Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Finally, I Closed My LinkedIn (pcmaffey.com)
737 points by rohmanhakim on June 11, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 448 comments

From a professional standpoint LinkedIn gave me a lot of value for free so I'm mostly feeling positive about it, but I agree that like any social network it has downsides and can lead to psychological stress.

Personally I live by the mantra that "scrolling is dangerous", i.e. I try to never interact with social media or news platforms that incite me to scroll down a feed of algorithmically curated news or updates, as I find this to be the primary mechanism by which these platforms try to suck people into their content machine (there are other mechanisms like notification spam). Most of these systems seem to target dopamine-releasing pleasure mechanisms in the brain, but some are built around darker psychosocial patterns (e.g. success relative to others, the feeling of adequacy and social confirmation).

HN is like a diet to my brain in comparison as it just presents a single page of news without inciting me to scroll to the next page and doesn't show any notifications to me either. Please keep it that way!

Now that I think about it, most of my complaints about LinkedIn is about the "news feed". Its full of mostly useless content by wannabe thought leaders drowning out a few posts which may have been insightful/relevant. Job search and add/message connections are the only features I have found useful.

I use uBlock Origin to completely block out the news feed and messaging, and it makes my LinkedIn experience orders of magnitude better. When I visit linkedin.com, now, I'm greeted with a navigation header bar and a blank page where the news feed used to be. It's perfect.

I personally found messaging to not be very useful or relevant, and I just couldn't keep up with the backlog of messages. If they really want to contact me, they can just email me.

Here are the UBO rules:


Reading the comments here. I find it scary that people are willing to deal with broken "tools" to such an extent and manipulate their own behavior to fit profit-seeking companies. I can see why we will be stuck with the same few social media and recruiting platforms because people are not willing to change but they are willing to put in the effort.

All the recruiters are on LinkedIn and pretty much use it exclusively.

There’s a similar network effect problem with Facebook, but it’s a lot easier to leave Facebook because you presumably can still message your real life friends in other ways.

With LinkedIn you can’t leave without also seriously hurting your ability to get in touch with recruiters.

That said, you basically don’t have to spend any time on it after you set it up. Maybe update once a year? So doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

Fwiw, I still get recruiter emails now and then years after having shut off my LinkedIn account. If they mention how they found me, it's usually through GitHub.

...not that I've ever had anything useful come from talking to a recruiter. The useful bits have always come through my existing personal network more directly, or through meatspace networking. I shut down my LinkedIn because I basically started to view recruiter emails as spam.

Perhaps you are a dev, then GitHub/Lab is a good place to search for something specific, if your recruiter knows what the they exactly seek. In my line of work (audit/sec/GRC) most of my contracts start as "6 months of THIS" and they end 2-3 years later after I have worked on their operational model, on the manner their control framework is defined and executed, their deliveries to their external auditor are defined and scripted, and some more process-control-audit related parts are etched in stone (oh and some SOX 404 just because I was in the neighborhood)..

So in my world, having a CV with the necessary keywords (SOX, HIPAA, GDPR, COBIT, NIST SP 800/XX/yy/zz, NIST CSF, etc.) is a life saver because I always have headhunters calling me. I don't see them as spam. I just tell them to ring me 30 days before my contract/extension ends, and they gladly do so, and I stay working like this.

I don't spend more than 10minutes per month, and only to accept/ignore/reply to messages. I use it. I don't let it use me (apart from the fact that they sell my data to anyone who is willing to pay them).

Even as a dev I think the person you're replying to is wrong.

Sure - if you know people that work at the specific company you're interested in then you can just get a referral through them, but if you don't then having a history of email contact with recruiters at interesting companies via linked in is quite valuable and makes it easy to jump to the interview process.

The job market is strong so we (devs) get a lot of email from recruiters trying to hire, and the recruiter quality can vary (generally employees of the specific company are better than hired firms), but in general I think this is a good problem to have.

I don't categorize the person you're replying to this way, but I've definitely seen devs go on a bit of an ego trip because of the recruiter emails they get and then treat them dismissively. A career is long, there's no reason to be nasty to them or cut them off - at some point you might need their help.

Are you are involved with recruiting in any way? Then be the change you want to see in the world. Does the company you work for use LinkedIn or use recruiters that send messages of LinkedIn? Make an effort to stop hiring them, and use neutral tools like email.

I dislike LinkedIn, but have seen very few people walk the walk professionally when it comes to influencing their own workplace to stop using it in some way. I have advised every company I have worked at against using external recruiters, and rarely has it been accepted (even though we always got a lot of candidates from the external recruiters who weren't a good fit with regards to either skills or eagerness).

Props to the article author for actually doing so, and I hope they will remember this and not use LinkedIn when the company they are cofounding has to recruit their N > 20th employee.

> use neutral tools like email

Email might be a neutral tool, but not using a tool like LinkedIn is worse because you're restricting your hiring pool to immediate connections. For all its warts, LinkedIn allows job seekers to connect with a wider range of jobs and job posters to connect to a wider range of potential candidates.

The answer isn't to double down on a "it's not what you know but who you know" world.

Most outside recruiters are terrible, we can agree on that. It's a two-fold problem, they give you poor candidates and harm the reputation of your firm by leaving a poor impression of you to them. I'm looking for work right now and had first hand experience of this recently; I don't know if I should feel sad that I didn't get a job that sounded perfect or happy that I dodged a bullet because if the candidate experience was so bad, what would working there be like?

> www.linkedin.com###voyager-feed

That's the one that I used, thanks! I find messaging valuable :)

I use UBO a bunch but I've not considered to focus on linkedin. This is excellent. Thanks so much!

> wannabe thought leaders

A high percentage of which seem to be recruiters cutting and pasting words of wisdom, inspirational quotes that dozens of people "Like."

I don't know how people can take this stuff seriously.

What really grinds my gears is CEOs and the likes fishing for validation with dumb, usually copy pasted "anecdotes" that seem to glorify employee-exploitation practices.

Before lockdowns, I kept seeing this post, that boiled down to "employee asked for WFH, due to personal life issues. Now they are even more dedicated and can spend the time freed up working 8-6 instead, and we both win! Thoughts?"

Yeah that's up there with the "unlimited" vacation scam.

On a slight tangent, seeing all the companies come out of the woodwork to praise WFH policies during COVID was truly astounding. I suspected 100% of these companies would go right back to working in an office as soon as COVID left the news. And that seems to be playing out right now. I've been working remote for many years now, so I know these people are totally full of shit. It's the worst sort of virtue signaling and pandering imaginable. Then they all switched to Black Lives Matter. These people sold their soul to the devil.

I don't get any of these. Can you unfollow these people or are they some kind of sponsored/injected content?

The only wannabe thought leaders I see are all people I actually know who are taking other people's thoughts and passing them off as their own. Thankfully, I rarely scroll the feed -- I only use linkedin to receive unsolicited messages from people who just want to be my friend so they can sell me their services. I should really delete my linkedin profile.

You can unfollow them if they are a connection by clicking the three dots on the top right of a post. You remain connected but you no longer see their updates in your feed.

'N habits of people with emotional intelligence' sorts of posts are very common in what i see, and so formulaic

Or people pasting gotcha dumb math “problems” where hundreds of people reply the answer. I could never understand that.

People like being told that they are smart, indirectly. If someone posts a "hard" math "problem" and the viewer can solve it... that indirectly means that the viewer is smarter than the poster. Which viewers love.

Did you read the comments from the guy that left facebook? It was like reading YouTube comments. People were flaming him from their professional accounts.

It's like the reverse of the /g/ or /sci/ meme with a picture of Makise Kurisu saying "You should be able to solve this" accompanied by a laughably difficult problem.

"83% of people won't be able to solve this" (some basic puzzle follows).

83%‽ That's almost half!

Of late (this year) in my experience the job section is mostly reposts of other jobs or positions already filled or fake roles.

Any post by a company with no logo is virtually guaranteed to be spam. I'm seeing them side-by-side with the real post. It's highly polluted by these bad actors.

My experience last year was the opposite- I used Linkedin, as well as my university board and competitors, but LinkedIn landed me 3/4 offers

LinkedIn has their own job platform with the “Easy apply” feature, but also seems to scrape job ads from a lot of third-party sites.

The scraped ones are the bad ones. Bad formatting and categorisation, not kept up to date (the job might be expired on the original site but still displayed on LinkedIn) and you have to register and apply on an external site.

It’s quite ironic that LinkedIn is so against scraping despite doing it themselves.

I'm not sure what you're seeing is scraping. There are various services where companies can upload a job posting once and it's automatically posted across multiple job platforms, with LinkedIn being one of them. Formatting often gets lost on the way.

All scraper job sites have low quality inventory eg indeed.

Last time I was looking I used those sites to fil the quota for job applications per day that receiving JSA (social security) requires in the UK - whilst putting the real effort in to the 2-3 decent possibilities a week I found.

No company wants automation played against them, they want automation put to use by them, to benefit them. Hypocrite paradox. It wouldn't be the first one.

I agree, it's not uncommon to see pages of the same listing by a dozen different recruiting companie, many with no logo.

The worst part though, to me, is that it seems too often to completely ignore my search terms in favor of showing me "sponsored" or jobs that match my profile, even if they completely lack anything from my search.

It's a shame, because it has a few features I really like that I dont see in other job boards. The ability to filter by both the company industry and the job function is pretty nice.

I noticed that too when I was looking for a job. I've learned to tell which is a real company and which is a scammy recruiter.

Also, I can't stand the interface for looking for a job. I really wish it had a "Jobs since you last looked", because otherwise I just kept seeing the same jobs I wasn't interested in.

It's easy enough to block the feed in your browser. I've done exactly that with Facebook. I haven't deleted my FB account as I still get some random messages from old acquaintances that don't have my phone number, but I removed the feed with uBlock to make sure I'm not exposed to that.

FYI your Facebook profile and Messenger account seem to be decoupled now. I deleted my profile but still have a Messenger identity that people can message.

Are you sure you deleted it ?

The behavior you are describing reminds me of the behavior that happens after deactivating your account, not deleting it.

I deleted my facebook last year so maybe things have changed.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I deleted it. You may be right.

My main goal was to harm Facebook's ad business, so I still accomplished that. As far as privacy, I've mostly given up on escaping from Facebook's databases.

I did that manually on Facebook exactly four years ago. Unfollowed everyone one by one so I have no feed. Now I rarely log in to FB at all and have forgotten about so many people I had no business remembering but only did because of the Facebook news feed.

Before I deleted my profile, I fixed my feed by unfollowing all pages and all news. I unfriended people who were not true friends.

My feed went back to being social rather than emotional manipulation or clickbait news. It was amazing.

Eventually the site lost its value for me because 75% of my real friends deleted their profiles, so it was an awkward/depressing ghosttown. I eventually deleted mine because of ethical qualms.

During the 2016 election cycle I started unfollowing everyone who posted political stuff unless it was someone I was actually close with (immediate family and a handful of close friends) or I thought their posts were actually interesting or insightful. My Facebook has been much nicer since. I still have a feed but it's people I care about and people who post actually interesting stuff.

I did something similar lately. But it's hard to keep up with local news, now. I couldn't find a news aggregator for my country/province. Maybe, I need to build that myself.

I recently started reinvesting in RSS via reader that I can sync, and was pleased to remember that my local paper (a Gannett paper, which matters since they use the same engine on all their properties) supports several RSS feeds, from a site-wide news feed to counties or topics. It's been good enough for me to not push further, but I imagine my local TV news sites have similar feeds. This should scale up from county to city and state, I'd think.

I went through an "unfollowed" everyone in my feed except very close family and friends, the local farmers market, and my local newspaper. Facebook is actually useful now.

Some people don't believe it when I say this, but when I unfollowed lots of people, after some time Facebook just automatically re-follows a few.

It has happened multiple times. I explicitly unfollow someone, never interact with them in any way, and then they again pop up in my feed after two weeks. Somehow if you follow too few people, Facebook just picks some more people for you to follow without ever asking you or telling you.

What country would that be?

LinkedIn has a news feed, and you actually look at it? There’s your problem. I’ve set up an OnMyCommand macro so that when I select some text and right-click, it will search for the selected name:

open "https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/all/?keywords=__OBJ_...

Apologies to non-Mac users. OnMyCommand is at http://www.abracode.com/free/cmworkshop/on_my_command.html, though for beginners I will immodestly suggest my fork of the ReadMe: https://github.com/abra-code/OMC/pull/9/files

Yeah, that’s why I basically use it as an online CV host and little else. I din’t think I’ve ever read a post that was shared on linkedin, and rarely ever bothered reading any of the news/notifications/updates.

Some companies require engagement with social media as a requirement for advancement. So you are not wrong about the wannabe thought leaders. This is where they go. Nobody will make negative comments on these posts- it's like making a negative comment about your boss in public.

> ...it's like making a negative comment about your boss in public.

That brings up another issue, that employment background checks are increasingly checking social media posts for "questionable" activity. It's already daunting enough to see that I can't express my true self on places like FB for various reasons but now it's a factor when I'm applying for work?

I think if it was voluntary, and for like a PR position or other very public-facing, it would be different but when I found out this was going on I was relieved that I basically checked out of social media long ago voluntarily where I was already very guarded about how I expressed myself.

>That brings up another issue, that employment background checks are increasingly checking social media posts for "questionable" activity.

Honestly, can you blame them in the current climate? If they can find something that is seriously questionable (I leave the definition of that to the reader), anyone else can too. And no company wants either internal dissent or an external PR hit because someone they hired ranted online about something that's outside the scope of "civilized" discourse as determined by the standards of the arbiters of appropriate public discussion.

You're exactly right... In fact there is a girl on Twitter with a very large following (>800k) who spends all her time hunting down people on social media who have ever in their lives said anything that could be construed as "seriously questionable" (whose definition changes according to the times).

She's gotten incoming freshman kicked out of the colleges they were accepted to. Fired from their jobs. Businesses closed. Dozens and possibly hundreds of them. She's literally dedicated herself to destroying lives.

This is precisely why that although the 1st Amendment only specifically mentions government limits on laws regarding free speech, that free speech MUST ALSO be a cultural value that is protected and defended FIRST and the content of the speech judged SECOND.

People love to say "you are free to speak but we never said there's no consequences!!" as though that's some sort of ace in the hole. Well, sorry folks, but it isn't free speech if you are able to ensure I can never make a living for the rest of my life. The law generously limits what is illegal speech, and certain kinds of hate speech are included.

"I may disagree with every word you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" MUST be a social value for "free speech" and especially the 1st Amendment to have any meaning at all.

In general, I'm very happy that I couldn't publish to the Internet unfiltered until long after I internalized "Never say or write anything in public that you wouldn't want to appear on the front page of the newspaper." I pretty much stay away from politics online, especially on anything like twitter that is public--especially any opinions that are nuanced and easily misconstrued.

I do have good professional reasons to be on twitter and I honestly don't have much inclination to have political arguments there. If I did, I'd probably get another pseudonymous handle but even that carries some risk that it could be connected to you in some way.

You make excellent points. I do not envy hiring managers, that's for sure. How to combine respect for privacy and freedom of expression with protecting a company from undeserved harm? Maybe this the problem LinkedIn was trying to solve until it became a giant spam ground for annoying recruiters and influencer wannabes.

And this is my axe to grind - that these people exist and just one misconstrued, out-of-context quote and boom, career is over.

And the degree to which this social-media-background-check crap goes - just see a recent entry from jwz's blog about this[1]. I had little idea things had gone that far already.

Sure, play stupid games/get stupid prizes but we are all human and go through phases of self-discovery. Turning social media into a saccharine, superficial cat pics trading ground where everyone is fearful of losing friendships over, say, well-intentioned analysis and opinions seems like a pathetic outcome for humanity overall. Not to mention how easy it is to miss sarcasm or other thought subtleties that can't be easily conveyed on international multimedia social networks.

I agree with others who say HN is a refreshing exception to the toxic mess that is social media, though.


So who is this horrible girl on Twitter who’s destroying lives? Surely naming names in this case would be justified.

More than likely doxxing is against the rules here but her first name is Skai and shares a last name with a famous singer. Not hard to find.

Isn't this illegal in EU?

But you are right, seeing witch hunts on social media makes me think you shouldn't use them. I don't express a lot of my political opinions online anymore for this reason alone and am cutting on how much personal information I give up.

According to this site[1], the GDPR would likely delegitimize most of the social media checks. "The GDPR also requires that employers only view social media profiles when the information is relevant to the position being applied for.

The advice also warns that, “The employer should – prior to the inspection of a social media profile – take into account whether the social media profile of the applicant is related to business or private purposes, as this can be an important indication for the legal admissibility of the data inspection.”

This means that while business networking sites such as LinkedIn may be considered fair game, platforms used for more personal purposes, such as Facebook and Instagram, are possibly not relevant."

I don't live in the EU, though, so I'm oblivious of the details.

1: https://checkpoint.cvcheck.com/the-gdpr-and-its-effect-on-so...

My complaint is more like the ludicrously low quality user interface. Lots of inconsistencies, ridiculously persistent notifications on actions you just did, supplying a stream of suggestions to completely irrelevant job ads where one is claimed to fit well, user unfriendly search history, not to mention the hopelessly clueless user support unable to grasp what one is talking about and answering for never mentioned aspects after asking for already supplied details and explanations, like if they were in write only mode. Not so long ago all icons disappeared for weeks without any fix which I did not report to user support for the obvious reasons.

For a professional community it is hopelessly clumsy. Also overpriced.

> Now that I think about it, most of my complaints about LinkedIn is about the "news feed".

I am always wondering who reads that? It turns out that a lot of people do read (or at least see) the feed.

I don't read it any more :) I used to go through the feed in search of quality content. Tried configuring it, but the signal to noise ratio is too low.

I've been using it more to read Dalio's articles. Which makes me curious why he is using linked in and not just hire someone to set up a personal blog for him ( ? )

The news feed, like many of them, is worthless. I rarely scroll.

I'd really love to see others job updates there, or job openings. But mostly its just drivel.

First thing I did was block the usual mega influencers and it got super quiet.. Not to mention any names but you know who I'm talking about.

>>Not to mention any names but you know who I'm talking about.

Not trolling but I'm willing to bet that the majority here in HN, including me, do not know who you are talking about.

Agreed. I checked my LinkedIn newsfeed and while there's a lot of noise, I don't see any single source for it. It's actually worse, because the spam is now distributed instead of originating from a single bad actor.

It seems like I would have to unfollow everyone, which is not a big deal for me (I don't look at the newsfeed to begin with) but could be problematic if you find some content useful.

To me it seems like (in no particular order): Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, Richard Branson, Guy Kawasaki.

The "verified" badge on there is a good heuristic for who not to follow (if not outright block them) because those are not people anymore, but marketing/PR operations.

LinkedIn desperately tries to get me to “follow” the people you mentioned which I always ignore however not following them still doesn’t isolate you from the noise.

It seems like everyone on LinkedIn is trying to be an “influencer” or wannabe thought leader posting bullshit motivational content or presenting obvious facts as something groundbreaking.

Did you choose to follow those people at some point? I get regular "recommendations" on who to follow on LinkedIn, including Gates, Nadella, and Branson, but I never take them. And I don't have any content in my feed from any of those folks.

All the content in my feed is from my connections or interactions by my connections. Of course there is plenty of vapid "thought-leader" content from them too.

Actually I've gotten some amusement from watching a few former colleagues overtly try the "LinkedIn thought leader" thing. Kind of funny to observe the (sometimes very large) gap between what they post and what I know they used to do in their day jobs.

>>Kind of funny to observe the (sometimes very large) gap between what they post and what I know they used to do in their day jobs

And hence the saying "Nobody is a prophet in their own land".

>Did you choose to follow those people at some point?

Maybe one or two of them. But I don't even know who Guy Kawasaki is.

To name a few but you're missing the top dogs the ones who can't even squeeze any more connections and give advice on how to gain more connections.

Oh c'mon you know the top influencers on the leaderboards.. The guy with the clever cranium, the lady with all the stories about people she didn't fire who turned out to be awesome. Don't make me spell it out. You know what to do with your idols.

Counter-example to the original author: I refused to have a LinkedIn account for the first 12 years of my career (LinkedIn launched the same year I started my career, I believe). But after I opened one, it really helped my career. I found my last two jobs through it. My timeline looks OK because I unfollow a lot of people. I've done the same with Facebook. I rarely come away from either site with my blood pressure any higher than it was going in.

> I unfollow a lot of people

This is the trick to turning platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn into a tool, not a vice. You need to curate who you follow. Facebook in particular has many tools to do this, from preventing their content posting to your news feed to unfriending them altogether.

Too many people just follow everyone they know, then complain when they start seeing content that gives them negative outcomes.

There's also this weird social stigma where people think that if you unfollow them on a social website, you can't be friends in real life. That's not true either! They're just really bad at posting content I'm interested in viewing.

Exactly this. I learned this principle from a recent HN post:

The Paradox of Abundance: The average quality of information is getting worse and worse. But the best stuff is getting better and better. Markets of abundance are simultaneously bad for the median consumer but good for conscious consumers.

You just need to curate your timeline. You have the tools. If you timeline looks bad, you probably haven't curated it properly. If it still looks bad after curation, then perhaps it's time to take a long hard look at your friends and acquaintances!

My problem with Facebook is they actively try to make your feed controversial. You can unfriend 95% of the haters and some how that remaining 5% will fill up 50% of your feed, and it's not because they are posting more frequently.

This is ultimately why I stopped using Facebook. One day, I sat down for two hours to systematically unfriend, unfollow, and click “I don’t want to see stuff like this” on all of the memes, politics, and other crap. I’d unfollow friends who exclusively shared this stuff, and tried to train the algorithm to avoid cat videos and memes.

Something amazing happened in the middle. I started seeing engagement photos and wedding announcements and baby shower invites, from the three months prior. All things that I would have loved to know about at the time, but that were systematically suppressed in my feed because they didn’t drive as much “engagement”. For a brief moment I thought I had saved my Facebook.

But then, I refreshed my page and the tide of low quality humor, cat pictures, and political memes came back in. I remember I kept trying to tell Facebook not to show me anything from LadBible, but no matter how many times I clicked “never show me content from this page”, literally the same videos came back. A week later I came back, and the feed was again overgrown with the stuff, like poison ivy.

These feeds do not exist to inform you, they exist to keep a death grip on your attention and they cannot be redeemed. At least, I couldn’t redeem mine.

Very strange. Facebook seems to more or less honor my "never show stuff from this person/page again" clicks. Also, if you unfollow someone permanently (not for 30 days), I really doubt their posts will appear in your timeline again. Unless they arrive through pages or communities you're members of.

I agree, it seemed like a bug to me at the time, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's fixed now. To clarify, it wasn't the actual page's post that was appearing in my feed, but somebody sharing the post on that page. It's somebody who I want to follow, but I'm not interested in seeing half of the things they share. The permanent un-follow thing is legit, like you said.

Another thing I noticed was that basically the same video would be posted by a dozen (and growing) increasingly obscure pages, and my friends (and fb) would share from all the different pages indiscriminately.

If you block one obscure page, another one arrives to take its place within a few days. It almost feels engineered by design, to get around the "never show stuff from this person/page again" mechanism.

A former coworker mastered this by basically unfollowing everyone so they don't show up on her feed, then whitelisting specific things.

I couldn't be bothered... I shut it down.

I wish social networks would not automatically follow people when I connect with people.

> But after I opened one, it really helped my career. I found my last two jobs through it.

Selection bias. You may very well have found the same exact, or even better, jobs outside of LI.

Genuine question: how? For me, LinkedIn is the only platform where recruiter can discover my profile and contact me. I've got one job from it.

Other than that it only left me with jobsdb and jobsteet, both need for me to actively looking for a job.

May I ask how? You seem to know more about my particular circumstance better than I do...

LinkedIn has value as a rolodex and should've stopped at that. The social media features are, just like any mainstream social network, a cesspool.

If you want to use LinkedIn and keep your sanity, I suggest disabling all notifications except the email notifications for new messages and then don't log back in unless you get an e-mail and you need to respond to that person.

Something you got to give to LinkedIn is at least that this is the default behavior (as far as I know, I haven't changed any notification setting since I got it) It's great for someone that just want to have a "easy CV" so that recruiters at least know where/what you've worked with without back&forth mailing.

Recently I tried to get Twitter for the first time and my gosh what a mess that platform is. I only wanted it to follow some researcher to get up-to-date research topic but the damn app just have to fill the feed with "retweet" and other tweet I didn't even ask for (and I can't turn this off!)

Hmm, I took some time a couple of years ago to follow the right people on twitter and now I use it all the time (I don't post tweets). Delete the app and just use the browser. It's really all about who you follow. I find it's the most "authentic" and also the funniest social media platform right now.

This has not been my experience. Any recruiter I talk to asks for a CV. If I tell them my linked in is up to date they just ask me to convert it into a CV

The recruiter asks for a CV so they can redact any identifying details from it. They don't want to send your LinkedIn profile directly to the client to prevent them from talking to you directly.

The recruiter asks for your cv as a way to get paid.

If you submit a resume to a recruiter they can submit on your behalf to a company. If you submit to many in the same firm some will use the date received in order to assign any money earned.

Without this rule you would have people sending in resumes without the person's knowledge.

I had the exact opposite experience lately. Recuiters find me and want Linkedin. The companies want a piece of paper.

If its a decent Job you do need a CV (ideally tailored to the job) and a Targeted cover letter.

Instead of following them, add them to a list. This way, you only get their tweets without any retweets or likes. Personally I find the retweets and likes helpful as it expands my network to follow people that the people I follow also follow.

Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't deleted the app yet so I might look in to what a "list" is. But yes "some" people only retweet relevant stuff, but most people (even researchers) are multidimensional, so they usually retweet on events. So unless there's some ongoing conference and such, the noise to useful information ratio is too great.

Other companies tried the more or less just a Rolodex thing. The thing is that they still had the same incentives to try to expand your network.

But LinkedIn is basically fine as a way of keeping track of people and potentially contacting those you're not directly connected to elsewhere. I go through my connect requests once a month or so and ignore about half of them. I ignore any messages trying to sell me something or recruiters that are pitching something that's not remotely my thing. (In all fairness, my profile isn't really filled out so it would be hard to know what I actually do or have done.)

I do similarly with respect to notifications which is a good rule of thumb in general.

Easy in Russia because LinkedIn website and apps are blocked and enabling VPN just to scroll the feed is not worth it

Maybe ban it in hosts and unban when needed?

I don't think Putin's censorship is the solution. After all you have skillsnet.ru

LinkedIn is the only social media that has had a positive impact on my career. I’m being followed by possibly future employers, networking with peers and talking about shared issues, planning working lunches at conventions and getting job offers.

I never scroll through the news feed.

I dislike the news feed but have gotten four of my last six jobs from being discovered on LinkedIn. I’d love to close my LinkedIn but I never know when I’ll be job searching again.

I kind of wish there was an HN like job site that was widely used in corporate America but didn’t have all the ‘content’. Just an online resume.

Have you seen https://standardresume.co? You can import your LinkedIn profile, choose a template and publish it as a web resume in minutes.

> LinkedIn is the only social media that has had a positive impact on my career.

It looks as if the site is beneficial when used strictly for professional contact(s), it's working as expected most of the time. The marketing side, which is part of its business model, is annoying. Groups used to provide valuable and interesting information in some professional fields. Now, not so much. When everyone tries to push their agenda all of the time, it is just noise. Despite this, some people are still surprisingly listening and engaging, so it still works from a marketing standpoint.

> I never scroll through the news feed.

That's the way to use it.

> From a professional standpoint LinkedIn gave me a lot of value for free

i'm curious what others see as value from the platform.

in my narrow view:

- i have a list of connections id most likely be able to contact off platform

- a feed full of virtue signaling and mostly useless content

- messages from random recruiters. usually the full extent of the interaction is: phonecall, redo resume and send over, ghost (40+ interactions like this last year with 2 interviews resulting)

i spoke with someone in career services and their #1 suggestion was to start messaging people i don't know on linkedin looking for "connections" to expand my network.

perhaps i don't get "it" but it seems like for some its incredibly valuable and for the rest its actually a net negative all things considered.

The value I see in LinkedIn:

1. My linkedin contact list is >300 people that I worked closely with over the years and all have seen me kick ass. I have actual email addresses for <10% of them.

2. I can browse my list and see where they are currently working. "oh gee, Mary works at coolCo, I should reach out to her because I' like to work for/with coolCo."

3. When I want to let them know that I started a new business venture, I can send them a message that is less obtrusive than an email.

4. If I give a prospective client my linkedin, they can see a) a brief summary of my resume, b) that I have a lot of contacts in x space, and c) that they may know some of the people I have worked with over the years. These all give me some measure of credibility.

Both my current job and my previous job were initiated by recruiters who contacted me on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has been extremely valuable to me. The recruiters who contact me are usually from professional executive search firms and highly relevant, though I only get a few a year.

I think the level of relevance depends on the industry though. I'm in finance/banking and fairly senior.

Curious... do you consider these instances of recruitment to be incidental to your use of LinkedIn? I.e. do you get value out of LinkedIn other than these offers?

Or is attracting these sorts of offers the only/main reason you're on LinkedIn?

I guess when I stop to think about it, I do get a lot of use out of it.

I use LinkedIn to contact professional colleagues when I don't have their email addresses. I've met 95%+ of the people on my contact list at some point in my career, and it's easy to send them a message to catch up. That's especially useful if they've switched jobs and they lose their work emails.

I also sometimes search people I meet at events or job applicants to find out a bit more about their backgrounds and see if we're connected with anyone.

Sometimes when I'm researching a company or hedge fund for work I'll search LinkedIn to get some information about the firm below the senior-most executives.

It also lets me know when some of my colleagues are mentioned in the media or have TV/print interviews. I like following up with people about those.

I never post or like anything. My employer actually forbids it due to securities regulations. I had to give our Compliance Department access to my account through a special program so they can monitor & log everything.

I think people's job patterns varying is part of it. For me, I've mostly stayed at my relatively few jobs for a long time (10 years or more) and every job after the one immediately after grad school have been through people I knew. Others are hopping around a lot more and are more often through recruiters looking for some particular keyword skill.

LinkedIn is pretty useless for the former--except as a Rolodex--but anecdotally can be very useful for the latter.

I also tend to stay a lot at a given job (e.g. slightly more than 10y at the last one) but still found the current job through LinkedIn. I do 2 things:

1. connect to all recruiters, politely decline with a standard message if obviously not interested

2. when I get a potentially-interesting offer, I reply with "that's all fine and well, but I make <absurdly_high_total_comp> now; do you want to continue the discussion?". (note: I'm not lying).

I used to ignore recruiters at point 1, until I realized it costs me almost nothing to politely decline and earns goodwill; today's junior recruiter that works for a crappy company might be in 10 years the HR director at a company you want to work for. Why not be in touch?

Over the years, this adds up, a handful of opportunities actually said "yes" at point 2, and for one of them I actually went to interviews & got the job (and the very-good-offer).

Fair enough. If the position is actually relevant (i.e. not obviously scattershot spam--which I do generally just ignore), I'll at least politely decline. And I have had a couple followup phone calls but there wasn't really mutual interest for various reasons.

But, TBH, I'm far enough along in my career in this point and have a sufficiently specialized role (my current job had the description written for me after I started talking to the company) that random recruiting is unlikely to be a fit.

agree - and in the case of the latter it feels like its being permeated by influencer culture, by that i mean (im going to paint with a broad brush here) recruiters and the recruiting industry seems to have exploded and with seemingly non-technical agents. so they naturally gravitate towards shiny things - FAANG positions, hot tech (ex: React), well known schools. outside of power users, its becoming a requirement to play the game if you want to have any success. /oldmanyellsatcloud

I find this fascinating, as my experience is the opposite. I have hundreds of connections, mostly people I've met throughout my career. And yet, it has never actually delivered anything of value to me. A few potential freelancing gigs which didn't pan out. A lot of random encounters from people I would never want to work with.

By contrast, StackOverflow and Twitter have given me some really great work opportunities.

Is there a good way to search twitter for jobs?

I don't think it's so much "searching twitter for jobs" as having a good professional network that twitter can help maintain connections with (but not passively).

I always exit HN with a positive mental head space.

The discussion is generally informed, balanced and insightful . I wonder how the positive and respectful space here may be reproduced in other social media platforms.

> I wonder how the positive and respectful space here may be reproduced in other social media platforms.

It's very simple once you stop chasing growth and engagement metrics. The main reasons the other social media platforms are cesspools is because outrage generates engagement so the platform is designed to encourage it as well as encouraging users to join and stay regardless of the quality of their contributions, where as here the design itself acts as a small barrier to entry, in addition to a karma system and competent, human moderation that discourages (and eventually bans) bad behavior.

Strongly agreed. 95% of the web's problems can be blamed squarely on advertising-based business models. HN does not have ads, so the focus is not on getting more users and clicks (i.e. generating outrage), and the excellent moderators are quick to punish harmful users, because there is no motivation to keep them around.

HN is an ad. You are part of that ad model.

It doesn't show you ads because it is not trying to sell you anything. You could make a point that the hiring posts for ycombinator grads are ads.

I think it's the people and the nature of the "hacker" topics. You need a certain amount of attention span to read plain text comments, enjoy a front page with no images, you need patience to learn programming and tech stuff. You need some explicit thinking and less knee jerk reactions. There is some actual object level to discuss, some objective technical things, not only who stands for what and who likes who political games.

Of course this could be reproduced in other similar communities as well.

That's precisely what I hate about the LinkedIn feed. It's way too positive.

The fake kind of positive. I don't understand why people do that. They're trying to fool other human beings by pretending that everything is awesome, positive, etc.

Because if you let yourself believe it for a little while, you continue believing it for the rest of time.

The problem is that it -- at least my feed -- is not true positivity, it's fake positivity, which brings a strong negative reaction in me. Gurus talking entrepreneur-, startup- or hiring- bullshit, recruiters extolling the virtues of their profession, "if you're having a bad time with COVID19, here's something to stay positive" [bullshit follows].

LinkedIn is useful as an online resume. But the feed is mostly garbage. Fake positivity is the worst.

You should check out https://standardresume.co. It's a minimalist web resume builder that lets you start by importing your LinkedIn profile. No feed, no recruiter spam and we don't sell your personal data like LinkedIn does.

Thanks! Will check it out.

my bet is a combination of high barriers to entry and the disincentivisation of bad behavior.

on hackernews, the first one comes as a side effect of the general topic and the relatively high level of discussion and entries, and maybe also of the fact that it's text-only.

the second one comes via the threat of downvotes, or, more generally speaking, the possibility of negative feedback.

I criticize HN all the time, but it has very strong points because it resembles the old Internet. No gifs, no pics, no videos, no graphical bullshit. Just text, this serves as a huge filter.

I never visit LinkedIn except to update my profile (rare), or following a link in my email from either a message I feel I should reply to, or a job alert that actually interests me.

I...guess I knew there was a newsfeed, I just didn't know anyone actually looked at it.

I am one of the first LinkedIn members. Closed my account this year.

It gave me nothing much.

Recent 'x mentioned u r reporting to Y' was the turning point for me. Too much fuss for nothing.

On the hiring side, we tried using LinkedIn during a recent hiring round of about 5 highly skilled C developers. We flipped through hundreds of LinkedIn candidates and exactly zero made it past the resume filter. Completely useless. The only successful hiring method we found was actually the monthly Who's Hiring threads here on Hacker News.

Are you saying the filter was useless, or you couldn’t find a single candidate out of hundreds?

Sorry. What I meant by "resume filter" was us manually scanning through the candidates. We put some criteria for C programmers into LinkedIn and got a bunch of web and .NET devs who had also mentioned C someplace. Perhaps skilled C devs just aren't looking for jobs on LinkedIn (totally possible! I wouldn't if I were looking), but I was kind of surprised that we got literally zero viable candidates. I expected at least a couple to look interesting enough to contact.

That's really interesting. I'm a highly skilled C dev (not bragging, it's just genuine) on LinkedIn, yet I don't tend to get "found" much, except by recruiters.

One thing I found both awkward and fascinating was a job rejection from somewhere I never applied to or had any prior contact with! That was a strange feeling.

Someone internally recommended me for a robotics position. I didn't ask them to, but it was a glowing recommendation I was told. HR looked at my LinkedIn profile and concluded that since it mentions web (I do different things at different times), I received a surprise mail telling me I was unsuitable for the role and I should watch their company site in case webdev positions come up. But I'm not often a webdev, it's just up there for those times when I am!

From that strange incident as well as the types of approaches I get from recruiters (we think you are a perfect match for... our client asked me to write to you... oh, having now looked at your profile I see you are not... etc),

I'm inclined to think LinkedIn profiles for those with a variety of experience just confuse people looking to hire.

I haven't figured out a way to solve this dilemma and from talking with others at a conference, it's a common problem. The way it's done outside LinkedIn is tailored CVs, which focus on relevant items to each role and leave out the less relevant. But you can't do this on a big shared profile.

It's really interesting that HR person wasn't seemingly concerned about turning you off from ever applying there by writing you that and ... rejecting you before you'd even applied yourself..

I feel like some internal miscommunication had to have happened but maybe not.

Many universities (at least in Europe) still teach some C in introductory level courses to build basic terminal apps with file I/O, string manipulation and pointers. One of my exams was to build a basic address book with fseek or draw a tic-tac-toe board form a struct.

When I see C on a resume with 0 industry experience I'm 99% sure it's that knowledge level of C which is nearly useless in real world.

I highly recommend more niche sources, like triplebyte, angel list/angel co, stack overflow, indeed, glassdoor, etc.

All these mechanisms are not 100%. They are averaged around "an average" person as all these things are. I would argue that anybody that realizes the true intention poses enough intuition to stay away from it. Its a tool. Use parts of it you need and dont pay attention to the rest. Its not hard. If it is hard - be thankful it revealed something about you that you want to work on overcoming.

I completely agree.

Extract the utility (eg. Facebook’s events and groups) without getting sucked into the cycle of shallow dopamine hits that is the news feed.

> From a professional standpoint LinkedIn gave me a lot of value for free

Could you please explain like what value you derive out of it. LinkedIn primary purpose is to build your professional network so that you can find your next job easily. It does not work out because programmers does not vouch for someone unless they have worked directly in my experience.

I know of at least half a dozen people who have found great jobs by HR reaching out to recruit them on LinkedIn.

> Personally I live by the mantra that "scrolling is dangerous"

I like that way of looking at it.

I have to agree. I no longer even load the FB timeline. I have to have an FB account in order to interact with the community for one of my open-source projects, but I check it maybe once a day.

I wonder if the value of linked-in depends on where you live. I live in Norway and when I had linked-in I kept getting contacted by recruiters for totally uninteresting jobs. Often in England or Ireland.

Ad-based media is not free. It changes you on a subconscious level and manufactures demand in your mind. And if you're using an ad blocker, you're stealing from them.

It’s clear from the comments that many people have no positive experiences with LinkedIn. For me, LinkedIn was the tool that not only helped me get into better companies, but also introduced me to Hacker News.

I joined Skype/Microsoft, then Skyscanner, then Uber: all after a LinkedIn recruiter reachout. They were opportunities I did not know or think about and I would have never applied to any of them at the time. I was very happy the time working in investment banking, and had zero reason or motivation to change this up. I needed that "nagging" from a recruiter to actually consider what if I was building the next Xbox that millions of gamers will use on day one, instead of a trading system that no more than a dozen of traders use.

In hindsight, all the positions were a step up in professionally, financially, and from a personal growth point of view. I even learned about Hacker News when I was working at Skype, from colleagues. If it wasn't for LinkedIn, I might have permanently been stuck in investment banking and my career would have turned out very differently.

Twice LinkedIn connections have resulted in full time jobs for me. It's just another outlet for passive job searching IMO, and I think it fills that position better than Dice or Monster or any other resume site, so I'm content with keeping a LinkedIn account.

I also check it maybe once every other week so it doesn't mostly doesn't have an impact on my life really.

Agreed. I don't engage with it a lot but it's useful for it's original purpose of keeping track of former colleagues as well as profiling yourself to potential employers/customers.

The content is a bit of a influencer shit show these days. Too many bored executives trying to promote themselves. I mostly ignore that.

Recruiter spam is another nuisance and as recruiters are paying customers, technically us normal users end up being the the product. IMHO linkedin/ms could do more to balance that relation. A minor nuisance but sometimes there's some valuable conversations that convert to me finding gigs. So, room for improvement there but for now it's not optional for me to maintain my linkedin profile.

Same for me. I got my current job because of a recruiter on LinkedIn (where my previous applications to the company got no follow up). They also make it easy for me to interview at hedge funds because they spam me a lot about that, which I don’t mind except for when they somehow call me. I don’t even particularly care if these are semi-automated because when I follow up it results in genuinely getting added to the interview pipeline

It’s already delivered a lot of value to me. I know they use lots of creepy/dark patterns and there are a lot of things I don’t like, like the news feed or teasing features behind paywalls. But it’s still worth it IMO. I have got tens (maybe hundreds?) of thousands of dollars of value out of it without paying a cent, just filtering through some spam

If you ever want to become an independent consultant, LinkedIn has a value that won't be immediately apparent to you.

While YOU might hate it, there are some business folks who search LinkedIn first. They want to see consultants/contractors who've been used by other people in their network, been recommended, etc. I know it sounds odd to us - I would neeeever search LinkedIn first - but I've heard from prospects who have, and they've contacted me on LinkedIn first.

It's never worked out for me though - the billable rates on those kinds of gigs have been pretty low.

As a consultant, LinkedIn is also helpful if you are trying to turn a niche consulting area into a resellable software product (the dream of every hourly consultant). You can find and reach the end users of whatever weird niche you want to sell into and have them try out a prototype, etc.

Most of the world's employees aren't software devs who get annoyed by regular cold calls from recruiters. So often non-software people are happy to talk to someone who speaks their language and values their advice. It can even lead to new relationships and your initial product sales.

Most of the world's employees aren't software devs who get annoyed by.. (insert one of many things here)

This is a really important point. Time and time again I see lengthy discussions on Hacker News around various topics (especially relating to advertising and marketing) where the consensus isn't even vaguely a majority viewpoint in the wider world, and it's useful to be able to focus on the big picture.

For me it's similarish.

While I don't like it too much, when I consider hiring someone it is the first place for a background check. It saved me once from a really, really bad hire (due to common colleagues).

At the same time - I am an independent consultant, and yet - I am not sure if there were a single contract that came through LinkedIn directly. Quite ironically, Facebook was much more productive with that respect.

Sure, I get a lot of messages, but rarely about offers, I am interested in.

You’re saying you

1. Look at a candidate’s LinkedIn 2. See common colleagues and reach out, unbeknownst to the candidate 3. Hear negative feedback and just trust it’s true (or at minimum develop a strong bias against the candidate based on hearsay) with no due process for the candidate 4. Reject the candidate / omit them from interview processes to begin with.

I’m sorry but that’s just awful. I have great references who would say positive things about working with me, but I absolutely would never want someone like you to be able to find them like this.

I interviewed them, BTW. Some things looked fishy (e.g. impressive tech, but all of the repos they listed were cloned, with trivial changes).

It turned out that I knew their last CEO. It turned out that the candidate made-up the entry (exchanged emails, was given a task, never showed up, or emailed or anything) and claimed a 3-month internship experience. It is much worse than having a bad opinion on an employee (in the later, sure - maybe just the relationship, or the project, didn't work out).

Hand-picked references are always, ekhm, hand-picked.

I am not a judge so - I am interested in finding the best candidate, not to give anyone "a due process". And while many people are reasonably honest (sadly, there is some kind of social approval for soft-lies on interviews) some may totally invent their CV. And you never know with whom you talk.

So I should just take the feedback of your handpicked references?

ADDED: And I hate to break it to you but companies do this all the time with or without LinkedIn. On numerous occasions, I've been asked if I know do-and-so because we worked in the same space. Sometimes I don't know them. Sometimes I give an enthusiastic recommendation. And sometimes I tell them to run away fast.

I didn’t say they were my hand picked references. You could contact lots of references for me, many of whom I haven’t kept in touch with for a long time.

My point is I have “nothing to hide” so to speak about my work experience or my resume - but despite this if I felt an employer was trying to use publicly shared personal network info to track this down, then that is a horrific employer to avoid.

That’s why I’m not on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. It’s not just that the companies backing the platforms are corrupt, but that you cannot trust others to exercise basic human decency in how they consume and use the available data.

It’s a prisoner’s dilemma sort of problem. If companies & recruiters are going to instantly defect (eg bad faith usage of your data without affording you due process) then it leaves individuals no choice but to also defect (abandon shared data platforms).

How you would envision a good screening process?

It’s crazy to me that you ask this, as though “treat candidates with respect” or “give candidates fair due process to explain their past or background” or “avoid seeking out biasing information before giving a candidate a chance to represent themselves” need some extra justification to be considered as part of a “good screening process”.

> It’s crazy to me that you ask this, as though “treat candidates with respect”

Well, THB, hard to fight with this strawman/framing.

Not sure what you consider "respect" other than "believe 100% what they say and write about themselves, however suspicious", don't consult anyone (even companies/people they wrote themselves in Resume / on LinkedIn), etc.

This is why I think it’s crazy. Suddenly “believe people and give them a fair chance” is strawman level unusual and needs scare quotes?

Worked out great for me, and I am quite astonished that you are telling consultants that linkedins value is not "immediately apparent"

I've never found a job through LinkedIn. I do like Easy Apply a lot, but it never resulted in anything. Every job I've ever had was found either through someone I know or by applying directly on a company website. I've had a few interviews resulting from LinkedIn, but it's not like LinkedIn gave me much of an advantage beyond Easy Apply. I didn't exactly get more interviews. In fact, I may have been getting fewer interviews on average, but it didn't seem like it because it was easy enough to apply to a lot of companies.

In terms of the actual social network... people use that sh? I've had my moments of Facebook addiction in the distant past, but there's nothing about LinkedIn that makes me look forward to logging in. My feed is mostly composed of inspirational quotes, people celebrating their anniversary at their current job, corporate brown-nosing, articles on productivity, articles about people quitting their job, etc. All generic, mostly low-effort junk. Let's not even get started on the recruiter spam!

Unfortunately, it we will have to wait for a serious decline of LinkedIn before a serious competitor can make headway.

> My feed is mostly composed of inspirational quotes, people celebrating their anniversary at their current job, corporate brown-nosing, articles on productivity, articles about people quitting their job, etc. All generic, mostly low-effort junk. Let's not even get started on the recruiter spam!

My experience as well. Plus the UI itself is a nightmare to navigate. Even something that should be a no-brainer like the embedded messaging is confusing to use. And they keep adding "features" to it!

I mostly do Easy Apply as a market/sanity check every now and then.

I can do 10 applications in 10 seconds for various tiers of jobs and various jobs in different locations and get an idea of what kind of interviews I can get going forward.

But yeah, I don’t get more interviews. I just get to lazily spam.

Exactly. I'm in a completely different field than the demographic of HN users; however, easy apply does give me the ability to apply to a bunch of random positions at various tiers. Now I've never had an offer from LinkedIn and a handful of interviews out of the 500+ applications but it does give me the the ability to apply quickly. For cool companies I find that have jobs I am not qualified for I just book mark them into my companies bookmark and periodically check or reach out to a recruiter.

I've found good recruiting agencies through LI, and a whole lot of spammy ones.

The good ones I consider worth my time and are basically the only value I see from interacting with LI. Seeing people's resume is a nice side benefit, but something like VisualCV or similar offer a better format.

As a social network? Nah, I'm old school -- the dark closets/water coolers of the interwebs shouldn't be in the same place as primary branding.

If you like VisualCV, you should check out https://standardresume.co. You can import your LinkedIn profile and our resume templates are designed in collaboration with hiring managers at top tech companies.

Why do hiring managers input into the design? Would it not be more efficient to have in-house recruiters provide their keyword scan values?

Having been a hiring manager in that space, I'm not convinced the format mattered more than avoiding the obvious overly inscrutable wall of text, grammar check failures, or irrelevant data points.

I agree that not having the issues you mentioned is more important than the resumes format, assuming the format isn't unreadable. We are planning to add functionality to help with content quality.

We work with recruiters and hiring managers to review the designs. The primary things we review are readability/scanability and visual appeal.

We found that a lot of our customers were having more issues with getting offers than getting interviews, so we have chose to focus more on appealing to hiring managers.

That's the opposite of my experience but I'm assuming it's just more used where I'm from. I've gotten 3/3 of my job positions in these past 4 years by recruiters finding me instead of me looking for them. And I was a junior then. I still get contacts and offers in messages and get a connection request or two on the daily by HR people.

I've got into my current role through Easy Apply, at the time I was looking for a job in the end of 2018. Quite surprisingly, as I normally try to avoid all sorts of social networks. And the role so far looks quite a dream! Hiring experience was great either - spoke to a hiring manager initially, did a reasonable take-home task (close enough to the real stuff), was invited for face-2-face interview with HM, CEO and one of the devs, received job offer 10 minutes after walking out of the building after the interview! It was Wednesday, I started the following Monday. Two weeks from application to starting in the new role :)

I find that a lot of serendipitous connections are made on LinkedIn. People will see my profile and strike up a conversation. Seems to work OK for what it is.

What it isn't great for is content. There's never anything remotely useful there, the whole feed is a weird corporate version of the self help section in a bookshop. A lot of stuff is written purely to get attention.

But I also don't see the tradeoff in as poor a light as say FB. What's so personal about where you work? If people can see what I've done they can offer relevant services, mainly they can try to recruit me.

^This. I've said it for years, but LinkedIn is my favorite social network right now. It gives me the dream of keeping up with all the people I've known (X moved to Y, started a new job, etc) but don't care to actually speak to, but doesn't force me to care about their politics or opinions about game of thrones. On top of that, the "office culture" feel keeps things a little more professional and/or shallow-- if you wouldn't say something at work, you probably wouldn't say it on LinkedIn, which gives just a bit of a sterile feel (vs Twitter or Facebook, which are everyone's soapboxes).

>A lot of stuff is written purely to get attention.

Doesn't this apply to any social network feed? Most of the time people (or companies) just want your attention and LinkedIn is still a social network, therefore it makes total sense.

Well, I would say HN seems interesting in most cases, not only some attention grabbing platform. Don't you agree?

I get what you mean but I didn't say that attention-grabbing platforms are incompatible with (at least some) interesting content.

Also, HN doesn't have many dark patterns (or any?) and I'd not consider it a typical social network like FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc but more like a forum. But even if we consider this place a social network, comparing it to any of the typical social networks is futile IMHO.

The difference between HN and any other social platform can be summarized in one word - dang.

The fact that it even supports all that content is kind of silly. I don't think it was ever reasonable to expect it to actually be useful.

I would guess the reason it exists at all is that someone at LinkedIn figured out that, by its very nature, their site does not generate regular or frequent user engagement. What need is there to visit the site except to update your information occasionally or at select times when you want to make a change to your job situation?

But if you're LinkedIn, you don't want to run a site that people visit every now and then. You want users coming back all the time. More 30-day active users is better, right? So you try to create an artificial reason for them to do that. And it must be job-related, because that's what your site is about. So random user-generated job tips it is.

Aggressively unfollowing people that amplify meaningless posts is the key, just like with any other social network. You can block power users so no comments or likes of their posts from your network will show up in your feed. Unfortunately you cannot block companies, so any like or comment on a fake-company-posting-memes's post will result in unfollowing the person responsible directly, unless you know them personally and give them a free pass by just hiding the post this time.

> Aggressively unfollowing people that amplify meaningless posts is the key,

Until you realize "wait, I don't actually use linkedin for much of anything. Maybe I get a recruiter that has an interesting offer (rare)"

In my experience, most people use linkedin at one time: when they are looking for a job, either to update or create their profile. Beyond that, the only people I see with any activity there are desperate recruiters, and "CEO of my own BS company" inspirational garbage content posters.

I found that seeps through largely via HR people in the contacts. Dropping them reduces the feed to the usual corporate announcement buzz.


"never anything remotely useful" is... quite a blanket statement.

The author says it himself in the introductory paragraph:

> I never used LinkedIn... hadn't even updated my profile in the 9 months since I left my last software engineering job.

So you use LinkedIn only passively, never do anything on the platform and then write a rant on how it provides you no value? Maybe actually _try_ to use the strengths of LinkedIn before you dismiss it?

I think this is what author is saysing exactly. If you use it passively then there is no value (add?) and then the question is why to have a profile at all? Did not look like a rant to me.

I would never have gotten in contact with the external recruiters who eventually landed me 4/6 of the jobs I have had since 2008.

I definitely wouldn’t have been contacted by an internal recruiter at $BigTech that led to the remote job that I will be starting in July.

My LinkedIn profile is relatively bare. I definitely use it passively. It has just enough keywords to get noticed by recruiters searching.

Just like my resume has absolutely no value... until I need it.

Then I don't really get what the news value of this post is. Pretty much nothing that you don't actively use provides value. It comes across more as "LinkedIn has no value" to me.

The only value I get from the post it's that it may provoke a thought in other LinkedIn members about "What am I doing here too?" "Do I really need a LinkedIn profile?". But you cannot judge LinkedIn platform usefulness as a whole based on this post.

It is a personal account and an unusual move I guess. Try to reverse what you consider to be the cause and the effect here. The argument does not seem to be LinkedIn is usedless in all possible cases, but it has no value for the author that they cannot get otherwise.

Maybe you can provide your experience on why linkedin is of value to you and then there can be a discusion. I personally agree with the author and i am happy to read on this. From the stand point of a company, if they were actually paying attention to honest feedback they could learn a bunch.

> Maybe you can provide your experience on why linkedin is of value to you and then there can be a discusion

Sure, let me think of a couple of reasons:

1) The network effect of the timeline is HUGE. If people share/like your post, you can have a reach of ten of thousands of people. I scored new customers this way.

2) I often post something about something I've done (new certification, new project I launched, whatever). This almost always leads to replies from connections from unexpected people in my network. The thing I posted might have struck a chord with them, they may see ways for us to collaborate, it might be a product that they need, they may have valuable feedback on it, etc.

3) I interacted with many people over the course of my career. I may have forgotten about those people, but having them all together in an easily searchable "address book" proves pretty valuable to me when I am looking for people with a particular skillset.

4) In the past I did find jobs through linkedin. Either by applying to the job posts or by simply asking around with recruiters.

5) I use LinkedIn a lot to find out who works where, what role they have and who to address when I need something from another company.

There are also counter points to be made:

- I have received a ridiculous amount of recruiter spam over the years. Taking all skills I don't use anymore (like PHP) off of my LinkedIn has certainly helped.

- Advertising on LinkedIn is garbage. We were looking for Dutch speaking candidates in Amsterdam. We got 0 Dutch applicants. All we got is 100+ Indian coders who barely speak proper English.

Cool! Thanks for that. I am glad ln work for you and thanks for sharing. :)

> So you use LinkedIn only passively

I imagine there are a lot of passive users of linkedIn. I found the article interesting as I have been considering deleting my account too and share similar emotions.

Anecdotally, I am a passive LinkedIn user - we're out here. To me it's a glorified address book of thousands of current/past coworkers, I only ever connect with people who I've worked with professionally. All notifications (email) are disabled, I might log in once every month or two to accept connections and initiate some but that's about it. It's a tool, I treat it like one. $0.02

I deleted mine about 2 years ago and haven't looked back. It's not affected my ability find work one iota, and literally nobody has asked me about it.

LinkedIn jumped the shark when they started heavily promoting their skill endorsement section. I remember receiving a notification that my mom endorsed my ability to perform discounted cash flow analysis. She didn’t know what a discounted cash flow was, but endorsed me all the same.

This is the moment it became spam. I do still use it for job searches.

> my mom endorsed my ability to perform discounted cash flow analysis

I mean, that's really quite charming. She loves you!

The first time Linkedin jumped the shark for me when they suggested I add the random dude I sold a couch too on craigslist to My Professional Network. I'd used a throwaway email and only texted the dude 1x. I only randomly remembered who he was after Linkedin suggested him to me because his first and last name rhymed and when he picked up the couch I thought his name was kind of interesting. It was so weird and sketched me out quite a bit as we were in completely different industries and I had no idea how linkedin associated us.

The second time I decided I was over used linkedin was when I was a pitched a data analysis of industry trends in biopharma by a company that scraped and analyzed a bunch of my current and former coworkers linkedin profiles as well as what conferences they had recently attended. It was so creepy and invasive and accurate that I just decided I'd rather not supply my info to be a data point in some hedge fund analyst's report.

I have a shell profile but don't update because I see no benefit and have always gotten jobs without needing it.

>The first time Linkedin jumped the shark for me when they suggested I add the random dude I sold a couch too on craigslist to My Professional Network. I'd used a throwaway email and only texted the dude 1x. I only randomly remembered who he was after Linkedin suggested him to me because his first and last name rhymed and when he picked up the couch I thought his name was kind of interesting. It was so weird and sketched me out quite a bit as we were in completely different industries and I had no idea how linkedin associated us.

This is exactly what spooked me about use LinkedIn. That was many years ago, too. The feeling of "how in the ffffuu did they know about that person" was nauseating.

I remember getting LinkedIn connection recommendations for girls that i had awkward dates with in college.

Your mom probably knows you better than any of your colleagues.

Did you lie when you wrote you have the ability to do a DCF analysis?

I didn’t lie when I indicated I know DCF, but mom knew almost nothing about my professional work. She was able to endorse me without any knowledge and that pretty much eliminates the value of an endorsement.

I realized then that it was more of a social network than a business network.

Your mom knows you don't lie and that's why she endorsed you.

If I was a recruiter I would consider that a better form of endorsement than a random colleague who endorsed you because they expected some similar favor from you.

I’ve never had a potential employer call my parents for a reference, but they have called co-workers. That implies that the market values the co-worker’s endorsement more.

Most of my best jobs came from LI leads, so I don't really get the point. I find LI to be a more open and just system than hiring a guy that knows a guy, or forcing people into slavery in open source.

It's not the hiring that is broken, but the tech industry itself. There is nothing that compares in how low a measurable value is priced in any other domain. It seems that the less you can put a price on something, the more people speculate that it is worth. There is probably some fancy economical law to follow, idk.

Hear! Hear!

I too don't get the animosity for LinkedIn. For me too all the career defining moves happened because of LinkedIn.

Never ever going to close my account.

I guess YMMV though. I closed mine and it hasn't really affected anything. Career has been able to move forward full steam without it.

I don't understand what you mean. Do you think it's easy or hard to measure the value of a contributor in tech, and what does the "speculation" about their worth do exactly?

I think it's much easier to measure value of tech skills than most other skills. In the management and business areas you have to bet on how well people will perform and it's harder to put a finger on what will define success. Even people moving between similar environments might have difficulty adjusting. I personally believe that a lot of hiring is happening only on appearances alone. Since the people in middle management are often recruited like that, they also tend to overvalue skills of similar individuals. I'm seeing right now some "reassessments" happening due to the whole COVID thing. A lot of invaluable people are losing their jobs and yet no one is feeling any difference. It's just the market finally catching up to an overvalued good.

LinkedIn is fairly useless, but it’s a game I play. Some folks just expect me to have a LI profile, so I keep it up, and treat it respectfully.

I do like to have a platform where I’m not constantly reading troll screeds (but it’s starting to show cracks).

I mainly use it to reinforce my “personal brand,” and give people a place I can send them to, where they can find out about me, in a format with which they are comfortable.

I don’t treat it casually, as a lot of folks take it seriously, and treating it badly is disrespectful (IMO).

> Hiring is broken

Yup. Not LI’s fault, though.

I won’t even begin to address that, but, as an older techie, with an enormous portfolio and experience, and mediocre “schoolboy test” performance, I have encountered this in spades.

LinkedIn began as something that actually seemed useful, but it long since turned into Facebook for middle management types for feeding their echo chamber with self help stories and 10 Things All Successful People Do.

I have not come across a single serious recruiter there for years and I closed my account 6 months ago or so. Perhaps it's still useful for freelancers.

> turned into Facebook for middle management types

yeah that's a real cancer... LinkedIn can be really useful, but it's flooded with so much corporate onanism that it just becomes painful. Hundreds of corporate climbers competing with each other to show how passionate and proactive they are about IT middle management

Three of the Big 5 tech companies (no Netflix doesn’t count) had internal recruiters randomly reached out to me in the last three months while the local job market has cratered. Without LinkedIn, I wouldn’t have even pursued the (remote) job I am starting in July with $BigTech.

Even before that all of the local external recruiters I’ve found have been through LinkedIn.

Glad to hear it can still be worthwhile!

The feed is nothing but useless hustle porn. 99.99% of recruiter messages I get are offering the same position I have now, but at a less mature company. However I got my first software job using it (don’t have a degree), and found my most recent job via the easy apply. LinkedIn has been a net positive for me, and can safely be ignored for a long time while not hunting.

The feed is akin to a perpetual conference hall. Maybe you'll bump into someone who got a new job, but the majority of the time it's just people trying to sell their new business or themselves as a "thought leader"

I've never had a LinkedIn, but I regularly receive emails from recruiters that start, "Hey, I found your profile on LinkedIn and...". These get a form response from me which says basically, "No you didn't, and given the first words you say to me are a lie, I have no interest in working with you. And if you feel guilty enough about how you actually got my email that you feel the need to lie about it, maybe you should consider whether you want to be the kind of person who gets people's emails via unethical means and then lies about it."

Some of these recruiters apparently work for Amazon, which isn't unsurprising given their track record on other ethical concerns.

Probably an automated tool. Sometimes I even get the "Hey |REAL_NAME|," ones..

Worst thing, these recruiter emails rarely have an unsubscribe link or some sort of opt-out. I don't have a LinkedIn but I once accidentally set my email public on GitHub for a month or so, now every once in a while I get those kind of emails. I'm sure it's been scraped and added to some database/spreadsheet somewhere.

True. I'm not sure whether that makes it worse or better.

I am not sure how I feel about LinkedIn but I did want to expand on this:

> But one thing I am sure about: no one will notice.

LinkedIn remains one of the largest and best data sets for the recruiting industry. I don't want to speak too broadly since my experience is limited to my current employer and personal experience, but if you remove your LinkedIn you will effectively be invisible to the recruiting agency I work at.

Many companies rely on outbound recruiting tactics since inbound is often too noisy; not having a LinkedIn would dramatically reduce (if not eliminate) the chance of a recruiter finding you without prior contact (referral, application, former colleague, etc). And this is not just limited to recruiters reaching out via LinkedIn. There are companies that scrape LinkedIn and sell that data to recruiting agencies and VC's (and who knows who else).

As an anecdote, having recently complete a job search myself, I have to say that traditional inbound applications (e.g. apply via company website without any contacts) was shockingly ineffective. The difference in traction between self applications using my professional network, job boards, or recruiting markets (e.g. Triplebyte) was night and day.

Since the author seems privacy oriented, removing his LinkedIn is probably the right thing to do, but I don't think it's accurate to imply that there is no opportunity cost to doing so.

LinkedIn has its advantages and disadvantages. I would characterise it as a net positive for me, but it depends who you are, how you use it and what for.

Why net positive? For my second start-up, I found our first customer through LinkedIn. After lots of attempts to source a paying customer that led to no conversions, one day a message arrived saying "You're the only ones in Europe doing this. We want to work with you.". No networking, no clever lead generation, just being there being found in a search did the job.

Never used it for jobs because I got these all conference networking and by personal email exchances or being headhunted. It also gave me lots of speaking engagements.

Recently, LinkedIn has had some issues with too much Facebook-like noise (people posting non-professional content), so I think if there was a more focused, mininmalist alternative, lots of people may switch. There is also the question of potential conflict of interest: LI sells to HR/Hiring functions and to people that already work for companies that use it for these functions. So if I was you, I wouldn't apply via LI to any kind of job in case you'd like to keep that fact from your current employer's HR.

I hate LinkedIn, majority of the articles are rubbish most of the job offers you get are not related to your skills but I still feel it's valuable to have when I want to look for a new job or just to keep in contact with people I have worked with in the past.

My inbox is full of boring templated messages

"Hi XXX, #I noticed you work as XXX @XXXand it is why I send invitation to your LinkedIn. Looking forward to connect with you for open discussion about logging, monitoring, troubleshooting and cloud SIEM. #stayletsconnect"

"Hello XXX, I am a Success Manager of XXXHiring Platform. I will be glad to become a part of your professional connections and build collaboration with you. best regards XXX"

I found an extension to unfollow all my connections so I have no reason to stay on LinkedIn anymore than I need to.

If you publish content for a professional niche, then LinkedIn may be your best choice to reach your audience.

I'm a hydraulic modelling engineer, and people in my field don't hang out on the internet together like software developers.

So when I write articles or develop some FOSS, I'll go to LinkedIn because I can reach thousands of other engineers doing the same type of work.

I don't believe I could get the same reach or engagement on any other platform.

LinkedIn has directly led to me getting two great jobs and accelerating my career by leaps and bounds.

I don't read much/any of the news feed, and only occasionally check in on it at all, but it's a fantastic passive job search platform.

The vast majority of recruiter contacts I get are not worth following up on, but that rare message that just happens to be the right time/place is invaluable.

I deleted LinkedIn about 5 years ago when I went totally independent. I was super happy not to have it. I recently re-created it because a consulting engagement put me back in the center of "Are you on LinkedIn?" discussions.

I do look forward to closing my account again. There's a lot of "professional posting" that goes on -- professional signaling, and uplifting daily posts. Knowing the people who are posting these things, and how they go about their daily work lives -- it's a lot like fitspo/fitfam posts on Instagram.

And companies I have some back office knowledge of are flat out lying about their responses to the pandemic (No, you didn't respond to the pandemic by laying off any FTEs; yes, you did lay-off all your contractors on day 3; and actually, you did have a round of FTE layoffs subsequently but your posting army got their "I'm so proud of my company and the fact that they didn't do any FTE layoffs" posts out the day before the layoff round).

Glad some people get value out of it. Feels of our social times too much for me.

There's nothing forcing you to scroll the feed. I just uBlock the entire feed, and use it as an online Rolodex. I've also built a fairly sizeable contact book of headhunters, should I ever want to leave my current position.

True. And worth considering.

But it's not like I'm challenged by a corner case of their product offer. It's the whole creamy middle. I'm inclined to want out.

It's not really a "product" for individuals looking for work. Just set and forget, check for recruiter messages. I think that's the beauty of it, or how I use it anyways.

What's the point of closing the account ? Your history proves that you'll open it again in the future - in which case, why not just keep it and don't use it till you need it again ?

An account that is closed feels different than an account you don't use. At least to me.

The idea that you need LinkedIn to further your career is a myth straight out of the LinkedIn marketing budget.

It was a weak signal that is now pure noise.

There's a large number of people who find their jobs through LinkedIn. I wouldn't call that noise even if some people can do without it.

My experience, and of a few people around me in different professions and experience levels shows differently.

Of course you could do without Linkedin, but it makes your next job search much easier if you keep your profile updated.

Maybe a bit unrelated but who else has always serious page rendering issues when visiting LinkedIn? I do not visit it often but there are so many problems lately that I doubt that I'm the only one, especially since all other sites are fine. These problems appear when I open LinkedIn pages in a tab or for the initial rending but also just when I click on new messages or 'Start'. Is it because of Firefox and/or uBlock Origin?

Me too. It has been noticably worse the last two months, and I often see things that look like CSS loading errors.

I'm using Firefox (beta) and uBlock Origin too, so that could be a common factor. But it varies from load to load. Sometimes it's completely fine. So I don't think it's likely to be a simple rendering bug.

I've been using Firefox and uBlock Origin for years, and LinkedIn more over the last year. I only noticed rendering problems in the last couple of months.

(Plenty of other bugs. Search is unreliable, and the mobile app is not without bugs either (some buttons don't do what they're supposed to), but rendering seems ok on mobile.)

I can confirm about the rendering issues, obscure errors, and the use of uBlock Origin.

Last week I was getting weird crashes with games, probably something was wrong with my gpu. Weirdly my firefox was also crashing consistently when I open linkedin. Other websites seemed fine, only linkedin.

It gets much worse when you start using the less popular features, like group management.

Edit: it doesn't even work correctly using chrome without any ad blockers...

Haha, thanks for confirming. This is ridiculous for such a popular site. Maybe it is since Microsoft took over ;)

I've been heavily active, too active, on the site for over eight years.

It was always lousy, but it's getting worse.

Lastly, I manage groups with hundreds of thousands of people, and I can't get anyone on the phone for anything.

After the countless hours I've spent on LinkedIn, I'm now focussing my energy on ultimately moving away from the platform.

It's so disappointing that I don't want even to log in to see the mess. No joke, this week, my assistant told me "that thing that's been broken and annoying for months was finally fixed." That thing was merely "approving" content in the group moderation queue. Some posts simply wouldn't be approved...

My strategy used to be "build a community using LinkedIn groups."

Now it's "do everything to capture the value I already created in the groups by directing members off of LinkedIn."

It gets worse.

You can't trust their documentation. And I'm not talking about the API. Even information in their help section is factually inaccurate. And it remains published. When confronted, the issue will get escalated until someone comes up with a roundabout excuse for why the published information is correct, but not practically.

I knew better, but I still fell victim to the building on someone else platform problem.

Never again.

If you are Developer or even a DevOps or Data Engineer, LinkedIn is a very handy tool in order to get connected with recruiters and also to apply for jobs that are posted there.

Sure, there are other great online job boards and even physical job agencies but I find (LinkedIn) by being marketed and promoted as a professional job seeking / networking tool, even the type of conversations you have with your contacts tend to be of a professional nature.

Yes, there are some fluff on LinkedIn especially when it comes to variety of videos or feel-good or motivational messages being posted but I take them in stride -- not everybody is same and if some people are social and have desire to share their social feelings with others, then so be it.

>If you are Developer...

I think value of LinkedIn increases as you progress in your career and/or into harder to fill roles. I've now passed the 20 YOE mark in my careers and have moved into management, and it's at this point where I'm really starting to find value from LinkedIn. Yes, there's tons of spam ("I've got a great entry-level role for you!"), but I was able to use it very effectively in my last job search. Of the 4 opportunities I pursued through the final interview/offer stage, 2 were initiated by someone finding my profile on LinkedIn and 1 was a process that got stuck that I was able to get unstuck by reaching out to a connection at the company. The two "inbound" opportunities were both Director/VP level roles at companies I was interested in working in.

LinkedIn job hunting works outside of the tech bubble as well.

My friend is a medical lab technician, for quite some time she was job-hopping a lot and was able to leverage her contacts to find open positions which are hardly advertised anywhere. In that industry it is quite important to have good recommendations so keeping a network of people you once worked with helps a lot.

In my country, probably the most well-known IT-related jobs website (www.apinfo.com) is something around 20 years old and uses basically the same technologies and concepts that were mainstream at the time. Coldfusion, plain HTML, ad spaces sold directly to advertisers.

No social networking. No fancy stuff (they don't even use icons, it's plain text everywhere). Just a simple, straightforward website.

It's not perfect though. Doesn't perform that well and the searching capabilities are poor even after some improvements they've attempted. But during my whole career (17 years) I've gotten 100% of my jobs there, despite having tried some other websites.

I wish that UX folks payed more attention to cases like that.

Interesting and it resonates with me.

Just today, I wrote an introduction on a "federated linkedin" that we've been working on for the last few months: https://socialhub.activitypub.rocks/t/early-feedback-and-pre...

Basically, aiming to set up a "rolodex on steroids" or a "place to manange your business network" without all the privacy-issues, recruiterspam and duplicated social-network-features.

We are in early phase, currently working through problem interviews and market positioning.

I've been on LinkedIn for a while, and I don't mind it for what it is. I have not taken a job that started with LinkedIn, but it has given me leads, multiple interviews, and an offer at one of the big tech companies. On most of my job applications I've attached my LinkedIn, but I doubt it does anything as all that info is on my resume.

Secondly I appreciate seeing my childhood, college, and ex-coworker friends' careers progress. I like knowing where they're at and what they're working on, and a LI update from someone I know has sparked lots of conversations.

As far as content, we all know it's worse than any other platform. I roll my eyes at over half of the things on my feed. But sometimes I find good article shares that aren't just marketing, and occasionally there's an actually interesting post. However I think they do a good job of showing you your connections' updates from a few weeks ago even, which is great for not following your feed constantly like Twitter.

I agree it is not at all necessary for finding a job, and I don't use it as a normal social media where I expect interesting content. So I definitely understand anyone who decides not to use it. But I've found value in it myself, and I certainly don't think it's doing me harm. The author never explains what the "harm" is.

I think this sentence in the article sums it up:

"It doesn't really matter, but that's not a world I want to participate in."

OP wrote an article about deleting an app that no one thinks is essential.

Just wanted to give a bit of praise for the blog post's illustration as a rather delightful little example of how lightweight and smooth SVG animation can be (and SMIL no less).

44KB for a scalable, looping blog graphic. Imagine if more of the web were like this.

Thanks! SMIL is so under-appreciated. I always look forward to doing these animations.

Linkedin provides value to me in two ways:

- My connections list would make a potential recruiter (and maybe even the Linkedin Algorithm) be slightly more confident that I am who I say I am, i.e. I did work at the companies and studied at the schools I listed) because there would be people in that list who have shared that history with me. I make sure these are the only people in my connections list, apart from a few recruiters I wouldn't mind chatting with again.

- I can be discoverable professionally/personally by a google search. I don't have any other social media accounts.

I take some effort to maximize this value and minimize the other irritations and distractions. Example: I unfollow everyone I connect, so my feed is mostly empty. I don't connect with people I don't know or those who don't bother interacting in any other way except just sending a request.

Some people could go a few steps further and use uBlock origin's element picker to permanently block the UI elements constituting the feed and anything else they don't want to see. This way all you get is maybe a few emails a month maximum, and potentially good job opportunities. Everyone else just sees a quasi-official page about my professional experience.

LinkedIn had enormous value for me after I graduated from a PhD and was desperately looking for a job in industry. I got the LinkedIn Premium, which allowed me to message any people directly (without the need to be connected first). My first attempts at cold approaching people were not successful, but I slowly refined my communications and was able to get many replies.

I would search a company that was interesting and then message an employee asking for questions about the company, if we had a good conversation, they would hook me up with the recruiter. Sometimes I would directly contact a startup founder with a pitch of how my expertise would be helpful to them (my field is pretty niche, so there aren't any job titles for it). I got my current job by directly approaching the recruiter responsible for the position I wanted. It escalated pretty quickly from the first contact.

I didn't need to manufacture my profile in an artificial way. I just put everything I did and know there. The platform gave me the visibility I didn't have, as I come from a small university. The single ability to find who works at a certain company, and how many insiders you already know has enormous value.

LinkedIn is a very strange place to me.

I’m there, but like the author I never really bother with it. Maybe every year or two I’ll check it’s up-to-date with work history but that’s about it.

I get a lot of calls from recruiters. I can only assume they’re cold-calling a list from linked in search results and I can’t think of a single incidence where the call has lead to anything.

The bizarre part is that I know several people on LinkedIn and Facebook (to be fair I haven’t signed in on Facebook either for about two years for lack of interest - if I haven’t bothered to call you in the last three years then I really don’t care what you’re eating for lunch these days).

On Facebook people post cat memes and talk about things they’re genuinely interested in, like how Janet’s friend Steve caught coronavirus from a telecom mast.

On LinkedIn the same people’s feeds are repost after repost of how they’re living their most Agile Scrum Synergy-driven Goal-oriented life.

As best I can tell, it’s a website for sucking up to employers you might some day have or hope to impress. Every post reads like the applicant side of a job interview where no-one even asked a question. Maybe it’s just me, and I don’t get it, but I just have better things to do with my time.

>> The corporate work culture survives on people's fears. If you don't play by the rules of the people in power, how will you make money, how will you feed your family, how will you contribute to society?

>> When people long for the days of the early web, the glorious idiosyncracies of personal sites and forums, they are really longing for a time and a space where people were free to communicate their own values. Now that space is owned and rented to the highest bidder. A site like LinkedIn wraps you up into a tiny, uniform package, sets you in an enormous data warehouse next to millions of other tiny people just like you, and sells the lot of you.

A lot of what he says resonates really strongly. Fact of the matter though is that we are locked in this state of affairs. Specially if you are in a not-exactly-buzzing job market. I don't know if there is a will and a way to revert ourselves back to something more than a commodity. And I don't see a way to move forward to something beyond that.

I quit using LinkedIn after realizing that just viewing pages spams people you know with emails... Talk about unprofessional.

It was quite handy to stay in touch with people you worked with but eventually it turned in another spammy cesspit just like every other form of social media.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2022

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact