I’m on LinkedIn and I’m sure you are too. There’s some sort of unwritten rule that once you graduate college or are on the hunt for your next job that you need to be on it. It’s a type of unsaid rule of life if you want to be seen by recruiters and view the latest openings in your chosen industry you should be there.
I think I’ve been on it before Facebook back when it was nothing more than a type of bulletin board for posting your work history, a nice pic, and a current position. Since then I’ve mostly ignored it. Many of my friends just set it and forget it.
I came back to LinkedIn after said sabbatical for sharing purposes. Once they added the feed feature I found myself posting links to my freelance work. Needless to say despite a healthy number of connections the results were mediocre at best.
I continued with the requisite motions of updating my profile, revising my summary, and connecting with like-minded and fellow industry peeps.
My experience mostly consisted of lots of ads, sleazy recruiter messages, and a very overbearing corporate fog. As a writer, freelancer, and educator I didn’t see many of my kind around and being active. It started to feel like a Facebook for pretentious said corporate types.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but what was I to use it for?
So, what’s the real use of LinkedIn? Sure, I get network requests (connections?) from newly graduated students of mine and their friends, but that’s about it. I also dabble into the jobs section every now and then to see a ton of jobs I don’t even remotely qualify for. Okay, so they want me to apply for CFO of a pharmaceutical company? Riiight…
But lately I’ve seriously pondered a few things regarding the world of LinkedIn.
First, I want to like it. It seems mostly void of political rhetoric, cat videos, and grandma’s numerous accidental shares.
Second, is it somehow just understood that everyone has a profile without anyone really questioning its usefulness? So, in short, have I benefited in any way over the decade or so on it?
Third, as privacy becomes more and more of an issue, is all of my work history, contact info, and other identifiable bits smart things to put on display and offer as easy access?
The belief goes something like this: reveal as much about yourself as possible so recruiters and movers and shakers can find and hire you. But this contradicts the direction many people’s mentalities are swaying which is to more privacy and protection of identity.
A bit of a contradiction.
Where to go?
So here I am. Another social media profile (if you want to call LinkedIn social media) of little to no use.
The one thing that I must mention is in the past I had once opened my profile for job hunting purposes (the setting where you let recruiters know you are looking for work). In short, that was a bit of a disaster. I began to receive email spam, LinkedIn messaging spam, and other hollow, shallow pings from used car type salesman.
Not a good look LinkedIn.
Like I said, I want to like LinkedIn. It feels more professional, a bit quieter regarding drama, and has the potential to actually be useful, but I have yet to see that side of it.
Have I been on long enough? Is it time to pull the plug or should I keep going? What has your experience been like?
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