I hadn’t really thought of the irony until I searched around on LinkedIn for a while. I’d already searched around before, but this time I was keeping it more general, as in looking at lots of profiles, almost out of desperation, just to see if someone’s bio might have a legitimately worthy idea. Don’t worry, that didn’t happen. However, what I was able to surmise is that the number one “professional” on LinkedIn is the professional recruiter, talent acquisition specialist, or headhunter.
I am sure that it’s not a big surprise that LinkedIn is an important place for these folks, but that’s really the ironic part. Instead of seeing page after page of recruiters, I guess I’d rather see lots of pages of managers or CEOs at companies looking for employees and pages of professionals looking for jobs. It’s like going to a homes for sale website and only seeing ads for the agents rather than the homes themselves.
Speaking of real estate agents, I also noticed that the recruiters who appear all over the place on LinkedIn are, not too surprisingly, young and good-looking (like their housing counterparts). And they’re generally “passionate” about some aspect of the IT business, even though most of them don’t look like they can tell the difference between html and css. Then again, I’m sure there are plenty of real estate agents from Delafield that pretend to be passionate about houses in West Allis in order to get the commission, but my point wasn’t to rip on anyone, really, so I’ll come back to LinkedIn.
The point was that I wanted LinkedIn to be a simple place where I could connect with the CEO of a local or national company with a need to hire someone like me. Someone with talent. Someone creative. However, it’s pretty apparent that the landscape is pretty muddled between me and that CEO, unless, of course, I get a LinkedIn Premium account or work with one of the army of recruiters. Even then, does Mr. Corp from MegaCorp really pay any attention to my paid InMails or some recruiter saying I might have some talent or passion? Not until his HR staff takes a look at me, or at least the intern in charge of maintaining his LinkedIn account.
Taking it one step further, however, I have to believe that Mr. Corp might have gotten to where he is by being creative, intuitive, and thinking outside of the box, in which case, he might be the one in charge of finding new talent and ideas himself, so he might listen to me long enough to implement my ideas and make millions more for his company. All without bothering with HR, recruiters, or his interns.
All of which leaves me in LinkedIn Limbo. I’m not sure who to trust or friend or contact. I’ve had a lot of people ignore personal messages, but I’ve done the same with those who friend me and want me to join them as email marketers. I’m connected to recruiters who hope I’m more than I told them I was but who have ignored me completely since I told them I didn’t actually know how to write code.
But everyone keeps saying how important it is, even though CEOs and people who have had jobs for fifteen years have nothing on their photo-less profiles, while recruiters (and me -- jobless) have beautiful, highly-ranked pieces of near art. And I keep thinking it’s only them I’m impressing. These used car salesmen of the internet (and not in a bad way in case any of you are helping me get hired). But I wonder why they are necessary, since that CEO and me both have profiles, and all he’d have to do is look around once in a while to find me. But I guess if we networked, we’d be able to find houses and cars and employees, and all those middle men wouldn’t exist. And what would business be without them?