LinkedIn is not an old boy network. It is a wanna-be network.

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from Gary North at Specific Answers

There are over 433 million users on LinkedIn and many of them — though not all — are probably competing for the same jobs. . . . Members of the site are still looking for a big payday in the form of a new job. To improve your chances of scoring the next great gig, it helps to know how recruiters use the site.Recruiters scour the world’s most popular professional networking site looking for the perfect candidate, but there’s a lot they do before they even get to your profile page. Some 93% of hiring managers search LinkedIn for recruits, according to a survey by career website Jobvite; 65% search Facebook, and 55% consult Twitter accounts. Another 18% of recruiters search Google+ and, in case there are any homemade videos lurking about, 15% will type your name into YouTube. Rule No. 1: “Your LinkedIn profile should be public,” says Jenny Foss, president of the Ladder Recruiting Group in Portland, Ore.

Most people spend so much time crafting their pitch, they forget about how they appear in a search result. “It’s the first thing that recruiters look at,” says Nicole Greenberg Strecker, managing director of recruitment agency STA Worldwide in Chicago, Ill. Your bio should include title, industry and location. “If you want to work in Silicon Valley and live in Kansas, change your location to Silicon Valley on LinkedIn. Recruiters search zip codes.” And the title should be razor-sharp. “Don’t write senior analyst at Ernst & Young, write hedge fund financial analyst at Ernst & Young,” says Jeremy Roberts, vice-president of growth and customer success at Hiring Solved, a software company that aggregates information about people for recruiters.

Recruiters punch in keywords, not buzzwords. When fine-tuning their initial search to find high-performing candidates, for instance, they’ll look for terms like “won,” “sold,” “achieved,” “built” and “president’s club.” No software is too old to mention. Technology recruitment consultants look for people who are proficient in WordPress because many companies don’t have the latest programs, Roberts says. And if you use in-demand open-sourced software like Ruby on Rails, say so. “It will save you a lot of spam,” he says; recruiters also recoil at buzzwords like “maven,” “guru,” “prophet” and “ninja” (unless you’re a black belt or a mutant turtle).

Leave a trail of virtual crumbs that lead to your profile. Hiring professionals lurk within LinkedIn industry groups and blogs, says Tamryn M. Hennessy, who runs Career Success Plan, a private practice in Chicago, Ill. advising clients on finding and changing careers. “Join them, especially if you want to change industries,” she says. “It’s a tremendous way to get smart about an industry and get on a recruiter’s radar.” Take part in the conversation, Hennessy adds, but only if you have something to say. . . .

Once they arrive on your page, you want to keep them there. “LinkedIn is speed dating for professionals,” says Grace Killelea founder and CEO of Half The Sky Women’s Leadership Institute. Recruiters are looking for reasons not to court you and anything that appears odd will be a red alert. “If there are gaps in your work history, fill that in, otherwise recruiters are going to get nervous,” she says. “Many people who were laid off are not comfortable filling in those gaps, but they absolutely need too.” Include details of volunteer work or, if it’s true, add “consulting,” she adds.

Older job-seekers need to walk a fine line. Unless you made the cover of “Time” or discovered a solar galaxy, experience has a shelf life on LinkedIn, says Scott Dobroski, career trends analyst at Glassdoor. There’s no need to wax lyrical about a job that’s more than 10 years old, he says. And those who graduated from college a decade ago may want to exclude the date they graduated. “Your college graduation date will age you,” he says, “and although ageism is illegal, it’s happening all the time.” On the other hand, if you’re applying for a job as CEO of a Fortune 500 company and you graduated in 1986, it’s okay to leave the date, Dobroski says.

There are other tips, but these are enough.

Enough for what? To let you know that you probably won’t get hired based on LinkedIn.

Why not? Too few jobs for someone just like you.

You can try, of course. Follow these guidelines. But I would not do any of this. Why not? Because I would not want to work for a corporation so big and so bureaucratic that it relies on algorithms to find the right job prospects.

I want to deal with someone who can make a decision. I want to work for a firm that is still run by people who do not delegate to algorithms in order to cover their backsides.

Call me old fashioned.

If a college degree is dead in ten years, then you must find criteria that substitute for a degree. Degrees are for kids whose time isn’t worth much. That’s why they can afford to go to school.

You want a recruiter to recognize your name. You therefore need public positioning. This means a website in the field. You need recognition as a speaker at regional conferences. That’s where you prepare for national conferences.

If you have been out of school for 15 years, but you have a website with 500 articles and 180 book reviews — 12 per year — you have evidence of your presence in your field.

It is clear that you must get into the top 20%. I guarantee you, the 433 million users of LinkedIn are not all in the top 20%.

If you are salaried, you need to get outside the salary trap. It’s the realm of algorithms. You must branch out. To rely on social media is close to futile. There are too many “also rans.”

It’s better to start your own side business than to rely on social media. If the only way to stand out is by an algorithm, you won’t get the best job. The best jobs are filled with people who have performed. The odds of getting an interview based on screening by algorithms is minimal.

The recruiter who relies on LinkedIn and Facebook is relying on algorithms. You need to deal with someone higher in the chain of company. LinkedIn is not an old boy network. It is a wanna-be network.

Use social media to back up your website/YouTube channel. The recruiter may use these to validate you. But if he must use them to find you, it’s the wrong job in the wrong company. 

Reprinted here with expressed written permission from Dr. Gary North.

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“We are talking about jobs that pay $12 an hour. These are people without hope”

Dr. Gary North wrote an article recently on the Amazon hirings across the country.  I saw a few ads for Amazon’s hiring in their new warehouse in El Monte, a city not too far from my home here in Southern California.  The ad advertized jobs for $12/hour.  Not great wages, but at least I’d be working for Amazon, right?  Well, right, but not such a big deal. If you’re the kind of job-seeker who believes a big name on a resume guarantees you future work everywhere, guess again.  I am, er, was of that opinion.  It just doesn’t work that way.

But there was something that Dr. North pointed out that I thought was terrific, or at least helpful to me.  Okay, so Amazon offered 50,000 jobs to job-seekers at 10 different warehouses across the county.  Dr. North says “They came.  By the thousands, they came.”  I can believe it.  Jobs for many appear tight.

North then pointed out what these applicants were pursuing, “They were after jobs that pay $12 an hour. This is $3 an hour below the minimum wage of Seattle.

Here is the report for Thursday, August 3.

“A record-breaking 20,000 applications were received on this day alone with thousands of job offers extended to candidates and more to come in the next few days,” Amazon vice president of human resources John Olsen said in a statement. “We continue to process candidates at events across the country and expect that to continue over the coming days. We’re excited to welcome these new employees to the Amazon team.”

The Robbinsville, New Jersey, warehouse alone had 1,500 jobs up for grabs, according to local news outlet NJ.com. When we stopped by, we watched as hundreds of people turned out to try to snag a role.

So lots of job-seekers across the country, folks of varying age seeking $12/hour jobs. Nothing wrong with that, right?  One should not despise work that provides real value, right?  But then Dr. North nails it,

Here is what one manager said: “We’re looking for people with a great attitude first and foremost, who are obsessed with customers—that is the most important thing to Amazon—and who are looking forward to being a part of the team.” This is great rhetoric, but we are talking about jobs that pay $12 an hour. These are people without hope. Let’s not kid ourselves. Anybody who takes a job that pays $12 an hour is desperate. There isn’t anything else available.

I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve been willing, nay, actively seeking low-paying jobs, like this $12/hour job.  It means that I am seeking low-level customers, customers with low-level expectations.  And who are the customers?  Amazon managers who can get hundreds of applicants in one day to interact with computerized sorters.

Dr. North gets it.  “These people are without hope.”  Here he’s not just talking about the economy at large but about a person’s prospects when weighing the opportunities in their own trade.  So don’t settle.

Vacation to Seattle, if you must, but don’t settle.

Skilled Jobs Are Available Everywhere & They Pay Well

Mike Rowe does a nice job of contrasting skills with schooling. Unfortunately, the skills you learn in school are, what’s the word, academic and not lucrative.

Kids are taught that manual-skilled jobs are not good jobs.  Talk about a disservice the schools are doing to kids.  With the help of guidance counselors, parents, etc., “We almost indoctrinate them to avoid a whole category of perfectly legitimate occupations.”