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LinkedIn Doesn’t Want You to Get a Job: How to Handle Job Searching When Using the Big Sites Fail

LinkedIn Doesn’t Want You to Get a Job: How to Handle Job Searching When Using the Big Sites Fail

Nov 15, 2023

You’d think that LinkedIn and Indeed want you to find a new job. It sure looks like that’s what they want, doesn’t it? They send you marketing emails, re-target you and build custom dashboards with job links that might work for you. Their goals are not aligned with yours.  It’s akin to the financial advisor who profits from frequent trades (when their client only seeks stable returns) or the therapist who is driven to schedule endless sessions (despite the client’s desire for a fast healing process).

LinkedIn makes money from employers who post job ads. So whether you get a job, or how long it takes, doesn’t really factor in. LinkedIn ads are generally priced to employers by audience size, by eyeballs.  Whether you like the job, apply for it, or get it, has no significant impact on LinkedIn’s revenue.

The situation with Indeed is similar: employers pay Indeed for people who click through to their job posting, not for actually finding employers employees or job seekers jobs. This means that whether the job is relevant or not, if they can get you to click, even if it’s a waste of your time - they get paid.

Does that mean that using LinkedIn and Indeed has no value? Of course not. LinkedIn and Indeed have mountains of data and job feeds at their disposal and a wealth of tools and resources.

Today these big job search sites have become one-size-fits-all solutions, but today’s talent begs for personalization. Spray and pray applications rarely work. Even a sideways glance at the “also applied” box on LinkedIn will show that you’re battling hundreds of other applicants, especially when you use features like Easy Apply.

Job searchers have to do better, and the companies that support them have to do better as well.

How to Beat the ATS Beast

Often enterprises use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan the thousands of applicants that come in for each job. They have a specific job description, and they are looking to see how much of your application matches their job description. It can be the difference between having “software developer” and “full stack engineer” on your resume. Not a lot of difference between the two titles, but one matches the job description better.

Find the Right Postings

First, narrow your search. Volume isn’t the solution. Strategy is. You don’t need to apply to 200 job postings. Find 20 listings that fit your ideal next job. If you’re not looking on LinkedIn or Indeed, where do you look? Search for job boards that focus on bringing tools and technology together, that aren’t one size fits all.

Make Every Application Matter

  1. Research each company

    • Look them up on LinkedIn and Glassdoor. See what they’re posting, and what others are posting about them. Look up their leadership and see what they care about.

    • Check out their website. Pay special attention to any mission statements, values or company history blurbs.

  2. Look up the hiring manager, and the possible hiring team

    • Twitter is a good place to start learning about your potential new boss. Then, circle back to LinkedIn. Pay attention to not only the posts, but the manager’s career path.  Does this look like who you want to work for?  Do you have a connection to them you can leverage?

  3. Customize your resume and cover letter

    • Use specific key phrases from the job description on your resume. Sometimes it’s a simple replacement of one word for another. More importantly, using the research you’ve done, update the tone and positioning of your words to match that of the company.

Shorten the Cycle

The key here is to understand that LinkedIn and Indeed optimize their financial returns when you the job seeker keep seeing potential roles but you don’t actually land them.  Your task is to shorten the cycle and actually land the position.  Ever use a dating site like Tinder?  Tinder doesn’t want you to find a life partner.  They want you to keep searching because that is how they make money.  LinkedIn and Indeed are similar.  If you want to actually get a new position and not just doomscroll opportunities, you need to change the game and leverage tools like TalentGenius Coach and our upcoming Talent Agent.