Making Your Profile Photo on LinkedIn Visible to Only Connections for POC

As an active job seeker within Talent Acquisition/Human Resources, I’ve discovered that finding a job, is a job itself.  You see so many people on your LinkedIn feed, people at your current job or peers via social media who are consistently getting new jobs or promotions at work.  I was having a recent conversation with a co-worker of mine, as we both have been looking for a new job.  One thing I have noticed is that a recruiter would reach out to me via e-mail for my availability because they liked my resume and once I replied back I did not hear anything back.

This happened to me a while ago.  I applied to a position as a Recruiter. The Director of Talent Acquisition (I put her title, because I feel like once you get to this level, you should be a little more professional in how you conduct things), reached out to me to schedule an interview that night that I applied for the position.  I replied back the following day with my availability.  Three days later I had not heard back from her.  I immediately e-mailed her to follow-up as I had not heard from her and to reassure my availability to speak for an interview.  During those three days, I had been out of town, so I wasn’t checking my e-mail or anything like that.  After sending her my e-mail, I realized that she had looked at my LinkedIn profile.

Another time this happened, basically the same situation.  This lady is the Head of Strategic Initiative, again someone who I would uphold to a more professional standard.  She e-mailed asking for my availability, I replied back and no response.  Of course, I followed-up, because these people got my anxious and exited to possibly interview for a new job, unlike the previous person, she e-mailed me back with some bullshit excuse as to why she hadn’t followed back up with me.  I also noticed that in between the time of her sending me an e-mail and me getting back to her with my availability she had looked at my LinkedIn.

My LinkedIn profile says EVERYTHING that my resume says, except for the fact that I am black.  I personally feel like that could be the only reason why these employers are not getting back to me.  I have two disadvantages, I am first woman and I am second black.

It made it realize that I was being professionally ghosted.  Professionally ghosting is when a business contact suddenly becomes unresponsive to all forms of communications, without explanation.  And similarly to ghosting in dating, it can leave the other party feeling confused, let down and disappointed. I have definitely felt confused and let down.  As someone who is actively seeking a new role, you are confused because you do not get any answers as to why the recruiter stopped reaching out to you or what you did wrong in the situation.

I also realized that it is because I am a person of color as there was another company who did not reach out to me, but the VP of Global Talent Acquisition at the company I had applied to looked at my LinkedIn profile.  I had already assumed I wasn’t going to get a call back as that is what had been happening a lot lately, but about a week later, someone who I am connected with on LinkedIn from the company posted a picture of them at their Talent Acquisition meeting and not a single person in the photo was black let alone a person of color.

Once I realized that it may be the fact that I am a black female, I changed my settings on LinkedIn to where you can’t see my profile photo unless you are my friend.  I only recently changed this setting and haven’t really applied to any jobs and do not know if it has affected anything, but I know for a fact that my settings will stay this way until I find a job that I feel as if I can stay with until the end of my career. But also in the same breathe, it’s kind of like, but what if I do this and I show up to the interview? They will still disqualify me because of the color of my skin, it’s just that now, I have wasted time and energy by physically showing up to the place.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.