Maybe you are too linked in with LinkedIn

LinkedIn sells information about people to advertising companies, and that’s where things go horribly wrong.

Abdullah Ansari January 28, 2015
Are you receiving too many promotional messages lately? Is your email inbox being bombarded by all types of advertising emails? Are you concerned about how every other company has your contact details? How are you getting ads which are related to your age, gender or interests? How do advertising companies know so much about you when you never register or subscribe for any newsletter etc.? Are these questions bothering you?

If yes, I have one more question for you: Are you searching for a job on LinkedIn?

The advent of LinkedIn was welcomed with open arms by job seekers as well as employers. It provides a unique platform where job seekers can post their detailed professional profiles for employers who can find suitable candidates easily. It also facilitates cross-border job hunt, which is very tough otherwise. The advantages of LinkedIn can’t be covered here; nor is it my intention to do so.

In order to get the attention of companies, job seekers tend to provide some really important information on their LinkedIn profiles which includes, but is not limited to, contact numbers and email addresses. In addition, they also provide personal details like age or date of birth, country, gender, etc. This looks like a very good approach because the more information you share, the more it will help employers to find out about why you are the correct candidate for the job. Head hunters can post a job on their profile and when you ‘like’ or ‘comment’ on a job post, they can have a look at your profile.

That’s where things go horribly wrong on LinkedIn.

With advertising getting more and more personal, companies are more concerned about publicising themselves among their target audience. For that, they need details of people on a massive scale and, for the same reason, information about people has been treated as a ‘commodity’. Just like you sell your car or home to anybody, information about people is also sold to advertising companies, and for those who are involved in this business, LinkedIn has been a blessing.

Just look at some of the posts that I came across on LinkedIn.

The above post is so generic in nature that it includes almost all the professionals in Pakistan. For job seekers in Pakistan, the Gulf region is generally an ultimate priority and if someone from GCC is really looking to hire from Pakistan, he will definitely have more than 100+ applications for every job post. In fact, if the guy who posted this opening is serious about hiring, he will publish a detailed job description so that only those applicants apply who are genuinely interested and have the required qualifications and experience.

Have a look at this one too:

You just go to your university and ask final year students about who would be interested in this job offer. More than 90% of them will raise their hands and will be ready to share their CV for this opening.

Who wouldn’t like to join a multinational company in Singapore or Dubai?

The result is right there – 2,311 likes plus 783 comments, and the one who posted this, has gotten access to information of at least more than 3,000 people.

Please, don’t tell me you seriously thought that this guy may go through all of these profiles, please!

Last, but not the least, here is another one:

The above post is a ticket to access more than 21,000 profiles that are connected to the fields of engineering, finance, etc. These profiles can be further divided on the basis of gender, age, interests, location, etc.

I will advise my fellow job seekers on LinkedIn not to like or comment on any such posts which don’t share a job profile. Serious head-hunters always provide job details and they will never ask you to like or comment. If you trust such data gathering posts, it will demoralise you as you will be expecting, at least, an email or interview call. You will not get either of them through this and this will push you to think negatively about yourself and the job market, and you will end up receiving stuff like this:

So next time you come across such a post on the site, just scroll away. Unless you do want promotional messages coming your way; in that case, like and comment away!
Abdullah Ansari An electrical engineer by profession, Abdullah works in the oil and gas industry. His interests include international relations, global politics and debating. He tweets @ChangingTrendz (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Nouman Ahmed | 9 years ago | Reply Bottom line: Don't like or comment unnecessarily. There was no need to write a whole blog on it.
Critical | 9 years ago | Reply Of all the social media sites,linkedin is the only one which actually HELPED my career growth... In the era of resume fakers,my linkedin profile helps me stand out..It has glowing reviews from two of my former managers and one of my client managers and i've listed all my certifications...Therefore I mention my linkedin profile whenever I send my resume Yeah,you can get few annoying mails but I got more pros than cons
Ansari | 9 years ago I myself got an offer through LinkedIn and I am not defaming this wonderful site at all. Article discusses about its proper use and how to deal with information hunters. Hope you get the point.
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