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.

Job Hopping

Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor are probably the top three sites I stroll through the most.  More than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  I wake up and religiously look at any new jobs that are currently available in the Greater Nashville Area.  I have no idea why I do this but I do.  Even when I’ve only been at a job for a week.  While in LA, I probably applied to over 100 or so jobs.  I liked both of my jobs, but I think I kept searching and searching because I was in contract roles and I wanted a full-time job with benefits.  In my current role, I also stroll through jobs like crazy.  But now it’s different, I’ve been strolling through jobs because I am ready for the next step in my career.  Currently I am a Talent Acquisition Coordinator and the next step is a Talent Acquisition Specialist, also known as a Recruiter.  I also consistently stroll through these job sites because I want a job that pays more than what I’m getting paid now.

However, doing this looks extremely bad, especially when I haven’t been at said companies for a long time.  I’ve been in my current position now for about 6 months, but a couple of months when I started applying to other jobs, I’d only been in the role for 2-4 months.  A question that often comes up is, “Why are you looking for a new role?” or my application would get rejected before a recruiter would call me because I’ve only been in my current role for a short period of time, obvisouly they’re thinking, well if she’s only been in that role for 2 months and is looking for something new, she’s going to do the same thing once she starts working here.

Right after I accepted my position with my current company, a recruiter had reached out to me on LinkedIn about how there’s an opportunity that she’d like to talk to me about in my area, etc., etc., etc., but I told her that I had just accepted a new position.  Well fast forward to four months later and I’d reached back out to her on LinkedIn and asked her if we could just have a phone conversation about my my career aspirations, necessary steps I needed to take to get there and just overall advice.  We scheduled a phone conversation and she basically told me to stick it out with my company for at least a year.  Don’t put in job applications in other place and to only consider leaving my current company if an other company reached out to me for a full-time role in exactly what I want to do in life.  In a year, hopefully a role in what I want to do in my career field will open at my current company and if not, at least I have that longevity on my resume for my current company.  She told me keywords to look for when that time does come around to search.  It was a really good conversation.  I told her my issues and she just really had good advice overall.

So below, I have listed a couple of cons to think about if you’re a job hopper:

Think about what it’ll look to recruiters/hiring manager.  If you are at companies for a short period of time and are at your current company for a short period of time and are looking for a new job, it raises a flag to those people.  I remember I applied for a job once and the recruiter reached out to me with an e-mail asking, why I had been in my roles for only a short period of time.  I thought I had good answers for each, but obviously they weren’t good enough because she never reached back out to me.  The recruiter I reached out to on LinkedIn also made a valid point.  Two of my jobs were contract roles and although I have that stated on my resume and that would be an obvious reason as to why I stayed at my jobs for a short period of time, to a recruiter or hiring manager, it would then raise the question, “Well why do you keep only applying to contract positions?”

Seeking opportunities/advancement within your company.  Sometimes it’s not about the company, but rather your job title and duties that you have an issue with.  For me, I am bored of being in the Coordinator role.  I’ve done this for the last year and I think it’s time for me to move up.  However, as opposed to looking outside my company, I should be looking for opportunities within the company when that time comes.  It’ll look better and the chances are higher for you getting the job when you’re an internal candidate.  A lot of companies also welcome getting experience in different departments if that’s something that you desire.

It can hurt you financially.  A lot of times, hopping from job to job can hurt you financially.  You get your last paycheck from your most recent job, but than you may end up waiting up to three weeks before you can see a paycheck because of when you came in and started your first day.  If you don’t already have money saved up, you can be put into a financial burden.

Basically, I said all of this to say, if you’re in a position and you don’t like, try to stick it out for at least 6 months or if your resume is choppy, for a year.