What is it about LinkedIn that makes me want to yawn? And why do I feel like my information is not quite as secure as I’d like it to be? Maybe it’s the constant endorsements from people I worked with over three years ago. The benefits of endorsements baffle me. So, I decided to try to sift through some of the information that was out there to figure out what it was that annoyed me about LinkedIn.
Turns out there are others just like me that have many reasons to dislike LinkedIn. Here are just a few common pet peeves about the popular networking site:
1. It makes a poor online resume.
Are you considering a career change? Everyone knows you’re supposed to adjust your resume to highlight the most important details, and submit different resumes for different positions. But the online professional network doesn’t let you do that, and future employers may compare your submitted resume against your LinkedIn profile and think you’re trying to be dishonest. How do you keep your static LinkedIn profile, tailor your resume to your employer and job shift, and still not look like a fraud?
2. So many emails.
Some find it annoying to get notifications every time someone views your profile, but others find it downright scary to not know who is viewing your profile. When you have a cleared position, you may want to rethink your use of LinkIn, given this recent hack. LinkedIn allows users to view anonymously…it’s a privacy setting thing.
3. Your data is for sale – to anyone.
LinkedIn is money driven. When certain features do well, they get added to the premium service. And those that pay for the service can get bumped to the top of the list for recruiters. Is life all about popularity contests and paying your way to be on the top of recruiters’ lists? Another problem for the security-conscious is that overseas companies often used LinkedIn, and there’s really no way to verify who’s checking you out – a government contractor, or a Chinese spy.
4. A site for everyone – and no one.
The LinkedIn experience doesn’t feel personalized. Too many connections are impossible to keep up with. The more irrelevant or non-influential connections you have (which is what makes you look connected), the less likely you are to have a meaningful experience on LinkedIn.
5. Did I mention the annoying emails and endorsements?
Endorsements are annoying and a marketing ploy, and they make me distrust LinkedIn. If the site is willing to send you emails almost daily, that don’t actually add value to your career but is just bait to get you to log in, what else are they willing to do? For cleared professionals, trust is a very important part of your job search. Your career networking should team you up with a partner to help you, not a marketer to sell to you.
Despite all its features, unless you’re willing to do a lot of work on your LinkedIn presence, it is simply a resume repository. Which begs the question for me: is it worth it for me to do the work? To me, the site is a chore or something that all professionals do in case you’re ever looking for a job or want to connect someone else to a job. Maybe it would help if people were willing to be more authentic in their interactions. You can be professional without wearing a mask, and you can have a valuable network if you keep it small and secure.
For the conventional, no career changes or no career pauses professional, or those willing to be defined by algorithms and fitting into what LinkedIn decides is okay, it can be a useful place to store a resume or search for someone. Just keep in mind what it’s good for (static connections), and what it isn’t (actual job hunting). Of course, there are more secure sites out there for cleared professionals…and you don’t have to look that hard to find one.