LinkedIn – The social network that seems to run on autopilot. To this day I don’t really understand the allure of LinkedIn outside of looking for a job, yet every few days I’ll see a post about LinkedIn and why you should be using it. Yet for all the posts on the proper ways to make the most of the network, I never care that much to use it and when I think about it, there are a few reasons why.
This is probably the biggest hindrance to using LinkedIn. It comes off as a place where you have to put your best foot forward and that foot better land in the right place every time. Unlike Instagram, Twitter, Snap, etc. you don’t have much room for experimentation or error. Each post better put you in the best light, or you will lose some social capital. This even goes for anything that you post in your field of expertise. I use LinkedIn as a resume page, and that’s it. And I know, by using it only for this purpose I’m limiting my potential to those that follow.
LinkedIn is designed to be corporate, and it shows. The design feels less like a place I want to share and more like the dreaded waiting room before an interview. There’s no room for me to express any creativity on my profile. Unlike Instagram or Facebook, there’s no way for me to add header images or rows of images from work or abroad. I have the small picture and the summary page. And because I’m not allowed to make any mistakes, I don’t feel comfortable posting any picture outside of the safest headshot I can find. Not that I was going to post a picture of me drunk in the club, but I have some with family and friends that I would like to have to represent me, but I can’t. But more importantly, what if I want to post a portfolio of work? With the current layout, it’s likely that it would be overlooked as just another spot on the digital resume and not a place where people should take time to review.
Followers for No Reason
Every social network has followers, it’s how the platform grows in popularity and use. But unlike other networks where I follow people based on a love for their content, with LinkedIn I have no idea why I’m following people or why they want to follow me. I don’t know about you, but I hardly talk business to complete strangers, and that’s what I usually get. A bunch of people I’ve never met adding me to their friend’s list. And for what? Again, the site isn’t designed for me to create some open dialogue about some random topic or some type of work that they have posted to their profile. Instead, conversations have to be about work, and if ain’t about work, it ain’t about nothing. It’s a weird place because some of the people I actually want to reach out to, but without much of an anchor in the way of the content they post, I find myself coming up short. It seems like everyone follows everyone for the one moment you can send the awkward email asking them to introduce you to someone or sell them on something.
As much as I would like to put time into LinkedIn, it’s just another social network that I have to maintain but more importantly, put an effort in. It’s not a place where I can launch random thoughts into the atmosphere like Twitter, or post a variety of pictures like I could on Instagram. No, with LinkedIn it has to be perfect because, in a place where your potential job is actually on the line, the wrong post can cause more damage than a few bad comments.