Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Value and Use of Professional Social Media Accounts

    Posted 07-06-2022 12:18 PM
    I was speaking with some colleagues recently about "professional" social media accounts. Lets define that (for this conversation) as any social media account that you use with respect to an industry in which you work or are interested in working. 

    About 9 years ago, I, like the rest of my graduating class of college seniors, decided to make a LinkedIn account. 
    The value I have found in it includes the following:
    • Groups - There used to be professional groups you can join on LinkedIn. As a graduate student who was building and calibrating H&H models, I occasionally had technical questions about modeling software or methods of data representation that I would pose to the group. Working professionals and other academics would kindly respond and try to help. It also seemed like a good way to see what else other people in the industry were discussing. I think this feature is now gone, or I no longer get notifications about it. (If anyone knows more, please feel free to enlighten me.)
    • Job opportunities - while I personally feel like half of my LinkedIn connections are recruiters now, it is interesting to see when different organizations post job openings and share the types of work they are involved in.
    • Keeping up with peers - it is nice to see where my loose friends and acquaintances whom I may not speak with regularly are working and what projects they are part of.
    What factors do you weigh (if any) when deciding to make an account, and what are the ways in which you use it? 

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer

  • 2.  RE: Value and Use of Professional Social Media Accounts

    Posted 07-11-2022 05:18 PM
    Hi Chris, This is a great discussion topic! Thanks for posting. I agree with the ways you value LinkedIn. Seeing the different work that friends and organizations are involved in is always interesting. I also appreciate staying connected with my peers. I made an account because I was looking for jobs or internships, and as it turns out, I got my first full-time job out of college through applying through Linkedin. In regards to how I use it, a bit ago I changed the app setting on my phone to set a 10 minute timer per day, for my own well-being, and it is very helpful!

    Philip Aaron Thomas, A.M.ASCE
    Civil Structural EIT, Engineer-In-Training

    Philip Thomas A.M.ASCE
    San Luis Obispo CA

  • 3.  RE: Value and Use of Professional Social Media Accounts

    Posted 07-13-2022 10:03 AM
    As someone without LinkedIn, I'm interested to see what others see as the value and any drawbacks to professional social media.

    I've never had one because I hear so many people talk about constant messages from recruiters, and I'm not looking to make a switch. Besides the recruiters and requests to share company or organization posts, I don't hear people talk about it much.

    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK

  • 4.  RE: Value and Use of Professional Social Media Accounts

    Posted 07-15-2022 09:46 AM
    I've been on LinkedIn for about 12 years now and I'm on the verge of deleting my account. I found my latest job through a LinkedIn ad/recruiter, so it has that going for it. However, it's generally a chore for me to sign on and check on things. From my experience, the posts on my home page are about 60% humble-bragging, 20% legitimate professional updates, 10% recruitment/advertisements, and 10% actually helpful info. It's basically Facebook in professional attire. In my mind, any platform driven by algorithms is counter-productive (and yes, I realize that's a lot of the internet). In a nut shell, I have yet to see much value in LinkedIn beyond a basic job-search tool.

    If you want a professional presence online without losing your sanity or faith in humanity, I recommend creating an e-portfolio website (e.g. Wix). You can link to it on your LinkedIn page if you want. It's a great way to keep a detailed record of your job experience, especially if you're in a research or design field. When I've been neck-deep in modeling, I've found value in Stack Exchange or similar websites. Unless I'm mistaken, these forums tend to address what the LinkedIn Groups address(ed), though I have not dabbled in the latter.

    I apologize if I'm stomping on anyone's birthday cake with this negative review of LinkedIn. If it works for you, great! I don't waste my time with it if I can help it.

    Gail Hayes Ph.D., EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Rockingham VA

  • 5.  RE: Value and Use of Professional Social Media Accounts

    Posted 07-20-2022 10:46 AM
    There are definite aspects of linkedin that I dont like as well. It did take many steps in the direction of traditional social media by adding new buttons besides the "like" button. And I fully agree there is a lot of humble bragging that seems to occur there. It does seem like oftentimes strange content makes it way forward that is not technical and not related to what I do or what I am interested in as well. 

    I mostly try to ignore the things I don't care about and focus on the parts of the website that I do like. Always open to hearing about better alternatives too! 

    Thanks for sharing!

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer

  • 6.  RE: Value and Use of Professional Social Media Accounts

    Posted 10-02-2022 11:49 AM
    LinkedIn is one of my "professional" social media accounts as well. It's how I am following dozens of companies I have met with at numerous Career Fairs, and how I stay connected to over one hundred students and professions I have met with over the years.

    I am so glad I managed to turn off the notifications on my iPhone, because I get countless updates from the companies, news outlets, and remainders about my connections every day. I do use LinkedIn every once in a while to check for jobs, but then I have to keep going straight to the companies' websites to set up an account there first, then fill out the job application. So in the meantime, LinkedIn is a middle ground for remembering everybody that I have connected with over the years, for when they've reached special occasions like a birthday or anniversary, and when I inevitably need to reach out there for successful job searches.

    Alexander Granato A.M.ASCE
    Bexley OH