LinkedIn thinks I should work for Facebook and the question is: What the hell?

Microsoft's LinkedIn has a seemingly comfortable position as the 'Facebook for business.' Yet when it suggests I should work for Facebook, it's worth wondering what goes on in LinkedIn's algorithmic head.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

Is it worth it?

You do it because you have to. Or because you think you should. Or because everyone else does, so you feel it's the done thing.

Occasionally, however, I look at LinkedIn and think: "Why am I paying $50 a month for this?"

Perhaps I'm not adept at taking advantage of all of LinkedIn's nuances. Perhaps it has startling algorithms that represent the future of my worth and it's leading me there, slowly but very surely.

Actually, let's talk about those algorithms.

The other day I received an email from LinkedIn. Somehow, the "Facebook for business" seems to think it knows what would really make me happy -- getting a job at Facebook.

Why, the email was headlined: "Facebook is looking for: "Director, International Public Affairs Marketing."

I blinked several times, took a sip of an affectionate Cabernet Franc and wondered what sort of machine could have conjured such a spectacle.

I feel I can speak for Facebook when I say that the worst possible choice for director of International Public Affairs Marketing would be me.

Facebook employing me would be like the National Worm Foundation employing a crow. It'd be like the National Apple Federation employing a worm. It'd be like Mark Zuckerberg employing a discernible emotion.

I'm not an admirer of Mark Zuckerberg's somewhat grimy little enterprise. Occasionally, my feelings slip out in columns on, say, ZDNet.

LinkedIn, however, seems not to have noticed. This despite the fact that I've occasionally posted links to these columns on, oh, Linkedin.

Here was Microsoft's site enchanting me, pleading with me to "be one of the first 2 applicants." You mean hardly anyone else has applied? Should I be surprised? I wonder if they sent the same email to Tim Cook.

It's worth considering just what purpose such blind emails serve.

Does LinkedIn really think it's uncovered my true reason for (making a) living, selling Facebook's straight-faced fabrications to countries far and wide? Does it think I could do an even better job than the magnificent former politician and now Facebook's vice president for global affairs and communications, Nick Clegg, in concocting thousands of words that may mean the opposite of what they say?

Or could it be that its algorithm is so rudimentary as to make Netflix's movie recommendations actually seem worthwhile?

I suppose I'm not alone in getting such emails. I imagine thousands of perplexed scientists wonder why LinkedIn thinks they should work for the Republican Party. Perhaps, every week, the screams of hundreds of veterinarians can be heard as they learn LinkedIn believes they should work in fracking.

Of course, LinkedIn isn't exactly like other networking sites. Many people, like me, pay to be on it. They believe this will give them some inside knowledge, some networking connections, even a hint of respectability.

I can't help wondering, therefore, whether its career-building capabilities are a touch exaggerated.

I spent far too long pondering the email's subject line, contemplating what joke I'd tell Mark Zuckerberg in our first meeting and considering how many hours I'd last as Facebook's Director, International Public Affairs Marketing. 

Then I scrolled down further and realized there were other jobs LinkedIn thought I was eminently suited for.

There was strategic partner lead of Public Media and Broadcast at Google --"Be the first applicant to apply."

There were also jobs at Salesforce, Upwork, and even Electronic Arts -- "Actively recruiting."

All these companies would be actively bonkers even to consider someone like me.

Moreover, it's as if LinkedIn doesn't realize I haven't worked for a corporation for 13 years and haven't had the urge to. (It's on my LinkedIn resume.)

Which made me wonder whether Microsoft really thinks LinkedIn truly is the finest of its purchases.

I can only conclude that it does. You see, another job LinkedIn is sure I should apply for is director of security business strategy.

At Microsoft.

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