Hey LinkedIn, May I Have a Word?

As a job seeker, I’ve been visiting LinkedIn on a daily basis for a few weeks now. I’ve set up a few job searches, fluffed and pruned my profile and reconnected with classmates and business acquaintances. Yet, some things on the site continue to drive me crazy. LinkedIn, if you’re listening, these are my top three gripes:
1. Suggested jobs: I’ve set up three job searches in the 94306 zip code AND I’ve set my location to the “San Francisco Bay Area.” So why, oh why, do you keep suggesting jobs in the Washington DC and Boston areas?? Both by email and on the website, LinkedIn constantly suggests jobs that are not even close to where I am living and searching! You know where I live, use it!

LinkedIn Job Suggestions. Um, I'm in the SF Bay Area...

2. Applying for jobs: one of LinkedIn’s nice features is that it lets you track the status of your job applications, see where you stand in the often long hiring process. Many of the sites I applied to asked that I apply on their own site, which is fine. Different companies like to do their hiring in their own database. (Aside: I don’t know what LinkedIn offers recruiters in terms of hiring management tools. Maybe it should ante-up the feature set so that recruiters will prefer run the entire process on LinkedIn instead of on their own site.) 
Lately, though, many recruiters use Jobvite. In fact, even LinkedIn started using Jobvite for its own recruiting which bugged me because I had recently upgraded my LinkedIn account just so that I could “stand out from all the applicants” – which I can’t on Jobvite. I rather like Jobvite but you can’t sell me a premium account based on features that I later discover I cannot take advantage of.  Result: premium account cancelled.  Make your recruiters happy, keep applications on LinkedIn.
3. Reconnecting with classmates. LinkedIn has a problem with universities and colleges, one it really should not have. This is also true for really large organizations. The first problem is that I’m not linked with all my classmates automatically. My class at Berkeley had 240 people, probably all are on LinkedIn, but I need to seek them out individually and link one by one. Instead, once I indicate that I am a member of the class (and it’s verified) ask me if I want to send out link requests to all my classmates. If I say yes, allow them to approve me and that’s it. Every new member to join the group sends out requests to those already in it. Presto, all the class is connected.
The second problem is that currently LinkedIn thinks that everyone who graduated a certain university during a certain year is my acquaintance. Not true. I graduated EE, I didn’t really know the architects and chemists. How about using more characteristics to define a university group than year of graduation? How about school? Department? Major? Same goes for large organizations (say those over 1,000 employees): how about grouping by division? That way when you say that new members have joined I’ll really be interested.
Thanks for listening. I will now return to my job hunt.

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