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LinkedIn Woes

Thursday, April 25, 2013

So, as I've said previously, I am job hunting at the moment. It has only been three years since I graduated but so much has changed in terms of online presence that I have had to seriously reconsider how I approach finding a job, which brings me to LinkedIn.

I had a LinkedIn profile of sorts whilst in my final year but got rid of it maybe a year or so ago because I didn't use it. However, yesterday I came across some advice on a Guardian Careers Q&A that said:

Are you on LinkedIn, Sophia? If it isn't already, please do make sure you have an up to date profile which reflects your professional experience. We are hearing more and more that employers are discounting applicants who don't have active profiles.

Apart from the initial shock at seeing my name (it was not in response to me), I was a little concerned after seeing this. So, all night I weighed up the pros and cons of LinkedIn. Ok, it's great that there are job listings, networks to join and so on but I also read it is expected of you to add a photo now. A commenter on another site said not having a photo on LinkedIn is like looking at pictureless real estate listings - you automatically assume something is wrong. Fair enough, I guess, this not going to lead to unconscious discrimination by some recruiters? I'm sure there aren't many out there who will actively avoid candidates who of a certain race or age or gender - if you're qualified, you're qualified, right? But what if you've sent your CV to a recruiter and they like what they see on paper, so they check your LinkedIn profile, come across your photo, and in the back of their mind they go 'hmm, not sure they'll fit in actually' and decide to pass without meeting you. 

I'm really not sure what to do. Will the odd chance of successfully securing a job outweigh the possibility that the above scenario might occur? 

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