I no longer apply for jobs on LinkedIn. Even the ones I am eminently suitable, experienced and qualified for. Not even for the ones that require the skillset I have now – and am being paid for, now. Because I’ve never had an answer, not even a rejection.

My feeling is : the internet is just too big a pot and every man and his dog is going for those jobs. The recruiters (or the algorithms) weed out about 100 good candidates and everyone else gets lost.

By the way, I have enough work of various types at the moment, so I am not destitute.

My daughter has found the same thing when applying for summer internships while she finishes her degree. She went for 36 internships last summer, all online, all jobs she’d be great at. She’s bright, well presented, well spoken, hard working, thorough and efficient (but lots of other people can talk themselves up online to sound great too). When she got the jobs, and turned up on the first day, the other people weren’t necessarily as capable as her. As a rule, if she got as far as a zoom interview (where they were able to see how she presented on camera / in person) she generally got the job.

So we then fall back on using personal contacts to get internships or summer jobs – which leads to charges of nepotism. If I can vouch for her (did I mention she was capable and well presented?!) then she’s more likely to get the position. My clients know how I work, my style, my skills and talents, so they can extrapolate that she will be similar, more or less, a chip off the old block. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree etc.

And obviously I am not getting her jobs as a brain surgeon or anything. These are intern-level, marketing type jobs. No-one’s going to die! She has had very good references from all of her employers so far; she works hard and has a good work ethic. So I don’t feel I am pulling strings to get her a job she won’t be good at. My point is: the internet is so huge and a personal recommendation helps sort the wheat from the chaff. Lots of people can seem plausible on the internet, which is why so many people get scammed.

So, I’ll help out and give both my daughters a lift up, if I can. But there my involvement ends. And the actual work – they have to do themselves.

Sarah Lockett

Sarah Lockett is a former BBC News / Sky News anchor who currently presents a variety of content for corporate clients and delivers media training.
She has presented on BBC News and Sky News, plus reported for Channel Four News, 5 News, Reuters and others.
She now hosts webinars and conferences, chairs corporate/academic panel discussions, hosts award ceremonies and events. She writes, presents and produces training videos, as well as voiceovers (both factual and drama/comedy). She has written two books and is also working as an actor.

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