LinkedIn is unquestionably the top business networking platform in the world. This social site has more than 830 million members and continues growing. This makes the platform a favorite for recruiters seeking IT talent. But for experienced developers and others in the IT field, LinkedIn can feel a little like the Wild West, with job-toting recruiters throwing email messages around in rapid fire. We’ve heard that some of the most highly in demand developers avoid LinkedIn because of all the recruiter inquiries they receive. At the same time, LinkedIn is an amazing tool for anyone looking to break into IT.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of LinkedIn and whether you should avoid it or learn how to use it to your advantage.
LinkedIn and IT: Pros and Cons
LinkedIn can connect you to a job. It can introduce you to recruiters who can connect you to a job. But there are a lot more benefits to LinkedIn than just finding work. LinkedIn offers groups of people focused on key interests, from .NET devs to UX/UI designers and so much more. You can find learning presentations and great articles that further your knowledge. But above all else, LinkedIn is for networking with other career-minded professionals.
The problem with LinkedIn can come when you don’t know how to use the site properly. For example, a thumbnail profile picture that isn’t professional can have the opposite effect of chasing employers away instead of attracting them. Or, if you don’t take the time to complete your profile and keep it up to date appropriately, you can look hopelessly ill-prepared for a job you may be interested in.
Another problem with the platform is if you approach building a network in a way that feels less than authentic. Don’t come off as a spammer, which, is what many recruiters end up doing to experienced developers. If you have a few years in the field and you hit the “open to work” slider bar, look out. The floodgates may open with dozens of LinkedIn InMail’s.
At the same time, that is not a bad thing. If your LinkedIn profile is up to date and your tech skills are in demand, you may not have to ever apply for a job again. The most challenging job you will have is picking the recruiter you trust enough to work with.
Then there is the privacy issue. Many tech workers avoid social media because they understand the surveillance behind the algorithms. LinkedIn allows anyone to look at your career path at any time. But it also tracks your logins and site usage data that, let’s face it, are up for grabs no matter how many privacy settings you change.
With all of these negatives, the reality today is that everyone working probably does need a LinkedIn profile. The platform is unparalleled as a voice for anyone seeking their next job, now or in the future. It’s a vital resource for linking employers and employees together in the pursuit of work, learning, and networking. Even if you choose not to browse or post on LinkedIn regularly, 30-minutes or less to set it up may be all you need to find your next job. At some point, a recruiter may nibble on what you have to offer. It’s like putting a fishing pole in the water.
Blackstone Talent Group works with IT talent to find them the right fit. If you’re looking for a recruiting firm that understands IT, call on us.