I’ll probably end up careening off course and trashing the rest of social media but my goal here is to tell you how fucking stupid LinkedIn is.
So a million years ago when I graduated college I made a LinkedIn account because “well gee whiz it’s what everyone’s doing and apparently you HAVE to have one to get a job so duurrrrrr” And here I am a million years later and I’ve updated and maintained it and filled in all those stupid little fields, and have like 18,000 contacts or connections or whatever the fuck it’s called and honestly I’ve never gained anything from it.
Yeah I know what you’re thinking. You have a LinkedIn account and you don’t want to face the fact it’s never helped improve your life or your career and then of course admit you’ve wasted dozens of hours of your life maintaining it, so rather than nodding your head in agreement you’re probably doubling down on its usefulness and hate me for saying it’s shit.
But shit is shit no matter how useful everyone says it is. LinkedIn is about as useful as Drano is for your home’s plumbing or as useful as Emergen-C is for your immune system. Meaning it’s not. Or maybe at the very best sorta maaaaarginally useful.
But really though, think about it. If you’re like me you also have your LinkedIn profile. You have a couple hundred connections, 90% of whom you have no fucking idea who they are. You probably get your weekly LinkedIn email notifications that some random ass person you’ve never met wants to connect with you, and maybe you accept their invite… but only if they’re hot.
Every so often out of the blue one of your friends +1’s on of your abilities/skills/qualifications and then you think “Oh cool!” and then you begrudgingly reciprocate and +1 one of their skills out of guilt, whether or not they actually do know how to use Microsoft Excel.
No matter your occupation, you probably get the occasional sales pitch for a ‘Sales Leads Generating Opportunity’ for only the most highly qualified professionals in your market which naturally got blasted to a quarter of a million other people.
And after all these years of updating your resume, and sharing links to articles you’ve never read but sounded important, you realize LinkedIn has never actually got you a job. It’s probably never even got you an interview. Or a referral.
Ask your friends if they’ve ever been hired exclusively from LinkedIn. You’ll hear a resounding no. How something so useless is so prevalent is beyond me. Kind of like degrees in psychology or communications.
The fact is LinkedIn sucks because it like so many other social networking services tries to replace something that is irreplaceable: Face to face human interaction. Maybe because I’ve always had so much success getting a job I never understood the difficulties people faced with it. I’ve never applied for a job and not been offered the position. No shit. The key to getting hired isn’t in LinkedIn. It’s not even your resume. No one is going to hire your resume. No one is hiring your LinkedIn profile. They’re hiring YOU. If your resume rocks, and your LinkedIn profile is stellar but you kinda suck, you’re not getting hired.
People are hired in bars. People are hired on the golf course and the putting green. People are hired at backyard barbeques. People are hired in the waiting room of restaurants. People are hired in hotel lobbies. People are hired at the mall. People are hired on ski lifts. People are hired in elevators. People are hired at birthday parties and bar mitzvahs. People are hired where real life social interactions take place. Not online. Not on your phone. Not behind some screen.
So if you want to get a job, if you want to network, if you want leads, go out and get them. Just don’t expect to get them online because LinkedIn sucks. And no, I don’t want to join your e-marketing group.