So I am actually fairly happily self-employed (graphic designer, art director, social media manager, and sometimes photographer). Besides wearing far too many hats in my current position, I'm doing decently well. I get to make the "big calls" in my work and make my own schedule, which is very nice.

Despite not being in the market for a job, I have an "ok" LinkedIn profile because I signed up when it was a new service, and have kept it a modicum of updated over the years. It's not spectacular, but it could stand in for a resume pretty well. I have it in part because I've had it a long time, and in other part because I feel lame opting out of it when I've recommended it as a service to others (in the past).

But the only thing LinkedIn has ever gotten me, really, is a couple of emails from a recruiter that went nowhere over a year ago and inside knowledge on which of my old college acquaintances are silently watching me from an internet away. Frankly, I'm a little grossed out by the service at this point. I understand โ€” and promote โ€” the idea of "selling yourself" to get work you want, but damn... LinkedIn is such a crisis center for self-involved media evangelists I just CAN'T EVEN.

As a person who makes a disproportionate amount of her cash flow in social media, despite never wanting to work in social media, I am so freaking tired of social media people telling everyone else how to best use social media. And by "best use" I mean, use like a professional social media person. Yesterday I read an article by some dude claiming that if a person's "endorsements" (see image of his spank-worthy full roster) aren't filled out completely they're doing it wrong. And begging for endorsements is better than having only a few.

People, your LinkedIn profile endorsements are not worth prostrating yourself on Twitter. Your dignity is not worth a little meaningless square that the LinkedIn team developed to "encourage interaction" (read:increase user activity and thereby increase user dependence). First because it just isn't, and second because if you spend two minutes thinking about "endorsements," you know they are at least 95% bullshit. If you can get them full because you have a lot of willing Twitter followers, or because you are good at trading them with your LinkedIn connections, then what are they worth to a potential client or employer?*

Advertisement

Admittedly this dude who pissed me off with his dumb article is sort of an outlier. Most major people I know agree that LinkedIn endorsements are dumb. But I believe that, besides being stupid, they're also indicative of the social media + job culture. Personal branding, yadda yadda, all that jazz. And this kind of an article, where a social media person tells all Teh Noobs that they're doing it wrong has become a trope.

So, Hive Mind, what say you? Has anyone here ever gotten anything good from LinkedIn, or should we all flounce and call it a day?

*All generic "people," it was just easier to write this bit in second person.