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LinkedIn: Is anyone else just as baffled / frustrated with the job hunting process on this site?

Hi Everyone,

I was laid off about a month ago so I have been in the process of looking for a new position. This is the first time I have used LinkedIn as a primary tool in the process. Most of my previous positions have been through word of mouth or some local job boards, but I am going for a fully remote position so LinkedIn seemed a good place to start... but now I am questioning it.

Below are a few of the things that I have noticed (terrible UX aside!) that make me wonder if I am doing things wrong, or if I should be trying another strategy / tool. I would love to hear other people's stories or advice.

1. Issue 1: Position / profile matches appear to be completely random

I am working on a career transition from software project manager to UI / UX designer. I have many years of UX and a couple years of UI experience, but only just switched my profile to focus on this in the last few weeks. Despite this, LinkedIn has told me that:

a) My profile has been viewed by people searching for: Software Developer, Salesperson, Recreational Professional

b) It shows when my profile matches a job posting, but it has included: Platform Engineer, Controller, Junior School PE Teacher, Venue Lead Technician, Senior Product Developer (meat production, not even software)

I understand it getting mixed up between designer and PM, but it just basically seems like it is way in left field. Is it just that the algorithm is that rudamentary and just matches a few keywords? Even if it is... how can my profile be a good match for so many diverse positions???

2. Issue 2: Job postings create an intense sense of pressure

I am looking at the app frequently, and often I see that jobs posted even with the last hour or 2 have hundreds of applicants, those on longer than that often have many hundreds of applicants and some even over a thousand. With that many people, it makes me feel like I don't have any time to follow any proper process, to look up potential people to chat with, to network with anyone, to look at the company... I just need to get my application in ASAP, because often they close the posting quickly due to the overwhelming numbers...

3. Issue 3: Many companies appear to be closing and reposting jobs very frequently

Now that I am monitoring the job posting feeds, I am seeing a several companies that put up postings for the same position on a regular basis. Some post the same job in many locations, even though it is remote (maybe just so it shows up in more searches?). But those same ones also seem to be closing the posting and making a new one regularly. I can see if a company does a posting and doesn't get any good candidates, they might try again... but this is more than that. It seems to be happening often, like reposting a position a few days after the previous posting. Do any recruiters or hiring managers out there have insight as to why they would do this? Is there some strategy for it? Is it again just poor UX on LinkedIn and the "date posted" day is actually "last updated"??

Sorry this post got so long!! Hopefully it generates some good conversation :)

The idea of LinkedIn is good -- It's just, in practice, whatever algorithms they're using seem to have a very wide scope until you use it more and train it to you, and they have to struggle to be seen as more than a glorified address book. And yes, a lot of their UX is odd.For 2., still get your application in, and then go network with someone (and that's another issue with it -- messaging 90% of people is behind a 40$/mo paywall. On a site full of unemployed people!)
So you think with more use the algorithm gets better? i.e. if I keep ignoring the outliers in the profile suggestions it should narrow things down based on what I do click on?And for 2, I totally agree ... it is definitely a barrier having the extra messaging behind a paywall. And for me, not encouraging to pay the extra because of the poor matching I mentioned in #1 ... although maybe that's part of the plan, offering better algorithms to those who pay?Thanks for your comments!
I don't use LinkedIn for job hunting for these reasons – it is BAFFLING how awful it is. I ran a poll on my profile asking if my connects had ever found a job on LI and about half said yes. I use Indeed and Idealista and have the best success with them! Found several positions through both.
I have looked at Indeed a bit, but never heard of Idealista... I took a quick look, but all I found was a real estate website?? Do you have the actual web address?
Ooos it’s called just idealist! https://www.idealist.org/en
Thank you!
Indeed, really? Huh! If LI is #2 in my most useless job site list, Indeed is #1
Here’s what I know. #1, that “number of applicants “ is actually only the number of click throughs into the job. Including bots. Go ahead and apply. That “500 applicants “ is likely only 20 people who actually submitted a resume (18 of which are probably wholly unqualified).#2, yes it’s keyword search. And I think LinkedIn only shows you people who viewed but then did nothing. I’m in active interviews with people I know for a fact looked at my profile but they don’t show up on that “viewed” page. I think that page is only a list of “wrong number!”s. Be sure you have keywords in your About Me, your work history, and/or your skills section and you’ll be fine.#3, not every job post is paid. LinkedIn also performs scraping of career websites. Which is usually delayed 24-72 hours from the real posting on the company’s website and/or the paid ad, and can get the metadata twisted. Just always apply on the company’s career site, and you’ll know you did the best you could.Good luck!
#1 - Thank you! This is very valuable data... and makes so much sense!#2 - Thanks, yeah I have tried to use all the keywords I could, it is just surprising that my keywords (designer / PM) would match up with PE teacher... but I will review them again and make sure they are up to snuff.#3 - ooooohhhh... I had no idea. Thank you so much for your comments!
The job matching is frequently off-point, but my biggest issue isn't with the site, it's with the process in general. How is it even slightly acceptable to be ghosted post a third-round interview? Shame on HR.
I don't know how in society in general it has become so acceptable to ghost people, especially when it seems in your interest to communicate (...I'm looking at you FB Marketplace...). I am sorry to hear you were ghosted that far into the interview round. You are right, that is totally unacceptable! I had a similar instance when talking to a former employer about coming back to the company. I followed up after the first in person chat, but it was just crickets on the other end... just shook my head, not sure how that is good business in any way.
It takes about 1-2months for Linkedin alogos to show up relevant jobs 😅😆
I've had excellent experiences with LinkedIn. I keep my profile updated and hear from several recruiters a week (sometimes several a day) about open positions - and that's without being "Open to Work" on my profile.I have my current job because the company found me on LinkedIn.I think it's important to participate in discussions, post new material if possible, and network actively on LinkedIn. It isn't primarily a job listing site but a professional social network.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Can I ask, are you very senior in your area of expertise? Is that why recruiters are often approaching you? Or do you think it's more that you show up in searches because of your activity on the site? I haven't had any recruiters approach me, even before when my profile was targeted towards project management where I was very senior.... but I also don't post a lot of content.In regards to the content, I feel like a lot of people are posting things to increase their rank and visibility, which is great, but that a lot of it is just a rehash of many other posts or just something from a google search (e.g. all the many many posts daily giving you a list of AI tools). What do you do to keep your material relevant and useful to others? I am struggling to think of what I could contribute.
I'm very senior in support, though I've taken much of my experience off LinkedIn to avoid ageism. I have many certifications and skills listed, as well.I honestly don't post as often as I should. However, I interact with others' posts and leave thoughtful comments as much as possible. Happily, the people I follow seldom rehash other posts.
Hi Amy, it really is awful for jobseekers 😕 I worked in Talent Acquisition and used to post jobs on LinkedIn, then found myself looking for a new job last year, so I purposefully avoided using LinkedIn jobs. My take is that LinkedIn's business model prioritizes the needs of hiring companies, not jobseekers:- LinkedIn might charge a jobseeker $29.99 per month for a Premium account, but it earns $8,999 per year from the pockets of companies for every Recruiter account (also called Talent Solutions). Out of all revenue streams, Talent Solutions brought in the most amount of money to LinkedIn in 2022. This means LinkedIn will prioritize the needs of companies, who often use "number of applications received" to justify investing in LinkedIn jobs.- LinkedIn jobs work like ads, they charge more the more people see/click on the ad. The cost is around $1.20 to $1.50 per click, so they're incentivized to get as many people clicking on the ad as they can. Even if they match you to random jobs you might still click on them, therefore they get paid. - To your 3rd point, I agree with Alda192 that they might be job ads LinkedIn scraped. For paid ads that we posted, we could pause/resume a job ad after posting it, and sometimes we adjust the wording or target demographics (e.g. location/remote) if the first batch of applications we got weren't super relevant.I wrote about it in detail here: https://anniecoaching.substack.com/p/linkedin-is-not-your-friendWhat worked for me instead was searching for companies that interest me or I know will like my profile better, and went through their career sites one after one. It's more time-consuming but I applied to way less jobs and my conversion rates were much better. I also used more specialized job boards and found my current job through https://weloveproduct.co/. In total I applied/was in conversation with 24 companies to get to 1 job (as opposed to about 80+ to 1 when I last looked for a job 4 years ago). Hope it helps!
Thank you for this insight! It totally explains why I am continuously sent notifications that there are "2 new job postings that match my search" but then when I click on it, I am just given an extensive list of posts with no indication which is the newest, so then I have to click on many to find out. It also explains why they are recommending the random positions, because I absolutely click on them to try to understand why they would be suggested... sneaky sneaky!Thank you for your suggestions, I look forward to reading your blog. Your conversion rates seem amazingly better than the various posts I am seeing where people are applying to hundreds and hundreds of positions getting only a few responses.
Thanks for sharing all this! I support jobseekers and am excited to share these facts more publicly with my community! LMK if youd like to collab at some point.
Great article, thanks for sharing!!!!
LinkedIn indeed works with keywords. You really need to tailor your profile to have the right keywords. You might have a broad background (like I have) but you need to put the right words on the right spots to get better hits. And then it is still not totally perfect but it somewhat works. You might need to rework your profile to optimize your profile. Getting a job through applying is generally speaking really hard, but especially now; there are so many people looking for a job at the moment. Networking is the way to go, and for that, LinkedIn is very good.I have actually learned a lot of good strategies at our job seekers community at Roadmap. Come check it out, it's free and we all support each other (going at it alone is painful)www.roadmap.net
Thanks! I will check it out.
OH, I can explain number three! As a recruiter, we're getting overwhelming response to every job we post so taking it down to review applications and if we don't have what we need yet, we'll repost it to get another wave. I wish I had a better way to manage it, but we have SLA's to respond to apps at my company (any good recruiting team will) and I can't review 1000 resumes within that turn around time. Also don't worry about the pressure. We've done some analysis and the numbers that LI shows for applicants is just wrong. Do your best to apply to things quickly, but ignore the other people that have supposedly applied. Hope that helps!
Thank you for the intel! It is great to get insight from the other side of things :)
Thanks for posting about this topic! I've run into a lot of similar problems with LinkedIn and have gotten discouraged as a job seeker with the process. I hardly use it to actually apply for jobs anymore. But it's great to hear different people's input here!
Do you use other services instead to apply for jobs? Or purely just work your network?
I've mostly been building my networking. I've done a lot of cold emailing on LinkedIn and that's been effective. I certainly don't hear back from everyone but a good chunk of people. I really believe that this is ultimately how I'm going to land a job!
Thanks for this! It gets intimidating thinking about reaching out like that, it's good to know that you actually do get responses and find it useful.What sort of job are you looking for?
It's WILD. I tried to use chat gpt for a boolean search and that helped a bit, but honestly, otta.com has been great - their algorithm is much stronger. It's a bit like tinder for job searches - they give you 10, you go through them, and then they give you another ten!
Thank you! I will check it out!
I second Otta.com! Very helpful if you are looking for a typical category of roles, e.g. Product Manager, UX Researcher, HRBP
Lots of good responses here, and I'll definitely check on the recs mentioned here. I've run into similar issues with the poor UX on LinkedIn. I've had some success in getting some interviews and even landed a few contract gigs via LinkedIn. However, the layoffs and SVB downfall really saturated the market and I'm seeing more and more bots there. Related but unrelated, I did find an awesome tool that I'm loving! Teal - https://www.tealhq.comThey have a Chrome extension that will pop up and load the JD from job boards (manual add is an option too). There's a tool to help you quickly tailor resumes, check for ATS readability et etc. Primarily, I can track my applications, include notes, status, stage in the process, and more in their Job Tracker. The workstyle tool was pretty insightful too. Honestly can't say enough good things so far. There is a paywall for premium features but is wonderful on the free version I'm using rn.I hope this helps!
Thanks for the tool recommendation... I was wondering how best to track everything. When you say you've been seeing more and more bots, do you mean people setting themselves up with bots to auto-apply to everything?
You're welcome. I hope it helps you with tracking everything.By bots, I mean the fake, reposted JD's posted on many job boards (not just LI), including the repeated template emails phishing for private info. Some are real, some are not - we just have to be vigilant, research, and apply direct whenever possible.
yes I was an agency recruiter and am now looking as well. I will say:1: look for jobs on LI, but apply on their direct websites for better responses. 2: you need to be active on the platform, (like, share, post) the more you do, the more you will pop up for others #algorithm3: since your previous roles were in PM, Im guessing you have them on your profile, so those roles will always come up more and adjacent ones as well. Also when recruiters search, many do broad searches to start, and the filters are not always great, so dont get offended by the roles people reach out to you for. Just reiterate what you want and 'hide' any roles you dont like in searches. 4: keywords are key! search other UX/UI profiles and see what they write and what common things they have listed so you can optimize your profile for UX/UI vs PM - it will help with matching/searches. 5: not only is stephmcdonald correct, we do post jobs for 30 days/renew every 30 days to get a refresh but I heard there is a rule that companies need to have jobs posted for a certain amount of months? (like 3? dont quote me) for exposure, even if the role is filled - not sure if that is true, but all the more reason to apply directly on the websites as they will be updated more readily and have actual posting dates. 6: just apply to what you want and network as much as you can
Thanks for your insight. I was expecting PM roles and those adjacent to show up... it was just the things like 'controller' where probably the only keyword in common is budget, and the PE teacher... ?? I just didn't know what was going on. I like the suggestion of just using LI as yet another feed and then taking the process out of there like I would any other job listings site. It will help not be so distracted by the other numbers and stats.
Hi Amy,I am a co-founder of a talent platform and we work as Talent consultants with Startups and companies to get them the right hire. Here's my perspective.Linkedin is a fantastic free professional social network. At the end of the day, it's giving us amazing access to people, hiring managers, and opportunities, as well as how they think, what matters to companies, and what are companies and their leaders posting about. What I recommend to every working professional (job hunting or not) is building and engaging with their network as a constant. The other is optimizing your Linkedin profile so that you get inbound opportunities. I shared some thoughts on that in this thread on Elpha earlier.https://elpha.com/posts/u28lpcyz/struggling-to-get-on-radars-of-recruiters-advice-or-connections-would-be-amazing?hid=ja36f6x6#vn2on355Your questions have been answered pretty well by some on this thread, and to add to that:1. The random profile matches will get better as you optimize your profile for the right keywords. 2. Of the high number of applicants you see on Linkedin, over 95% of them are irrelevant. So many apply with less than a 10% match it's a nightmare. If you consider yourself a 60% fit for a role, please apply. Aside from that, I would also recommend seeking out the hiring manager/decision makers in that company and reaching out to them to express your interest. While a message might be a paid option, you can easily add a note to your connection request (Linkedin allows up to 300 characters which may not be much but is enough with the right message that solves their problem rather than talk about you).There is merit to applying early within 2 weeks of a job posting.3. A lot of job websites scrape jobs and so if you find a good job anywhere, highly recommend first checking for the same on the company's website and applying through the method that they recommend. So even though you see X company's job on Linkedin, on their website, they might prefer you to apply via Lever and that's what their team will review first. It also helps to review a company's employees and if you can find a common connection, ask to be recommended internally. Every bit adds up and matters in time.All the best!
Thanks for your response. I look forward to reading your post!
Hello, I'm having trouble getting a different job, I was laid off from my job 4 months ago. I've earned my Scrum Product Owner license. I've applied for so many jobs with no luck. I'm baffled. All these jobs that have openings and yet you won't hire people who meet your standard.
Was your previous job also a product owner job? or is this a new transition?
New transition
Thank you for starting this thread on this topic. I am in the same position, I was very confused with LinkdIn myself. Thank you everyone for posting other platforms.
Hey @amyfink! I'm happy to weigh in as someone who has successfully used LinkedIn to land jobs (without applying for them), taught others how to do the same, and now using it to organically land clients for my business.Don't bother trying to figure out the algorithm; it's constantly changing and unfortunately not the most sophisticated. You mentioned that you made the shift into a different role over the last few weeks, but depending on how often you're on the platform, it might take some time for your profile to be pushed out to the right people. There's a host of factors involved including how you positioned your profile, if you have "Open to Work" turned on, what preferences you put in, etc. On top of companies using different titles for the same type of role, it's hard to rely on the LinkedIn job board.That being said, most people who landed jobs on LinkedIn without having to apply to hundreds of them focused more on building relationships with key stakeholders (Talent, HR) in their target companies by strategically engaging on LinkedIn. They also optimized their profile and created content to showcase their expertise as a thought leader in the space. This will take time but pays off dividends.In some states, it's the law to post a job even if the role is about to be filled. That could be the reason why you're seeing a job pop up briefly before it's taken down.My recommendation as a viable next step: connect with more UX/UI designers who are already in your target role, especially those who are actively posting on LinkedIn. That way you can nurture that network while simultaneously looking at job postings.You can use LinkedIn like a Google search; here's an example: https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/people/?keywords=ux%20designer&origin=SWITCH_SEARCH_VERTICAL&sid=bXJThat recommendation goes for anyone else who is trying to transition into a new role/industry.If this was helpful or if you have any questions, DM me on LinkedIn - I'm always there 😄 www.linkedin.com/in/hey-ms-susan-lee
Thanks for all the advice Susan! I have generally been targeting roles, rather than specific companies, but after all the great advice here I am thinking I should change up my tactics. I will definitely connect with you on LI.
You can use LinkedIn and other online job boards to find available positions. Then, go to the company's website and apply through there or, if you can, contact anyone already working at the company to request an intro. This worked for me so far, I believe you need to interact with real people, not bots. Good luck!
@amyfink Hey Amy, I hope you find your dream job soon.Just wanted to share a list of websites I use for myself and help friends to look for jobs:https://cgbl.notion.site/remote-Job-Boards-0dd6d4ff24b9433f82772ba34bd24710
Thank you for this!
For #2 - the "# of applicants" is based on the number of folks that click the "Apply" button which often directs you to the company's website. That said, surely a meaningful share of folks never actually apply within the company portal.
@amyfink, I agree with @Cyn. LinkedIn is different from a job posting site (however it's not an excuse for their terrible algorithms and overall job search experience).It is shite for regular job search and cold applications - I spent quite some time training the algorithm just out of curiosity yet it's still terrible.If you want the recruiters to reach you in LinkedIn then here are a few things that could help. But that will require time.First, ensure you have all the relevant key words in your About section. Second, to get to the top of the search results lists you need to increase your SSI: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi. As you can see, there are 4 key components of it. Ofc LinkedIn doesn't share how exactly they calculate the scores but in general: a) engage with posts/content: not just a like, but a meaningful comment, Ideally if you initiate a discussion with your comment; b) network: not just connect with people but have a conversation, repost them, tag them in your posts (if you're actually posting) etc; c) make your feed relevant: don't hesitate to unfollow people who post useless content just for the sake of it, you don't have to remove them from connections but the more useful and engaged your feed is, the higher is the chance for useful networking; d) reply to recruiters: even if you're not interested in the position they offer, the fact that you are actually replying will get you higher in the list; e) try to get LinkedIn assessment: if the recruiters are looking for the specific skills that will automatically get you higher in the listI don't have an open-to-work badge, I have less than 2k of followers, I don't post regularly (just occasionally) but optimising my profile got me in top 6% ssi rank and this week (I'm writing it on Thu evening) I have been reached by 9 recruiters already.Important note: those steps will allow you to get more recruiter attention, but unfortunately the quality of the recruiters is not guaranteed. I keep getting tons of messages from the recruited that cannot read and keep offering me absolutely irrelevant positions. I guess just have to accept that...
Thank you for this! I had heard some of the suggestions, but hadn't heard about the ssi or really realized just how deep "the game" goes. I really appreciate the intel.
I hear you! I have been passively looking for a new role for a few weeks now and LI job postings been rather frustrating. I set up searches with notifications thinking I would have an "in" but by the time I get a notification of a "matching" job that matches my search criteria, the posting says there are already 200+ applicants. How can that be true if it was just posted...or reposted?? Also, there are sooooo many headhunters posting confidential jobs. Then I go to their websites, and I have to pay to get the full listing...scams abound! From my experience, LI has been a great place for recruiters to source my profile as long as 1) I stay active on the profile and 2) I maintain a unique profile that appeals to my interests for the industry that interests me and the role I aspire to.Also, the message feature has been key. Instead of a post to my feed, I connect well-connected people in my network to see if they know anyone hiring or know anyone I should add to my network.Wishing you all the best and connect with me on LI ;)
Thanks for your insight @AnnaG. I haven't had the experience of clicking through to paywalls, that is crazy, thanks for the heads up on that.
Just wanted to reply and say that I really appreciate all the shares about the “number of applicants” being inaccurate. Even though I had a hunch that this was the case, it was giving me so much anxiety that I had to have my partner create a new password that I don’t know so I'm not just constantly doom scrolling thinking I’ll never be able to compete with thousands of applicants.
When you see 800 Applications in an hour from the original job description being posted, frustrated is an understatement. There's gotta be people who have created bots or something to auto apply for everything. It's obnoxious.
I am looking for Content Marketing Manager positions at tech companies on LinkedIn and have highly optimized my profile for that, including showcasing my work. I have worked in higher education, nonprofits, and now am a full-time Content Creator. I no longer work in higher education or nonprofits and I'm not interested in going back. I have fully optimized my profile as a Content Creator and for the tech industry. I have not received any messages from recruiters for the role that I'm looking for.These are views I get from people in different industries:- Software Development: 20.3%- Higher Education: 8.5%- Non-Profit: 8.5%- Government Administration: 8.5%- IT Services and IT Consulting: 5.1%These are the top job titles of my searchers:- Journalist: 9.8%- Social Media Specialist: 4.9%- Business Owner: 4.9%- Author: 4.9%- Life Sciences and Medical Researcher: 2.4%Keywords that I was found for: Content Writer, Curator (I don't have this on my profile at all), Social Media ManagerI've had horrible experiences trying to network on LinkedIn. People either don't respond or are not active on the platform. I had more success with networking within professional slack groups in relatable communities because they are more open to networking since they signed up to do that.
Thanks for this. I have always liked Slack groups better as well, because they are real conversations. Slack isn't about playing the numbers to get noticed, it's not about posting the same content as 1000 other people just to appear more active to the algorithms.
Hello @amyfink, I know only a few folks that found jobs in LinkedIn. I think only the paid LinkedIn works.Imho, there are two filters that you can use on LinkedIn and may help:- past 24 hours- less than 10 applicantsIf a job has more than 50 applicants, I suggest not even applying unless you have paid LinkedInThe hiring manager probably won't make it until your CV on the list.
You’re 💯 right about the wierd way Linkedin works. I help career changerw navigate the tech market to land jobs. Happy to share more info about how to use Linkedin so you don’t lose your mind 😅 Find me on linkedin.