I had opened a LinkedIn account several months ago, uploaded an unidentifiable photograph, and didn’t further acknowledge it until recently. I began to flesh out the details of my work history (as far as positions), and education over the past week. As I did this, I came to realize that I am actually more private than the average social media obsessed millennial. I felt a desire to keep myself guarded from unnecessary online attention. This led me to do a google search of my name to see what would come up. My LinkedIn profile was not hard to find within the top 5 google search results listed under my name. I decided to protect myself by allowing most of the information within my profile available to my connections, and LinkedIn Users. After all, we are not quite clear about the long term implications of internet privacy. I’m also a very private person in general, and am not comfortable with people having unfiltered access to any part of my life.
The experience thus far has been pretty easy to navigate. The website has a user friendly interface, making it simple to plug in necessary information. I’ve added a few connections so far, mostly close friends. I’ve also spent some time studying how other people have “decorated” their LinkedIn pages, and have taken notes on future improvements I can make. I noticed that on some pages people actually had uploaded examples of their work; like PowerPoint presentations, essays, Excel Files, and more. This gave prospective employers the ability to see what an applicant is capable of in a “show” versus tell mode. No longer does the employer have to wonder if the information being provided is true, or if the applicant is 100% capable of performing duties. That was an improvement on my own profile I’d like to eventually make (adding PowerPoints, Essays, etc.).

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Also, some of the best profiles had many endorsements and recommendations. So far, my page is empty but I’d like to acquire both of these over time. They make the information you provide come to life, and appear valid/trusted. For each job title, you can directly link the recommendations from coworkers, bosses, and people you have managed.

I’d also like to do future job hunts using LinkedIn. I’ve realized that LinkedIn actually makes job searches less difficult by directly sending your profile to employers. It’s not necessary to fill out long, arduous applications online. Now you can just click a few buttons and your information is right in front of recruiters.

Although my current job title is Deputy Family Readiness Officer, I researched fields that were not directly related to my current working background. I am interested in eventually finding work in Cyber Security. Thanks to LinkedIn’s job search features I was able to look up job titles and companies throughout the United States.

One job posting that stood out to me was from CliniComp, Intl. which is located in San Diego, CA. They made their application process easy by having the “inApply” feature which would send my profile to the recruiter. Also, it gave a clear idea of the job description, minimum qualifications, and information about the person to contact. I was able to recognize that I have a lot of the minimum qualifications, except the specific Cybersecurity 2 years’ experience necessary. This didn’t make me uncomfortable applying because the LinkedIn application is so personal. I’m aware that if I further polish my profile, I may be selected based off of my ability to demonstrate my competence on the site, and my creating a positive relationship with the recruiter.

In the past I’ve been overwhelmed with the idea of doing a job search. Filling out applications, attaching resumes/cover letters, and preparing for interviews seemed out of reach. LinkedIn simplifies the process and makes it easier for me to navigate the job hunt. This application makes me feel like I have better control over how I am viewed by employers, and can help me have a leg up against the competition by presenting myself well on this professional networking platform.