LinkedIn did a nice thing this January. They have decided to send me (and I guess a lot of other people) an email indicating how people changed their jobs in 2011.
For me it was titled “Tsahi, 134 connections changed jobs in 2011”.
The email itself has little text in it and is built out of a nice collection of faces where I can go and check out profiles of people that have changed their job titles. It also comes with a few nice call for actions in blue boxes on random people. All in all, it shows 57 of the connections that presumably changed their jobs in 2011.
My first thought: what do they want from me now?
My second one: that’s a cool layout. interesting.
My third one: what did she do? (then looked at her profile…) so she’s now not self-employed?
My fourth: but that guy didn’t really change his job.
Which then made me think about writing a post on this email. And also caused me to look a bit closer at what I can glean out of this shortlist of people. Here are a few insights I got to after some more digging around:
18% of my Contacts Made Changes This Year
That’s one in every five people. My contacts replace their jobs every 5-6 years or so, which is probably above average for my industry. They are even slower to change work places because some of them are simply changing their titles in their current work place.
It also means it was time for me for a change, which I just did – you might be getting an email with my smiling face from LinkedIn next January.
People Lie on their Profiles
When I became a project leader and had to start looking at CVs of potential engineers for the team, I was taught to look at discrepancies in the information: missing years when the candidate wasn’t employed at all, employment for short periods of time, etc.
I am as straight as an arrow when it comes to these things, so up until now, it never really occurred to me that people can actually lie in CVs. Well… they can. And they do. And then they do it on their LinkedIn profiles as well. I caught a few discrepancies in there when I looked closer. Here are a few that I found:
- People change their titles without any real reason – sometimes not lying but just trying to get better salaries or hit consultancy projects
- People lengthen their stay longer than they actually worked at a place – that would be to close any opened gaps that meant they searched but couldn’t find a job or just decided to take the time off
- In most cases, those that lied are people I cared less about
I googled a bit, and found this interesting post from Jame Ervin – I sure don’t want to work with the person he’s describing.
Most People Connect LinkedIn to their Private Emails
There’s a lot of gmail and Yahoo mail addresses for my contacts on LinkedIn and very little corporate emails configured as the primary address. It makes sense.
My own profile was connected to my RADVISION’s email until a month ago, along with 40+ other web outposts that I “owned”. It took a lot of time to reconfigure them all. It seems that my colleagues are a lot smarter than I am.
LinkedIn is the Coolest Tool
It takes a lot less time to cultivate than Facebook or Twitter – at least for me. And it provides me useful information about people, especially when it is hooked up with Rapportive and my gmail account.
Some Final Thoughts
Here are a few suggestions:
- Don’t lie. Especially not on LinkedIn. It’s not worth it. Being honest gives you extra credit in places that you’d really want to work for
- Polish up your LinkedIn profile every once in a while even if you’re not leaving. Also make sure to use a personal email and not your corporate one as the primary email of your account
- Add a picture of yourself to LinkedIn. It looks like a sad profile without it (and there are a few of those for my contacts)
- Recommend people that you think are worth it. I do that whenever I move on or when others leave the company. It strengthen the connection with these colleagues and enhances the power of your LinkedIn network
- If you’re recruiting – validate information against what the person says, his CV, his LinkedIn and the people he gave as recommenders. Check his recommenders out on LinkedIn before you talk to them as part of the validation process
Anything that you can glean out of the LinkedIn-2011-job-changes-email you received?
Any other suggestions you have?