LinkedIn is Embarrassing Itself (And you are contributing to it!)

Do you remember when LinkedIn used to be cool?

I used to wake up every morning, grab my phone, and actually look forward to the feed of inspirational articles and updates.linkedinembar

Now all I see is a lot of spam, and very little substance. At first glance the content may appear fresh, but if you look closer you will notice it really isn’t. It’s actually become redundant, trivial, and even a little condescending.

As much as I would like to blame LinkedIn for the garbage clogging my feed, it really isn’t LinkedIn’s fault. It’s your fault. That’s right—the more we contribute and interact with meaningless content, the more popular it becomes.

Here are the top ways you are contributing to crap on LinkedIn:

The idiotic intelligence tests

“Only 2% of the population answered this correctly,” or “Name a word that begins with an A and ends with an E.” Wow, we are really cracking into some Mensa territory here. Who is this 2%? These questions are so basic that I find it insulting. I am not sure where these meaningless tests originated from. Are people really feeling smart because they answered this? Is this some type of millennial thing where we all feel good because we all answered correctly? Equally annoying is the “Eye test”, or as I call it: the Eye-Sore. It asks you to comment on the first word you see in a word-search format. Sorry to break it to you but just because the first word you saw was “Leader”, doesn’t automatically qualify you as a manager.

Successful people don’t do this ‘one’ thing

Wow, you mean little ol’ me does the one thing that only successful CEOs do? Can I put this on my resume? Can I include it on my LinkedIn profile along with the intelligence test? I’m guessing the intention of these articles is to make you feel as though you belong to an elite group of smart people. It’s supposed to give you the validation that you share (or don’t share) all the characteristics of top leaders. If you have to rely on LinkedIn to reinforce you have leadership abilities, you probably aren’t a leader.

Meaningless endorsements

Why am I being endorsed for skills I don’t have? I was told it was impossible, but I can assure you it has happened. I don’t know what’s worse: people who know me really well and yet don’t know I don’t have these skills, or people who don’t know me who endorse me for anything and everything. Whatever the strategy behind these ‘endorsements’, it’s clearly not working.

Congratulations on losing your job?!

If you so much as change one letter in your LinkedIn heading, your contacts will automatically be notified. They will also be encouraged to congratulate you on your new title. This may have worked well for people who truly did land a new and exciting gig, but what about those who didn’t? A former colleague of mine lost her job and changed her status to unemployed, yet her contacts were all asked to congratulate her. She wasn’t impressed. So unless you want these details announced (some of us love the attention), change your security settings.

Surprise—We all knew you were looking for work!

Lastly, if you have applied for a job recently through LinkedIn, you may not have noticed that a little checkbox is automatically ticked. It says “Follow this company and updates.” That little checkbox means that all your contacts will be notified that you started following a particular company. Surprise, now your boss knows you are looking for work! If LinkedIn truly valued you or wanted to become an elite job search tool, they would do a better job at keeping your job hunting hidden. But silly me, that of course isn’t LinkedIn’s motive. So if you want to keep your job hunting on the down-low, please remember to un-tick the box.

This post has been republished with permission from Kelly Batke

Kelly Batke

Kelly Batke

Freelance Content Marketer at Kelly Communicates
I am a Vancouver based freelance content writer with a passion for simplifying communication. Anyone who knows me knows how impatient I am—and that’s a good thing when creating sharp content because my primary motive is to always be understood quickly. I have studied Technical Writing, Marketing, Public Relations and Communications, and Creative Writing. Prior to working freelance I spearheaded the marketing and communications at Jostle, a Vancouver based tech startup. I also spent three years overseeing the communications at Faronics, an IT security company. In my free time I can be found perfecting my triple pirouette in the ballet studio or having lunch at Taco Bell (which remains my marketing inspiration!)
Kelly Batke
Kelly Batke

Comments

comments

14 Comments

  • May 20, 2014

    themediateacher

    mssackstein googiegirl gingerconsult I hate that some adults on there think linkedin is a Facebook. I’ve seen people share lolcats there

  • May 20, 2014

    mssackstein

    themediateacher googiegirl gingerconsult LinkedIn is a professional space. Not meant for status updates or the like. It’s abt work

  • May 20, 2014

    themediateacher

    mssackstein googiegirl gingerconsult I agree 1000%. But some less tech savvy don’t get it. And why do they have “likes?” I mean come on..

  • May 20, 2014

    mssackstein

    themediateacher googiegirl I suppose they are trying to get some of the buzz going on things people post. Each network has a niche

  • May 20, 2014

    gingerconsult

    mssackstein Agreed. LinkedIn not Facebook. Too many are clogging it with junk posts googiegirl themediateacher #bealeader

  • May 20, 2014

    mssackstein

    gingerconsult googiegirl themediateacher Agreed. It can be powerful when not bogged down.

  • May 20, 2014

    gingerconsult

    mssackstein Yes. It’s great for making biz connections but where it loses is the “likes” junk email pitches & posts googiegirl #bealeader

  • May 20, 2014

    themediateacher

    mssackstein gingerconsult linkedin told me to congratulate u for making it through that yellow light on your drive to school this morning

  • May 20, 2014

    gingerconsult

    themediateacher HAHAHA…that’s funny mssackstein googiegirl #bealeader

  • May 20, 2014

    gingerconsult

    themediateacher But sadly, I wouldn’t put it pass LinkedIn…mssackstein

  • May 20, 2014

    Pamela Morse

    LI also will now hook you up with anyone who has your e mail address, without your permission. The first time I noticed it I had not been on LI for a long time, but had all kinds of new contacts. Checking more closely, this is the case now. I find that to be super creepy.

  • May 20, 2014

    johnalanfox

    toddbnielsen gingerconsult Thank you, Mr. Nielsen, for posting this. I shared it along my channels, due to its relevance.

  • May 20, 2014

    gingerconsult

    johnalanfox toddbnielsen Thanks, John #bealeader googiegirl

  • May 20, 2014

    SCollins06

    MelissaOnline Yes, I so agree… It’s very creepy. I thought perhaps they merged with Match?