Why LinkedIn doesn’t work for UX designers

When you ask most recruiters which platform do they source UX candidates from, 9/10 would answer with ‘LinkedIn’. LinkedIn has established itself as the benchmark for hiring any position on the planet. With over 700 million registered users, it’s hard to see why.

However, while LinkedIn might work for most jobs, it’s not an effective platform to get the right UX job. It’s even less effective when you don’t have ample industry experience.

LinkedIn’s core competencies are in sourcing candidates, providing industry insights, recommending positions, networking, and career-building. However, after analyzing all of these features, it’s hard to argue why LinkedIn isn’t effective as a system that works in favor of UX designers who are early on in their career.

Here are 5 reasons why LinkedIn doesn’t work for UX designers.

Insights that don’t reflect your profile

The skill-based insights are applicable to any designer on LinkedIn and excludes key-terms that UX-centric like research methodologies or UX artifacts.

How often do you get recommended for a job where LinkedIn states that your profile is in the ‘Top 25% of 200 designers’ or ‘Top 10% of 500 designers’ for a position? LinkedIn might reaffirm your standing for a particular job, but often that data is misleading because LinkedIn does not factor relevant insights or focuses on too many general insights that fail to distinguish designers.

Your portfolio gets buried behind a mountain of data

LinkedIn’s entire model is data-driven. And why should it be any other way? When a company receives hundreds of applications, it’s impossible to filter through each one of them to get that perfect designer for the job. Using variables taken directly from the designer’s profile reduces the workload for recruiters and helps them isolate the right designers. There’s just one problem.

The portfolio is not part of that equation.

LinkedIn is an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) so its entire filtering process is driven by insights that are more general to the industry, but does not reflect the uniqueness of the designer’s portfolio. You could be perfect on paper with a degree from a high-tier university, relevant work experience, and have each and every skill that employers have listed on the job application. On paper, you are Muhammad Ali.

However, if your portfolio does not reflect the brilliance of your resume and LinkedIn profile, you’re not going to be considered for the position. This essentially means that the recruiter (and you) have wasted a lot of time leading up to the part of the hiring process where your portfolio is being evaluated.

Low response rate from recruiters

As a new designer with a limited network, getting responses from recruiters can be a Herculean task.

LinkedIn’s core strength is in its capabilities as a networking platform. This essentially means you have a direct channel of communication with high- ranking recruiters at companies like Facebook and Google. It sounds perfect on paper, but there are several problems that prevent designers from building these valuable connections.

You get a maximum of 15 InMails a month. This essentially means you need to think long and hard about what you’re going to tell recruiters to grab their attention. ‘Please give me a job as a UX designer’ isn’t going to fly well because the desperation is right in their face. The response rate for recruiters is extremely low for most entry-level designers without a network.

Recruiters often get bombarded with hundreds of messages (with no way to categorize them), so there’s a very good chance they’re not going to even seen your InMail if you’re not in their network.

In fact, the recruiters that you mostly build a network with are the ones who contact you and not the other way around.

Is not friendly to the entry-level designer

This is the default template that LinkedIn recommends when posting a job for a UX designer

Most UX job descriptions that get published on LinkedIn have a minimum of at least 2+ years of work experience. It’s easy to point fingers at companies and state that this requirement is unfair to new designers.

Sometimes the word ‘entry-level’ is used for a job the requires 4+ years of work experience. What’s worse is that LinkedIn’s job description template encourages employers to add experience.

The probability of employers using LinkedIn’s recommended templates for the job description is extremely high. This essentially ostracizes new designers like recent graduates.

Forces you to do most of the work

At the end of the day, LinkedIn provides you with the tools to help you build your UX career, but doesn’t provide any guidance on how to use them. Whether it’s networking with the right recruiters, applying for the right jobs, using the right content to brand your profile, editing your resume so it’s keyword optimized, or any other tactic to make yourself stand out in front of employers, the amount of labor that goes into optimizing your profile is huge.

Platforms are meant to reduce the workload for users by maximizing the usability. LinkedIn doesn’t guarantee any success for your efforts, but forces you to go above and beyond.

In Conclusion

I have nothing against LinkedIn. I use on a daily basis for a lot of reasons. It’s my go-to platform to get company information and check out available positions. Recruiters will continue to use it as much as possible, but we cannot ignore the fact that it’s not the perfect platform to get your first UX job (or even a mid-level one).

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pritish.sai

pritish.sai

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I’m currently a UX designer for NBC Universal and have a deep interest in Enterprise UX.