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Struggling to find job offers via LinkedIn, changing the location might do the trick

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I have a confession to make, I have never taken LinkedIn seriously. Many years ago I signed up for an account on the platform and occasionally I receive requests from colleagues and virtual strangers who want me to add them to my network (whatever that means). I have also linked the account with my WordPress profile so every time I publish something it gets automatically pushed to the platform. Turns out I may have been doing things wrong and so have you if you are using the platform from Zimbabwe.

I recently learnt this tidbit from those who rely heavily on the platform for freelance and temporary work offers. It turns out there are quite a number of startups and companies that use the platform when looking for people to do dev work for them. There is just one problem, for some reason, if you have your location set as Harare, Zimbabwe these offers somehow pass you by.

Honestly, this is just another snub affecting those who live in Zimbabwe. It’s not clear whether this is an algorithm issue or it’s just a case of potential employers not looking at Zimbabwe specifically. It could also be that there are not many software development opportunities in Zimbabwe and potential employers are just looking to hire someone in their region so they never bother to expand their search to Zimbabwe.

This gem, changing your LinkedIn location, was revealed by a Python Developer on Twitter who specialises in Python,Django (a Python Framework), Postgress (an alternative to MariaDB/MySQL) and AWS.

I made an experiment on LinkedIn recently.

I changed my location in the app to Johannesburg, SA and since then I now get a couple of recruiters mailing me each week sending me work or job specs that I might be interested in. I didn’t get this before.

What does this mean?

V Ndhlovu on Twitter

Quite a number of people seemed to confirm this hack and said it had actually worked for them. Again it could be any number of factors leading to the uptick in offers but it’s almost certainly not a coincidence the rise in job offers came after the people giving these testimonies changed their location. Potential recruiters can see your location when they view your profile.

How to change your location in LinkedIn

Changing your location is quite easy. You just have to follow these steps:

  • Click or tap on the Me icon at top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  • Tap on View profile.
  • Click or Tap the Edit icon in your introduction section.
  • In the pop-up window that appears, scroll down to Country/Region.
  • Select your Country/Region choose something appropriate here from the dropdown. Note: This is a required field.
  • Depending on your selection, you’ll be given the option to add your: City/District
  • Postal code (Unlike Zimbabwe South Africa and a lot of other countries use Postal codes to sort their mail)
  • Click Save.

This might feel like a fraud or violation of ethics but you can mitigate such issues by making it clear that you only do remote work in your profile. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of jobs are remote anyway. It shouldn’t matter if you are in Johannesburg, Bulawayo or Harare. All three cities are in the same time zone anyway so there are none of those time difference issues.

Just be sure to explain this in your profile. Again tech jobs are suited for remote setups. I have hired part-time devs and designers on Fivver without ever knowing their race, gender or ever seeing their faces. Most times I don’t even know which country they are from. For all I know they could be lying about their location as well. I only care about the fact that they get the job done.


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2 thoughts on “Struggling to find job offers via LinkedIn, changing the location might do the trick

  1. been using Zim as location and getting offers from the UK listed like engineer vacancy in stoke on Trent Mashonaland

  2. “For all I know they could be lying about their location as well”, is poor justification for a deceptive hack. If the people you hired also lied about their skills, it should also be acceptable practice?

    Anyway, like the above person I receive local and UK originating job offers, though my location is set to Zimbabwe. Neither have I ever worked in (or for any company in) the UK.

    Your SLPT may seem to work, but in the long run, it may backfire. For example, in SA, employment rules impact how candidate searches are done, meaning they will look in SA first for candidates. Hence they restrict their filters to SA and after that they have to prioritise South Africans. Even though you may be contacted, when they find out you are Zimbabwean and further to that reside in Zimbabwe, your chances drastically decrease. Unless you are just happy to be contacted, it might not get you anywhere. Recruiters will also feel that you wasted their time, rather than getting kudos for thinking outside the box. Meanwhile, you’ll be missing out on local restricted searches.

    Another thing to note is the skills your friend has are really not that popular locally. It’s like being a marine biologist, in Zimbabwe, and expecting many job offers, when the one post countrywide is already occupied. My LPT to them is of they want more job offers, they need to up skill themselves, no recruiter will ever frown upon that.

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