Thursday, August 28, 2008

Again with the LinkedIn Schtik?

Today I took a few minutes to write recommendations for three former coworkers and post them on LinkedIn. These three are currently looking for new jobs and I wanted to help in some small way. If a potential employer checks them out online (and so many of them do that these days), they will see my positive words (and those of others) and will hopefully be more inclined to call them for interviews. And not that I am fishing for this, but I certainly wouldn't refuse it: My recommending them might lead them to recommend me in return.

The recommendation feature on LinkedIn is a high-tech version of the old "list of references" that job seekers used to be compelled to provide with their resumes. Later that evolved into just putting "References available upon request" at the bottom of the resume. But these days, career experts advise you to even skip adding this line. It just wastes space and is kind of a "duh" statement--if they ask you for names of references, of course you'll provide them. But maybe if they can look you up online and see a list of endorsements there, they won't even ask for a more formal list.

And while we're talking about online networking, this week my sister tried to encourage me to join Facebook. "Everybody's on there!" she gushed. I have some good reasons for my reluctance:
  • It looks like another time sinkhole from which I might not escape.
  • Maybe I don't want to reconnect with "everybody."
  • The content there is more casual and I worry I might be tempted to post something that reflected badly on me if googled by a potential employer.
  • Isn't one social networking site enough?

Of course, reconnecting with old friends could possibly lead to "hidden" opportunities, so I reserve the right to reverse my stance in the future!

1 comment:

Laurence Shatkin said...

I may have discovered the ideal way to use Facebook and avoid its pitfalls (other than time-wasting): Rather than using my real name, I signed up under an alias, using the pseudonym that I put on the music videos I create for the Web. My close friends all know who it is, but I can't be found by people I'd just as soon avoid, nor by employers. And for a picture, I used one of me at about one year of age. I'll admit that if everybody did what I'm doing, Facebook would lose some of its usefulness. On the other hand, maybe this demonstrates that superheroes aren't the only people who need an alter ego.