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Using Linkedin

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Using Linkedin

Postby PG » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:59 am

I picked this up from Daves reply in another thread about getting into contact with people working for a specific organisation. I was thinking that we could list successful (and maybe also non successful) ways of working with Linkedin to find a new position or to be contacted by someone who is recruiting for an open position.

Personally I am probably doing this completely wrong but it seems to be working OK anyway since I do receive contacts from recruiters and companies on a somwhat regular basis. I have an almost updated profile including work history, training etc posted on linkedin. I am accepting almost all requests for connecting on linkedin unless they are obviously irrelevant (such as sales people I have never heard of working for a company in a non science area) and I am not really actively doing anything. Importantly I am not in a phase of my life in which I am actively looking for a new position.
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Re: Using Linkedin

Postby Dave Jensen » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:52 pm

Hi PG,

It's funny how many emails I get from people looking to add an Executive Recruiter to their team of recruiters. It feels funny being a recruiter who is being recruited! But just because I have a completed profile on LinkedIn, and a lot of contacts, I get all kinds of interesting offers.

I would recommend being very open and flexible about invitations. Like you, I am cautious if I find someone who is with a "Search Engine Optimization" company, or a "Recruiting Resources" firm of some kind, because when I link to them, they immediately try and sell me something. However, other than that, I'm an open networker there. For my recruiting work, I know that I can directly contact people who are second tier links -- but, I can not contact third tier links so easily. Therefore, my goal is to be second-tier connected with as many scientists and engineers as possible.

I don't see how another company could come in and knock off LI at this time, because they are so entrenched. If you are in graduate school now and getting ready for a job search even in a couple of years from now, I'd jump all over LinkedIn and ensure you have a huge network when you are leaving for a job. That's not to say you'll be using that "network" (it's really not networking -- it's just a directory of people), but you'll have more people you can "find" because of those links.


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Re: Using Linkedin

Postby Dave Walker » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:42 pm

I think Dave hit the nail on the head: building a collection of second-tier connections is pretty much the only value in LinkedIn. (If you pay for the Premium service, you can get access to third-tier as well without a limit.)

It's super useful for identifying people who work at a specific organization. I can say that some folks I have tried to contact wouldn't answer their work e-mail, wouldn't give out their work phone number, but responded to LinkedIn messages very quick.

For networking, I think it's very useful to make initial contact with someone and then move as quickly as possible to an informational interview. Just my opinion, but I think the website is littered with time-wasting articles and groups designed to suck you in and occupy your time. But as a tool it has value.
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Re: Using Linkedin

Postby PG » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:46 am

What about all this other stuff that people are doing. For example people are sending likes both to individuals (for example for anniversaries) and posts. Endorsements of skills etc. For me this seems like a carryover from facebook and other media that is getting applied on Linkedin without actually filling much purpose.
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Re: Using Linkedin

Postby Rich Lemert » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:01 am

I have received a few endorsements on LinkedIn, but generally I don't give them out. They're too easy to pass out in my opinion. LinkedIn goes "does Rich have this skill," and all you have to do is click a button. You don't even need to have any direct knowledge of my skills.

What I do think has value are recommendations. These require you to actively prepare them and to specifically state what the person does that makes them so special. They are more selective, and hence more valuable.
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Re: Using Linkedin

Postby John D. D, » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:25 am

I'm pretty wary about all this stuff. I've been invited to join by a few friends, and have even occasionally been able to kind of see what old lost acquaintances have done, but it's really TMI in my opinion - just out there. I don't use Facebook, Tweets, either.

One of my mentors didn't even read his own emails. He had the post-docs read and write them for him. It was a lesson in maintaining a certain quality and tone to interactions. He published several books, and 100's of papers, and his lab was very international.

He was a very quiet man. We rode the bus to work together sometimes.

I do like internet.
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Re: Using Linkedin

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:09 pm

John D. D, wrote:I'm pretty wary about all this stuff. I've been invited to join by a few friends, and have even occasionally been able to kind of see what old lost acquaintances have done, but it's really TMI in my opinion - just out there. I don't use Facebook, Tweets, either.

One of my mentors didn't even read his own emails. He had the post-docs read and write them for him. It was a lesson in maintaining a certain quality and tone to interactions. He published several books, and 100's of papers, and his lab was very international.

He was a very quiet man. We rode the bus to work together sometimes.

I do like internet.


Don't be wary of LinkedIn if you are in a job search. It's a major tool, and when someone DOESN'T show up on LI, or they have a very weak profile and only a few connections, it's actually a big negative for them. People wonder "what's up" with that person, etc.

I agree on the value of "endorsements." They are easy to give out and easy to earn. They don't have much individual value. But when you look at the sum total of all your endorsements, it DOES have some value because it shows your areas of expertise. 200 people endorse you for Quantitative Genetics, and only 23 endorse you for Leadership, well that says you're likely to be considered a great solo scientist hire in Quantitative Genetics.

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