Alistair Dabbs posted a nice, curmudgeony anti-social-media rant over at The Register. In part, he asked what Linkedin is good for, noting it’s never netted him a job or a useful contact.
I found his piece entertaining, so I thought I’d talk about how I use Linkedin, besides dodging recruiters who blindly type “cissp security clearance” or “security analyst st. louis” and message every single person who comes up.
I haven’t found Linkedin to be all that helpful in getting jobs either. In my sysadmin days it might have been more helpful, but the way you find the good security jobs is through old-fashioned in-person networking. Substituting social networking for in-person doesn’t work. A good job is one where you know you’re a good fit, and they know you’re a good fit, and that doesn’t happen through a recruiter and an hour-long job interview. The other thing it helps is giving you more room when a 2-page resume is too limiting.
Ironically, given that it’s something that people mostly think of as a job site, what I’ve found it most useful for is getting a different view of wherever I happen to be working at the present time. It helps me figure out who knows who, put faces to names of people who work in different cities, and sometimes get a history lesson. Maybe I don’t know what something is, but if a former employee–or even a current one–says something high-level about it on their job history on Linkedin, that can be enough to get me unstuck. So it can be nice for recovering a bit of corporate knowledge in an era when people on average only stay with a company for 4.4 years.
That’s how I’ve been using Linkedin for the last couple of years, and for that, it’s a helpful tool.