Do you remember when LinkedIn used to be cool?
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.
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.