“Interested” (revisited) – What you can do to improve the way employers see you!

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Previously, in ‘“Interested” – I have no idea what that means!‘, I talked about blindly responding to LinkedIn posts, and how it would change how employers see you. This post is a follow-up to help you correct some of your previous behaviour and give a better impression of yourself.

I don’t believe LinkedIn really understands how to encourage and measure genuine discussions, so it has decided to count responses to posts as a measure of engagement, and provided, by default, messaging suggestions for every comment. These, apparently, are generated by ‘machine learning’, which only means that the more you use them, the more often they will appear.

Do you want your discussions to be generated by a machine? I sincerely hope not, and employers would prefer to get to know the real you too!

The first step to getting your real identity would be to prevent these ‘machine’ suggestions appearing altogether. There is a menu called [Messaging experience] in your LinkedIn settings under [Communications]. The menu looks like this on my laptop:

In the [Messaging experience] menu you can switch off [Messaging suggestions], and then you will have to write your own replies. This may seem to be a lot of hard work, but, hopefully, you’ll no longer appear to be a machine, but a human again!

Now you are free to express yourself. Remember to read the whole job post, because a good recruiter will always include a link or email address you can use to apply for the job, so use it, and don’t reply “Interested” on Linkedin (or even worse, post your email address, which could be a security risk to you, and suggest to a future employer that you are a security risk!).

Good luck!…………..Phil


“Interested” – I have no idea what that means!

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Sometimes I am truly baffled by responses posted to messages in LinkedIn. Maybe it is due to my advancing age? However, while I may be getting old, I’m fairly sure that isn’t the whole story. I think many LinkedIn users are getting lazy, and LinkedIn is encouraging this laziness in the search for “engagement” by supplying quick and easy 1-click replies, which alas mean very little. To me the use of these shortcuts does suggest a general lack of understanding of how to portray oneself online, and, if that is true, as an employer, I would probably remove them immediately from any interview list, because a SAS programmer must be able to read, understand and respond clearly to specifications, just like we all did when answering questions in examinations. It is fortunate then that I’m not an employer!

Let me give you an example. Each month I post links to my monthly SAS job summary blog post in a number of LinkedIn groups. While I’m happy to start a conversation about the post, what I’m really expecting is for readers to click on the link and read the blog post. Every now and then a group member replies with “Interested”, and sometimes even an email address too (which to me is a sign of a potential security risk!). I have no idea what that means, so I’ve started responding as follows:

Please note that I am a job advertising platform administrator, not a recruiter. On my blog site all jobs should be applied for using the Apply links within the job posts, so you are sent to the corresponding recruiter directly.

However, I would recommend you to join us and register for free on my blog site, Holland Numerics: Blog and Forums at http://blog.hollandnumerics.org.uk, to discuss SAS-related topics and receive monthly summary emails about current SAS jobs posted on the site. Please visit this site if you need more details.

As a registered member, why not post an article in the SAS Skills Discussion Forum to introduce yourself to recruiters registered on the blog? Don’t forget to tag your own name in your article, as they will both be included in the Forum Tag Cloud.

Also, if you would like free access to the VIEWS newsletter archive, 55 issues of SAS hints and tips, then please let me know. Publications restarted in 2019, and the new issues will be published in February, May, August and November each year.

OK I’m advertising my blog site too, but no-one can say there is any ambiguity in my reply!

Another common response is a quick and meaningless reply like “Okay”, “Thanks”, “Sure” or 👍, when I’m asking several questions together, or when I’m just informing them that I have disconnected from them in LinkedIn. For these responses I have another stock reply:

You will learn over time that to be a real SAS programmer, or a Data Scientist, actions speak louder than words. I realise there is a cultural background to agreeing on the Indian Sub-continent that makes it the polite thing to do, but, to any colleagues you may work with in the future from the UK, Europe and North America, “Okay”, “Thanks” or “Sure” in answer to a request means “I am already doing it”!

Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but I truly believe that you can get further in your career by writing with clarity and purpose at all times!

Interested? 😉