package. But given the pinpoint precision demonstrated by the social network in ferreting out potential positions for yours truly, I’m quite happy sticking with the free service.

10 thoughts on “Butcher, baker, candlestick maker; Out of sync with LinkedIn

  1. I don’t get it either, CBC. The jobs they suggest for me are almost as ridiculous, sometimes.

    Yet I’ve heard (from friends who are recruiters) that’s it’s sort of necessary to have a LinkedIn profile these days. I don’t get the attraction/benefit, yet still keep it as up-to-date as possible. Since my last -painful- job search, I believe in keeping my eyes and options open (since nothing is forever, and options are always a good thing), but I’m not convinced that LinkedIn is all that helpful, all things considered. I, too, will be sticking with the free option.

  2. As colemining has said there are those who say LinkedIn is something of a necessity. But I have found it serves me no purpose other than to draw people wanting to harass me with their services. Anymore I go back and forth on whether or not I should delete and be done with it.

    Congratulations on all those job suggestions! 😛

    • Thanks, J.G. I can’t wait to begin my career as a surgeon. And a “general surgeon,” too. I always wanted to be a specialist – but never wanted to put in the time and effort required with medical school, residency, etc.!

  3. 299,999, 998 actually as I suspect I get even less out of it than you. My old classmates contact me through the school’s alumni association, so I’ve had stuff all out of linked-in.

    • I suspect more people don’t “get” LinkedIn than do. It don’t know if it’s just one of those things that people do because everyone else does it, or what. I can’t even remember why I signed on.

  4. I signed up for LinkedIn six years ago when I was doing major donor fundraising for the New Zealand Green Party. I used it to get biographical information on two major donors – as well as to pm them because I didn’t have their email address. It has provided no benefit for me personally.

  5. Pingback: Social media provides needed kick in rump to insurers | The Cotton Boll Conspiracy

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