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How to Build an Online Professional Presence Without Using LinkedIn

 (This is a bit of a departure but I'm still waiting for my cables to use my MacBook Air and finish the Bicep work.)

On LinkedIn, saw a post by one of my connections - 

 "You don't have to post on websites you don't like to build your 'brand'.

It was so simple and succinct that I went "You know what? Yeah, they're right." -- And, after 6 years of use, hibernated my LinkedIn account on about October 18th 2023 without warning.

I don't have to read a bunch of cringey nonsense or watch companies accept bad behavior while "Hey, bigotry is bad" is "not a value alignment with our company".

It's great. 

I do miss the head-nod-glance acknowledgements of my connections, who have been greatly helpful, as well as watching animators spoil future Dreamworks projects by having them on their profiles and box office news. I do miss being able to send a message to someone to get some insight or let them know of an issue with their Zendesk setup (You'd be surprised at how often this happened).

The ROI I was getting from LI was a headache, not a paycheck.

Anyway, that means things had to be adjusted on how to search for work and contracts (fun fact: my longest running contract was not gained through LinkedIn, shock of shocks, but Twitter)

I get a lot less recruiters finding me, but none of those conversations had lead to work. If you've sent your resume to places like TekSystems or Robert Half, or even listed your resume on sites like Dice, people will find you at a steady clip and email.

Lost a fair portion of the audience for my blog, but that's one more thing I'm okay with. Some recruiters find it worrisome if you don't have an online presence, but I'd rather they look at my Twitter, a place that is active, genuine, and is a community more open to improvement.

The other sites will definitely be smaller, but there's a much better chance you can find people who are genuine about their goals and lives.

How can I build my online presence without LinkedIn?

If you have a portfolio, have it on the your resume.

They can't find you on LinkedIn if you're deactivated, but they can find you online - if you tell them where to look. Need a portfolio online? Polywork is now 100% portfolio, and you can use Medium or Blogger. All free for the basics!

Find communities.

Slacks and Discords can be a big help. I prefer Slack because I forget to use Discord. The big thing is finding the Slacks and Discords. 

Hint: Before you leave LinkedIn, look for educators, people who make courses or follow-along work - they often have off site communities. For example, apply for the Remote POC slack here, and the TechStudySlack [which has moved to Discord after issues with Slack]. Many organizations have them - find one you're familiar with and scout the site for information. Here's a list of Slacks you can join (Don't know how active they may be).

Twitter (yeah) is still fairly good. Threads exists, and Blue Sky is now open to the public!

Get alerts from job boards.

I will say, a helpful portion of LinkedIn was the job board. It had its issues, but a lot of job listings, however jank, were listed in a way that was easy to parse. 

Google (and Bing) do have a very similar jobs layout if you search ``[technology or field] jobs`` in the main search box [see below] and hit the giant blue jobs banner.

 


It leads to this page;


See how I have some saved searches.

 I've seen people give search strings that look for new listings on Greenhouse with mixed results,

Glassdoor and Dice apparently have communities, but I can't say I've gotten them to work. I think Glassdoor has 2 different ones - one in-house, and something called Fishbowl, and Dice just says 'connect with recruiters', but I haven't found individuals, just companies.

Update: Glassdoor's Fishbowl isn't bad, but it's very glitchy. I have found recruiters on Dice.

Get those email alerts.

If you want to go the 'would love to connect!' route, just remember that thousands of people are doing that and you aren't standing out. Recruiters will still email you - use it there and start a dialogue. Get job alerts from places and actually apply.

...but be careful.

There are some job sites that, to the internet-trained person, simply reek of being a scam. Anything that puts clicking through to a job page without signing up and giving information like email and zip code is probably bunk. Any site or course charging you a membership fee is probably not telling you anything new.

I'm not your parent, so do what you want, but use your judgement!


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