Social Enterprise

Your Twitter account: A recruiter's perspective

What do recruiters look for in your tweets? We asked an experienced recruiter, and here's what he said.

For the record, I am not a social media expert. If you were to examine my Twitter profile, even if adjusting backward a few months prior to recent back issues and surgery, you'd see that my Twitter Follower Friend (TFF) ratio is less than desirable. (For more information on the TFF, check articles here and here.) I won't even claim to be a recruiting expert. I have been at this for quite some time, but I'll bet that anyone reading this article can find someone with a valid reason for disagreeing with some point I make here. They will, of course, be wrong, but they have every right to disagree with me.

Why do people use Twitter?

Consider some reasons why people use Twitter:

  • Connecting with people who think like we do.
  • Entertaining friends, family, and others with our comic wit.
  • Impressing others or getting others to affirm our superior intellect.
  • Persuading others to think differently.
  • Complaining about people and things that irritate us.
  • Sharing gossip, news, etc.
  • Networking and making business contacts.
  • Sharing whatever thought happens to have popped into our heads at any given moment.

What do recruiters and hiring managers see?

It really isn't accurate to say that recruiters and hiring managers will necessarily be looking at the same things when screening candidates, even if a recruiter is pretty solid. For the sake of argument though, let's assume that there are significant overlaps when it comes to what they are looking at.

In general, the hiring manager is looking for someone who knows how to do his or her job well and will be productive. This generally means someone who is bright, but not egotistical, someone who can stay on task and get the job done, and someone who works and plays well with others.

The positive:

  1. Competence: For some, your Twitter account has nothing to do with programming, network engineering, project management, or whatever it is that you do for a living. That's actually fine as long as you are not some sort of a social media guru. (And I don't pretend to get what they do anyway.) However, if you do tweet about your vocation, tweets demonstrating that you are competent ... that you stay abreast of the latest trends ... those are a good thing.
  2. Compassion: This may sound strange, but a lot of people's tweets are extremely self-centered or reflect only an interest in what's going on in the lives of a close circle of friends or followers. Tweets demonstrating awareness, interest, and empathy for others, especially others who may think, look, act, or vote differently than you do demonstrate that you probably have the right emotional makeup and/or social skills to work well with clients or other employees who may not necessarily think like you do or agree with all your ideas.
  3. Contact: As a recruiter, I am constantly looking for ways to connect with bright people. Even if they aren't a fit for an immediate opening that I am trying to fill, if they are bright, talented, and personable, then they might be future candidates or possibly even future clients. Your Twitter profile is yet another way to help people connect with you, and if you're looking for a job, you need to make that easy to do. You don't have to include an email address in your tweets, but it would be helpful if you could provide a link in your profile that leads to a place that allows someone to email you directly. (I will also note that I have no interest in any Twitter account that can't be linked back to a real person, unless it is some sort of corporate account.)

The negative:

  1. Pomposity: Twitter is in many ways a terrible medium of communication because it forces us to boil our thoughts down to 140 characters or less. Often these thoughts come across as pompous, ignorant, mean, snarky, or all the above. (I have definitely been guilty of this on all charges at times.) Here's where having conflicting objectives can bite us in the butt.Something you say to your friends that seems funny to all of you may actually seem mean, insensitive, or stupid to the hiring manager who checks you out. In a job market in which there's a shortage of skilled employees, a hiring manager might be more tolerant than in times like now. If he or she has narrowed the field from 500 to a dozen qualified candidates and is trying to narrow it further, your perceived huge ego or your perceived need for constant affirmation may be the deciding factor that leaves you out in the cold.
  2. Politics: We live in a very polarized society politically. A huge and roughly equal percentage of people are either Democrats or Republicans. Within those groups, or having broken off of those groups, are factions that rabidly believe that anyone who disagrees with them is partially responsible for ushering in the downfall of society. Let me be clear. You have every right to associate with anyone you choose to. You also have the right to shoot off your mouth and say any outlandish thing you want to say (within some limits) about people who belong to political parties or follow ideologies other than your own.  You can retweet things that are tweeted by people who are paid to represent one point of view and are no more interested in "truth" than defense or prosecution lawyers.Doing so may have consequences though. There may be instances in which it is even illegal, but don't expect to be given a fair shake if you spend all your time running down members of a particular group and following countless people who are rabidly antagonistic toward that group, and then it turns out that the hiring manager for your dream job belongs to that group.None of us are paid political pundits, so nobody should confuse our tweets with those of FOX News or MSNBC correspondents.
  3. Productivity: Let's assume for the sake of argument that you are a Twitter Black Belt. You are a subject matter expert in your field, without coming across as a know-it-all. You stand up for your principles without implying that anyone who disagrees with you is either demon possessed or a slobbering idiot. You are witty, well-liked, respected, and loved by friends and foes alike.Does this in the eyes of a recruiter necessarily make you a strong potential candidate?Certainly, it is better for those things to be true about you than not. However, being the online equivalent of a social butterfly is likely only a good thing in the eyes of an employer if it results in increased company revenue, improved recruiting efforts, or some other measurable benefit. Furthermore, that measurable benefit really needs to be related to your job.There are people on Twitter who tweet a lot, offering very sage advice or wise comments on all manner of things. However, they do so at all hours of the day, at astounding rates, and with amazing consistency.

    In short, what they really love to do is tweet and not whatever they are actually getting paid to do.

    Don't be one of those people. Don't come close.

    A hiring manager who casually clicks on your Twitter profile does not want to see that you were Tweeting about the Packers/Lions game with your friends throughout the day on Monday. She or he also doesn't want to notice that you are regularly tweeting at 1 and 2 AM when you have to be at work at 8 AM each day. These things are common sense.

In general terms, all I personally want to see on Twitter is someone who's generally bright, friendly, and helpful and doesn't consider himself or herself God's greatest anything. ... And really, I think that's probably what most normal people expect of anyone.

How about you? If you were a hiring manager, what would you look for if you happened across someone's Twitter profile?

51 comments
uwishtoo
uwishtoo

Here's a thought, never use your professional email or real name to post personal expressions.   This crap of companies thinking that every aspect of our lives and opinions is subject to their approval is just that, crap.

bobinorlando
bobinorlando

Tweets can be scheduled in advance. You can easily schedule a week's worth of constant tweeting in a hour or so on the weekend. So, so much for drawing any conclusions about productivity from that. Leaving your fate in the hands and opinions of a recruiter - now that is reckless given that recruiters, even the good ones, generally don't know much outside their own profession. Therefore advice from a recruiter on a subject outside their area of expertise should also be viewed askance,. Next article we want to see: How to bypass the clueless recruiters and get the job you want ;) (JK!!)

jschmidt
jschmidt

This forum is hilariously full of the obsolete geezers of the tech world

rogerwhitt1
rogerwhitt1

tech blog by nature is read online - by an audience of likely very tech savvy go forward people - and some luddites (me) - and to be sure online means around the world or increasingly in outer-space - please write to the reader and keep your own banal view of the world safely under wraps - i find it interesting that in the world of the internet -- writers still use pedestrian references such as- "We live in a very polarized society politically. A huge and roughly equal percentage of people are either Democrats or Republicans. Within those groups, or having broken off of those groups, are factions that rabidly believe that anyone who disagrees with them is partially responsible for ushering in the downfall of society" the reference to either republican or democrat takes the perfectly lofty notion of polarized societies and factions and because the reference sits in the middle of the ideas - it demonstrates an americentric position of the writer -- - hello world - to borrow a well used high-tech phrase - tech republic is read around the world by all manner of political ideologues - it is read in places where there is no knowledge of either group referenced - indeed this is a sentence that does not even belong in the article - "A huge and roughly equal percentage of people are either Democrats or Republicans." can be sliced out and layered into the waste can - no harm done to any of the meat or potatoes of the article -

seven2seven
seven2seven

@CharlieSpencer I share your feelings on the social front as well as remembering the names. Try using a person's name at least twice in conversation or just asked start with a question "Charile, right? Are you an engineer?" It takes conscientious effort and I still am bad at it :)

seven2seven
seven2seven

*aghh...not enough coffee and no edit feature

seven2seven
seven2seven

Having worked for recruiters (non IT positions) I can say that the above is just a bundle of politically correct terms that mean nothing. Twitter gets a glance at the most...and I mean a glance because it is irrelevant. Most of the time person is 'googled' then their Facebook is checked for 'lifestyle' and to see the applicants image(s)...and YES it is mainly used for decision making with the discrimination on many levels - age, sex, skin color, nationality...you name it and it is considered - just not spoken about. Twitter = small outburst of irrelevant info (but can be used and is handy as much as your txt log file) FB = people actually build a whole persona and ego booth to display it all If you are dumb enough to post the discriminating content of yourself (or associate with those that do) then you don't deserve the job that has higher standards and expectations. Now, if you want to be a bartender then that Vegas trip you remember only because your friends posted some images of you...then it might benefit you. If you want some exposure, networking and connections that are business oriented then get on LinkedIn and USE it.

oakcool
oakcool

First of all, I think its a huge mistake to look at someones facebook, or twitter, or whatever personal media place, and be discriminating. If you look at my profile, you might see pictures of me having a good time with friends, drinking, parting, and so on, and might not do any of that, which might make you disagree with my action, but that should never cut me of any selection process at all. If I am tweeting a 2am and its a Monday, I could be out parting or I could be working, you don't know, and if you know, you don't know if I have to be up at 8am, and you don't know if it matters that I have to be awake at 8am, for a lot of people, does not matter, they will be just as productive the next day as any other day. If you take my current situation for example, my place of work is at Pacific standard time (-8), and I am physically located at Brasilia standard time (-4), meaning I leave in the future, so my "work day" starts at noon local time, which means that I will be done around 9pm, and also means that if I twitting at 2am, I still can tweet at least another hour to be able to sleep 9 hours (which is way more than I need) before I get to work. Alternative meanings: Pomposity: If a person seems to know it all, its bad, but if he actually knows it all, well thats really good, he probably will solve a lot of the problems you might have, for the cost of having to deal with him, isn't Mark Zukerberg one of those, and look where that got him. Or the problem is you, since you don't know what hell you are doing maybe is not such a good idea to have someone that actually knows things and could make me feel really bad and incompetent. Politics: if he cheers another side, that means he thinks about life in a different way then I do, and having diversity in the body of workers is actually good for solving problems, since there are different ways of thinking about the problem working together (Brainstorming a solution). Productivity: The guys is working, tweeting and watching a game, that guy is really good, imagine if actually focus on work, he will be 3 times faster then anyone else. There are a lot of people who can multitask, and 30 seconds it takes to tweet, is not a problem. Since there aren't enough events in ones life to make him tweet every minute, so its probably more like every half an hour, which would make a total 4 min lost in a day, and even if you are crazy and tweet every 10 minutes, that mean 24 min in a day of total loss, but in the end, that person is probably a little happier, and it way better time then a person who wonder in the hall, or goes to the restroom, or any nonworking activities that we all do. What I want to say is that, instead of being in agreement with such actions, people with such power as yours (influencer) should be changing this way of thinking and make people think towards the real object of a hire, and make them be more rational and not emotional. They should hire for the quality of the person in what they need the person for, not for their individuality (race, sex, political, life handling, expressiveness, etc)

darrellriddle
darrellriddle

I do believe you are spot on in many things you mention above. Interestingly enough, I use HootSuite and scheduling for many of my tweets to make impact. Also, I used to be someone that worked worldwide and timezones/sleep were pretty wacky for me. I bet many recruiters don't think in these terms those. Some Twitter users tweet the same things 3 times a day (on a schedule) to maximize getting their points to all regional timezones (Americas, EMEA and Asia). ;-)

PeteHol
PeteHol

I've worked in IT positions since 1974, yet I don't have a Twitter account, I don't have a Facebook account, I don't have a LinkedIn account and the most shocking of all, I don't own a cell phone (or mobile phone as they call them here). I have email that people can contact me by, I have an answer machine to take messages when I'm away from home. I still can't see the point of the twitter and facebook ridiculousness, and the (rude words not entered but in my mind) people who have to use their cell phones all the time make me want to rip them out their hands and smash them.

miaau
miaau

And if you have no social media presence? No Facebook, no Twitter or anything like that but still run a team of developers. What is the recruitment perspective on that?

vulwhine
vulwhine

I have trouble finding worthy people to follow. Also, for a social media site devoted to "following," it's hard as $#%% to follow a conversation.

zentross
zentross

The question that is begging to be asked though is "Can you be found guilty by the habits of friends and followers on a social network?"

mebertz
mebertz

I feel much the same way as Palmetto. I use LinkedIn a bit and should ask for recommedations. I did get a job inquiry recently from my LinkedIn account. I gave up on FaceBook, couldn't see the point, why not email if it's important. RE: remembering names, it takes work. Many years before I was in IT, I was a bellhop and learnded that I got better tips if I remember people's names. So I learned to remember people's names. After a short while it wasn't work, it just happened and now (35 years later) I'm not as good as I used to be, but I'm better at it than most people.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

What does the LACK of a Twitter account say about an IT applicant? How about the complete absence for the 'social networking' scene? (Assuming the candidate isn't applying for a job in the social networking arena, of course.)

mikel.king
mikel.king

However what is annoying is that being a power tweeter on the higher end of the scale I am a little dismayed by the section against those of us who managed to unlock the tweet fountain. I accept however that it is the sad truth that most recruiters and hiring managers are not so knowledgeable in the ways of the tweet. It saddens me further that the fact I have written my own branded application to tweet content around the clock to help me reach a larger and broader audience would be misconstrued in a negative fashion. Regards, Mikel King @mikelking http://jafdip.com

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

here you are. What do you find hilarious? I'm fine-tuning my material here and want to cut the dead stuff before I open in the Catskills in June. Tip your waitress.

jschmidt
jschmidt

You have to be some sort of insane person to not have your Facebook profile completely set to private. No employer should ever be able to see any part of it. It's 1000% none of their business.

jimbo.starr
jimbo.starr

A post like yours make my screening easy.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'd hate to receive the same content three times a day. Also, doesn't the default Twitter page display the last 25 posts? Does anyone really have enough worthwhile things to post daily, to the point that it's worth being concerend about pushing the last one off before the other side of the world can see it? Contrarily, is it worth following someone who posts that often? But then, I don't 'get' Twitter, so maybe my perceptions are way off base.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Yeah, but HOW? Every time I'm involved in an introduction, I go directly to 'Deer in Headlights' mode.

Tim Heard
Tim Heard

Sorry that I missed your original post. At the time, I was recovering from having my back fused, and had a very short attention span. :-) I think I answered a similar question though from someone else. Lack of a Twitter account is no big deal. Probably means you are smarter than the rest of us. I *DO* think that there is some value in creating a LinkedIn profile, even if you are an introvert and don't aggressively network. It is a means of staying in touch with the people you want to stay in touch with, and also provides a mechanism which allows coworkers to recommend you as being good at what you do.

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

I don't have the time to tell everyone else what I'm doing (when I'm not on Facebook, Twitter or other "social networking" site). Moreover, I have a sense of privacy; I don't want everyone and his dog to know what I'm doing. This also applies to my professional career and means I don't go broadcasting company information that may be useful to a competitor. I have no interest in who's blowing his nose or who's out walking the dog, etc. I don't watch big brother or even soaps; my life is interesting and enjoyable and I don't have to live it by proxy. Whether this electronic social isolation has any effects on my career I don't know. I do know that I have a real life social network of real friends who make significant contributions to my life and many of us meet physically on a regular basis.

Tim Heard
Tim Heard

Palmetto, First, I won't be online today taking Q&A, but I appreciate all feedback, and will check back as time permits. To answer your first question, it probably means you have more sense than the rest of us, and have better ways to spend your time. :-) ... Seriously, having or not having a Twitter account is not a major deal, unless you work in a role which would seem to require that you have one. On the other hand, I recommend that everyone create a LinkedIn profile, regardless of whther you are looking for a job. Such an account enables you to stay in touch with former coworkers, and also allows you to build up a list of online references so that you don't have to spend a lot of energy trying to track people down when you ARE considering a job move. Also, when the time comes that you are looking, you have a network of people who know you who might be able to suggest good opportunities to consider. Good question! Hope that helps... Tim

Tim Heard
Tim Heard

Mikel, You are in somewhat of a unique role in that you are something of a social media expert, in addition to being a tech guru and developer. Think though about the average hiring manager who is looking for a QA professional to test the web application his team is developing, or who's hiring developers or IT security specialists. There are very few hiring managers who want someone who is a power tweeter .... They want someone who' going to be fully engaged with the task at hand. And most would wonder why in the world the typical IT professional would need or want an app that would allow them to broadcast Twwwets 24/7. Yes, there are people for whom that type of app would be great. But it seems to me that you'd likely find more interest among people working in sales, marketing, and public relations than in IT ... the people I typically recruit and who make up the majority of the reading audience. Thanks for your input though. Tim

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

When I read your original "term paper" as you put it, I thought I was reading about myself. Unlike you, I don't mind if someone I knew or worked with 20 years ago pops up. I totally understand the thing about being a military brat. I am one and also served 20 years in the USAF, so I have experienced those separations. I had a Facebook account for a short while but I killed it a few years ago. Too much useless garbage. I get the occasional LinkedIn invite but I have no real use for that one either or for Twitter. TR is about as social as I get. I see you are from SC. Part of my growing up occurred in Columbia and I still have family there.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

But I haven't figured that out yet. In the case of LinkedIn, I realized that it's just an electronic version of something I didn't do in the 'real world' to begin with: interact professionally outside the workplace. Ditto for Facebook on the social front: I didn't much social interaction off line either. I looked at Twitter again last fall, and still can't figure out how to get any value from it. No matter who I select to follow, they invariably post more that I'm not interested in than content that I appreciate.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I tried LinkedIn for several months, but closed the account when I couldn't figure out how to get any value from it.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I never know what to say to people who greet me after several years of non-contact. First, I rarely remember who they are / were. Second, if we've been apart that long, we rarely have anything left in common for me to use as a conversational starting point. I make a few generic statements or questions, desperately fishing for some clue as to who they are or where I knew them. Moderator Nick Nielsen and contributing author Justin James are from this neck of the woods too. So is wowlibrarian, who contributed her opinions on LinkedIn above, but she hasn't been seen on TR since. At her urging I tried LinkedIn again, but I closed the account after two or three months. I still couldn't figure out what to do with it or what was in it for me.

nyssssa
nyssssa

? I heard he sang a good song / I heard he had a style ?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

but only if I remember to create them. In the case of introductions, I almost immediately lose the person's name. Even if I don't, I don't remember to create a mnemonic. I can come up with memory tricks for all sorts of other information if I have a few moments, but I feel pressured during introductions to interact with the other people. Somehow I don't think it would go over well if I were to say, "Excuse me a moment while I come up with some trick to remember your name. For the fourth time in 30 seconds, what was it again? Oh, and don't expect me to be able to match it to your face..."

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

Your comment is the first time I've seen a reason (valid for me) for joining a social networking group other than idle curiosity about the lives of others or being a means of contact. Many thanks for your clear well written contribution.

SKDTech
SKDTech

Mnemonics have never worked for me either. If I don't remember something on its own merit then it either isn't worth remembering or I need to spend more timechiseling it into the wet clay wall that is my memory. Then again, I will remember IP addresses, machine names, strong wireless keys, etc. for days or weeks after using them. I can tell you the key to my wireless network at home(long, completely random password with all four character types, generated by slapping imaginary insects on the keyboard) at the drop of a hat. but I won't be able to connect a face and a name until about the fourth or fifth time I've been introduced to someone over a period of weeks. Edit: @Palmetto below, I've remembered mnemonics in the past, but only as long as they are immediately relevant. Once the information becomes a filing cabinet item instead of a note on the desk blotter it quickly becomes lost in all the other trivia I have acquired in my life.

SKDTech
SKDTech

LinkedIn has been useless to me as anything other thana way to track my job history and people I may need to call on as a reference. I have never been a "social" person, I have a facebook page that I check once a quarter if I remember and a twitter account that collects dust since the "firehose" of other people's posts is worse than useless for someone with better things to do. The most aggravating thing I have noticed recently on LinkedIn is the regular notifications of new recommendations I have received from people I haaven't worked with in years praising skills not used on the contract which we worked together or skills I neither possess or claim. Unluckily for me, my parents yanked me up to be an honest man and I delete any recommendation which I do not feel that I have justifiably earned. I'm sure it will bite me in the a## next time I find myself on the job market.

pgit
pgit

I signed up and was amazed at the people that were suggested automagically by linkedin. There were people I had dealt with years ago but haven't contacted in any way for 6 or more years... and the reason I knew them then is not related to my work. It's like linkedin has access to the entirety of my on line history. Not long after I had the account I began getting invites from a bunch of local people, two of whom were fired by their employers for various reasons. (one of them has been fired out of every job he's had since I've known him) I did not accept the invites, and after about a dozen or so from each one of these people the invites finally stopped. My "excuse" is that although I signed up I really don't use linkedin for anything, which is true. I do plan to figure out how they know so much about us, so I will be using it a little.

GSG
GSG

I thought about trying Linked in, but about the time I decided to do it, I got an invite from a former co-worker who I heartily disliked and had been terminated for poor performance and some "lifestyle issues" that affected his working life. I decided to opt out at that point.

dgfsadmf
dgfsadmf

I enjoyed your comments and the ones below. I think much of it relates to being introverted, so it is a matter of degree. I also have a hard time asking folks for recommendations and take it seriously when asked to write one. With LinkedIn I can simply ignore the request if I don't care to, but so far I've been willing to write the ones asked. I don't take as long as you though, only 15 minutes to write something short but real enough so it doesn't sound like one more BS recommendation. With the faces and names, I have that problem too. I'm starting to think not recognizing faces out of context or ones I've only seen a few times is some brain anomaly -- maybe the opposite of the one where people can't forget a face (I forget what it's called). It's just a difference in people, like having perfect vision or not. I probably have some other skill the face and name recognizers don't! I hope you try LinkedIn again, but maybe you don't need it. Unlike you, I do enjoy recognizing names of people from jobs I worked 20 or 30 years ago. We don't become best friends but I have enjoyed the 1 in 3 people (so far) the emailed back and gave a short update on what they've been up to. You sound like you are fine doing what you're doing and just being who you are.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Yeah, I'm old enough to remember when that song was on the charts. I don't have trouble with names if I set up a user's accounts. By the time I'm finished with network, e-mail, VPN, ERP, etc., a name has been drilled into my head, including the middle initial. But I receive that as written (okay, e-mailed) information, and can key it into the accounts at a leisurely pace. When I'm introduced to someone, my brain goes into a blue screen of death. Yeah, I know; I'm supposed to play mnemonic games with their name or something, but when I'm trying to make a reasonable impression I can't never remember to do any of the memory tricks. (I acknowledge that I'd probably make the most favorable impression on someone if I'd just remember his or her name.) By the time I get the organic CPU rebooted, the information is gone from RAM. Under most circumstances I don't mind asking foolish questions, but apparently having to ask someone his name two or even more times in less than five minutes is too embarrassing even for me.

johnm
johnm

Wow! Palmetto. I'm NOT unique! File under unexpected data. And a nice, well laid out explanation. Do you have trouble mentally filing names if you haven't seen them written out? That is my biggest hangup. Google the song lyrics if you don't recall or haven't heard them.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Yeah, I've got to face that guy every morning. So far, so good; he hasn't reached out and smacked me yet. Among the social niceties I lack are the ability to candy-coat unpleasant information, and my inability to swallow same without telling the one offering it that I'm aware of the worms inside. I abhor 'management speak'; the idiot who decided 'problem' and 'opportunity' are synonymous should be chained to the bottom of a septic tank.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

maybe over Christmas. I find TR is usually enough on-line activity for me, though. I don't know that I have any unique experiences or skills. I'm just another geek among many. I rarely have anything I think is worth bringing to the attention of others, don't know who I'd make aware of it anyway, and am usually way back off the cutting edge of new tech or trends. Don't get me wrong; I have a positive self-image, a reasonably decent skill set, and a good sense of professional competence, but I'm nothing unique or unusual in IT. I've created Twitter accounts at least four times, as recently as September, and I get even less from it than LinkedIn. I cannot figure out how so-called 'conversations' occur. I can't find anyone I consider worth 'following'. As noted above, I have almost nothing new contribute, and none of it within a 140-character limit. Mostly though, I dislike the personal tweets of those I've followed for professional reasons. (If you read my previous post / term paper, that will come as no surprise.) Either the 'wheat to chaff' ratio on Twitter is too low, or I don't know how to separate the two.

wowlibrarian
wowlibrarian

One of the real benefits of LinkedIn is the ability to join the interest groups. I would think that someone with your background would have a great deal of experience to share with other people. We need mentors-- perhaps you would consider that role? There is also a section on LinkedIn called Answers. People ask all kinds of questions, and some of them are very specific. I'll bet you would be able to provide some insight there. There's a large group of people on Twitter who specifically tweet about Java, or SharePoint, or Linux; they provide bits of code, or will look at someone else's code to help resolve an issue. They are the first to tell you there's an issue with the latest upgrade or patch. Good people to follow! So while having a LinkedIn or Twitter account is not at the very top of my list when looking at IT professionals, IT people who participate in online communities get an extra check in the go column on my checklist.

pgit
pgit

That last post wouldn't take, it showed only that truncated first line... when I went to edit, it was all correct. After I finally got the dang thing to take, that first out of place line was still there, but does NOT show up when I hit "edit," so I'm unable to delete it... This place has been weird since they changed the back end... but this one is new to me. I wonder if it has to do with "profanity" filters or the like?

pgit
pgit

You painted a picture of me very well here. The two main differences I see: I don't watch TV, ergo Big Bang Theory isn't an issue, and I don't hesitate to accept recommendations from others. Like you, I can't quite get myself up to the task of soliciting recommendations from anyone. But I do get a fair amount of them, all voluntarily offered by people who've been pleased with my services. (usually because I work cheap compared to those with brick-and-mortar overhead) Otherwise, a spittin' image. I think everything else is a product of the one factor: that you don't put up with BS, and stick to that principle. Not catering to idiots, liars and manipulators has lost me a ton of work over the years, which couldn't be any better. Instead I have accumulated good, solid, consistent and fair-minded clients that are a pleasure to work with. It may be a luxury in my particular situation, but I have sacrificed a lot, too, and I wouldn't have that any other way as well. The worst thing I can imagine would be at the end of the day looking in the mirror and having to say "you know, kid... you're a real A**#>>e!" I'd rather be broke than an immoral jerk. Like you, I can't quite get myself up to the task of soliciting recommendations from anyone. But I do get a fair amount of them, all voluntarily offered by people who've been pleased with my services. (usually because I work cheap compared to those with brick-and-mortar overhead) Otherwise, a spittin' image. I think everything else is a product of the one factor: that you don't put up with BS, and stick to that principle. Not catering to idiots, liars and manipulators has lost me a ton of work over the years, which couldn't be any better. Instead I have accumulated good, solid, consistent and fair-minded clients that are a pleasure to work with. It may be a luxury in my particular situation, but I have sacrificed a lot, too, and I wouldn't have that any other way as well. The worst thing I can imagine would be at the end of the day looking in the mirror and having to say "you know, kid... you're a real A-H!" I'd rather be broke than an immoral jerk.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It wasn't anything particularly wrong with LinkedIn. I don't know how to 'network', either on line or otherwise. I created the account but had nothing to add beyond the basic job and education history. I don't have any other e-social accounts to pull from, and don't have any contacts with former co-workers. I have no idea how to maintain a relationship if I'm not interacting with the other person at least monthly. I like to blame it on my background as a military brat. When another kid's military parent was transferred, you knew you would never see him or her again, and vice versa. Of course, it could be something else entirely. I find it difficult to learn names or faces, and, as I noted, forget most of them without regular use. I find I'm also not particularly interested in or very good at many of the social interactions others seem to take for granted. I dislike when someone I haven't seen or heard from in several years pops up, especially out of context. My wife takes it for granted that she's not going to get introduced; she know I don't remember who the other person was. I feel very uncomfortable asking personal favors, especially of former co-workers and others with whom I no longer have anything in common. I feel like I'm using people for what they can do for me, especially when I know I have minimal or no interest in them personally. I abhor such requests from others. Maybe this is due to my never having a personal relationship with them away from work, and not really being interested in one I absolutely hate writing recommendations, which I understand is one of the key interactions on LinkedIn. I've only been asked to do so two or three times, fortunately by people I had no reservations in recommending. It's something I take -very- seriously, and feel that writing them at the drop of a hat cheapens them. My insistence on accuracy, disgust with many canned formats I've seen, and overall lack of experience meant each took me a three or four hours. I don't know how to write a brief one. I wouldn't know where to begin if I had to ask someone else to write one about me. I don't know that I could even come up with a list of people to ask. I've had three jobs in my 26-year IT career, and none were obtained via 'networking'. I wasn't able to develop or leverage any social connections during a 21-year military reservist career either. Fortunately, I'm not actively seeking work or advancement. I know circumstances can change, but my job looks as stable as one could hope in the current economy. I try to not feel too uncomfortable about my inability to 'network' or socialize, but sometimes I'm envious of the ability of others to do so and even apparently enjoy it. But enough of this self-examination. The socially skilled gang of 'Big Bang Theory' is on :-)

seabruce
seabruce

I agree with Tim about having a LinkedIn account. They were all unsolicited contracts. Palmetto, not sure I understand what you mean when you write: "I couldn't figure out how to get any value from it." I aslo help people in my network connect with others and jobs.

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