my brother-in-law shares TMI on LinkedIn

A reader writes:

My brother in law was laid off in March. He was part of the mass layoffs in the tech industry. Since then, he has applied to a lot of jobs. Like, A LOT. As of one week ago, he has applied to exactly 700 jobs. I know the exact figure because of his LinkedIn activity, which is what I am writing about.

Basically I am wondering if his LinkedIn activity is affecting his chances of getting a job. Every week or so, he posts an image saying something like this: “200 days of searching, 700 applications, 27 recruiter screens, 292 rejections, 76 referrals, 46 interviews, and 1 offer.” (Those are real numbers. He turned down the one offer.)

Now, I’m not in tech, nor do I hire people. I’ve neer been subjected to layoffs, and I’ve never interviewed around for a position. But, if I were hiring people and I looked through his LinkedIn I would be … let’s say surprised to see all that data.

On the one hand, it shows he is driven and clearly committed to finding a job. On the other hand, it looks like there must be some red flags if he’s been rejected nearly 300 times — not to mention that I would feel like I’m his 700th choice! I might pass on him based on that alone.

On top of the regular images of job-search data, his LinkedIn also contains a lot of posts — upwards of five or so each day. It just seems like too much activity and too much information that could hurt his chances.

So, what do you think? He’s clearly getting some interviews and he consistently gets good feedback. I know tech is rough right now, but is the LinkedIn stuff hurting or helping?

It’s definitely not helping! At best it would be a neutral — but a lot of recruiters and hiring managers are going to have the exact same reaction that you did, which means it’s going to hurt him.

There’s nothing shameful about a long job search, but I’m curious about what his goal is with posting the weekly data. If he just wants to keep track for his own sake, I could understand that — but why is he posting it?! What does he hope to accomplish with it, other than sowing doubts about him in potential employers’ minds? I assume he’s not looking to generate sympathy (since sympathy doesn’t get you hired). Is it a commentary on the state of tech hiring? Hiring in general? What’s the end goal in doing this? It boggles my mind.

And separately, yes, five posts on a LinkedIn a day is a lot and, especially combined with the weird data dumps, will make him look like he doesn’t have great judgment about where to invest his energy.

Any chance he’d be open to feedback from you about it? If you’ve got the sort of relationship that allows for it, you’d be doing him a favor if if you can suggest he pull back on some of this and see if that changes his results.

{ 245 comments… read them below }

  1. Beth*

    If he’s applied to 700 jobs, gotten one offer, and then DECLINED that one offer…it sounds like maybe the questions that this behavior raises about his judgment have some foundation? Yes, there are sometimes good reasons to decline a job. But when you’re laid off, in need of income, and not getting many bites, most people don’t think that’s the time to be picky.

    1. Meep*

      That was my thought. It might’ve been early in the application process so he thought he could find another job easily, but half a year in with all the other data it screams “I don’t know my market worth” at best.

      1. MsM*

        Or “I have been blasting out applications without taking the time to evaluate whether these are even remotely positions I should be applying for.”

        1. RunShaker*

          That’s what I’m thinking. Sending out 700 applications makes it sound like he’s dumping his resume without evaluating the position. I would be concerned as a hiring manager. I’m wondering if he would be open to following Alison’s advice on applying and tailoring his resume/cover letter.

          1. That Specific Kind of Nerd*

            He was laid off in March.

            March is 7 months ago now; that’s a rate of 100 applications per month.

            Every month has approximately 30 days, that’s 3 and a third applications per day. There’s definitely some time to evaluate the positions, assuming that he’s looking at postings every day, but probably not super thoroughly. His actual rate based on the numbers is 3.5 applications per day; if he’s spending about 8 hours per day on the job search then that’s 2 hours and a bit of consideration/filling out profiles per application.

            1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

              He might even dump 10-20% of those applications with minimal scrubbing on long-shot positions on the same logic as lottery tickets, which would mean even more effort goes into the majority of them.

            2. Baunilha*

              But if he had 46 interviews (and Alison pointed out that multiple rounds of interviews for the same job are being counted as one), then we have to factor in the time spent on these interviews, as well as the time prepping. Add the single offer he got, and it’s most likely that BIL is just spamming out applications.

            3. LCH*

              that’s a lot. i was recently unemployed for 14 months and felt pretty good if i did 3 applications a week. but i wasn’t just applying for all the stuff out there because i’m not interested in or qualified for absolutely every single job in my field.

              at the same time, being his 701st application doesn’t mean his 701st choice.. because that position probably just opened. but i still wouldn’t be blasting my stats.

          2. Itsa Me, Mario*

            Eh, maybe maybe not. I’ve been casually applying to jobs that looked like good opportunities for me for about 6 months. I would guess I’ve applied to about 50 jobs. And that’s *only* the ones that were slam dunk job listings, while continuing to hold a job I otherwise enjoy. There were many more I could have applied to during that time which I probably would be interested in if I were out of work. 700 applications in 6 months seems on the high side but not impossible.

            Breaking out the math, that’s 5-6 jobs per weekday. Which seems reasonable to me if OP’s BIL isn’t in an incredibly niche role.

            1. Analytical Tree Hugger*

              I’m not too skeptical about whether he’s been customizing his applications, but I do wonder how he’d able to find that many jobs that are a decent fit.

              I was job searching for a little under two years and thought I did well to find about 150 jobs worth applying to, with a fairly general target role/skill set (project management, data analysis), though I was targeting a specific industry.

              So, my question is, how targeted is it to have 700 applications over 6+ months?

              1. Beth*

                On the flip side, when you’re laid off and in need of work, there’s a limit to how targeted you can afford to be. Sometimes ‘targeted’ means ‘put a lot of work into crafting your cover letter to describe how your experience from this other role/industry will translate to this one’, rather than ‘looking only at the absolute best fit roles’.

              2. Crew2013*

                Agree! There are really only a few jobs at any one time that would be a fit, and then that’s just from the job description, no further details.

                If I were laid off I COULD expand my search, but there is absolutely no way there are 700 different jobs that are actually matching what I do unless I was just applying to literally any job in any industry.

            2. amoeba*

              Ha. OT but this actually makes me quite… jealous? Guess I’m in the wrong field, as two interesting job postings in one month would already be quite a lot for me. There are certainly stretches where *absolutely nothing of remote interest* is posted for.. six months or so. Guess I chose the wrong field, oh well…

          3. Just Another Techie*

            Yes. My last job hunt, I sent out about 20 applications, 18 interviews, 5 requests for a second round, 4 of which I pulled out of after I got an offer that was too good to turn down.

          4. LlamaDuck*

            Mm. 700 is high but not necessarily indicating poor-fit application materials – last time I was unemployed / underemployed for a while, I’d do two 5-6 hr sessions per week, effectively sending out 20-25(ish) tailored resume/application/cover letter submissions weekly. So, a little under 300 in about 3 months.

            My hypothesis here is, he’s coming off poorly in interviews (or, maybe failing skill tests?) At least in my specific niche / skill category in tech, a 6.5% application-to-interview success rate is alright. Not ideal, but with a typical range.

            But: a 2% interview-to-offer rate is bad.

            Obviously industries + roles vary, but, at that point – actually, in my case, at a point before my numbers were *quite* that bad – I realized I needed really specific help, and I paid for a pricey-but-worth-it social coach. She specialized in helping intensely anxious or awkward people navigate + practice specific social situations, like job interviews.

            Not diagnosing, but speaking as a person in tech…who still sometimes compulsively makes personal data lists…and finds interviews inordinately stressful… maybe LW’s brother has a similar problem to mine, and would benefit from a similar solution?

          5. Quill*

            Also sounds like the behavior of someone who is convinced that volume of application is proof of their hard-working nature.

            (And I say this as someone who has been guilty of a resume blast in my time. Sorry, people who I was not qualified for! Had to pick five to get unemployment money that week and there wasn’t anything available in my actual field!)

        2. Meep*

          That too. I would be looking for a retail job to tide me over after month 1 so I wonder if that is included in the statistics and he is sending his outdated tech resume over as is.

        3. nm*

          I may not be the most Experienced Employee, but I don’t think I’ve sent out 700 applications in my whole life.

    2. Raisin Walking to the Moon*

      I’d love to get more context about why he declined the offer.
      You know, Alison has mentioned before how job interviews are not dissimilar to first dates. Something about rejecting that one offer reminds me of how incels will find reasons to reject women who show interest. And that makes me wonder if this guy is bringing all his rejection data and emotions into the job interviews.

      1. LCH*

        who knows. i just had a super long job search and did decline a job. i would have had to relocate (fine), but the salary didn’t really account for the COL of the area. i didn’t want to go into debt for my job.

        1. Raisin Walking to the Moon*

          Sure, but did you apply to 700 jobs? I know people turn down jobs all the time- I turned down two decent-ish jobs when I was desperate. But there’s something in the numbers that’s odd here.

    3. And the Skeletons Are… Part of It*

      Yeah 700 applications (and choosing to track that number) is more of a red flag than declining the offer. It could’ve looked like a toxic workplace, and no point going out of the frying pan and into the fire.

      But bruh why are you spamming our applications to all and sundry? And… telling people about that publicly?

      1. new post, new name*

        This was my thought too – resume bombing! How much REAL thought and effort can you possibly put into 700 applications in that short of time? If you read enough resumes/cover letters, it’s not hard to pick out the ones applying to anything and everything out there.

          1. I Have RBF*

            I have.

            At my level and at my age it is actually hard to find jobs that pay more than a pittance in my field. The higher you go and the older you are, the longer it takes you to find work.

            The last job search of six months I sent out about 300 applications. I would do 10 to 20 resume submissions a week, get five screening calls, and maybe one first round interview. Most of the time I got rejected by an ATS. The bulk of the phone screens turned out to be lower paid then advertised, on-site but advertised as remote, demanding skills that were not in the job req, or not actually ready to hire. Lots of bait and switch. Then the first round interviews would end up on-camera, and I’m pretty sure I ended up rejected because of either my age, my gender, or the fact that I’m fat. I did not, however, reject any offers.

            1. Itsa Me, Mario*

              It’s really important for folks who haven’t been on the job hunt within the last few years to understand the signal to noise insanity that is ATS systems.

              I’ve been casually putting out feelers for a few months (applying to maybe 1-2 jobs a week) and I find that I submit a very high number of applications, hear back about maybe 10% of them, and then once I get an actual human being I seem to be progressing through multiple rounds quite easily. I’ve been rejected by about 4 jobs, all of which were (according to the recruiters) a coin-flip “both candidates were amazing” situation.

              OP’s BIL’s numbers don’t seem all that crazy to me, depending on what type of work he does and how thick on the ground good opportunities are. What seems crazy is that you’d be that forthcoming about it on a professional-oriented social media site. Save that stuff for private commiserating on Facebook or Instagram.

              1. Le Sigh*

                All of that’s fair. I’m not in tech, for one (and good opportunities in my space are sometimes few and far between), and when I thought about it a little more, over the course of 6-7 months, it’s not all that wild of a number. Really, the issue is advertising his stats.

                1. JustaTech*

                  ATS is really crushing me. I applied with a recommendation from a current employee for a job at a big company, but where the hiring manager was someone I had worked with (well) in the past, and all I got was an auto-reject. Which was an improvement on before where I applied without an employee recommendation for a job with someone else I had worked with before, where I didn’t even get an auto-reject.

                  All I can think now it that there is something wrong with my resume that I’m not getting through the ATS for these folks to see my name. At least, I hope it’s that and not that they actually hate me.

            2. Kindred Spirit*

              A family member (who is not currently working) has experience this too. It’s tough to get time with an actual human; I think a lot of applications just never make it past the computer screening phase. Then when he does, he typically gets through a couple of rounds of interviews, but he’s over 60, and I truly his believe age is the main barrier to getting hired.

              1. Lady_Lessa*

                It took me a 1 .5 years to find a job at that age. I was looking all over the country, willing to me, and I was even willing to take a low level position, just to be working. After my unemployment ran out, I convinced the temp agency that I signed up with to send me to a warehouse/distribution center to work. While I was there, I got my current position in my correct field

            3. Quill*

              If we crunch the numbers… I’ve been chronically unemployed (STEM career, contract jobs, etc) often enough to realize that 700 jobs spread out over a year is… less than two applications per day. If we just count work days according to most states’ unemployment offices, we’re down to 5/7 of 365, which is about 260 days.

              So if you have ever averaged one application per day / five per week while unemployed, and you’ve been out of work for more than two and a half years cumulatively over the course of your career… you have probably applied to about 700 jobs at minimum.

            4. Matth3w2*

              I don’t know how much you were using LinkedIn to find these job opportunities but after about two years of casual “let’s see what’s out there” searching on LinkedIn I came to the conclusion that the job postings that end up there consistently have a 50%+ chance of being misrepresented, missing crucial information, or just plain false. I have given up on using LinkedIn for this purpose unless someone proactively reaches out to me and asks me if I’m interested in a role, and I can talk in detail with them before putting energy into a real application.

          2. Glitsy Gus*

            I was laid off a year ago. I have easily applied to at least 500 since then, some through recruiters or friends, which didn’t require quite s much on my side for the initial inquiry, but still a lot that I have done on my own. It is ROUGH right now. There are jobs available, but there is a lot of competition for them.

            Some of those jobs were service industry and such, a couple of which I have landed. That is what I am doing to keep food on the table; but just because bartending is paying the bills doesn’t mean I have stopped looking in my industry.

            Overall, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the stats, they are the reality for a lot of us right now. I have also had a few of my friends in the same boat post something like this periodically. It is a weird time, and I think letting folks know that this recovery hasn’t really lifted all boats isn’t a bad thing. However, PERIODICALLY is the key word. I’m saying once every 4-6 months go ahead and post about your stats and let you network know that, yep, you are still looking. Folks will really forget to consider you if you don’t remind them. Weekly, though, is a bit desperate.

      2. CurdEatinCheesehead*

        This has been a trend on sites like Reddit, where people post charts of things like “15,000 Tinder swipes; 600 likes; 30 first dates; no callbacks…wHy wOnt wOmeN dAtE mE???”
        Unfortunately this type of thing has gained quite a bit of traction among the incel community, and that’s exactly how this guy is coming off, whether he means to or not…Why won’t people hire me??? (But with a twinge of bitterness).
        The spamming applications isn’t doing him any favors, but when you add in the perception of aggrieved entitlement, that’s definitely a turn-off.
        That said, I don’t know what this guy’s background is. If he comes from a job (or a workplace) where hitting metrics is everything, time is micromanaged, and there’s an expectation to constantly prove you’re being productive, then he may just think he’s showing how industrious he is. Or he could be chronicling his job search to prove that he’s “using his time wisely”, should employers bring up his resume gap (or should people in his social circle accuse him sitting on his butt all day doing nothing).

    4. LW BIL's BIL*

      LW here. That one offer came fairly early, and he mentioned that it didn’t seem very legitimate. Like, the company seemed like a scam once he got into it with them, so he turned them down.

      1. Underemployed Erin*

        That makes sense.

        There were also people getting lowballed pretty hard when all of the biggest tech layoffs were happening.

        1. I Have RBF*


          Last year when I was looking, the number of lowballs and bait and switch situations were astronomical. I ended up taking something at what I started in academia at in 2015, but fully remote.

      2. HonorBox*

        Both of those reasons make a lot of sense and turning down the job gives me far less pause than the rest. But without that context, someone seeing the post may read that differently.

        As far as what I was going to type below in response to your letter, I’m going to make an assumption. Please disregard if this is an incorrect assumption. I imagine he’s talking about his job search offline as well. I know people who are looking for jobs who talk A LOT about the job search and how challenging it has been for them (I could write a post about one person I know and their approaches to finding a job). If he brings it up when you’re together, I’d suggest paraphrasing some of what Alison offers for advice. And let him know that you’re worried that his posts are potentially dissuading recruiters or hiring managers from talking to him. And depending on your relationship, you could offer that an average of 3+ applications per day is likely to lead more toward the offer he got initially because the jobs aren’t going to be qualified for/by him. And point him toward advice on this page about how to write a better cover letter and prepare a better resume (while also probably not linking directly so as not to allow him to stumble on your letter).

      3. Beth*

        That makes sense. Too bad his numbers don’t give that context! Continuing to tell people that he turned down an offer, when he’s also telling them that he’s 700+ applications in, is its own judgment issue.

      4. Itsa Me, Mario*

        That makes sense, but I still would not share that information. Or perhaps phrase it in a way that is kinder to him. Like “one scam job offer received, which I unfortunately had to turn down.” Or “no job offers received”, since a scam company really doesn’t count. And it’s not like anyone is fact checking him or holding his feet to the first for strict accuracy.

    5. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      He could have declined the job offer after the second interview/application thinking more were coming.

      Long job hunts when you need the job will mess with your head.

    6. Itsa Me, Mario*

      I think the rest of it is all a bit of a numbers game, and not something that would really surprise a recruiter who is in any way in touch with the reality of the job market in 2023. But I absolutely wouldn’t be advertising online that I’d rejected any job offer before I had my next position in hand. Even if it was for a good reason. My thought is that a recruiter or hiring manager will see that and wonder how likely he is to reject their offer as well.

    7. ToDoList*

      Job searching in tech is very difficult right now and has been for (at least) this year. It’s a marked change even from 2 years ago — job searching experience in tech from earlier than about last winter is likely outdated in that the market has changed so radically. It’s difficult even for people with ‘traditional’ tech backgrounds (CS degrees and/or majority of professional experience is in tech), but if your background is non-traditional (different training, experienced professional who switched careers) and/or you’re from an underrepresented group (or both), then it is difficult on a scale that many of us haven’t seen before. 700 applications is a lot, but not unreasonable if the skill set is fairly general and they’re looking for individual contributor jobs. Also, turning down bad jobs can be the right decision, it really depends on the person.

  2. ferrina*

    I know this isn’t the point, but I’m curious about the 46 interviews and only 1 offer. If those were interviews with hiring managers (not screening interviews), that seems pretty low. Or is that just me?

    1. Heidi*

      I was also wondering if he interviewed with 5-6 people at 8 different jobs or with 1 person at 46 different jobs. Some jobs require a lot of interviews, so maybe the 1 offer may not be as low as it seems. I’m also wondering at the 700 applications and 292 rejections figure. What happened to the other 408? Did they just ghost? Or were they not actually hiring?

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I edited this out of the letter because I thought it was overly complicating it but it included a note that each “interview” in the data chart can include “multiple sessions, multiple days, and multiple people each–he got to the 8th round for one job, but that only counts as 1 interview!”

        1. Meep*

          Now I want to know what happened that it took them 8 times to figure out if he was not the best candidate for the job. Even the big tech companies like Apple, Meta, and Google aren’t that stringent.

          1. Pita Chips*

            My personal record is 5 interviews before the rejection, but I’ve heard stories of many more. A lot of employers are focused on instant culture fits so they will have everyone they can interview the candidates.

          2. Just Another Techie*

            In my field it’s super common to have 6-8 technical interviews of 30-45 minutes each, with 6-8 team members. In the Before Times, they would all be on the same day, in person, and at the end of the day, the 6-8 “panelists” (it’s not really a panel, it’s individual, 1:1 sessions, but they get called “panelists at most places) write their feedback down, then sit down in a room and talk and decide whether to make an offer or not. Now that zoom interviews are more common, sometimes those 6-8 technical interviews will get smeared out over a week or two, for maximum scheduling convenience for the panelists.

          3. I Do Not Like The Sea*

            That hasn’t been my experience. I’m in tech and am familiar with each of the big FAANG’s recent interview processes. They’re lengthy these days.

            I interviewed at one and dropped out after the 11th interview because the process was taking so long. The recruiter said over and over again that they “only had three rounds,” but each round consisted of talking with 3-5 people. These days, it’s all over Zoom, so instead of being back-to-back chats in person, those 3-5 per round are spread over two weeks. And the recruiter video calls you in between each one to check in, which isn’t technically an interview, but requires taking time out of your day (extra challenging if you’re working) and finding a quiet, clean background and looking nice.

          4. Cascadia*

            I have a friend who had 8+ interviews over 11 months at one of those companies you named before he was offered the job.

        2. Antilles*

          Wait, so he’s had 46 different opportunities get to the interview stage, including a lot of them bringing him back multiple times and only gotten one offer?
          I’m not in tech so maybe someone in that industry can tell me that’s totally normal, but to my mind that seems crazy low. To the point that if OP wants to provide advice to BIL, I’d focus on his interview skills because it seems like he’s clearly doing something that isn’t working.
          When they get to discussing salary, is he asking for the moon and stars? Does he casually tell people that he hates working more than 15 minutes a day? Is one of his references explaining a history of fraud? Because that’s so many interviews that it’s way beyond sheer coincidence that he’s always finishing second.

          1. ferrina*

            That’s what I was thinking! Only 1 offer from being interviewed at 46 places seems really low. What is going on there? I’d also be wondering about the interview skills.

            I’m wondering if it’s something with his skills- I think it’s pretty normal to have a skills test at some point in the interview process for tech, and if he bombed that, then they would drop him quickly. At this point I doubt it’s salary or references. If it were salary, he’d have more than one offer (since they may not discover it until the offer stage) and if it were references, well, plenty of people still don’t check those, so at one point some place would bypass that. Could be really crumby interviewing skills, but usually the bar for social savvy is lower in tech! He’d have to be really, really bad to bomb 45 interview processes (not including the one offer)

          2. Silver Robin*

            My sibling has been going at it for a year in tech and he keeps getting interviews, and a good number of secondhand interviews, but has not gotten a single offer yet, that I am aware (he has a job, but it pays minimum wage so he absolutely wants to move on). Of course, I am not in his interviews, nor have I seen his resumes or cover letters, but he has read parts of this blog and used Alison’s questions so I imagine he is at least a reasonable applicant. It just seems really really rough out there.

          3. I Have RBF*

            That is completely normal in tech. Everyone is looking for a unicorn that will magically fit all their criteria and be a perfect culture fit. So you end up interviewing okay for something, but the hiring manager decides to hold for “better”. IMO, I think that their “better” is often a young white male, but that’s my bitterness talking.

            I have over 20 years of experience. The number of times I’ve been passed over because I don’t do CS major coding exercises well, even though I’m not a programmer and don’t have a CS degree, is actually very infuriating.

            Tech hiring is a complete mess. It is soul crushing, and if you don’t set firm boundaries companies will abuse you endlessly for daring to want a job in your field.

            1. David*

              Hmm, I would not have thought it’s *completely* normal. If we’re talking about interviews in the sense of the full loop, final round interview (not the initial quick tech screen) that a lot of places do, the company is investing a lot of effort to make that interview happen, including typically pulling 3-5 engineers (or other technical experts) away from their jobs for probably an hour each. They won’t have the capability to do that anywhere close to 46 times for every role they want to fill.

              For context, when I’ve been involved in tech interviews in the past, the target conversion rate for full loop interviews was about 50%, meaning that we wouldn’t bring someone in for a full loop unless we judged there was about a 50% chance we’d wind up wanting to hire them. That’s probably an outlier too, but industry-wide I would have thought the average should be closer to 1/2 than 1/46!

              Then again, I don’t really have statistics or anything to go by….

              1. amoeba*

                I mean, I assume “interviews” includes all interviews – so both the ones where he only got to the first screening round and the ones where he did multiple rounds/was a finalist? 46 final rounds would be surprising, for sure, but that’s not mentioned in the text…

          4. MCMonkeyBean*

            I agree, though the number of interviews for that many applications is not great either. He’s got a 6.6% success rate at turning applications into interviews and then a 2.2% success rate at turning interviews into offers.

            I think he should 1) cut back on the LinkedIn posting, 2) consider being more discerning about what jobs he is applying for and then spend more time tailoring those applications, and 3) work on his interview skills

      2. Beth*

        I’m betting most of the other 408 just never got back to him. That’s really common, and the candidate almost never gets to know why.

        1. ferrina*

          Totally. That didn’t strike me as weird- the initial application is always a gamble, and there’s always a chance that you’re tossing (digital) paper into the void. I’ve been on the other end where my boss told me to post jobs we didn’t actually have budget for.

          I was more confused by the high number of interviews without offers. Usually the toughest part is getting through to the interview. But if he’s only had a 2% offer rate from interviews, that seems really low.

          1. HiringFreeze*

            You’re not considering that a portion of these places likely had some type of hiring freeze or unexpected layoffs or M&A activity or office closure or other factor that froze the hiring process. I haven’t been searching for a few years, but it happens a lot – and a more drawn out hiring process means that candidates may have a harder time getting all the way through the process before one of these events happens.

    2. Itsa Me, Mario*

      I’m much earlier in the process than this guy, but I have had 4-5 applications where I went through multiple rounds of interviews but ultimately did not get the job. If this happens another 41 times I’ll go out of my mind. However, thinking through the math of it, it’s unlikely — and presumably very unlucky — but not impossible assuming a large field of qualified applicants.

  3. Chairman of the Bored*

    People can smell desperation/dejection, and it’s never a good look.

    As a job-seeker I want to give off the vibe of “I am an in-demand employee who of course has lots of options, so lets see if you are a good fit as an employer.”

    BIL’s Linkedin posts are doing the opposite of this.

    1. 2 Cents*

      Yeah, on this science show my child watches on Netflix, it shows that they were able to make one photo more popular than another merely by changing the (fake) metrics of how many likes each photo had racked up. The one with more likes continued getting more. The one with less was less popular. BIL is making himself less popular. Save the stats for AFTER he has a job. Until then, he just looks like he’s not popular, and no one wants to hitch to that wagon.

    2. Chase*

      Yeah, desperation is not attractive. I was part of a mass-layoff once, and one of my colleagues had only been around about 6 months. It was his first job in the industry, and he was about five years older than the average entry-level, but he was willing to work from the ground up even though it was less pay and a longer and more expensive commute. And then it all fell out from under us.
      His LinkedIn posts were getting desperate. He was determined to stay in the industry even though he was basically among the least experienced of the 400+ people laid off and jobs were scarce. I eventually had to remove him from LinkedIn, because it made me sad every time I logged on.

  4. Salsa Your Face*

    I’ve seen a lot of these types of charts on Reddit, and there, the data is interesting. But not on LinkedIn. Never on LinkedIn.

    1. NameRequired*

      exactly! posting anonymous data on reddit for sharing doesn’t indicate anything bad about your judgement to me, but putting it directly on LinkedIn which is very specifically for presenting yourself professionally makes me question your judgement

    2. Sloanicota*

      That could potentially be a helpful and kind suggestion OP could offer this brother in law: introduce him to that page on Reddit and suggest he adopt an anonymous username. You can also remind him he can share his data after he gets a job, if he still wants to. Could also introduce him to a new community he might enjoy.

      1. ecnaseener*

        Yes, that would be a good idea, but honestly I see these SO often on Reddit that I’m guessing the BIL got the idea there and already knows it’s an option.

        (If I’m wrong, LW, dataisbeautiful is a common subreddit for these posts.)

        1. Itsa Me, Mario*

          I’ve seen them on LinkedIn before, but always after the person actually has a new job. And more often shared by recruiters, career coaches, and other people who are more Job Hunt Influencers and less personally in the hiring process. So it would more typically be “A client of mine…” or “the average job seeker in tech…” and not “I, a currently unemployed person…”

    3. datanerd*

      yeah its a bit of a trend in the data sciencey circles, but it’s usually done AFTER you get your job, not during the process.

  5. NameRequired*

    I’ve seen videos on tiktok where people talk about their ratio of applications to interviews to offers – but I usually assume people’s real names aren’t attached to their tiktoks so it’s somewhat private

    Putting this directly on the site that is pretty much exclusively for networking and looking good to future employers seems ill advised at best

  6. Anonymous Pygmy Possum*

    I see this exact type of post all the time on LinkedIn. (I’m also in the tech industry.) He’s probably copying the style of other posts he’s seen. I roll my eyes internally at those posts, but I’m not a hiring manager, and the ones I’ve seen have decent engagement.

    1. Rainbow*

      I’ve seen some too (I’m tech-adjacent). I guess most that I’ve seen have been in a fairly positive tone though, or even some time after getting a new job. (“I did X hundred interviews but then I hung out with my kids this morning and remembered why it’s all worth it!” kind of thing.)

    2. Beth*

      “Gets decent engagement” and “creates a positive impression” are sometimes very different things, though, and it’s too easy to confuse those on social media. I’ve seen this kind of post before as well, and they often get a lot of engagement in the form of sympathy and commiseration. But I don’t think they do a good job of promoting the poster as a professional worth hiring.

    3. ThatGirl*

      I am not in tech, but I see a decent amount of “I’ve been searching for SO LONG and applied to SO MANY places” and I think people start to feel a little desperate, and hope that someone will take pity on them. And I get it, to some extent – job searching is demoralizing and exhausting. But that’s still not necessarily what recruiters or hiring managers want to see, and I don’t think it helps.

    4. Brain the Brian*

      I see these all the time on LinkedIn. They invariably come off as long-term pouting about a layoff, whether they’re intended that way or not.

    5. Not my coffee*

      So LW thinks he’s wrong, but maybe he isn’t?

      I see a lot of stuff on LinkedIn. I also see a lot of folks questioning the value of LinkedIn.

      1. LW BIL's BIL*

        Yeah, that’s why I wrote in. My initial reaction isn’t necessarily the reaction that everyone else would have. I’m pretty far removed from HR and tech, so I figured I would ask.

    6. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

      There’s one of these on my LinkedIn feed at the moment (I wondered briefly if the letter was about him, but the details are different enough, and I see from some of the other comments that there’s a few people out there like this!)

      I don’t know him well, but the constant posts about rejection and being ghosted, “x applications with y rejections and z no reply”, “recruiters need to start doing better” etc etc – it’s difficult to put across here, but reading the posts there’s a real feeling of desperation that is quite off-putting. He posts rhetorical questions like “why am I getting no response??” etc.

      I am almost at the point of having the “you’re putting people off” conversation with him as a favour even though I don’t know him very well, because evidently no one else has.

      1. Zweisatz*

        Yeah, it feels the same as people talking about never getting dates/always being rejected in an environment where potential matches can see it.
        You’ve got to do the advertising and complaining in two different spheres, otherwise you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.

      2. I Have RBF*

        Yeah, I don’t think posting the details on LI is a good idea. That kind of data is best done anonymously.

    7. Daisy-dog*

      I noticed people doing this all the time last year when I was job-searching and spent more time on LinkedIn. It does generate a lot of engagement because I think that people who are really into LI believe that’s how LI should work. They like, comment, share in the hopes that someone in their network will be able to help that person. But really, not every hiring manager or even recruiter uses LI like that, so they don’t know it’s a trend.

    8. ZugTheMegasaurus*

      Yep, I see these all the time on LinkedIn too (I’m also in tech). I think it’s usually intended as a motivating “you’re not alone, the market really is that tough” message. And in that context, I wouldn’t do it myself but don’t see much wrong with it. The problem is that you can’t limit the audience to just other struggling jobseekers, and it looks way weird from every other outside perspective (as the post and comments here make loud and clear).

    9. ccsquared*

      Former tech worker, and I also roll my eyes at these even while I have empathy, as I know it’s rough now. And the empathy is why these posts get the engagement – we all know someone in this scenario, it’s an industry known for forging strong relationships, and it’s healthy that we want to offer support.

      The challenge is that this isn’t the kind of LinkedIn presence that helps land a job as I don’t know many hiring managers who are going to prioritize throwing a life preserver over getting the right fit for the role, and if the goal is to use the visibility to network to a job, then it’s far more useful to know what you can do and what roles you’re targeting, as that’s what I’d need to know to make a connection.

      I’d be far more likely to hire or refer someone sharing articles or ideas that show they are passionate about their field. And 2-3 posts a week are plenty.

  7. Caramel & Cheddar*

    So many people confuse LinkedIn with other social media sites: it’s not there for you to vent your spleen! I have so many ex-colleagues who I’ve immediately regretted connecting with when I realised their LinkedIn feed is indistinguishable from what I imagine their Facebook feeds look like.

    If he wants to spend that much time on LinkedIn, I wonder if he’d have much better success in his job search but also in feeling less awful about it if he was sharing things like industry news, thoughts on Topic X, etc. or other things that might actually help him connect with other users. Expanding your network won’t necessarily land you a job, but it could show a certain kind of engagement to recruiters who come across your page.

    1. pally*

      He might also include any skills/programs/tech he’s learned. Or a status on same (as long as status shows forward progression).

      I’m watching someone *who very much impressed me* post on LI every month or so about new platforms and such he’s learned. In person, he goes on and on spilling the gossip about various local companies. Totally trashes them.

    2. Ms. Yvonne*

      As a person who was subject to chronic un/underemployment in my mid 40s (fun combo of overeducated and being a middle-agedladyism+ obvious growing desperation as time went on, which is never a good look), I def got the whiff of spleen venting from this, too. Plus whatever smell you give off when you’re starting not to hold it together any more and it is keeping you up at night. That said, I know nothing of tech howev.

    3. Momma Bear*

      This. I’d encourage him to change his platform/audience and leave LinkedIn for Business Only.

    4. LW BIL's BIL*

      His posts don’t have a “vent” vibe to them. He’s definitely going for inspirational and motivated, like “700 applications and still going strong! nothing will stop me!”

      Paraphrased, of course.

      1. Le Sigh*

        I’m not in tech, but 700 applications doesn’t scream inspirational so much as someone hitting the “easy apply” button w/o looking to see if it makes sense to apply. When you’re laid off, you can’t afford to be insanely choosy, but I have a hard time believing 700 jobs were all ones he should have applied to. And I wonder if that’s the message that’s coming across to some people.

        Being laid off sucks and sometimes you just have to keep a positive attitude to keep yourself going, I just dunno that advertising all of that is the way to go.

        1. Le Sigh*

          Eh, on second thought, I wasn’t digesting that it was 700 over 6-7 months, which actually isn’t a wild number when you do the math. When I think about it, it’s more the energy of the post and the overall stats that are giving me that impression.

  8. Meep*

    I am curious why he declined that one job. Even if he felt he could do better, it is easier finding another job with a job.

    1. MigraineMonth*

      Eh, I’ve rejected an offer when I had nothing else lined up just because they didn’t have a good answer to my interview question.

      In that case, the interview question was “What have you changed about your sales practices since the State of California won their fraud and racial discrimination cases against you?”

    2. Cat Tree*

      When I was unemployed during the Great Recession I declined an offer because it was 90% travel.

    3. Ess*

      LW responded in a comment thread above that the company seemed like a scam, so brother in law decided not to risk it.

  9. This_is_Todays_Name*

    If I’d been out of work that long, and finally received an offer, even if it was shoveling manure on a farm, I’d have accepted that job and kept on looking. Everything about him sounds like he just has poor judgment. Or he thinks his posts will make someone either pity him and offer him a job, or think “oh wow, he’s really got some sticktoitiveness, let’s hire him.” Either way, he’s a nope.

    1. AnotherOne*

      yeah, a friend of mine job searched for over a year before getting a new job (that was actually at the company that had laid him off.)

      does he like the job? no, but it’s a paycheck and in the meantime, he continues to keep an eye out for interesting possibilities.

    2. bamcheeks*

      I would accept it if it was a solid paid job that just wasn’t utilising my skills, but I wouldn’t if it was scammy or unethical. With 700 applications, there are bound to be some which are “you’ll write papers for college students” or “you’ll call elderly people and persuade them to part with hundreds or thousands of pounds”, and I would fully support anyone turning down that kind of job.

      1. bamcheeks*

        … that said, if I had turned down that kind of “job offer”, I would not be posting about it on LinkedIn.

      2. MigraineMonth*

        I was offered a job at the back office of an MLM-like company. I turned it down with nothing else lined up; sometimes a gap on your resume is easier to explain than certain types of jobs.

    3. Celeste*

      That seems unnecessarily harsh. I agree the LinkedIn posts aren’t a good idea. But taking a shoveling manure job (or some other job totally unrelated to his field) that probably doesn’t allow time off for interviews doesn’t sound like great judgment. He may have plenty of savings to carry him through this time. We don’t know.

      1. H3llifIknow*

        I don’t think it’s harsh at all. He’s been out of work for a LONG TIME. Also, that’s what is called “hyperbole”. I know for a fact that I’ve said that to feed my family, even with a Master’s Degree, and 25 years of experience in my field, I’d delivery pizzas. If you’re out of work, you take the job unless it’s illegal, unethical, etc… and keep on looking.

        1. Le Sigh*

          But he might be doing things like delivering pizzas or other side work to pay the bills. Or his household has enough money that he doesn’t need *any* job to pay bills, so he’s focused on finding one for his skillset. The letter is focused on the most relevant info, not every detail. And I’ve delivered pizzas to pay bills but I don’t necessarily put those jobs on my resume when I’m trying to find something in my career field, nor would I factor it into my job application data.

          Also the LW said the job he turned down was scammy. I’d be wary of taking something like that bc what if you end up doing work and not getting paid? That’s a huge waste of time and you’re still not getting paid.

        2. Celeste*

          But we have no idea what his financial situation is like. My BIL was out of work for at least six months, but he got a great severance package, so he didn’t take any random job that came along. And yes, I get that it’s hyperbole – I just don’t understand the judginess.

    4. Rex Libris*

      Yep, as a manager, I’d just assume there was probably a reason that 45 other employers already noped on by, and go on to the next candidate.

    5. LW BIL's BIL*

      That one offer came early and it was “scammy.” As in: the company was a scam of some kind.

    1. Generic Name*

      Yeah, I’ve seen one or two posts like this on LinkedIn. Usually with a hashtag like #vulnerability or something.

      1. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

        Yep. It’s definitely a thing people do, remember the resume cake lady? It was hard to read people encouraging that but I do think most people found it extremely cringe.

        If OP’s BIL has applied that many times it’s probably a bunch of low effort LI applications. A more targeted approach would likely get better results than shotgun blasting resumes to everything.

  10. MrsFillmore*

    I would LOVE to hear from more tech industry folks on this. I am not in the tech industry but have seen quite a bit of this genre of post on Linkedin, pretty much exclusively from people in the tech industry. If you’re in tech, do you think this post is more acceptable in tech than in other industries?

    1. Rose*

      No lol. Not at all.

      I think a few better crafted ones from people with strong networks have gone viral, and others hope their posts will too. I wrote my thoughts in the comment below but TL;DR: no.

    2. danmei kid*

      No. But I do think there is a certain personality archetype among some techbros that fosters this kind of warped thinking about themselves as misunderstood diamonds in the rough waiting to be discovered by their next lucky employer.

      1. Fluffy Fish*

        “misunderstood diamonds in the rough waiting to be discovered by their next lucky employer”

        I think this is the driving force between a lot of those type posts even outside tech. They lack any and all self-awareness to realize how bad it makes them look – at best that they’re just indiscriminately applying or bad at interview – at worst that there’s a reason they can’t get hired and its their work. And frankly a lot – even most – could use some self reflection that something they are doing isn’t good be it resume, interview skills, or over-estimation of their work.

    3. Casey*

      I find that it’s more prevalent in tech for sure. Cynically I think it’s a combo of wanting to quantify everything, and tech having a lot of egotistical people who are convinced that people will read this and come away thinking “this guy is SO SMART and didn’t get hired, wow, the industry/hiring process is BROKEN and he’s so brave to call it out!”. Which is…… not how it comes off, ha.

    4. Nameless in Tech*

      Trigger warning

      Tech is messed up. If you are missing one skill on your resume you may well have nothing to offer at all. LW’s Brother-in-law’s experience is pretty mainstream. The polite fiction is that it is just an exaggeration. It’s one of those things where you’re actually better off not keeping track of it.

      I have known some very intelligent, hard working coworkers in Tech who claimed they were at peace with the idea that their life insurance policies would be their best shot at supporting their families if they were to be laid off. Like smokers who had just accepted that cancer was their future. Two of them had even dropped out of relationships altogether because of it.

    5. J*

      Yes, but also half the engagement is people literally screenshotting it and sending it to group chats and making fun of people while saying nice things on the post. I’ve been included in far too many.

      In legal, it’s all about staying till 7:30 or later so you can type up a post about your work-life balance while everyone knows you’re still at the office.

      If you aren’t seeing 5 posts written in the style of words (not sentences) followed by periods, then dozens of line breaks with single sentence paragraphs, are you even on LinkedIn? Example:

      Servant. Humble. Innovator.

      What I learned from a friend. A coworker.

      Kevin was such a good guy who worked until he literally died at his desk. 5 more paragraphs about this.

      “Live like Kevin.”

    6. CEMgr*

      Agreed. I see these posts fairly frequently (and BTW I am in Silicon Valley electronics development and have hired probably 50 engineers in my ~40 yr career) and I do cringe on their behalf. I understand the tough situation, and turning that into passive-aggressive moans is counter-productive. I often take a look at the LinkedIn profile associated with the poster, and the majority could use a LOT of work, in much the way that Alison guides us. So turn that angst into some deep work on self, career, job search tactics, and resume & LI profile.

    7. I Have RBF*

      Tech interviewing sucks. Companies always want the “perfect culture fit” with bunches of experience in their tech stack, with the ability to do coding exercises with zero preparation in every language like a CS grad, but willing to take entry level wages for mid to senior level positions.

      But I never post stats while I’m interviewing. It doesn’t help me or anyone else reading it.

      I have found that venting on LinkedIn is never a good look. So I don’t.

      But the reality is, unless the person is a new grad, a less than 1% success rate is normal (applications to offers). The more senior a person is, the longer it takes.

    8. Qwerty*

      Yes thank you – I work in tech and have been seeing a lot of these kinds of posts. Some of them from people who I personally used to work with and I know they’re talented, so I don’t think we can chalk it up to this guy not doing something right. I’m hearing from a lot of old colleagues who have gotten laid off and now have been 6, 8, up to a year without a job and living in this grind. It can be incredibly isolating, and a lot of tech culture also is open to this kind of transparency and vulnerability, so I’m not surprised we’re seeing posts like this. I’ve also seen plenty of these kinds of posts then generate more support and job leads for people.
      One of the things that’s tough in tech is that I’ve been seeing patterns in the kinds of teams and skill sets companies have been laying off. Which means fewer openings in your niche discipline, more saturation of talent applying, and way less likely you’ll get considered if you try to expand into something tangential where you may be a less traditional candidate.
      For the job openings we have at my company, we are regularly getting 1300-1600 applicants, most of whom are strong candidates.
      So yeah – not incredibly surprised at those numbers, and not terribly put off by the post. It’s a brutal time.

    9. Maeve*

      I work in tech ( videogames), I think it’s weird but my theory is people are essentially Tweeting. This is a trend that’s happened over the last few years where people are treating Linkedin more like Twitter/Facebook. These posts are designed to go viral, the idea is that people react to your post, it boosts your visibility across Linkedin. I guess the idea there is that recruiters may spot your post or you enter their recommendations. I do think there’s something to this, as even just a bit of passive posting or lurking seems to get me more recruiter mails without any traceable correlation.

      For folks in Tech, Twitter was at least a good way to raise your profile and get job leads. There was certainly something in a mix of work/personal stuff there and a pressure to maintain a “personal brand.”
      Twitter is obviously in a bad place, so people are just trying things out in any network they can. I’m also seeing people post their holiday pics, pics of family with captions about work/life balance. These posts are getting engagement or at least some of them are, so people are going to copy them.
      My test for these is if you can imagine the same post starting with ” Thread 1/20″

      Linkedin hasn’t suffered the same rot the other social networks have, and it’s pretty bad out there. There has been wave after wave of layoffs in games as in wider tech, combined with some pretty abrupt back-to-office mandates. So I suspect it’s accelerating it. I have no idea how effective these tweet posts are for getting a lead on a job, versus empty calorie engagement – but with so many people out of work and the social networks a lot of tech folks used rotting out I think we will see some pretty weird stuff as people try things to stand out.

      I would say if someone finds social media effective for tech job hunting, then I suspect writing decent content might be a better use of time – but there may be some weird algorithm thing going on that people are growth hacking in which case people may not look down on it as much.

      I recommend the Garbage Day newsletter for observations on Social Media stuff. I don’t think he’s covered LinkedIn stuff recently but I’d love to know if my theory is correct. It’s also pretty funny.

  11. Rose*

    I work in tech and do a lot of hiring and this is a huge, huge turnoff.

    700 applications and 46 interviews doesn’t tell me anything flattering about your work ethic. It tells me you’re not being thoughtful in how you’re approaching your job hunt or leveraging your connections well (which makes me wonder why… are your former coworkers not willing to vouch for you?).

    700 applications and one offer, which you did not accept, tells me you’re being unrealistic about your situation.

    Posting woe is me, no one wants to hire me posts on LinkedIn makes you look desperate and negative. It’s no more appealing than a dating profile that says “I ask out women all the time and they always say no! Only one said yes and I didn’t even like her.” Hearing no one else wasted you don’t make you more appealing.

    Yes, the job market is brutal. I’m actually about to lose my job in a huge round of layoffs from a big tech company and it is very scary. But LinkedIn is a place to publicly promote your professional self; it’s not your diary or your group chat with friends. And just like a candidate who bashes their former employer in an interview, sure it could all be 100% valid and not at all your fault in any way, but if this is one of few data points a hiring manager has of you, it is not a good one.

    1. Annony*

      I agree. I think the problem may be more the 700 applications than the vent on LinkedIn. 700 applications in 7 months (possibly less since we don’t know when OP wrote this) means 100 applications a month. I find it hard to believe that he tailored his resume for each role and wrote a convincing cover letter each time for why he would be the best candidate for that particular role. He is probably sending generic applications into an oversaturated job market.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        700 applications in 7 months (possibly less since we don’t know when OP wrote this) means 100 applications a month.

        That’d be ~3/day (or ~5/day if he gets weekends off). 2-3 hours per. Unless all 700 employers have guano requirements and procedures, that’s actually pretty restrained if LWBIL is just carpet-bombing the market with stock résumés.

        1. Itsa Me, Mario*

          I was going to say the same thing. This seems on the high side — and maybe with some amount of carpet bombing or sending in applications to jobs that might not be a perfect fit — but not impossible. It also seems par for the course in a job market where ATS systems are the first line of defense.

          1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

            I think it’s an arms race. The higher employers raise their standards and barriers to entry to play a numbers game, the lower job seekers lower their standards and the wider they cast their nets to play the inverse numbers game.

            It’s guano insanity but it’s also a Nash equilibrium.

      2. Rose*

        Totally, my image is of someone clicking easy apply on 20 roles a day, not really putting effort into a job hunt. I’m not saying that’s correct, but that’s the impression.

        1. Mill Miker*

          Oddly enough, I’ve actually had much better luck finding tech jobs by hitting “Easy apply” than I have had writing tailored cover letters and doing all the customization (I do a mix of both when hunting, depending on how appealing the job posting is).

          Although, the jobs I’ve gotten (while pretty good jobs) probably don’t hold up against the standards of anyone who was working at any of the places doing layoffs recently.

      3. Beth*

        If you look at the actual math, if you’re doing 100 applications/month and treating applying like it’s your job (aka focusing on it mon-fri 9-5ish), then you’re doing like 5 applications a day and spending an hour or two on each application.

        That’s still a lot. Probably not all of them are ideal jobs for him–there aren’t likely to be 5 job posts/day that are a perfect fit. But it’s not “sending generic applications to any and all job postings, carpet bombing everywhere you find” territory either. That’s enough time to at least update an existing cover letter and resume to tailor them to the job.

        It just sounds bad when you say “700 applications”. Which is really the issue here–OP’s BIL is setting up some bad optics for himself.

      4. Mill Miker*

        The 700 doesn’t surprise me, really. There were something like 170k+ US tech employees laid off this year, and most of the “good” tech jobs are either remote, or in a handful of tech hubs. So for every job you’re probably competing against at least a couple thousand people with more-or-less exactly the same qualifications and experience.

        If every one applies to the same jobs, and every company hires the next-best person in order from the remaining pool, you’re looking at at least 500 rejections if you’re not in the top 25% of all applicants.

        1. Mill Miker*

          And! That’s just the competition against the other laid off people, it’s not counting all the new grads with impressive portfolios, no burnout, and low salary expectations. Or people looking to make moves just because they don’t like their current jobs.

    2. LW BIL's BIL*

      His posts are not negative or venty. It’s all trying to portray himself as motivated. “nothing will stop me until I get there” kind of thing.

      As for the other posts: it’s a lot of sharing “company xyz is looking for abc, apply today!” He has no affiliation with the company, and they are typically not tech.

      1. Rose*

        It’s better that they’re not written in a venty tone, but only marginally so. No matter how he’s phrasing it, what he’s saying is “I’ve applied to 700 jobs and been unemployed for 7 months.” The message is still the same to me. You’re choosing to post this unpleasant thing in your life on a networking site, and knowing that 700 other people didn’t want you doesn’t make me feel like you’re a valuable candidate who I’d love to get to know.

        The market is tough, I expect to apply to a lot of roles to find a new one. I don’t judge anyone having to do that. But when you get to choose exactly what information about yourself you want to share with the world, this is not a good data point to share.

    3. lost academic*

      I absolutely knew someone who did this exact thing on an older, mostly defunct social media site with regard to asking out women. It was pretty performative (weird for a person who didn’t typically come off that way) and definitely some sort of weird way to build a case against All Women. Very much exhibit A for the “Nice Guy” trope. Also someone in tech.

      This isn’t the best time for someone in tech to not have it together. I’d wish him luck but….. I wouldn’t want to hire someone like that.

  12. girlie_pop*

    I have seen a few posts from job seekers/people who have been laid off like this that “go viral”, with hundreds or thousands of people commenting and tagging people they know, reposting it, etc. It seems like people do this (at least some of the time) hoping to generate sympathy and get people to help them out and get a job out of it. It seems like a weird strategy to me, but like OP I have never really been in this position.

    But I have never seen numbers like this, and I feel like it would also give me pause if I were a hiring manager!

    1. Meep*

      There was someone claiming to have 750+ applications and not a single response back on Tiktok, I believe. I don’t know what on Earth he was doing, though, because my understanding was he was applying to retail jobs.

      1. Itsa Me, Mario*

        I have to say, I gave up on ever trying to get another retail job after applying to several online, years ago, and never hearing a single response back about any of them. I’ve had much better luck submitting applications for corporate jobs that should theoretically be harder to get or thinner on the ground.

  13. Box of Kittens*

    I knew a guy who quit banking to try and open his own business, but it was right before 2020 and I guess his business failed. He then apparently applied to a bank he worked at previously and got rejected, which I only know because I happened to see a comment he made on that banks’ LinkedIn page where he angrily ranted at them for not hiring him and honoring his previous loyalty (or something along those lines). I imagine he was stressed trying to find a new job in the midst of the pandemic, but it was not a good look and really changed my opinion of him. The things people post on LinkedIn boggle the mind.

    1. MigraineMonth*

      r/LinkedInLunatics is very, ah, eye-opening. Not in a good way.

      It’s a networking site, not Instagram. You shouldn’t *want* your posts to go viral there.

      1. I Have RBF*

        LOL. That subreddit is hilarious. Some of the things people post on LinkedIn I wouldn’t even post under a pseudonym on any platform.

  14. Magpie*

    I’m in tech and I’ve seen a fair number of posts just like this. I’m pretty sure they are meant to garner sympathy. They’re hoping someone will feel bad about how hard their job search has been and offer them some help and they aren’t thinking about how this actually sounds to hiring managers.

    1. ThePear8*

      Yeah, most of the responses I see on these types of posts are from fellow job hunters also complaining about how hard it is or offering encouragement etc. No recruiters sliding in there.
      I’m also in tech and was affected by the massive layoffs last year, and man I thought I applied to a lot of jobs but it was nowhere NEAR 700. I also didn’t share my job hunting stats publicly. I know everyone has their own timeline and approach to job hunting but I do doubt this is helping…

      1. Not A Lawyer*

        I’m not in tech, but I was part of a wave of layoffs at a brokerage firm around Memorial Day after just five and a half months at the company. I definitely haven’t applied to 700 jobs, but it still feels like a lot! I have only interviewed for two positions–one I didn’t make past the phone screen, and the other, I made it to the final interview only to later get an e-mail from the recruiter saying that’d picked someone else. I graduated from grad school during the Great Recession, and I don’t think that job search was as difficult as my current one.

        However, my husband is still working and able to support both of us, so I know I’m fortunate. I’m also pregnant, and so I’ve decided that if I don’t get a job by the end of the year, I’m just going to take a year off from job searching and wait until the kid is at least six months old (I’m due in March). I’m also considering part-time work, if possible.

        The last time I was out of work, I was so desperate, I applied to Starbucks. Of course, I was overqualified and got rejected immediately.

  15. Rainbow*

    In my field (I now work with tech in said field, but field is not tech) I saw some blog comments a few decades back before I joined the industry. I didn’t have much else to go on about job applications, so I expected I would deal with hundreds of applications. Everything changed in my head when I initially applied to four jobs and got offers from all…

    Like, sometimes the job market is really bad, particularly in certain fields. But just to everyone else, don’t take these comments as some kind of indicator.

    1. Itsa Me, Mario*

      One factor to consider is whether you’re on the job hunt in an environment where a lot of other people with similar skills are also job hunting, and where there have been recent layoffs across your industry meaning fewer jobs to apply to.

      OP’s BIL’s numbers aren’t that wild to me as someone in the entertainment industry in the middle of a 5 month long multi-union strike. My specific part of my field hasn’t faced layoffs yet, but I know a lot of companies have hiring freezes right now, and a lot of folks who are more immediately affected by the strikes have been applying for jobs like mine out of desperation.

  16. Fluffy Fish*

    LinkedIn is one of those things where not much you do will help a terrible lot, but there’s a lot you can do that will hurt you.

    (general, I know there’s industries that it’s important and also not including people who manage a businesses presence)

    1. Peanut Hamper*


      I have found as the years roll on* that LinkedIn is less and less useful for actually getting a job. But you can sure use it to run your job search into the ground.

      *Smashmouth was right when they said the years start coming and they don’t stop coming.

        1. LimeRoos*

          That’s why you gotta take the back streets.

          You’ll never know if you don’t go.
          You’ll never shine if you don’t glow.

          I’ll see myself out XD

      1. Fluffy Fish*

        I don’t know how but I have been part of two threads today that went delightfully off the rails.

  17. CharChar*

    Would love a collection of bad LinkedIn examples on AAM. Ex-coworker likes to talk about her cat she adopted, I love cats but don’t need that on LinkedIn. Very mild example, others are much more complaints about the state of the world and job hunting.

    Though obviously, this would also need examples of things I like to see, job changes, interesting insights into career related topics that are not blatant self-promotion.

    1. Fluffy Fish*

      theres a reddit linkedin lunatics

      theres a couple frequent fliers including one guy who has had stint after stint of short term jobs, repeated unemployment but promotes himself as a side business giving career advice to young professionals in particular targeting a certain female demographic. i dont think he’s actually a creep but man does he come across that way.

    2. bamcheeks*

      I am SO fascinated by what goes viral on LinkedIn. It has to be something that is a little bit different from the usual “excited to start a new job!!!”, but also sufficiently bland and non-controversial that lots of people on their best professional behaviour are prepared to Like or Share where there coworkers and bosses can see it. So it’s always something like, “I don’t usually post personal stuff on here but this weekend I completed a marathon and raised £900 for cancer research” or “Going to get a bit political here and say that I think violence against puppies is bad”. People obviously do post more overtly political things, but to actually go viral it has to be the most unobjectionable, blandorama stuff, and it’s so deeply weird.

      1. Expelliarmus*

        I remember there was a post discussed on here sometime back about a woman who sent a company a cake with a picture of her resume on it or something

    3. Cookies For Breakfast*

      My former colleague who reinvented herself as a “LinkedIn coach” and posts daily about how this “dream job” allowed her to escape the 9-5 she hated would be a perfect fit. Because I give her a year before she has to go back to a 9-to-5 job to earn money, and her LinkedIn activity is sure going to look interesting to hiring managers at that point. And because perhaps someone more in the know than me will be able to tell me what coaching pyramid scheme she’s trying to rope people into.

  18. Keyboard Arete*

    it looks like there must be some red flags if he’s been rejected nearly 300 times — not to mention that I would feel like I’m his 700th choice!

    I encourage you to change your perceptions about applying. Being rejected 300/700 times is not that high a rejection rate. There are any number of reasons why someone might be rejected without an interview-they are not as strong as other candidates, they lack a single but crucial qualification, the employer already made an offer and had it accepted by the time he applied…

    And why would you, as a hypothetical hiring manager, feel like you are his 700th choice? It’s not like he found all 700 opportunities on one day, ranked them all, and started applying in order that he wanted them. It’s been 6 months. A lot of those opportunities weren’t even open when he first started applying. He applied to them as he found them and had energy to fill out applications and write cover letters (if he is doing so). Of all the surprising ways to judge somebody’s job search, this one is in the top 10.

    Can you step away from LinkedIn for a bit? It sounds like your BIL’s search methods are causing you some angst. It might be better to reduce your engagement with it.

    1. The Unspeakable Queen Lisa*

      BIL is hurting himself – *he* needs to step away, not LW. LW is understandably worried for her family member and concerned he is actively holding himself back.

        1. LW's BIL's BIL*

          I very seldom go on LinkedIn. I recently browsed his profile, thought “wow, this seems like a bad idea, but I’m not sure. I’ll write to AAM” and then I did that.

        2. LW's BIL's BIL*

          I don’t go on LinkedIn. I looked at his profile recently, and I thought “wow, this doesn’t seem like a good idea. I’ll ask AAM.”

          And here we are.

    2. Still an admin*

      I think it’s a bit odd to be scolding OP who has a very valid point. A point that you seem to have missed. It is OK for them to be concerned and to ask about it.

      1. Not my coffee*

        No one said LW not allowed to be concerned or LW is not allowed to ask.

        I don’t think it is scolding to suggest a different interpretation of the same information.

      2. Itsa Me, Mario*

        LW has a valid point, but the numbers part is a bit out of touch with how job applications in the 21st century work. It’s absolutely not in any way weird to apply for 300+ jobs in 7 months, and not to have gotten any of those jobs. It doesn’t indicate that 300+ hiring managers actually engaged with his resume. Many of these applications may not have been seen by a human at all.

    3. SakuraFan*

      There are a lot of people looking for tech jobs, and not that many out there. Also, a lot of companies use automation to screen resumes and will just ignore anything you send if it doesn’t have a particular keyword they’re looking for, even if you’re really the one person they’re looking for. It’s gruesome.

      1. I Have RBF*


        For example, one company got a resume from the guy who literally invented a language, interviewed him, then rejected him because he didn’t have enough experience in that language, that he invented!

        Tech companies get so many applications that they think they can hold out for the “perfect” hire, a unicorn who ticks all the boxes, is a great culture “fit” and will work for peanuts. If they can’t get that, they hire an H1b and say that they couldn’t find anyone “qualified” already in the US.

        Tech hiring is very broken.

    4. LW's BIL's BIL*

      I almost never go on LinkedIn. If that whole site disappeared tomorrow it might take me a month to notice. Its not his LinkedIn activity that causes me angst–its the fact that he is part of my family and he’s been unemployed and not earning income for nearly 8 months.

      You’re taking the “700th choice” comment far too literally.

      I know that Tech in particular is very competitive right now with all the recent layoffs. That means you have lots of people applying for the same job, and thus minimal time available to screen candidates. I don’t think it is at all inaccurate to assume some hiring managers will look at 300 rejections and say “hmm, that’s a lot, probably for a good reason. Next!”

      All I’m doing here is asking what good or bad this kind of information does when posted on LinkedIn. You’re free to disagree, but the overwhelming consensus is it either does nothing or its a hinderance. If that holds true for the companies interviewing my BIL then its a pretty obvious answer.

      1. CEMgr*

        It does nothing good for him. What will sell him to a tech hiring manager is ***literal, specific accomplishments and results he has achieved in his field of choice***. Instead, he’s broadcasting lack of results, and apparently a persistent approach without course corrections or taking feedback; basically whiny misplaced gumption.

        To LW BIL’s BIL: Has BIL run his resume and LI profile through Alison’s process? If not, you could suggest it. And also that BIL takes Alison’s advice to nix the “700 interviews” posts. This is his best chance for getting hired.

  19. Sloanicota*

    These things are tough – I see it in publishing, and I see both sides. On one hand, it feels good to people to vent and get sympathy from their tribe, and most of them would say they are doing it in the spirit of transparency so that other people in the same boat see that they’re not alone, or because they feel like “nobody is talking about how hard this is.” On the other hand, from the outside I can say I don’t think agents or editors want to feel like they’re picking someone who is desperate and has been passed over by everyone else (which is totally unfair, of course, but human). I compared it to dating once to a mentee; how do you feel if you look up a prospective date and see them complaining about how many first dates they’ve been on and how awful it’s going for them?

    1. LW's BIL's BIL*

      Its not venting. All his posts have a positive vibe, and are trying to be inspirational or motivational. “nothing will stop me from finding a job, even after 700 applications!” or something like that.

  20. Sally Rhubarb*

    During my last job search, I got so fed up with all the low ball offers that I posted exasperated photo of myself on my (private) Instagram. I didn’t name & shame or list how many cheap ass companies I was encountered.

    Job hunting is it’s own circle of hell, but this dud is really just shooting himself in the foot.

  21. The Unspeakable Queen Lisa*

    Oof, this reminds me of some posts I saw last year from a former coworker. I hadn’t seen him in years and he suddenly reappears on LI bitching angrily about how he’s been laid off and nobody will hire him. How he’s got all this experience, but “nobody cares” about that. And then aggressively negatively commenting on a lot of those self-congratulatory viral posts about bootstraps and keep grinding. Like, those are legit annoying, but he made himself look really bad. It kind of read like, “yeah, no wonder no one wants to hire you.”

    I kind of wanted to say something, or at last link back here, but we’d been out of touch so long I couldn’t figure out what to say. I decided to leave it alone and he did eventually get a job and dropped off LI again.

    1. LW's BIL's BIL*

      Its not venting. All his posts have a positive vibe, and are trying to be inspirational or motivational. “nothing will stop me from finding a job, even after 700 applications!” or something like that.

  22. Just Guessing*

    I see this type of post all the time. In one way I appreciate these posts, because they make it clear how difficult the market is nowadays. Some people post these stats only once they’ve accepted a position, and that seems like the wiser choice to me.

    1. Antilles*

      I think posting the stats after getting a role comes across with a totally different feel. Positivity and success rather than desperation.

  23. merp*

    I will say, I’ve seen a lot of these types of posts on LinkedIn lately. I think during the pandemic, talking more about layoffs/unemployment became very normalized and now that the job market is a little tough, there are plenty of people in this guy’s situation. I agree that it does raise questions (why are you posting it, why are you getting rejected so much, etc) but I don’t think it’s as weird as Allison and the letter writer think!

    1. Engineer*

      Most people on here are very aware of how brutal the market is right now. No one’s being smug by pointing out that this come across as desperate when posting it specifically to LinkedIn. The people who are most sympathetic to the numbers already know full well what the numbers are, and the people who aren’t sympathetic won’t be swayed by seeing the numbers.

    2. ThatGirl*

      I am not in tech but like 700 applications makes me think you’re just carpet-bombing and desperate for anything, which doesn’t strike me as a good look.

  24. ByTheBay*

    This is actually a bit of a trend. I’m tech-adjacent and I’ve been seeing tons of these flowcharts from people. I think it’s kind of an ongoing conversation about the market being had between jobseekers—but probably not with enough thought to how it comes across to people who aren’t aware of that conversation.

  25. Elizabeth West*

    Man, I feel for him– it sucks out there. It took me at least that many applications to find something and I’m not even in tech.

  26. my guy*

    God I hate these kinds of posts on LinkedIn. on one hand, I do feel a lot of sympathy/empathy for folks who are trying their hardest to find a job in this unstable capitalist hellscape.

    on the other…….I’m also trying to find a job, and seeing these posts come up constantly make me feel so hopeless.

    1. Champagne Cocktail*

      unstable capitalist hellscape

      You have my sympathy and commisserations. I’ve been there. It’s no fun at all, and it’s not like you can give up. Rent needs paying.

      You can give yourself a day off once in a while to be nice to yourself, though. I hope you’re able to do that.

  27. Ess Ess*

    As a potential interviewer, I would find this concerning, especially about a potential lack of judgement on what to share on social media. If my job had any type of confidential info, I would worry about this candidate’s judgement on how much information to share, even though he is currently sharing information that he has the right to distribute. The fact that this information is usually considered to be over-sharing, that is what would make me worry about a future potential red flag and to just avoid the possibility by not interviewing this candidate.

  28. AG*

    I have a few things to say in this person’s defense:
    -When I job search, I also have all that data at my fingertips, because I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my applications. Not because I want the data, but because it is a good tool for keeping track of a list. The data is a by-product.
    -Those posts are very very common. I think some people just do it because everyone else does. However, they usually do it when they accept an offer. Or sometimes to express their frustration or to reach out for help.
    -It’s possible the 1 offer was early in the process, and not after 700 applications.
    -“I’d feel like I was their 700th choice” Well, I’d not have chosen to work at all, but here we are.

    These being said, it’s not good to post as much as he does.

    By the way, even if each of those numbers are from a separate application, that’s still more than 250 ghostings. I reckon the numbers overlap, but also there are some newer applications, so yeah, I estimate this one person has been ghosted 250 times. Probably sends out a lot of bad-fit long-shot applications, but still!

  29. Excel-sior*

    This would only make sense to post on LinkedIn if he finished the post with something like “i turned down the job because it’ll force me to hustle #grindset”

  30. Your genderqueer dad*

    700 applications is… so many, right? Am I out of my mind? I know every field is different but some people are shocked when they hear I applied to over 100 jobs over two years.

    1. lost academic*

      It is and it isn’t. If you’re really making a job out of job searching and you’re in a field where there are a lot of generally acceptable fits to your skill set, and cover letters aren’t expected or often encouraged, it’s as easy as constantly uploading a standard resume and maybe autofilling some forms. It does make it a lot easier to apply to jobs without thinking about whether or not you’ve made the best case or are even a reasonable fit – which goes both ways, because if you really need a job a wide net is reasonable, but it makes it easy to feel this way about the process. I would imagine that triaging job applications in this field is a huge pain but also tossing people who look overqualified by a certain amount is both easy and necessary – you can’t spend much time on resume screening when you make it really easy to apply.

      We really have no idea what the average fit of the applied roles to the candidate here is, but if he’s applied over 700 times it just cannot be that good.

    2. londonedit*

      I think it must be really field-specific. I don’t think I’ve seen 70 job adverts that were suitable for me to apply for in my whole 20-year career, let alone 700. But that’s because publishing in the UK is a small industry, people don’t tend to move around all that much, and once you’ve specialised in one area of publishing it can be hard to get away from that. So there really aren’t that many jobs around, especially not at my more senior level. It’s a case of keeping an eye out for that rare gem that pops up every now and then. When I’ve been seriously job-hunting, I’ve managed to apply for maybe 10-15 jobs over the course of a search, but at least 2/3 of those would have been things I knew were too senior or not in the right area, but I was throwing the application in just in case. 700 boggles my mind, but apparently in tech and in the US it’s not unusual for there to be that many jobs being advertised.

  31. Ink*

    If I had any qualms about staff spending too much time on social media… yikes. If he’s posting 5 times a day on LINKEDIN of all places, I’d be assuming some things about his general social media volume. It might not be accurate, why bother tracking down other accounts for confirmation if he isn’t a superstar outside of that?

    1. Just Guessing*

      He’s unemployed, so what is wrong with doing 5 posts a day on LinkedIn? He’s clearly not using work time to do it, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down his application volume.

  32. BellyButton*

    I saw a bit of this when twitter laid off all the people. It seemed like an opportunity for the employees to commiserate with each other more than anything else. I didn’t hold it against them because of how that whole thing went down, there were big feelings from all of those people- and rightly so.

    I think I I would find it odd if I came across it from a standard job applicant, one who had not had such a publicized and banana pants layoff. I think my biggest concern would be that they felt anger, resentment, resignation, and negativity in a way they may prevent them from acclimating to the new job and company. At the same time, many of us have been in a position where we have been applying to so many jobs after a negative experience and we begin to feel hopeless. I like to think I would still be able to interview them and gauge if they would be able to move on with minimal bias.

  33. Budgie Buddy*

    Honestly I don’t think the numbers are that out there. He may well be competing with hundreds of well qualified applicants for the jobs he interviews at, even if he’s also spamming his resume places where he’s not a good fit.

    Also the 700th choice thing makes no sense. People apply for the jobs they can get. They aren’t bound to give up when they aren’t hired by the first job they applied to.

  34. Office Skeptic*

    Like other people here, I’ve seen a lot of posts like this on LI, often from laid off tech workers, and they often get a huge amount of traction and people commenting with job leads. Honest question – if these posts were so bad, why would so many people be in the comments saying “hey, would love to chat, we’re hiring, get in touch”?

    From comments like that, I always figured it was a half decent tactic, even though I wouldn’t do it myself. Maybe it’s because I work in nonprofit/social justice spaces, and have a poor view of our current work culture, but to me I’ve always viewed these posts as pointing out the broken system/rough economy and using their network.

    1. Boolie*

      That was my thought too. I’ve seen random strangers in my feed whose posts positively blow up with support and interview invitations. Such posts, however, are usually accompanied by personal context (I have four kids to feed, my medical bills are crazy, I’m about to lose my home) as opposed to what BIL’s posts seem to be, which is just straight numbers. MAYBE if BIL insists on continuing posting like this with the intent of gaining traction, he could plug in a lil sob story.

  35. Rosyglasses*

    This is increasingly common on LinkedIN. Because of my industry I’m connected to quite a few folks in different industries and I see at least one “heartfelt” post a day from someone who is struggling to find work. It’s kind of an interesting phenomenon, and I don’t know that as a recruiter I would put much stock in it to be honest. But I don’t think it’s doing any favors to folks.

  36. kiki*

    Oooo, yeah. I don’t think what he’s doing is helping his goal to get hired. There are some kind of odd subcultures on LinkedIn that seem to believe that being extremely active on LinkedIn is going to help get them a job. I think that mindset is especially appealing to folks who are having a hard time in their job search– it can give them a feeling doing something when so much of the hiring process is sitting and waiting.

  37. BellyButton*

    As far as the numbers go– I don’t find them all that off base. When I was laid off, I was applying to 15-30 jobs a day (Mon-Fri) for 5 months, all at or just above, my current level, all of them I was 100% qualified for. I think my total was about 500, I interviewed for over 100- I declined second interviews for about 25, declined 2nd/3rd interviews for probably another 25, turned down 2 offers, before landing my current position.

    I was freaking out about finding a new job, but I was also in a really good place where I could be a bit picky about what job I accepted. I was scared, but I also worked to calm myself down and not jump into something that wasn’t the right fit just because I was scared.

  38. Harper*

    It almost sounds like he’s obsessing, maybe as a means of coping with his situation?

    At the worst point in my career, I was unemployed for 6 months and applied to probably 100 jobs, and had maybe a dozen interviews before finding a job. I’d say that was probably pretty average during a slow, but not impossible, job market. So yeah…posting that he’s had hundreds of rejections is painting a “way worse than average” picture (in my mind, at least).

    Also, are they all true rejections, or just companies that passed on his resume without giving him a chance? His choice of words isn’t helping there either.

    1. I Have RBF*


      I have, twice, been unemployed for over a year in tech. I think the longest was a year and a half, in 2009/2010. The second longest was 2000/2001.

      When tech has a slump, millions of people are out of work and competing for a few hundred thousand jobs. Hundreds of applications for one offer are normal in tech.

  39. Capt. Liam Shaw*

    My experience is banking. Started a search back at the end of May. Took about 68 or so applications. I got two offers. Started new job in mid Sept.

    All my applications were in banking. Two banks have since announced layoffs too, so dodged a bullet there.

    700 apps doesn’t surprise me in tech. I wouldn’t post that to LinkedIn though.

    1. Capt. Liam Shaw*

      Also do add, I applied for NO WFH jobs. If you need a job today, start there. So many people really want that WFH, so if you apply to only in person, that really helps (or at least did over the summer).

  40. Elle by the sea*

    This might look weird, but pretty common in tech. As for the weird data dump posts, I have seen those quite often recently.

  41. Michelle Smith*

    I’m not in tech either and so maybe those jobs are easier/faster to apply for and more dime a dozen, but I’d struggle to find 700 jobs looking across the entire country of the US that I’m interested in, qualified for, and that are currently hiring. 700 applications in 7 months seems like the search is not narrowly targeted, which would make me question his judgment and specific interest in the role I’m hiring for. I definitely agree he should not be posting this data.

  42. liquidus*

    Five posts a day is probably what you need to do if you want LI to promote your content on other people’s feeds. So depending on the brand he wants to build, I don’t think that’s too unusual or negative. Unless his content is by amd large negative or “desperate sounding”.a

  43. Just Another Techie*

    So I’m in tech, in a hiring position. I have lots of ND friends, and that sort of job hunt data is the sort of thing we share with each other **in private channels where everyone is known to each other**. It’s a phenomenal resource for getting the pulse of what conditions are like right now, and when it’s coming from someone you personally know it can help calibrate how hard it will be for you to find a new job. Really useful stuff.

    Absolutely not something I would _ever_ post on LI, and I would definitely look askance at anyone who does. Additionally, apart from this specific content raising concerns, I look askance at anyone who posts multiple times per day to LI. Like, it’s not a high value social network? And most of the content on LI is b.s.? So why is this candidate choosing to spend such a large percentage of his twenty four hours in a day posting there? And will he make similarly poor time management decisions on the job?

  44. Sparkles McFadden*

    I know a few people who have done this and I have asked why. It seems to boil down to frustration, desperation, venting, and that they’ve seen the same thing from other people so it’s an OK thing to do. As others have said: Sharing stats might be helpful so you get some idea of how things are, but it makes sense to do that within a private group. Publicly sharing like this on LinkedIn doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    I will make this one suggestion LW: Stay out of it. I know Alison suggested that maybe you should talk to him if you have that kind of relationship, but I am firmly in camp “It’s not your problem to solve.” If it were a sibling, I might say sure, go ask “What are you trying to accomplish with all of this?” But an in-law? Nope, no way.

  45. PannaLisenka*

    …but how do you even find this many job offers in the first place?! Is he applying for jobs that are all over the country? Whenever I job search I am lucky to find one new, appropriate posting a day, and I live in the capital of a 40 million people country… my profession is not niche, I am a copywriter.

    1. David*

      In tech there are always a lot of new, tiny startups hiring people, and even large companies sometimes go on hiring sprees, and also people tend to switch around between different jobs relatively quickly. (I’ve heard things like, every 2 years or so on average) That means there are a lot of job openings at any given time.

  46. Sparkles McFadden*

    I know a few people who have done this and I have asked why. The responses I’ve gotten are: frustration, desperation, venting, a show of perseverance, and that they’ve seen the same thing from other people so it’s an OK thing to do. As others have said: Sharing stats might be helpful so you get some idea of how things are, but it makes sense to do that within a private group. Publicly sharing like this on LinkedIn doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    I will make this one suggestion LW: Stay out of it. I know Alison suggested that maybe you should talk to him if you have that kind of relationship, but I am firmly in camp “It’s not your problem to solve.” If it were a sibling, I’d say sure, go say “I don’t think this is helping you.” But an in-law? Nope, no way.

    1. Charming Charlie*

      I consider my siblings in law an extension of my siblings so I don’t really see the issue with gently telling them what they’re doing is awkward. Likewise I’m sure some people have to step on eggshells with certain bio siblings…depends on the person and the relationship

  47. Moonstone*

    I’ve read several stories lately about LinkedIn. One was from Cosmo (I think?) that talked about how teens are flocking to the site and love using it. They seem to think it’s social media in its truest form and use it as a way of getting a jump on their peers for their careers. The other was about how many people WAY over share on LinkedIn. Like, it sounds like a problem if the posts I saw are an accurate representation. Many, many TMI posts about not just work but life stuff plus tons of hustle culture junk.

    My guess is your BIL is very online and LinkedIn is his social media of choice. He’s seeing others post the TMI stuff and figures he should too. If any of that rings true, I do think you should mention to him that a lot of people will find those posts off-putting and will think it shows a lack of awareness about how he’s presenting himself to potential employers. For his sake I hope he can rein himself in.

  48. Jane Fiddlesticks*

    What I’ve seen other do successfully and what actually may land our brother-in-law a job:

    Take good photo of him looking professional.
    Posts this photo on LinkedIn with a request for leads from his network.
    Highlight his experience, skills and determination in the post and explain that he is very eager to get cracking at the right company.

    I’ve seen others do this with great results. He will need to delete all his previous posts with “application updates” though.

    I wish him all the best and hope he’ll find a great job soon!

  49. Zade*

    Ooooof, I feel BIL’s pain, I was also laid off a few months ago, confident in my technical skillset being able to snap a job up quickly. Hasn’t been the case for me and many other folks I know looking for tech jobs, the market is just so flooded with qualified people. He’s definitely oversharing in the wrong place, but I’m sympathetic and always appreciate another reminder it’s not just me.

  50. fhqwhgads*

    He probably is looking for sympathy, and is so wrapped up in his own head he’s not connecting the dots that A) sympathy doesn’t get you hired and B) the audience he probably wants validation from is different than the audience who might hire him, and he seems to have forgotten that.

  51. Sunny*

    OP, I don’t think you’ll get much traction commenting on his LinkedIn posting approach, but maybe suggesting he find a resume service and/or career coaching might get him further along, and is an actionable suggestion without the criticism/judgement implied in telling him to post less on LinkedIn. (And, hopefully, a resume service might review his LI as part of the package.)

    And, I just have to say, I don’t really understand the value of such posts in a job-hunt, because as someone who’s hired a lot of people, it just tells me nothing about his skills. I mean, yes, I could look at his profile, but I’m not likely to after this. It doesn’t tell me anything about what he’s like to work with either. It also makes me think of the many, many bad applications I’ve come across, terrible interviews, and awful coworkers (to say nothing of the many people we’ve “met” through this site over the years) – when I see these posts, I always wonder if the person actually falls into one of those categories and that’s why they’re struggling.

  52. Office Gumby*

    This is why I advise everyone to have a job and a hobby. If one dips out briefly, the other sustains you until you can get back in the game.

  53. Filicophyta*

    In the area I used to live, if you are on government unemployment benefits, you have to prove you are job hunting. Maybe he thinks this is what he’s doing, although of course it wouldn’t be officially accepted.

  54. Crew2013*

    I actually see these posts a lot on LI. It is usually people asking for help to get interviews/jobs, or they post for some other reason. They usually have similar stats of a really really high amount of applications.

  55. JJ*

    During a job hunt, social media is your marketing tool. Everything should be filtered through that lens. And if there’s even a chance it might be perceived negatively, just don’t say it. I know this is unkind phrasing, but companies want to feel like they’re lucky to get someone to fill a job posting, not that they’re settling for someone no one else wanted. So what is to be gained from advertising the struggles? I have a family member who was offered a job after a long period of unemployment, and put the good news out on social media the day the offer was made. He also made a sort of jokey comment about how the main downside was the ugly uniforms. He got a call the next morning rescinding the offer. Not certain if it was related, but who knows.

  56. dulcinea47*

    Forget the 700 applications for a second- if you have 46 interviews and only one job offer, this might be the problem point. If you get past a preliminary interview there are usually only a handful (five or less) of candidates left and your chances of getting a job should be…. higher than 1 out of 46.

  57. blood orange*

    I actually do read it as looking for sympathy. That and a misguided use of a business platform to vent frustration on a public forum. Even if he has a more analytical or purposeful reason for making those posts, those are the two things that first come to mind for me. If I’m a recruiter seeing that, it’s not going to read as a positive at all.

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