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LinkedIn is my new best friend (almost)…

June 15, 2012

Ah LinkedIn.  It’s like Facebook for people you don’t want on Facebook…I particularly like the new and inventive terms people use for “third line server support engineer”, here are some of my favourites:

– Infrastructure Engineer (because I am so much more important than just a server guy!).

– Infrastructure Specialist (because I am more important than those infrastructure engineers!).

– Technical Specialist (that’s right I am a specialist in being technical…stick that in your pipe and smoke it you lowly infrastructure specialists and infrastructure engineers!).

– <Insert Name of Technology> Consultant (yeah you read that right, I’m a consultant…even though I have to come to work every day and make my boss happy and speak to users to close tickets and stuff I am still a consultant and that makes me better than ALL OF YOU PEOPLE PUT TOGETHER).

Now I have to admit I have used some of these descriptions myself (though for a good while I described one of my positions as “server monkey”) and there is nothing wrong with trying to put what you do in the best possible light!

But I digress.  LinkedIn is my new best(ish) friend….even though I hate seeing people I have worked with in the past doing better than me and the “status update banter” is about as interesting as a party political broadcast by the Lib Dems it has recently gone seriously up in my opinion.

Why?

As a contractor I am used to getting lots of phone calls from agencies (especially when my CV is fresh on the job sites), often I get calls when I am in a position and obviously cannot pursue the opportunity.  “Feel free to contact me in the future” I will say “I will email you my details, stay in touch” they will reply.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

Now the agency people I want to deal with are the ones who send me their details.  The problem is they disappear into the void that is my Google email account (I know I should tag them or something but I really can’t be bothered).

Recently I started saying to the agency people “add me to LinkedIn”.  Many do not (and these are the ones who wouldn’t have emailed you in the first place).  Some do add me and these tend to be the ones who recruit in the area I work in (core infrastructure, VMware etc) and have a genuine interest in getting me into a position when I am available.

The bonus to using LinkedIn to keep records of the “better” agency people is that I can update all of them as to when I am available by a simple status update.

Now if only I could target that status update to only the agency people.  I think targeted status updates would be a good thing on LinkedIn as it would encourage a bit more “chat”; I mean you don’t always want to share something with EVERYONE you have ever come into professional contact with do you?

It would also be nice if I could store a hard copy of my CV on LinedIn and send that to all my agency contacts with a mouse click.

Even better would be using LinkedIn instead of the usual job sites so it is a one stop shop for all my job hunting needs.  I know they have some job board functionality but I don’t use it..they really should put some effort into this as they could blow the likes of JobServe and JobSite out of the water.

So there you have it, LinkedIn is my new best friend!  Well until the next new best friend comes along…

Tip – you can customise your linked in URL to be what you want (obviously it needs to be available) for example http://www.linkedin.com/in/your_customised_bit.  I now have this customised URL on my CV right below my mobile phone number, keep the URL short so it is easy to type!

Let me know your thoughts on LinkedIn and any tips you might have!

C

P.S. My current job title for those interested is “vmWare Consultant”…that’s right people…I’m a consultant now 😉

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