LinkedIn is Terrible at Job Recommendations

LinkedIn Logo

 

Most people I know have a LinkedIn account these days, especially if they have a university degree or work in a knowledge worker environment. However, I have recently found a glaring problem with LinkedIn, at least in Sweden. The job recommendations suck. Plain and simple. I don’t expect their recommendation engine to be perfect but the current algorithm is quite embarrassing.

Let me begin by talking about myself, so you can get an idea how insane some of the recommendations are. I am just finishing my MSc in Business Administration (Information & Knowledge Management specialization) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. I have already returned to Stockholm, Sweden but I am not quite finished with my master thesis yet.  I am writing about Enterprise System (ES / ERP) implementations. Prior to my Master in Amsterdam I got a Bachelor degree in Business & Economics from Uppsala University. And I worked in an accounting department during the last couple of summers, except this summer as I was busy with my thesis.

I cannot code to save my life and while I considering myself knowledgeable about business and enterprise systems, knowledge management and such I do not fancy myself anything but a recent graduate with junior-ish qualifications. Anything else would be quite absurd – with some exceptions.

[Selfpromotion]See my LinkedIn profile for a more complete overview [/Selfpromotion]

The kinds of jobs LinkedIn says it recommends for me are quite beyond my qualifications. Senior IT consultant, CTO and some hilarious, probably a scam, ‘Business Coach’ job. Let’s begin with the Senior IT consultant.

Linkedin Sr Consultant Qliktech

LinkedIn Sr Consultant Qliktech

While I am very interested in this kind of work, I am not by any stretch of the imagination a candidate for a technical position. I do not know how to code, or at least not enough to be of use for any corporate work. Nor am I suited for a senior position. The years in job listings are always over the top but I am still at the very least 3-5 years off calling myself anything close to a senior consultant, or senior anything else. For that matter.

Next up: CTO

LinkedIn CTO Sonoport

LinkedIn CTO Sonoport

This posting is not even located in Stockholm. But once again, entirely off compared to my background. I am not in a position to take up a CTO role. I am just not well versed enough in any technical aspects.  I can administer a Linux server well enough for my own needs but not well enough to call myself a professional sysadmin. I am just a happy amateur.

And the last one, Emyth business coach.

Linkedin EMyth Business Coach 1

Linkedin EMyth Business Coach 2

LinkedIn EMyth Business Coach

This one is amusing. It feels like a scam to me, pay to join our bullshit courses and make a stack load of money. Yea right.  Not really anything in my profile suggesting that this would be a good fit either. I can’t say I am terribly impressed with this one either, shouldn’t even be allowed on LinkedIn in my opinion. Leave the pyramid schemes to the gullible people who want believe everything they read. Speaking of which, I got an email from a Nigerian prince saying I inherited $2 million. That is legit right?

Let’s be clear, LinkedIn is supposed to be great at matching potential employees with employment opportunities, it is not especially good in my experience. There are probably many reasons for this, one could be that their algorithm is not good enough. Or that there simply aren’t enough job listings in the Stockholm area right now.

I hope, for LinkedIn’s sake, that it is the latter. For my sake, well I hope that I will find a job but in the mean time I have to finish my thesis. Transcribing interviews is probably among the least fun tasks you undertake.

[ShamelessSelfPromotion] Got any tips for jobs in the Stockholm Region, throw me an email at Patrik[at]pathy.se or on LinkedIn.  [/ShamelessSelfPromotion]

-P

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The Sad State of The Unpaid “Internship” at Schibsted / Servicefinder

There are few things I despise more than unpaid internships. I am a firm believer that it is unprofessional to work for free. If a company cannot generate enough value from your employment to pay at least a livable wage, then should they even bother to hire you in the first place.  It is despicable abuse of  desperate labour

Today’s culprit is Norwegian media conglomerate Schibsted, owner of Aftonbladet, Blocket.se, Finn.no, among others. With an annual revenue of over 14b NOK, one would think they could pay livable wages for their staff. I know (print) media is currently suffering from decreasing revenue and that there are many out of work journalist/journalist students but that doesn’t mean you can go around abusing them.

Below is the Google translate of a Swedish job advert for a job at ServiceFinder (too lazy to manually translate it of course), original can be found here and backup of it here. The translation is slightly dodgy but you will get the gist of the advert.

Service Finder has grown steadily since 2006 and now has clearer growth plans. Today we are the largest in the industry in Sweden, is one of Nordic’s largest groups Schibsted and cooperates with sites like Blocket.se and Aftonbladet. Service Finder has a strong corporate culture and growth focused. We believe that the company grows, so grows the individual. Now looking for a marketing intern for the service as a writer who wants to join in the growth of the department and the company

Schedule
Full-time, 8:30 to 17:30
Unpaid internship, eight weeks starting in agreement (chance of employment available)

Duties
Your primary task is to create interesting articles in which you will be working as an investigative writer in industries such as construction, cleaning and moving. Examples of items are “How to find the right craftsman” and “What services people buy the paycheck.” Some of the items will be included in the article series, eg “Renovation School”, then you will get to have overall responsibility for the entire series of articles. You will also be responsible for creating different templates for contracts and guides / checklists along with marketing communications.

We offer you
The marketing department is a close-knit team and you will be working closely with marketing, marketing communications, and software developer. The team is very agile with quick decisions. It gives you great opportunities to influence and to implement fun new projects. It can also occur orders from other departments that you may be responsible for.

As a writer, you need:
• Be able to find innovative solutions to problems and be creative
• Have a talent for writing the word
• Able to adjust tonality based on audience and channel
• Be good at cooperating. You will be working closely with the project manager and designer.
• Be stress. We often work against tight deadlines and fight against time
• Takes responsibility, careful and structured.

We like you a little extra if you:
• Have relevant training as a writer or in journalism
• Are interested in web
• Can write search engine optimized

Interviews and selection is ongoing, so please send your application with relevant work samples as soon as possible but no later than 1 July 2013.

As you can see, the internship is unpaid, and is pretty much legitimate work. I am not sure how much anyone (especially someone with a journalist degree) will learn from writing about “How to find the right craftsman”. Internships as part of the education, which rewards university credits and allow you to get student grants/loans are fine in my opinion, but anything more than that is a joke. This “job advert” is a crass attempt by a very large organization to abuse (free) labour. The requirements are enough for be proper job, let alone an unpaid internship. It may be boring articles to write but the topics mentioned sure as hell is a legitimate job, one that should be paid. If you cannot generate enough money to support one journalist from such articles on properties like ServiceFinder, then you are doing something wrong.

I am not a great fan of unions but this is a case where they are important. I am not sure of the laws surrounding internships in Sweden but this is a sad case. I am sure a lot of people will apply in hopes of having a chance on permanent employment.  Unpaid internships are an evil that should be cleansed from the job market. They benefit no one in the long run. If a position does not generate enough value for a company to pay a minimum wage, then it should probably not exist.  The sooner unpaid internships are scrapped, the better.

Shame on Schibsted and shame on ServiceFinder. At least pay your employees a damn salary instead of pretending that it is an internship.

-P

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Are (Open) LinkedIn Groups Pointless?

Are (open) LinkedIn Groups pointless? That is something I ask my self every time I get emails from the more or less open LinkedIn groups I belong to. Judging by all the emails I have gotten so far, it is mostly spam. Once or twice there has been relevant information or discussions but for the most part it is thinly veiled spam.

So much spam on LinkedIn

Are LinkedIn groups pointless?

This is an email from the Information & Knowledge Management Executive Network group on LinkedIn. As you can see,  these discussion are pretty much only spam. And obvious spam at that. LinkedIn needs to step up the spam protection in groups as this means that most semi-public or public groups are just unusable.

That said, the job discussions appears to be legitimate, which is something I guess, but unfortunately none of the job posts there have been suitable for me. 🙁

Time to get back to studying, exam tomorrow!

– P

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