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LinkedIn’s Alternate Universe (divinations.substack.com)
613 points by dshipper on Dec 6, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 277 comments

For me, like many I'm sure, it turned recruitment completely on it's head.

Previously I would spend hours trawling job boards, composing cover letters and get excited at the prospect of one successful reply. It was soul destroying.

Now I can construct a post, complete with trendy hashtags, and passively watch _hundreds_ of recruiters reach out to me in 24hrs. Now I can sit with a coffee and easy filter out the crap. It's taken some time to build up the 8,000+ contacts, mostly of senior tech people amd recruiters.

Every job in the last 5yrs has been through LinkedIn and due to the ease by which I could change jobs, salary has sky rocketed too.

Maybe I am in the minority of people who use it as a tool this way?

Edit: I also have an emoji as the first "letter" in the string of my first name. This instantly allows me to visually/programmatically filter out genuine "human" messages from bots. I also reply to these messages, as let's be honest, a human took time to compose the message to me. A quick "thank you" (one button click!) goes a long way.

Do you make a post looking for a job while you're still working at another company? Wouldn't this raise red flags at your existing workplace? I've been told that it's a good idea to look for your next job while you're already working somewhere else, and I'm curious how the 'writing posts' strategy would hold up in this situation.

+1 to the hundreds of views that posts get. LinkedIn is insane that way.

> Do you make a post looking for a job while you're still working at another company? Wouldn't this raise red flags at your existing workplace?

I’m not OP, but as I read it OP just makes a post saying e.g. “my experience with #cryptocurrency and #blockchain combined with #ai on #iot devices has taught me...” etc.

In other words, not a text that says “I’m looking for a job”, but just something that reveals areas of expertise.

The number one rule of a good salesman is to not look like a salesman. IIRC, it's from the Thiel's book.

What sort of posts are you writing that get recruiters to come to you in the post? I feel like all the posts I see are just people going in like vultures to raw meat trying to get some scrap

Social media hashtags exist for people to follow. By finding out the current trendy hashtags that recruiters themselves use/follow, your post pops up on their feed.

Do you ever talk to your peers about this? I get grossed out by this kind of behavior generally because it seems so artificial and narcissistic. Hearing your perspective is interesting because it at least adds the nuance of gamesmanship to the list.

Have you ever tried declaring yourself a thought leader? What kind of mileage does that get you?

I've begun doing recruitment in a professional capacity recently, after having been the type of dev that dismissed this kind of social media, LinkedIn hashtag feed nonsense for the same reasons you do.

And I still don't love it, but I have to admit it's got a place in the strategy. Posting a job req with some focused hashtags seems to help get more responses. Posting a few industry-appropriate articles does seem to help keep our company in folks' minds.

In an ideal world every company I work for will be so amazing and so well known that I don't have to sell it to folks because the right folks are coming straight to us. Or that all of my friends and all of their friends will magically be capable of switching jobs to come build a new team with me whenever I need to grow.

But reality doesn't work like that, and so things like LinkedIn end up being table stakes. It isn't the whole of my recruitment strategy, but certainly it's a functional part.

> thought leader

It's a negative signal. Go build something instead.

There are recruiters who spend their days following tags like “#iot” or “#blockchain” or “#machinelearning” and think that the people who posted them are good targets for recruitment? Dear god...

Self promotion is a skill directly translated into $$$ in terms of raw compensation.

It's one of the biggest blocks I see from developers who are otherwise qualified for positions like that but they don't know how to advocate for themselves.

There is a games element to hiring and you have to put aside the thoughts of it being gross because at the end of the day it's a major component in earning more which for most people is one of the reasons they work.

I say this as a dev myself and not a recruiter.

Wrong lesson: "I have seen stupid and incompetent people do X to get prestigious roles and big salaries. As a smart and competent person with self-esteem, I would never do X, lest people accidentally think I am one of them."

Right lesson: "If X can help even stupid and incompetent people get prestigious roles and big salaries, I wonder what it would do for a smart and competent person. Probably the same, only more of it."

Also, all three of those hashtags don't exactly inspire job security. I would sooner make a living by playing blackjack than be employed in blockchain.

Both iot and machine learning are the tail wagging the dog. You use a tech because it's appropriate, not because it's trending. The number of businesses trying to shoehorn ML into their sales deck is hilarious, I don't know how much my previous employer spent on continued failed attempts at that trend.

Yup exactly.

Ok but the incompetent people won’t last in the job so... it seems to be a negative loop. That and the hiring mgr can’t identify lemons.

Incompetent people can be remarkably successful in a job they can't do.

Ah, I see you have experience in enterprise environments.

Plus the might have an interest in politics.

Yes but even if I did write the most fantastic article there is no amount of money that would make me use hash tags or promote myself on LinkedIn...

That is a personal decision. It may or may not be a rational decision, but depends on short and long term goals, and one's self-awareness and self-honesty.

It becomes very quickly a real-life game of "would you do X for Y money? ".

Saying "I wouldn't use a linked in hashtag for $10k/year (25k a year? 100k a year?) " is a pretty strong principle.

I also do recruiting and I’d certainly treat hashtagged self-promotion on LinkedIn as a big negative.

Fair, but I did not read the parent post I replied to as whether hashtagging/self-promotion is effective/positive or ineffective/negative.

I read it as: "Assuming hashtagging and self-promotion on LinkedIn was effective, I still would not do it no matter the money", and that's the interpretation I replied to - perhaps erroneously.

In a broader discussion - it's all about the fit. I don't think there's a single advice, action, characteristic, attribute, or effort, that won't increase your chances with X% of employers/recruiters/HR and decrease your chances with Y% of employers/recruiters/HR.

[FWIW, I personally have Linked In, it's my online resume, but I don't interact with platform in any other manner; Self-promoting posts are indeed a turn-off for me personally - but I'm neither actively seeking a new job nor promoting my business, so it'd be a bit of dishonest to claim that situational personal preference for a larger truth :]

What do you find effective?

A solid reputation among people I already know. Short of that, a good portfolio of prior work. good internet presence which shows how a person handles disagreement, conflict. This is why a small GitHub presence is extremely valuable. Not because I want to see people grind away at weekend work or have a full commit graph. Simply because you can hope to see people interact with others in e.g a bug report or PR. How did they behave when their PR was rejected or their bug report was dismissed?

This obviously is a step beyond self promotion. At this point I’m already reviewing someone’s resume. So the question is perhaps how would you get noticed to begin with? How do you market yourself? I don’t know. Work? No better form of self promotion than doing a good job.

> treat hashtagged self-promotion on LinkedIn as a big negative

What don't you like about it?

> how would you get noticed to begin with?

- - -

Thanks btw for writing about how you think about GitHub PR discussions etc.

Btw i didn't post at all to LinkedIn at least not yet

> What don't you like about it?

Not sure. Something just seems off. Perhaps it's because you have a category of not-very-close friends on LinkedIn promoting themselves really hard and the correlation between people self-promoting in that very "LinkedIn fashion" and being a really big asshat seems strong. Anecdotal, but still.

They don't follow the hashtags. The hashtags push the post to others who do and the post generates likes which causes it to be shown to more people.

If you get 100 likes on someone on LinkedIn you will have a massive amount of recruiters see it.

> Every job in the last 5yrs

How many jobs have you HAD in the past 5 years?

When I entered the industry in 2010, it was the middle of a recession and I was coming from a non comp sci STEM degree.

My first job was a 40k per year IT job. I changed jobs every 1.5 years or so, and was able to find a niche in Big Data followed by Real time bidding in ad-tech, and now ML work in one of the FANG’s as a senior engineer.

Not many people care about tenure at this point, and working in multiple environments has served me well. It’s worth calling out that I usually took a pay cut when I switched in order to better align with my career objectives (although the raises always made up for the opportunity cost )

I found every opportunity through LinkedIn, along with many that I passed on. I was always immediately connected with a person (recruiter) rather than a blind resume/email response.

For comparison, I started around the same time, never used LinkedIn and still ended up with a job title similar to yours, making a little more than 400k. This is simply a standard rate for someone with 10 yoe who bothers to change jobs.

These FAANG salaries mystify me. Here I am, in the mid-west, working for a manufacturing company, as a programmer/sysadmin/devop in an engineering department, with 25 years of experience, making almost the top end of what's possible for a non-managerial role, and my salary is NOTHING like that. I just worked with 2 of the world's leading experts in my field -- they literally wrote and created systems to implement the government spec which governs most of our work -- and learned that their salaries -- while staggering in this industry -- weren't even half of this. Sometimes I look at this disparity, and want to take a crack at switching industries, but, frankly, it's intimidating. I guess it's 25 years of conditioning. In old-school manufacturing companies, $400K is VP-level pay. There's probably only a couple dozen people making that at my 30K-employee company. And here you are telling me that it's just a "standard rate" for a devop with 10 years of experience. The difference in worlds is hard to wrap my head around.

Same deal here. 400k, hell even 200k to me would seem like "I've made it", and that's just accepted as normal for others? Also, been doing IT way longer than 10 years.

The main difference in my observation between FAANG and the rest is the growth rate, profit margin, and preference for equity compensation. When starting at a FAANG you'll often receive a high but not outrageous compensation package with equity making up 20-30% of compensation. 4 years later the equity will often have compounded by 20-40% annually yielding the TC packages you see today.

In another industry with stock that appreciates slowly or depreciates over time, the model wouldn't yield the same packages. The company buys your equity grant when you start, and has limited incentive to renegotiate/fight over the outsized reward.

400-500k is the starting pay, though. On top of that are stock refreshes and appreciation. By year 4, some make 800k.

Money is crazy! Here I am, making less than 150k in a VP role of a Silicon Valley startup living in Mexico. Even though 150k living in Mexico is a great salary, $400k just is out of any proportion I can think of in my wildest dreams.

No offence, but in most startups, even the CEO is just a line manager who wouldn't make more than 200k in a second tier company. Unless you own 10% of the preferred shares in that startup, you're giving them a huge discount. If I were you, I'd exchange this VP title for a L7 manager job at bigco, make there a couple millions and start my own shop, now in the founder role.

> > Every job in the last 5yrs

> How many jobs have you HAD in the past 5 years?

I'm old enough to remember when having two or three two-year jobs in a row classified you as a job-hopper to employers.

These days, it seems like having several two-year stints ought to classify you as either complacent about your career progression or pretty lucky, depending.

I had a chat with a recruiter last week who told me that she was impressed I stayed at my last job for so long.

It was four years.

> These days, it seems like having several two-year stints ought to classify you as either complacent about your career progression or pretty lucky, depending.

I'd think of being at two places over several years being either complacent or lucky. I wouldn't think of being at several places for two years each as complacent or lucky...

I do not think being at places for less than two years as the ideal scenario or a great candidate. Unless the person is hopping from FAANG to FAANG (hopping for pay bumps) - I look at it like how I've had it... They had to go from one shitty job to another because they couldn't get the right one.

> I'd think of being at two places over several years being either complacent or lucky.

What's your lower bound on 'several years', in this context? Taken literally it's 'three or more', but not everyone uses the word that way.

> Unless the person is hopping from FAANG to FAANG (hopping for pay bumps)

I wasn't thinking of pay bumps per-se, but of promotions for increased responsibility.

> They had to go from one shitty job to another because they couldn't get the right one.

Sure, but employers are often insecure. The thought that follows that is "what if they think this job is shitty and then leave?"

Employers hate turnover and tend to like having evidence that you will stick around. No matter what the reason is that you didn't stick around somewhere else, however justified or understandable, that reason can't provide the evidence they want.

If someone doesn't use few and uses "several" then I presume "several" means "seve"n or more. Yes, literal language of several allows for 3 or more but we'd use few then. And it's clearly not many - which I put in the 10+ bucket typically.

In my opinion, several years in this context between two companies would be at least 7 years total - however, I think 4-5+ years at one company is a sign of complacency or you got lucky. So, I'd think spending 10 years at two companies very much a sign of complacency or luckiness. I can't imagine doing it unless I got really lucky. Great managers, great organization, great team, decent work, and, of course, great pay... but that is incredibly rare as far as the social circle I'm involved in goes. So, chase the pay at least.

some consider jobhopping as a hobby with benefits.

An unwise hobby. I know recruiters and hiring managers that see low tenure jobhopping as a red flag

This may just be to discourage you from doing it. I've been on a number of hiring committees, and job hopping was never discussed as a negative. By the time you've been on the job for 1.5 years, chances are the hiring manager and recruiter have both moved on.

Someone mentioned "At 12 months they’re likely just becoming an effective employee"...

I haven't seen a job like this in a decade or more. The last two jobs I had expected you to be fully productive in a month, and if you not had made major contributions in by 12 months (and more specifically didn't fit in with management) you were going to be let go. Letting go of employees used to be relatively rare, but I find it's becoming standard practice these days.

I can't think of a single job I've had where ICs weren't deploying code to production within two weeks and at full productivity in about a month.

Decades ago it used to be the case that you could take time to fit in, find your strengths and start growing. But the idea that you would "just be getting started" at 12 months is laughable.

Job "hopping" used to make sense a few years ago because it was the fastest way to get promoted. Now I would say it's an essential survival skills as any place you aren't happy at is likely seeing that an planning when they can start to pip you.

It definitely changes the bar for me. If I see someone has a long string of 1-2 year jobs on their resume, the conversation changes from:

"Is this someone with high potential who could grow / be trained into a high performer?" to

"Is this someone who can hit the ground running and be productive within a month?"

It's very possible the answer is still yes, but I'm not going to spend time investing in a more uncertain candidate, if it's pretty clear they'll jump as soon as my time investment starts to pay off.

I was job hopping in Amsterdam where the market is saturated by VC-backed SaaS startups. The churn rate was insane. Many of the teams I worked on have churned so much not one member is still there I worked with - in a space of 18-24 months (this was pre-COVID).

It is also worth noting a 12 month fixed term contract for any new full-time employee is standard. Due to Dutch employment law, the employer only has to offer a perm contract after a number of years (after the 3rd I think). This hardly encourages career growth and it if it takes 12 months to be "up to speed" you would have been fired already!

At the end of those 12 months they don't have to offer you anything more. Struggling and need extra training? Nope, you're gone. Particular project changing course (new CTO, new management)? Nope, you're gone. Pay rise? Lucky for 1% without threatening to leave... but other companies will add 15% for a new contract in a similar role. It's a no-brainer.

There was no sense of loyalty on either side.

The large professional network I made in the city helped enormously and heard about open positions on a weekly basis.

Now I am in a new role (outside of the Netherlands) where I genuinely hope I can stay with the company for many years and have a long career with them (with opportunities to progress internally). Their niche is something which I believe in and have a sense of pride about what they do.

Personally I consider it a yellow flag when hiring. It could be a sign that they are likely to hop to the next thing and not worth investing in, or it could just be that they are looking for the right place to settle in. I will generally ask about their experiences and what they are looking for to try to discern which camp they may be in.

As with all hiring though, this is far from perfect.

I’m more talking about less than or equal to 12 months. It takes months of investment of my company to train a new hire. At 12 months they’re likely just becoming an effective employee and the investment is starting to see returns.

Leaving early means the investment wasn’t worth it (compared to hiring someone who doesn’t job hop)

Also, I'm hired to do a job. Around 1-2 year long job. I finish it and move on to what excites me next. My best hiring/HR managers and recruiters understand this, it makes our cooperation a bliss.

As a former recruiter of 6 years... Most companies do not care. If you can do the job and pass their interview process they will make you an offer. I very rarely had anyone look down on "job hoppers" and if they did it would be when someone had 4-7 six month stints in a row. Normally those people would just say those were contract gigs and then the company wouldnt care.

In the summer of my junior year at undergrad engineering school I attended a "career accelerator" course, a week long series of lectures from entrepreneurs and practicing engineers. One gentleman working for a multinational industrial corporation said specifically he recommends people get a new job every two years. He said he was on track to become CEO of this multinational company. Sometimes a new job can be found in the organization you work already.

Which is implying there can be nothing wrong with any company and it's always the employee's fault when it doesn't work out.

A bit of a common thread I’ve noticed in the “what’s wrong with hiring” threads here and elsewhere.

Why would you list all your jobs to give that impression?

It looks like OP is a freelancer/contractor with a DevOps focus. I can imagine a profile like that with several short term lucrative contracts.

I know someone who had trouble finding a job for a couple of years after taking time off to have children. Right before covid hit she took a class on using LinkedIn to find a job. Initially she was going to wait until covid was over, but circumstances forced her to start looking right in the middle of the first covid wave. She applied what she learned from the LinkedIn class, and had a job within two weeks.

If you don't mind, could you share the name of the course ?

It was a face-to-face course, not something online. It also wasn't really something formal -- someone paid a recruiter to give a lecture on it.

Oh, bummer. Thanks for the response.

"Filtering through the crap" is a skill that many reading your post may not have. There are a ton of companies who use recruiters because they have shitty jobs. So the recruiters make the job sound much better than it is.

LinkedIn has been a huge win for job seekers and employers alike. The rest of it is quite strange largely because LinkedIn is trying to deal with users who appear for a job search, get something, go dormant for a few years, rinse & repeat.

Thanks for the emoji filtering trick, I'll consider start using it on my GitHub :)

While that seems great, it's still a recruiter enablement platform where almost all opportunities will be vampired in the bill rate or salary by commissions.

The fact that linkedin can't provide direct-to-company recruiting and opportunity research shows the platform is largely a failure.

Why would linkedIn want to do that? They'd then be losing out on a serious source of profits

The link to your LinkedIn in your HN profile is broken.

Seems like a privacy setting. Profile only visible if you're already logged into LinkedIn.

I checked and it worked ok for me? Perhaps HN didn't like the colon after LinkedIn. Thanks anyway

It seems to work now. It couldn't find an unique profile, or something like that. Probably a LinkedIn glitch.

Just checked and didn't work for me either :/

A handful of HN people have found me via the link so I don't know what is going on.

I'll ask LI to restart their computer.

"An exact match for alifay could not be found. The LinkedIn profile you’re looking for isn’t public or doesn’t exist."

Maybe only people who are connected to people already connected to you can find you, or the profile is private.

I disabled private mode now. That might explain the glitches of me not being found.

Same for me.

That's incredible! Do you have any advice for how to build a network like that?

It's fairly simple: Find people you would like to connect to, find their email address, send a request.

It helps if you have a "weak ties" connection to them, even if you don't really know them: you may be connected via someone else (in which case, asking for an introduction will almost certainly work), you may both be alumni of an org or institution, you may both have attended the same event (this works in a sort of 'missed connections' fashion), and so on.

One somewhat counterintuitive tip: you don't need to connect to a lot of hyper-connected folks, probably just one or two that are actually in your industry. Intros through indiscriminate folks like that tend to be disregarded unless there is a highly targeted ask simply because most of the folks they are connected to don't actually have an existing relationship or particular affinity with them. Similarly, so called "LinkedIn Open Networkers" that accept all incoming connection requests are also something of a red flag, unless you are actually in an industry like recruiting, marketing, or PR, where a 'reach' numbers game is a viable strategy.

Once your network starts growing, you'll start to get more incoming requests from folks trying to do the same thing you are. Don't accept the ones that don't make any sense (eg. If you are a medical software dev in the Midwest, feel free to decline that random connection request from an accountant in Azerbaijan), or you'll start to get a lot more of those (because folks who connect to lots of random folks tend to be mostly connected to others who do the exact same thing).

Absolutely reject and report requests that are outright spam. If you aren't sure, you can reply to ask what led them to try and connect with you before you make the decision to accept ignore or reject the request (saying "Hi, thanks for reaching out. I'm sorry, but I have a terrible memory, and I don't recognize your name or profile image. Did we meet at an event last year?" will work without being insulting).

It all boils down to this: if you want to have a large but high quality/relevance network, you need to be prolific but not indiscriminate in making connection requests.

This only works in tech, as it is a seller's market. The situation is very different if you're looking for a non-tech job.

Not at all. From my experience (consulting/marketing/advertising/finance), its the same in most professional fields... Job hopping can be a great way to advance your career and your salary.

I've never made a post, but I do think I've experienced some of these benefits. Then again I've also become a more attractive job candidate. Tough to separate these things

I often copy-paste names to avoid typos and to don't insult people unintentionally, so your idea about emoji-filter is not perfect :)

If you would manually copy the name you would leave out the emoji, a script won't.

That's until the behavior becomes pervasive enough that scripts start stripping emojis from names.

Are there any places that allow emoji on birth certificates?

The name has an actual emoji (a stormy cloud, the link is in his profile) in front of it, not an emoji that looks like a letter or something like that.

Thanks, I misunderstood the idea.

Past ten years or so ive gotten most of my jobs via recruiters reaching out to me on LinkedIn.

I always enjoy seeing how much the market will bear when answering them with I'm making $400k(just a number) now what is this web developer position offering? Meaning I bump my salary to see what the market will bear .. if i didnt go too high they will go higher and I boosted my salary by double or more. This trick is best though when your a junior to mid level developer ... salaries do cap out Ive noticed. But, it's always fun to see what you might be able to get.

I use to see a lot of HN readers complain about recruiters. Some are overzealous and shady like I told one recruiter i just met this girl two weeks ago at web dev Meetup who just started at same company. He hunted her down and kept leaving voicemails on her work phone & then calling the receptionist when she didnt answer him(omg lol). Another forced me to lie to owner of company they placed me at, which I very begrudgingly did(hide recruiters shady business practice). Though I sold her and her company out once she threaten to make up false stories so he wouldnt hire me full-time(he did hire me). Though out of ten years and dealing with 100 to possibly 100s of recruiters those two are outliers in my experience.

I think we're still learning how to deal with abusive relationships in the tech world. Consider this scenario:

Act 1: When I'm not paying attention, my friend says, "hey, do you mind if I go through your address book and contact all your friends and family and ask them to be my friend too? If you consent, say, 'what' or 'huh'"

Act 2: When I'm not looking, this friend goes through my address book and spams all my contacts with whatever they're selling under my name.

What would you advise me to do after that? You'd probably say, this person is not your friend by most definitions of the word, you should cut them out of your life and ask them to not contact you anymore.

To which I may say, but this friend is well connected, they might be able to get me a job in the future. (Although I've never gotten a job or even a lead through LinkedIn personally.)

What would you say to that? Probably something like, they're abusive and deceitful, whatever they have to offer, they'll probably damage your life more than they'd help you.

And that's why I closed my account and added a "delete on sight" filter for their emails.

My first experience with LinkedIn was being spammed by them, after a friend signed up with them. Asking, he had no idea why they were sending emails to me. A few years later, it came out that LinkedIn was using lots of dark patterns to trick users. With that as a first impression, I have no intention of using LinkedIn.

My first experiences were getting these because I was in the corporate address book at a big corp, and I guess people were looking for work.

At the time, Linked In wouldn't even let you opt out of mail without making an account, which is definitely never happening. (Thankfully, they eventually added a way to tell them to not contact me again, but I'm going to carry my grudge)

As mentioned by another poster, not in every area or situation (covid...) it's feasible to find jobs without LinkedIn. I kind of agree with you, however I just keep my contact list small. Probably I miss some opportunities with that but at the same time it mostly consists of people who have little interest to traverse my contacts. As soon as there's an equally well working alternative for job hunts, I'm off but I don't see that yet. I'm curious about honeypot.io etc. but I don't like the idea to put people with price tags online

I have used WeAreDevelopers for my job hunts since I prefer curation over quality. On LinkedIn anybody can post a job ad. On WeAreDevelopers you atleast know that there is a selection process behind it.

>"hey, do you mind if I go through your address book and contact all your friends and family and ask them to be my friend too? If you consent, say, 'what' or 'huh'"

At some point I spent some hours to investigate how they did it and trying to tell google (gmail) to not let Linkedin do it (again?). Not sure how much success I had. I think it is a mistake/problem of Google to allow such things.

> What would you say to that? Probably something like, they're abusive and deceitful, whatever they have to offer, they'll probably damage your life more than they'd help you.

I don't really understand how you make the jump to this part

The benefits are calculable, but the consequences of abuse are unpredictable, and if someone has crossed your boundary once, you don't know how far they will go.

With the abusive relationship example, if someone's gone as far as snoop through your phone and text your friends without your knowledge, there is no telling what they'll do next. It's common for someone who does this to also be a verbal and physical abuser, which is rarely worth sticking it out for, regardless of how well-connected they are.

With the specific LinkedIn example, they may e.g. sell your data to third parties, leak your data publicly via irresponsible data storage, and allow employees to access your data without authorization. Not to mention spamming your entire contact list with LinkedIn invitations in your name.

Is that worth it to you in exchange for some networking?

But right there is where the power of your metaphor breaks down. It is quite unusual for a website to also be a verbal and physical abuser (recent eBay cyberstalking being the incredibly rare exception).

I think the idea of a metaphor is that it is not literal, do you not agree?

I grew up with the Internet and learned to navigate fake "download" buttons, ads etc. Not to brag too much, but I don't find it hard to use LinkedIn without accidentally consenting to spam my friends. I've never accidentally spammed my contacts via LinkedIn nor ResearchGate nor Academia.edu.

If you use it right, it can be useful. LinkedIn isn't your friend, but you can use their platform for your advantage.

I use Linkedin mainly for two reasons:

1. As a digital resume which recruiters/other people can find on their own, and can contact me if they really need to.

2. As somewhat of a soft sign that I "know"/"have been accepted as a connection by" people who work(ed) in the same company/area in the past. Kind of a signal that "maybe this guy is who he says he is".

Everything else on Linkedin is treated as trash. People I connect to are manually unfollowed almost immediately. Notification settings are modified so that I don't get any emails except inmails and connection requests. I thankfully haven't seen much spam from that till date.

Here are some firefox ublock origin filters I use to make the site a lot more bearable (basically removes the feed, the "news" sections, and other things which don't directly relate to the home page or connectivity). Only bad thing about this is that your list of connections won't show up; I haven't had the time to fix that yet.









These filters are great. Thanks for posting this.

It’s bad at #1, because LinkedIn causes unauthed viewers to hit a signup/loginwall. You’re better off putting it on your own website, because then even people who don’t subscribe to Microsoft’s user-hostile bullshit can read and view it.

You mean the Microsoft haters bullshit.

Linkedin was already like that before Microsoft bought it.

That is a per-user privacy setting. You can flip your profile to public.

Recruiters don't search your own site

The good ones do. I've got friends with blogs who post twice weekly with programming examples and tutorials. You wouldn't believe the jobs they get offered unsolicited. It sorts out the chaff because most recruiters don't know about blogs or can't be bothered.

Even better.

I created a fake linkedin account a couple years ago using one of those AI face generators.

Made myself a Senior Director of Engineering at a major company with an impressive background.

I've had lots of recruiters reach out to me from most major companies and I've even had some conversations just for kicks.

The unexpected outcome... I swear doing this made me more confident.

I see so many FAANG recruiters wanting "me" to run a team that I don't even open the message because I'm decensitized. It gave me a glimpse into someone 10 years ahead of me. I've been meaning to make a compilation of my conversations.

It would only be interesting if you survived an interview round. Which obviously didn't happen.

Getting a callback based on fiction is called Salesmanship. Translating that callback into a profitable deal/gig is what separates the wheat from the chaff. So nothing to see here. Don't kid yourself that you got a glimpse into anything.

HR is just doing their job finding people with impressive backgrounds.

In my case the big tech interview was simultaneously harder and easier than I expected. As long as you are somewhat smart, I think it should be doable with enough preparation and a lot of it has to do with nerves. I made it to the committee but wasn't extended an offer. I know which two problems tanked me and it was a mixture of nerves, bad attitude by one interviewer and lack of preparation on my side. Fun experience tho.

It’s all perspective. It changed my perspective which changes confidence.

But I am at a profitable company, in a senior role. I’ve been at a handful of unicorns. I just turned down a faang 2 weeks ago after getting an offer.

Your faith in the human ability to avoid priming bias is unwavering.

It's a known phenomenon for people to gain confidence by temporarily pretending to be someone else.

For FAANG I’m not even sure it’s HR, at least as far as F and G the recruiters are semi-independent, definitely not part of HR IMHO

interestingly someone suggested similar thing in reddit/ILPT where one could create a fake but highly esteemed profile to lure recruiters and later decline for that job and refer his real friend (one behind this fake profile)... it seems to work because in corporate world referrals goes a long way!

We did this for P&G in undergrad. Friend from Cincinnati really wanted to work there - so we packed the interviews. Of 8 invites back to corporate, 7 of us were part of that group. 3 got jobs including him! He was there over 10 years.

How did you get the invites? Was this a job fair?

Yes - it was. We had to get through a few rounds to get the invites to Cinci. It was good planning and lucky execution on our part!

> I created a fake linkedin account a couple years ago using one of those AI face generators.

Created an obviously fake profile 6 months ago as part of testing something for $JOB and, if the emails are to be believed, it consistently gets more search hits than my real profile.

Please do this, I'd love to read it.

> Made myself a Senior Director of Engineering at a major company with an impressive background.

Is that even legal?

It’s the internet ....

I’d guess it’s as legal as including random big company names in the company’s front page, while promising interesting problems to solve with a culture valuing good life/work balance.

As long as there are no serious effects/money changing hand/contracts signed solely based on those, shouldn’t it be fine ?

Is it legal to lie? Obviously yes.

It depends on the platform's EULA.

no it doesn’t

Just posting false information isn't. If you actually went through with conning someone into giving you a job or some other material benefit based on false information, it would be.

EULA doesn't define legality. That's stated by the state.

Illegal how? LinkedIn is no more official than fortnight.

I don't think it's illegal because I know a lot of people are doing the same thing. Mostly from marketing sectors. I have couple of clients who makes a lot of fake profiles.

>I don't think it's illegal because I know a lot of people are doing the same thing.


It likely violates the Geneva Convention.

As long as you don't lie on the CV and the application you send in, it should be at least not illegal. Also, if you don't take a job. Would still get you fired so, I would assume. Not that OP has any of these risks, so.

How don't recruiters see through this? I mean, you need some network of friends. It seems to me that this account didn't have many connections.

I'm so glad we're finally addressing this nonsense. The LinkedIn bubble is so weird. It reminds me of those weird bird mating dances you see in nature documentaries.

LinkedIn is the only social network where it's not acceptable to question these weird posts. Only politically correct, somewhat career-related content is allowed, and only positive responses are appropriate. Everyone is inspired and blessed and productive. It's a big circlejerk.

That's not a surprise though. You're here to work on your business-oriented personal brand. If you don't need that, you have no reason to be there.

That's American culture expanding to every region. Even in Europe, now everybody is constantly excited to take on their next challenge and thrilled to announce something.

I wonder when we get to the point where you must declare you are gasping for breath from the electrifying orgasm that another day in the office of MegaCorp Inc gives you.

You nailed it. This jargon is overused and seems to be shared and accepted in nowadays tech announcements everywhere.

Just imagine for a moment Linus Torvalds using those words and applying same text structure to the kernel release announcements instead of good straightforward this: https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/CAHk-=wi-u86++np80GQvgDuARdt9xp...

This might be related to people not having English as their native language and just absorbing whatever formulations they read most. I thought about it, and in English I would say "I am really exited to share some great news", whereas the sentence I would use in French would be better translated as "please allow me to share a good news with you". So american exageration is more an addition than a replacement for my "native personality".

> Only politically correct, somewhat career-related content is allowed

That's not my experience at all. The examples cited in the article ("president Obama wasn't really black") are, in my experience, the very tip of the iceberg. I don't have to look too far in LinkedIn comments to find people posting ... pretty politically-incorrect shit. It's more the asshole-uncle variety of shit (e.g. "I don't have gay friends because gay people always hit on me", or "I couldn't work for a woman CEO, they're not cut out for it") than the facebook variety (qanon/incohate rage at $phenomenon/etc.), but there sure is a lot of it.

I mean, it's an N of 1 so take it with a grain, but LinkedIn definitely doesn't seem like a bastion of civility or professionalism to me.

lol I saw huge number of 5G or microchip conspiracist under Bill Gates post about coronavirus.

The lurkers are there, they're just not mainstream enough on LinkedIn vs their respective Facebook groups.

I’ve used LinkedIn for 15 years. Used as in looked at twice a month.

What gets me is there are at least 2 dead people in my contacts and every year the platform asks me to congratulate them for sticking around so long at one employer. The avalanche of Congrats! they receive is nauseating and speaks to the shallow nature of LI relationship.

The last 3 jobs I found, in two different countries in Europe, in the time span of 10y are due to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a great platform that gives the opportunity to look on how the market is evolving and what roles are more and more requested. It allows to find jobs and to be found.

Not everyone is in NYC, SanFra, or any other technological hub of the world, the opposite.

The majority of the people live in average cities if not villages where the opportunity to networking are rare if not absent.

Not to mention that if you want to relocate in other countries leveraging your skills, you cannot spend time joining events on the other side of the world unless you are rich.

I take LinkedIn seriously, but not as a social platform. There be dragonnes, there...

It's a business card. That's all. There are people that take it seriously. These are people I may want to work with, so I honor their commitment. I will occasionally post stuff there, and keep it up to date, but I spend most of my "social" time, right here (where I am careful in my interactions). I also tend to stay away from Facebook, and almost never tweet.

I agree. It is a really strange place. There's a term, "broetry," that was created to define the way people write those pithy posts with the single-sentence "hook." Ironically, one of the true masters of "broetry" is a woman. I see her posts all the time (whether or not I want).


People who use linkedin regularly either have an inflated self ego or are desperate to find work.

The times I use linkedin - to connect with someone who said "add me on linkedin" or when I'm searching for a job. That's it.

>People who use linkedin regularly either have an inflated self ego or are desperate to find work.

Or people who use bots to automate their networking efforts...

To echo others here, LinkedIn is responsible for my last job and a bunch of interesting opportunities. I can definitively say that it is the only social network that has made me wealthier and better off than otherwise. That's worth putting up with a lot.

That said, I talk about LI's timeline as an example of a terrible product thinking. It definitively devalues the platform. Specifically - it seems that whenever any of my several thousand contacts Like some post, it shows up in my feed - ie Like is equivalent to Share/Retweet. This is a huge problem because people don't filter themselves as much when Liking vs explicitly sharing. Thus the timeline fills up with "X liked some feel good fluff from an influencer" - stuff that X definitely did not intend to broadcast when they engaged with it.

I think this has the inverse effect on engagement. I am keen on maintaining my network and I find it valuable when LinkedIn tells me who has a new job or promotion or even just an anniversary. I would log in periodically just for that. However, that stuff is now drowned out by total nonsense.

If I had to guess, their metrics are something like "X things liked" and "Y things seen by an average user" and I guess they are doing well on those, but if the metric was more related "are we giving quality engagement to our best users - ones that recruiters are paying LinkedIn in order to be able to reach" - I think the answer would be no.

I am not an expect in consumer web/social media so there might be an angle to the game I am not getting (hard to accept that it actually is just that dumb) but I can't figure it out.

They seem to be going for pure volume of engagement. Left to its own devices, it would send you notifications for anything.

The last few times I’ve looked for a job, I’ve started on LinkedIn but always ended up speaking to recruiters about some mediocre roles and then finding something better through my actual network. LinkedIn seems to prefer to generate so much noise that I’m not sure how useful it really is.

I agree with all the criticism in the article, but people always forget the world is not the USA. You should try going to Italy and the social influence LinkedIn has it’s unparalleled whereas Twitter is just for politicians and journalists.

Just in case it wasn’t clear, I am emphasizing how BAD this is but also how forced we are to play by a specific platform’s rules.

A note: making fun of people using Skype in 2020 makes YOU out of touch with reality and not the opposite...the non Bay Area business world has just embraced teams, zoom and unfortunately also webex, and they are still complaining how NEW all this shit is for them.

I'm a mid-level software engineer/SRE. I get tons of recruiters messaging me on LinkedIn, and it's how I landed my last 2 jobs ultimately. So while I'm not a huge plan of using the platform, I can't say it's not worth having a profile on.

The main point of the post is not that LinkedIn isn’t useful, it’s that it is useful but takes advantage of your professional need to be on the service whether you want to or not that is akin to a hostage-like situation.

The hostage dynamic allows it to get away with really annoying and awful features that you put up with anyway because you have little choice.

How is it a hostage situation if I don't have to read all the nonsense, didn't know that most of their features are a thing, can restrict my notifications and only need to really use the site for a few weeks every couple of years?

You’re still creating a profile on a site where you admit is full of nonsense. You’re just saying you ignore it as best you can.

That is still a situation where you’re using something even though you realize there’s a lot of nonsense because there’s value to you. LinkedIn still takes advantage of this dynamic whether you choose to ignore it or not.

I liken it to the fact that porn sites can get away with extremely intrusive ads because people demand their service and have little alternative. Whether you try to block or ignore the ads as much as possible isn’t really the point.

> Whether you try to block or ignore the ads as much as possible isn’t really the point.

I think that it is. If you're blocking them, you're getting whatever you want from the website without the downside of the ads. If you're putting up with the ads, that's a bit closer to a hostage situation. Same with LinkedIn - as long as you're using it in a way that's okay with you, I don't see a problem.

You’re describing not just porn sites but basically the whole internet as most people experience it.

If a site doesn't add enough value for you you aren't going to put up with it.

There are certain news sites like Forbes that are so annoying that I don't deal with it.

The point is LinkedIn is in a category where you "need" it but don't necessarily want it, and that dynamic allows them to do very annoying things.

Sure a lot of websites can try to hold you hostage but, again, the question is whether they even offer something you need enough to deal with it.

I agree with you.

I was just adding that most of the internet is this way, not just porn sites.

We can say that most websites are on a spectrum of ad-driven BS and Linkedin (and porn sites) are further to one end.

So for me, the problem is less about Linkedin and more about the difficulty of building alternative business models that are sustainable.

What offering will eventually replace Linkedin and will we have to endure more or less BS?

Yep, this and sorting jobs with the “easy apply” thing enabled. Makes casual job hunting that much less of a hassle.

I keep calling LinkedId "the saddest social network".

Create an account to list yourself in a CV catalog. Add connection with people you worked with to build credibility. Otherwise only ever open it when you're looking for a job. Otherwise you're risking getting cancer from looking at all that shameless self-promotion and posturing.

I said this here before: LinkedIn has become a very sad place for me. I use it only two communicate with recruiters or other leads.

The news feed is utterly useless. Everyone else seems to be happy and excited and successful. There is no real value in most feed posts. Rather, they’re usually a variation of this:

#supergrateful and #blessed for meeting super inspiring %SomeoneImportant today #growth #entrepreneurship %hipsterstartup #nopause

I don't think I've ever even remotely thought about posting anything to the feed in LinkedIn in. I visit LinkedIn only when I have to, and I do see this kind of thing you're talking about. I always wonder... are they actually using it non-ironically as social media???

I post links to my blog entries to my LinkedIn timeline. I figured why not? I'm already doing that on Facebook, and hey, it's probably different enough from the regular content to be refreshing.

I've done it a couple of times. Once was to advertise a project where I was the lead designer, and another time to advertise a job opening that my company had.

The only thing I post is about job openings that I have on my team.

I found myself without a job a few years ago and I really needed a lifeboat. A job just sort of came to me on Linkedin with very little effort and while it wasn't the best, it was what I needed at the time.

It's worth having a Linkedin profile, but it's car crash of a social network.

This sums it up for me as well. The website itself is garbage, but I keep a profile on it just in case I need it down the road.

Having an online network of professional contacts makes sense. LinkedIn has that. But on top of that it also has unbelievable amounts of toxic profit seeking garbage which makes us abhor the thought of even logging in.

The network effect makes it almost impossible to compete with it. If anyone did manage to compete, they are likely to be sucked into recreating the same abhorrent garbage layers over time.

This is social media in a nutshell. I doubt blockchain is going to solve it, so wtf will?

I'm working on flockingbird (dot social), which is a federated professional network. No blockchain, just activitypub (mastodon, peertube, pixelfed et.al.)

The only feature is to be 'a Rolodex on steroids', or 'an adressbook in which some entries are maintained by the contacts themselves'

No social network features beyond that. We're doing our best to align the businessmodel with this. And truly believe it can carve out a niche (and slowly grow from there) without adding all the perverse attentionseeking, 'garbage layers'.

Is that naive?

If you call it flockingbird, and host it on a .social domain, I think maybe it is.

At least I wouldn’t consider it a serious professional network just based on that.

That may be incredibly shallow, but those are the only datapoints I have right now.

I guess it’s a matter of adoption though. I’d never have considered google either :)

Good points. I'm really happy with the name and domain, but if they don't emit the right vibe, they're wrong. Thanks.

Any pointers as to what puts you off? From your feedback, I get that you find the name and domain too much hinting at a social network?

Yeah, if you host it on .social, it basically tells me that:

1. You couldn’t afford/find a good/similar .com 2. It’s meant to be, well, a social network.

The name flockingbird just sounds casual to me, maybe I get an association with twitter? It doesn’t scream business network to me anyway :)

That said, I like the name flockingbird too. I would want to try it based on the name. I just wouldn’t expect what you just described.

I wanted to view your website, but the SSL certificate expired yesterday (fingerprint 01:03:F8:89:77:72:11:C2:BC:45:12:E9:EF:04:8E:21:D8:BC:77:83:81:26:B4:38:6E:9C:81:A6:4B:07:C2:70).

Thanks for the warning.

This is one of my last servers with nginx. Nginx and letsencrypt is ... cumbersome, unstable; once every few months I have to manually reboot and/or renew the certs. ugh. Time to move this one to Caddy too.

or just make a cronjob to restart nginx after you run certbot

Going offtopic here; but this is exactly the problem. There is a cronjob that restarts nginx after a certbot rerun. This makes at least three assumptions, all of which will fail at some point:

1. certbot does not need to stop nginx to renew a cert (some modes do).

2. the certbot run succeeded (all certs have been renewed, no network issues, etc) 3. all certs are written correctly so that nginx config is valid (can reach and parse the certs)

In this particular case, for some reason, one of the 7 sites hosted here had a misconfigured DNS, letsencrypt servers could not reach it, certbot failed, no nginx restart was attempted. This case falls in #1, fixable by force-reloading nginx every day after certbot run regardless of whether a cert has been renewed.

All solutions with nginx are cludges like that. Don't get me wrong: certbot/letsencrypt is miles ahead of automation before they came along (I've built en ran several hosting companies, certs automation is a disgrace), but it remains hacky, cludgy and therefore unstable and somewhat unreliable.

huh i hear ya, but really the only thing ive ran into is updating certs not taking till nginx restart, in fact im suspect certbot might restart it for you at this point. i dont doubt it drops on the floor in any intermittent outages which isn't unheard of when it runs every 3 months

Very interesting. Do you have pointers to some more reading & background on the platform you are developing?

Anyone interested can drop me a mail at ber at berk dot es for a longer version. I try to post some updates and insights on @flockingbird@fosstodon.org as well.

Not sure if this is an appropriate thread to drop this, but since you asked:

The idea is simple, though: you have a profile on which you put contact details, a list of aspirations and competences. Each such data can be kept private, shared public, or within your network. You add people to your contact list, tag them, keep notes on them or add rich oneway relations (Foo has worked for Bar, from datex to datey at Acmeinc.). Basic crm features. Again, each such data has several privacy levels.

You can search through your contacts and search through the contacts of your contacts. E.g. if you need to find a translater, but don't know any yourself, one of your contacts might know one, and might have shared some data, notes, tags and relations with that translator.

A 'network' is basically a server, instance, in fediverse-speak. An instance would be hosted by your startup-hub, coworking-space, university, etc. You register with one (or more) such instance, and become part of that community, but can add anyone from any other instance, as long as they have a public profile.

Nothing will fix social networks, everyone has their own goal and they often don't line up, so you get self promotion and bullshit.

Yeah, like their obscene in term of pricing Job Seeker fee.

Sorry, in unfamiliar. Could you elaborate, please?

Paid LinkedIn Membership Levels:

- Premium Career: $29.99/month.

- Premium Business: $59.99/month.

- Sales Navigator Professional: $79.99/month.

- Recruiter Lite: $119.99/month.

A few people have endorsed me for “time travel” on LinkedIn. A few more and I might be able to fix it for you ;)

Expert Level Time Traveller with over 25 years of experience, Specialized in travelling to one second in the future every second.

That has made my day. Thank you.

Which brings the question: is this a 0-1 thing, or can you be e.g. an expert time traveller?

How do you do that? I can only give endorsements from a pre-populated list, sadly

For me it’s “spiritual warfare”. :)

I left all the groups I was in for programming languages, server technologies, other “devops type stuff”, because they just turned useless.

People either spammed their terrible YouTube tutorials, Medium links, or job postings.

I’ve found the job searching feature useful, but nearly every day I am spammed by recruiters from companies like TCS with horrible jobs that don’t fit my skills, aren’t matched to my skill level, are 300 miles away, and none of them pay close to what I currently make.

And then my newsfeed is filled with reposted feel good stories like the old woman who wanted to withdraw money from her account and the bank forced her to use the ATM so she took her million dollars to another bank down the road.


I stopped using the groups too.

Now, I just use my profile and share my blogposts there

Yeah I mostly have a LinkedIn account just to have one. I feel like a professional social network is a bit of an oxymoron. Social networks tend to amplify unprofessional voices. "Hey guys, today I went to work and did my job" is not intriguing content.

You want to know how to make LinkedIn even worse? Retire. You might as well be dead because you are now useless to LinkedIn. How about some cool projects other retirees with your interests are working on? Nope. You're suddenly in a graveyard.

OK now I realize I need to mark myself as retired somehow

I actually retired and changed my status and it has worked perfectly - very few contacts. Superb!

My new LinkedIn job title is ‘space Marshall’, partly because my new role as a conservation volunteer sometimes involves enforcing social distancing. Also channeling Mark Watney.

I put retired in my profile as well, but didn't come up with a snappy title like space Marshall (I'll work on that.) My actual complaint is hat I expected to get sent stuff about other interesting things retirees were doing. I mean, a lot of people in the tech field retire relatively young with a lot of money and they just don't sit home watching wheel of fortune. LinkedIn is really missing the boat IMHO. I'm happy looking elsewhere, but it would be cool if LinkedIn did a smooth transitions for retirees. I wrote to the CEO about but got no response, which only heightened my feeling of being a ghost on LinkedIn LOL

Perhaps because post-retirement activities (such as volunteering for charity) are usually unpaid, so there is little if any incentive for recruiters to engage. Not sure how LinkedIn supports charity work. I'd check that out, except that it would mean logging in.

Note to self: endorse KineticLensman for space marshalling

I just added a 'Space Marshal' (only one 'l') skill in case anyone actually wants to endorse me for it.

(I'm not KineticLensman on LinkedIn but searching for the Space Marshal skill should find me - at the Hawk Conservancy Trust)

Or dead (as shown in the post above)

I can see how this would be jarring and upsetting, but I think it's ultimately the right thing for LinkedIn and its users.

I hate any feature that makes LinkedIn more social. It is a great resume hosting service, but a terrible social network. Since I have to use it for work, I'm hoping the culture on the site continues to be business-focused.

For shared interests, Twitter, reddit, and Facebook groups seem to work well. Have you had any luck with those?

I think that would follow an uncanny valley type distribution.

I think Linkedin could carve out that niche but it would require a proper effort to do so.

I'm not retired, but I run a website. I don't need to convince people to work with me. LinkedIn just highlight the most toxic aspects of growing your career.

I agree with so much of this article, and yet, when I desperately needed a job at the start of this pandemic, LinkedIn was there for me. I got more interviews than I would have thought possible at a time when most companies were going into hardcore “wait and see” mode. I ended up getting a great job.

So yeah, like for many folks, it feels like a very weird but essential place.

A lot of people talk about how LinkedIn is still ok because recruiters just flock to them and it’s easy to get a job off it, but am I the only one who gets low quality recruiter trying to fill low quality jobs? I don’t think I’ve ever been contacted remotely by anything near the FAANG level.

I do like their job board solely because it allows you to filter by both job function and company industry, but OTOH it tries to be too “smart”. Outside that the content is eyeroll inducing at best, at the article notes.

FAANGs definitely use it. They need lots and lots of candidates to fill the roles they have since their hiring process is long and selective. They all have an army of recruiters to do so and those recruiters use every possible avenue to find people.

99% of it is low level consulting crap, underpaid positions desperate because they can't keep people because underpaid, etc.

LinkedIn is for the "desperate." Companies having trouble hiring, and people having trouble getting jobs. The rest is just business card maintenance and having a presence so real recruiters know you actually exist and have that job you said at X networking event.

I've gotten a FAANG job, multiple FAANG recruiters and an investment banking job through recruiters asking me via LinkedIn. I get maybe 2 low quality recruiters, for every decent recruiter.

I used to get much worse messages from recruiters when I was junior, but since I've gotten experience and updated my profile well, the quality of messages has vastly improved.

Most of the recruiters that reach out are for crappy jobs (I know you are a senior engineering, here's an entry level QA job, do you know anyone interested).

Every so often I do get some decently sounding positions, but I've almost never seen how legitimate they are since I live in a low COL but work remotely for firms not located here, so most local areas can't match the pay.

I can almost set my calendar based on the yearly recruiters from Amazon I get reaching out, and in the past I have had some conversations (on the phone too) with Facebook recruiters (though all ultimately end up not going anywhere due to relocation requirements).

Personally, I got a FAANG job through LinkedIn messages (at least that was where it started).

People were hired before LinkedIn and they will be hired long after LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has incredible lock in though, far beyond mere network effects; they have convinced many people that you might miss out big time if you leave. In a society where the only endpoint that matters is your career and productivity as measured within it, missing an opportunity is effectively suicide. In other words, they exploit people’s tendency towards regret minimisation. Leaving is now equivalent to quitting the lottery after having bought the same numbers for the past thirty years. The kicker is that practically all the value LinkedIn provides comes from its users. LinkedIn didn’t win you a job, you did!

Probably best to give it up by not taking it up.

This is funny, but at the end it veers into the early years of coders dissing excel.

GitHub, drizzle, academic publishing and oddly twitter? These are the new resume sites ?

For a few professions, what about the rest ?

Plus LinkedIn is a great reflection of workplace reality.

LinkedIn is a critical part of my professional life. Early on, it saved my company by leading me to connect with a business opportunity that I otherwise would not have known about.

And it's become the worst user experience on the web.

The primary, and I'd say only, value it has is maintaining current contact information of professional colleagues that I've accumulated over a lifetime. I'm connected with people I first met 50 years ago (no kidding). Facebook can provide that, but after 11 years of linking, the equity in that feature alone is too great for me to abandon. Like myself, my LinkedIn contacts have grown in their professional life and now have more responsibility and more resources (VPs, CEOs, technical domain experts) that could be useful for future hiring needs and business endeavors.

On a more whimsical note, I've thought about making a bucket list item to buy coffee for everyone in my LinkedIn network after I retire. Given that they are strewn about the globe, and how many there are, it could be challenging and engaging way to spend retirement.

Still... it's the worst user experience on the web.

I don't know whether it's well-known(?), but the parody story of the dog quoted in the article seems based on a better parable:

Aspiring young monk is given the honor of joining a prestigious monastery. While traveling there, he is stopped on the road by a ragged-looking person who needs help. Monk says get out of my way, I'm important, and in a hurry to meet the head of the fancy monastery! When the monk gets to the monastery, well, you can guess that the head of the monastery was that ragged person, and that there's some remedial lesson in monk-ing.

For me LinkedIn is a bottomless pit of despair sprinkled with UX mistakes. As a professional in my field I don't have time to participate, optimise content, post my views and loose my soul in virtual networking. If I want to invest my time in writing and sharing I will make a blog post. Better ROI. Better audience filter. Better everything.

One of my favourite twitter account [1] seems to surface the worst of LinkedIn, the braggards and the false stories etc. Highly entertaining.

I deleted mine a few years ago, my most recent job did not seem to mind. My CV is hosted on my website and I'm happy to talk to people via email.

[1] https://twitter.com/StateOfLinkedIn?s=09

My experience on LinkedIn seems to be radically different from what most people experience. It might be because I quite aggressively unfollow connections if they post content I don’t want to see on LinkedIn - I.e. memes and political content.

My feed usually consists of job opportunities, business news, academic articles, tech blogs and recommendations for new data science/data engineering/ml tooling.

I have recently deleted my lindekin account for many of the reasons mentioned in the article. But what really had me saying: that's enough, was the HUGE amount of unsolicited communication I was getting. From young professionals entering hackathons and looking for guidance to the "talent acquisition" people, who just dump on you all the openings they have to see if you respond to any of it.

Hackernews is currently my social network. I use youtube to make low effort videos logging what I've been working on and HN to actually invite people to interact with things I build and get feedback. I still have an Instagram account, but I'm planning on deleting it also.

i also deleted my linkedin last month or so. the amount of recruiter spam was so much, it would take more effort to filter through that vs using a job board. 10+ years of senior contacts gone i guess but if there are trust issues about prior jobs that means i made em doubt my capabilities

i didn't had any contact to be honest. mostly people who saw one of my projects here and decided to send an invitation.

linkedin use cases:

former coworker rolodex

spamming internal recruiters to bypass portal applications

flexing on people who previously rejected you by adding them after you get a job at a way better employer

Of all the categories of social media apps I genuinely believe an entirely new professional networking app reimagined from the ground up could very easily “disrupt” a legacy app like LinkedIn. I’m honestly surprised I haven’t seen anything yet (or maybe just not paying attention).

I’m curious how many users (%) are annoyed by this. My gut feeling tells me only HN/Reddit/tech is annoyed by this, most people aren’t. Which is why we haven’t seen a competitor arise

Lots of people find LinkedIn to be silly.

LinkedIN should redefine it's connections definition. In my network I have people who 1) I know personally, close friends 2) professionally, where a friendship lasts as long as we work together 3) also people who I've seen on meetups etc., we both know we work in the same area of expertise, but never had a chance to talk 4) and people who look like we could do business together.

I think it's good thing to keep up with all of them, but it also obscures professional network for all of us.

Snowflake requires a LinkedIn profile on their careers site. Seems so weird. I made an empty one just to apply. Got rejected.

This is very common for a lot of company careers/application pages these days.

I guess it's better than those programs that try and parse your CV or resume in a pdf.

Every single one I've ever seen just shits out any old piece of text here and something else there.

There's a couple of hidden treasures in the form of satire accounts, most notably Chad Profitz: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chad-profitz-977536159/

I aggressively block LinkedIn users that post garbage, as well as connections who engage with these posts.

I find the only point of the LinkedIn feed is to serve as white-noise for your brain when you need to recharge.

I deleted my linkedin account. Still employed, no problem in finding new jobs. LinkedIn had negative value for me, took my time and attention and gave nothing back.


Download this extension:


It allows you to unfollow all your connections/companies in one click. Don't spend unnecessary time on LinkedIn reading rubbish.

When I login now there's just two adverts on my newsfeed and nothing else.

LinkedIn is fine provided you follow some very simple rules.

1) never use the social features like the timeline. Don’t post things, don’t comment on things. It’s just a bad Facebook for people with ties trying to become workfluencers. People who think that by promoting their employers blog post they’ll rise in the ranks (and they probably will but I don’t want any part of that charade).

2) Only only ever connect with people you work or worked with. Never recruiters. Recruiters want to build a huge network of random people, and it ruins the fundamental idea where I can see if I actually have someone with a work relationship at a company.

3) Don’t reply to messages from people not in your network. Either connect with them (if not recruiters) or ignore. Do not say “no thanks” or “not interested”.

4) Disable all mail notification. You likely get enough email.

Using it like this, I find it’s a pretty simple way to keep track of where my past colleagues are, without being spammed by recruiters or having to wade through message spam in LinkedIn. I check in a few times per year to see what old friends are up to.

I changed my employer's name to something like Random Large Company as people were scraping the company name and generating emails to my internal company email in order to spam me. But I still get emails anyway as some people scraped it before I changed it and clearly sold the info to other people.

Good idea: “don’t use your primary email for LinkedIn at all” should also be on the list

Using LinkedIn for social networking? It's basically Facebook in a suit, i.e. _filtered_ trash.

Using LinkedIn Jobs for finding a new opportunity? It's slightly better than Indeed et. al., at least in my experience.

Using LinkedIn to network with interesting people and potentially engage in new opportunities with them? It's amazing.

Using LinkedIn Recruiter? Nothing else compares.

That's basically how I see LinkedIn.

Unfortunately, I find that many companies, especially in engineering it seems, require a linkedin account to apply for internships. Honestly, I don't really mind having it, probably because I don't get much spam.

On the other hand, having a linkedin doesn't seem to be helping me get a job, but that may just be confirmation bias.

There's a lot of hate on LinkedIn here, sorry to say I find it a highly useful tool and it appears to be the defacto way most companies hire so embrace the monster or some other pithy phrase but you get the idea

But the point of this post isn’t that LinkedIn isn’t useful, it’s that it does have value but at the same time takes advantage of your need for their service in a hostage-like way by using lots of dark patterns and psychological tricks to get you to do things like pay for it and put up with being stalked by unsavory people (particularly if you’re female).

It’s a story about how a useful service that is difficult to quit for professional reasons takes full advantage of that dynamic to get away with doing really annoying or awful things.

What? It’s just an online CV which has got me all of my jobs except my very first one. There are no dark patterns if you only engage with it as that.

I'm not talking about whether you individually choose to ignore the bad parts. I'm saying that LinkedIn takes advantage of your need to be on their site whether you actually want to or not to introduce some very annoying features that they know will not churn you because, again, you "need" to be on it.

The fact that certain individuals are more deft at ignoring or blocking or turning off the annoying parts of the service does not change the dynamic at all.

There are many features that make LinkedIn a good tool for professional networking, but as a social media platform LinkedIn has a hugely problematic culture - far worse than Twitter.

While I think LinkedIn’s issues are best understood as symptoms of larger issues in corporate / middle-class culture, the article is on-point.

I deleted my account when it stopped allowing me to update anything in my profile without providing a city.

I appended "(Remote Only)" to my first name, just to amuse myself.

I now receive continuous emails "Hi Steve (Remote Only) Jones, I have this open position in Omaha .."

Neat little trick is to put emoji in front of your name. Automated tools refer to you as "Hi <emoji>", making them easy to ignore.

LinkedIn was invaluable in finding a (new tech company non programming) job.

OTOH, I do the kind of work you don't do fizzbuzz tests for in an interview, and soft skills are a larger part of my job.

Amazing how many problems can still be solved, even today, by not typing a URL into your browser.

IMO LinkedIn provides decent value as an address book for business contacts and as a way for people (recruiters, investors, potential partners) to find you and get in touch with you as a "semi warm" introduction via mutual contacts.

None of this requires the timeline feed. But as long as you ignore the inspirational posts and pictures of wolfs walking in a line, it provides easy networking for people with little natural propensity to do so (like myself)

I didn't like LinkedIn a few years ago.

Like the article says, it's a cesspool of bad recruiters and bussiness bullshit combined with a social network that doesn't know how social networks should work.

But now it's okay.

I don't get recruiter messages anymore, my last two projects I got via CEOs that contacted me via LinkedIn.

I cleaned up notifications, now I only get then when someone wrote me.

Added an emoji to the beginning of my name, so now I see who sends me automated bullshit.

The LinkedIn feed is a holding pen for our world’s overproduction of bootlicking elites.

There's a twitter feed, @StateOfLinkedin, that links to the most hilarious examples of LinkedIn culture. It's like ngate but for LinkedIn.

They made famous the "A new day begins" LinkedIn post...


> https://twitter.com/StateOfLinkedIn/status/10982208809147719...

Thank you for this ... Incredible 'suit joke'

Linkedin is as good as the network you have. Obviously nowadays is hard to be that selective with the people you add, but you can be with the people you follow.

I use LinkedIn for 2 things mainly: 1) to build reputation, sharing articles I find interesting about my broad area of expertise and fostering some discussions. These articles are not set to create maximum engagement, because I care about my direct network creating a certain view of my experience based on diacussions with me.

2) to recruit. I use it actively to search for key profiles (lots of devs) for my team. As my big corporate HR department is very ineffective, I take my time to search for interesting candidates and send them to be contacted by HR for some straightforward filtering (interested in the position, salary, etc). For more senior positions, I contact the potential candidates myself (to avoid HR screwups). It is a very efficient tool for recruiting IMHO.

So, if you don't like LinkedIn just build your profile and keep track of the inmail for contacts, as people will use it more and more to reach out to you.

One nice thing about recently joining LinkedIn is to reconnect with colleagues from many years ago, but without getting sucked into one of the more-infamous social media sites, where people seem to need to have a presence, if they are to exist in other people's minds.

Though I will say that finally getting an HN account was a gateway drug to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn seems to be populated mostly with people looking to impress other people on LinkedIn. Problem is the only people truly active are those trying to impress others and the people all these folks are trying to impress aren’t there (apart from logging in once a year to update their current position or profile.)

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