Why I’m closing my LinkedIn account and you should too

  • I cannot change my username, even if I have changed the name in my profile — so I would be deadnaming myself by keeping the account open.
  • An extreme amount of noise being generated via email messages and phone notifications.
  • Pre-generated and unpersonal communications.
  • My LinkedIn contacts list was generally composed of former coworkers, many of which I can’t even remember the names of if I met them out in the street.
  • The rest are “entrepreneurs” and tech recruiters who have never gotten me anywhere.

My ultimate decision of closing my LinkedIn profile had to do with how I cannot change my username to reflect my name, essentially being forced to deadname myself on a platform that is supposed to be professional.

However, LinkedIn has been a thorn in my eye for a very long time. And as Dylan Moran said about Germany, it is a toilet — a truly dreadful place.

As far as I know, LinkedIn is supposed to be among other things a platform for those looking to connect to professionals in their field, get access to job postings and referrals.

However, it’s none of that.

On recruiters and automated messaging

LinkedIn is a platform filled with vulturous tech recruiters and automated messages about the work anniversary of someone you wouldn’t even greet out in the streets anymore, offering you to send them a pre-suggested message — and really not much social media activity beyond that.

There was a terrible sitcom that was broadcast back in the late 80’s and had a robotic character called the “Automated Visitor”. A humanoid robot walking between hospital rooms, loudly greeting patients in a robotically happy voice. That’s how I experience LinkedIn.

My messages are generally spam from some junior recruiters over in the UK trying to look for Java developers. (Hint: I’m not a Java developer.) The non-spammy recruiters who actually do have interesting opportunities then end up not being able to get me hired due to their absolute technical ignorance.

I have been more successful myself with approaching companies directly or via references, and not via LinkedIn.

Why keep touch with your old coworkers?

Like really.

How many people will you work with throughout your life and how many of those will even remember you a couple of years later?

How many did you consider allies and friends without keeping in touch with them on other platforms than LinkedIn?

Your LinkedIn profile is a waste of time and effort

I have done my best for about a decade to groom and maintain my LinkedIn account in parallel with the resume I keep as a separate PDF document. I’ve interacted with people, posted status updates etc, but somehow, I have been much more successful on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook when it comes to getting freelance gigs and successful job offers in the past.

I was underemployed for more than a year while trying to depend on platforms such as LinkedIn and Honeypot. A good LinkedIn profile and being active and able to respond to messages did not help.

If I could measure the time and effort spent on platforms like LinkedIn versus the success rate (we can call it return of investment) of using other platforms such as my blogs, my website, emails and other social media profiles — it is futile at best.

I cannot see the value of connecting to people in my field via LinkedIn. If you meet someone through work, at a meetup or at a conference and intend to stay in touch, then the best way to do that would perhaps to send them an email if you want to be formal or just follow them on Twitter or collaborate with them on projects at Github.

2 thoughts on “Why I’m closing my LinkedIn account and you should too

  1. I initially thought that my LinkedIn profile would be central to my efforts to find work before I joined Automattic. As much as many people swear by LinkedIn, I really didn’t find it all that useful. I would up creating a professional portfolio site that I included on my CV, instead.

    Liked by 2 people

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