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My LinkedIn pet peeves

January 12, 2015

crumpled paper

Photo: Aaron Jacobs (CC)

I can’t believe I’ve been on LinkedIn for 10 years. It’s a great tool, but one that could be so much better.

We’ve all seen a lot of changes on Facebook and Twitter, some good, some terrible. Many of those new features and formats came about because of competition from other social networks.

But no real competitor has challenged LinkedIn. Which is a shame, because competition makes for better products and services.

As someone who uses LinkedIn on a daily basis, let me share my Top Two pet peeves about the service. They’re both excuses I hear often from other users.

The first excuse is one I hear from friends. I’ll reach out to them through LinkedIn messaging to ask a question or wish them a “Happy Birthday.” Weeks or months later, they’ll respond with an apologetic “I hardly ever log in to LinkedIn.”

This is an easy problem to fix: Make sure notifications are going to your current email address. Often, users will have them sent to their work email, but then forget to update it when they change companies.

1. In LinkedIn, go to your tiny avatar in the upper right and click “Privacy & Settings – Manage” in the drop-down menu.

LinkedIn profile 1

2. Click “Change/Add” next to “Primary Email.”

LinkedIn profile 2

3. If you’re getting too many notifications (a common refrain), click the “Communications” tab and then “Select the types of messages you’re willing to receive.”

The second excuse is one I hear from strangers. I receive invitations to connect all the time. I don’t often recognize the senders — sorry, guy who sat in my talk in the last row 4 years ago — so I always send a challenge: “Where do I know you from?” or “Have we had the chance to meet in person?”

Very often, the reply is “Sorry, I accidentally invited everyone.”

I ain’t buying it. I’ve never used a social network, email program or online service that wormed its way into my address book and spammed hundreds of my friends and associates without my permission.

Maybe LinkedIn is at fault for designing a cunning interface. But it’s a losing strategy in the end, making new users look bad and chasing away veteran users receiving too many false invites.

Make your time on LinkedIn count. Use it with purpose, and contact me with questions.

Even if we don’t know each other,
you can still follow me on LinkedIn …

Follow Me on LinkedIn

P.S. Share your LinkedIn pet peeves in the comments.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Arlee Bird permalink
    January 12, 2015 9:57 am

    I have no idea where my invites come from when they are from strangers. My blog or Twitter account maybe? I’m pretty sure that LinkedIn does have some kind of interface that does go to email accounts because I accidentally clicked one of their invite notifications once and requests went out to everyone in my email. I picked up some old classmates through that snafu and the ones who didn’t respond now regularly show up on LinkedIn messages asking if I want to invite them. This includes instructors from college classes I took a few years back whose emails remain in my address book.

    I find the personal messages like Happy Birthdays and Christmas cards to be rather annoying and something that should be the domain of sites like FaceBook. I rarely open any of these LinkedIn greetings as they are almost always from someone I don’t know at all or at least not well.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    • January 12, 2015 11:06 am

      I guess I won’t wish you a Happy Birthday on LinkedIn then. I send personal greetings to LinkedIn connections all the time for a couple of reasons: 1. I’m not connected to them on Facebook. 2. I connect with people I do know on LinkedIn.

      Thanks for your comment, Lee.

  2. binki permalink
    April 22, 2015 11:08 pm

    In response to #3, I feel a victim myself. I was looking through my notifications on the iOS linkedin app and then a ~“do you want to see suggested connections?” box popped up inside the app. I tapped “continue” and it came up with a screen like http://imgur.com/RMUGMzB . I shifted my thumb which was near the home button on my iOS device and, suddenly, linkedin’s app popped up a message on screen confirming that I had sent connection invitations to 44 contacts. No confirmation that I wanted to annoy a lot of people I probably don’t know. And, more to my own chagrin, I’m not really sure there’s a way for me to cancel all 44 invites I accidentally sent. I’m going to have to watch linkedin for notifications that “Person X has accepted your invitation!” and then disconnect form them manually…

    What a pain.

    • binki permalink
      April 22, 2015 11:32 pm

      s/#3/#2/ s/form\ them/from\ them/

    • April 24, 2015 9:16 pm

      I hadn’t tried it on the mobile app — good point.

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