I recently came to the conclusion that I didn’t much care for having a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn seemed obsessed with endlessly sending me emails about messages, updates, invitations, connections, suggested connections, recommendations, recommendation requests and even suggesting I started an account – which I already had.
No matter what I set my notification preferences to I still seemed to get spam messages from agencies and recruiters offering me irrelevant roles. Things along the lines of “Hey! I see on your CV you have a pulse so I thought I would contact you about this exciting opportunity to be a Finance Administrator for an industrial engineering and constructions company in Latvia”.
I automatically filtered out the messages, but then found I didn’t see messages from friends and colleagues who were legitimately trying to contact me and so would miss opportunities.
On top of all that I’m not huge fan of social platforms in general. I never really kept my profile updated as it just felt like I was handing over a tremendous amount of information about myself for very little gain.
And so I deleted my account. …and now; I am trying to get it back again.
Too good to be true
I recently started to look about for contract work and contacted a few agencies. I had a lot of interest early on and there was the usual flurry of activity. However oddly I started to get less feedback than usual and opportunities just kept going cold with no explanation. So today I asked an agent I know quite well what he thought the problem might be. The result was quite unexpected. He said that my CV looked “too good to be true”; and that many agents will assume I was a rival agency trying to steal clients.
The absence of proof
So now I understand the motivation behind a lot of the stranger calls and questions I have been getting recently. The follow up calls from “colleagues” and “associates” of agents I had spoken to moments before, asking the same questions and wanting me to talk about my experience “in more detail”.
So what can I do about this. Well I can show examples of my work… or can I? No, not really; for the last few years I have been working on in-house projects or ‘walled-garden’ sites that are not visible to the public. I have built prototypes and build systems and created lots of fun and interesting things; none-of which I could offer a single URL for.
I can show I have an up-to-date blog …well, to be fair its not been updated regularly at all.
I can show my GitHub account information. Well I can do that, but didn’t think it was nearly as relevant as it apparently is and can’t say I was shouting about it on my CV.
I can show an active LinkedIn profile … oh wait.
Not the proof of absence
It turns out that my LinkedIn profile was a necessary evil. It was adding validity to my existence and giving the agencies confidence I was legitimate.
So I have contacted LinkedIn about reactivating my account. Despite not really wanting to. If they can’t do that I will have to create and new one and spend a week or so getting people to give me references again. Still … I guess I could always give that Financial Administration role in Latvia a go.