LinkedIn endorsements are dumb. Here’s the data.
Aline Lerner

Thanks for the great article, Aline!

I’m not sure why Medium resurfaced this to me (I had already read it), but since my last reading I had an interesting conversation that really illuminated something for me. I was talking to some high school students that I work with at a local Girls Who Code chapter, and we somehow got onto the subject of LinkedIn. For some reason, I felt the need (perhaps regrettably) to tell them that I didn’t think that they would ever really have a *need* for a LinkedIn profile if they went into a development/infra/design role, and that realistically it would actually be a burden to have a profile, let alone maintain it.

I gave them a few reasons why LinkedIn is pretty much useless, including that particularly in technology roles, there are much better portfolio and personality signals through things like Github/Dribble and Twitter. They then asked me something along the lines of “Well doesn’t it help you get jobs? Don’t recruiters reach out?”. That’s when something that I had been mulling since I first read this article crystalized.

I have had maybe 3 even marginally successful or compelling end-game conversations about positions that originated through LinkedIn. The vast majority are, as you detailed, noise. Recruiters reaching out about positions that are completely irrelevant to my skill-set, experience level, geographic location, etc. I pointed out to them that on top of that, recruiters are rarely willing to share details about their positions over InMail/Email (don’t get me started on InMail), which means having to schedule a 30 minute call in the middle of your workday.

No one in these interactions is dishonest in my opinion. The LinkedIn team wants to build a great product that solves a (as you pointed out) difficult problem. Recruiters want to place solid individuals into roles that they are well fit for. Candidates want to hear about every position that interests them. Everyone wants this with as little friction as possible. I also think that neither player in these interactions is getting what they want out of the platform as it currently stands, unless you’re purely counting metrics. I think that unless a few major changes are made to LinkedIn, the new wave of technical folks entering the job market simply won’t be on it.

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