Dear LinkedIn: it’s not me, it’s you. I have endured your less than useful platform for several years and have not found it to be of any value to me.
After the announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, I took the drastic decision to wipe the slate clean. Here’s why.
Where Have You Worked?
That’s the first question that LinkedIn asks you when you set up a profile (or, like me, have deleted your entire career history). Yes, LinkedIn fancies itself as being the ultimate recruiting company helping organisations poach other people’s employees or allowing users to dream about a job elsewhere. Guess what: I have self-sabotaged my career on purpose because I don’t believe in careers. This obsolete concept belongs to the 20th century.
“What about freelancers?”, I hear you ask. Freelancers are normally used by LinkedIn simply as targets for advertising, and by other users as an audience for their services. Hands up if you have ever got a freelancing gig through LinkedIn (OK, I admit it, I got one short-lived gig in the course of the 10+ years I have been a member of the LinkedIn community and no, it wasn’t very profitable).
If you live in a 9-5 type of world, you may still find some value from LinkedIn v.2.0. Good luck to you. I’m out.
With Microsoft gaining access to a wealth of employment data from LinkedIn, analysts have expressed their concerns (recommended reading: 9 Things Microsoft Could Do with LinkedIn, Three Questions to Ponder on and The Future of Social Media).
Why I Hate LinkedIn
I have edited an extremely long list of my LinkedIn pet hates to this pocket-sized one:
- receiving unsolicited product/service sales messages
- receiving too many connection requests from complete random people who I am not remotely interested in connecting with
- receiving dating requests from men (guys, you have mistaken LinkedIn for Tinder! On that note, I wonder if Microsoft will acquire Tinder too…)
- the juicy data stats are hidden behind a paywall so only premium members can make the most of the network (so what’s the point of all the adverts popping up everywhere on the site?)
- getting many requests for written endorsement statements aka testimonials from people you have met for 5 minutes once
- people clicking to endorse you for skills you don’t have (hence I had deleted that function from my profile years ago)
- people you detested working with (or whom you can’t stand anyway, regardless of the context) wanting to add you as a connection
- “who is looking at your profile” (need I say more?)
- pushing users to publish content directly on LinkedIn instead of sharing links from their own content websites/blogs
Before LinkedIn ecademy did the job of online business networking rather well: as a paid for networking club it allowed access to face-to-face networking events and conferences. But that was a different time, the world moved on and ecademy is no more. LinkedIn was never a good replacement for it as it was only an online community and you had to join different groups to find out what events you may be interested in. Let’s also remember that in 2012 and 2016 LinkedIn was the target of a security breach. Ironically I used to work in internet security but LinkedIn will never know that because I deleted that information!
Will You Keep Your LinkedIn Profile?
You may want to think about removing some sections in your profile and keeping information to a minimum, or at least fine-comb through your CV and present it in the best possible way on LinkedIn.
Whatever you do, please don’t ask me to become a connection.