Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pointless ego-shine: The LinkedIn 'Top 5%' email

LinkedIn Logo

I, like many other people this past week, received an email from LinkedIn telling me that I was one of the ‘top 5%’ most-viewed users on LinkedIn.

Wow! That’s brilliant, isn’t it? Since being identified as one of this top five percent of viewed profiles, I’ve been inundated - literally inundated - with job offers and opportunities from some of the biggest brands, startups and charities in the world. I’ve been offered a place on the board of Facebook, given the opportunity to be the majority shareholder in Google, and been offered the role of mentor on the next series of the X-Factor over here in the UK. I've even got my own unicorn now, delivered personally by Adam Ant and Morrissey.

I feel like I’m a member of an exclusive club - one which may not entitle me to free Nandos, or a cookie with my Subway, but one where at the very least, I can claim to be one of the top TEN MILLION people on LinkedIn.

Tremble before me,  minions, as I wield my trusty resume sabre of doom, and bring it down upon you with great vengeance. Tremble at my fragile credibility! RAAAAAARRRRRR!


Kidding...
Seriously - this is one of the poorest emails I’ve ever received from a company. Talk about flimsy marketing.

Here’s an idea for people: rather than tweeting out a fairly insignificant stat about being one of the top viewed profiles on LinkedIn, you start using it to network, market yourself and put yourself in the best position possible to find a new challenge on there?

Being one of ten million doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd. I don’t count any number that large as rarified company.

Concentrate on YOU - what do you want to get out of LinkedIn? An ego-shining? Then go for it, share that worthless five-percent stat.

Here’s what I want to get out of LinkedIn:

  1. I apply for a role, including a link to my LinkedIn profile in the covering letter.
  2. Hiring manager looks at my details, wants to check if I have any recommendations (NOT box-ticking endorsements - actual statements people have taken the time to write).
  3. Hiring manager looks at my profile, realises that I am the real deal, and a good match for the role (I hope), proceeds to contact me for an interview.
  4. I get the job by impressing with my mad skills (as Jesse Pinkman would say).

That’s it. That’s what I focus on with LinkedIn. Everything I do on there is to build networking connections, talk to like-minded professionals, to find out more about the industry I work in, and to help find new work.

I don’t care about being in a percentile. I care about having a useful profile, highlighting my skills, and finding new opportunities to work and connect. If one person looks at my profile, and offers me a role in part because of it, then that’s worth more than being part of a 10 million-strong backslapping brigade.

LinkedIn: please don’t send an email like this again. It’s annoying, it’s spam, and it’s just pure, brazen clickbait.

I thought you were above this. Clearly not.