I have been using LinkedIn since 2005 and am a huge fan of the platform. It is a great way to keep in touch with all the folks in your professional world. And obviously, as we all can see, majority of the professional world thinks so as well. I do see some signs of trouble though.
(A) Ego war about “Connections”
I notice that a lot of folks have changed their profile names to “John Smith (3000+ connections)” Etc. As far as I am aware, LinkedIn focuses on the quality of the connections (E.g. Do you really know that person?) as opposed to a numbers game, and does not allow connections count to show up above 500. It just says “500+” if that is the case.
I even noticed one guy with profile name suggesting “10000+ connections”!!! Either he is some super-human with super-human memory and super-human networking skills or he is just one good ol’ LinkedIn Spammer who spams folks galore with Connection Requests and “hope for the best”. If someone asks him to recollect and talk about these 10000+ connections (which is what he claims), the facts will come out 🙂
I have a simple rule with these Spammers. I send their requests to the ideal place where they belong, which is either be tagged as Spam or be deleted and be 100% ignored.
With all kinds of shady elements lurking online, one cannot be too careful.
(B) Lowest-quality Recruiters and Consultants
These are folks who have barely passed out of college and pose as “Specialists”, “VP”, “Account Manager” Etc. Pretty much the only skill they have as a Recruiter is to search online for keywords. For E.g. If a Company approaches them seeking candidates who fit the key words “ASIC”, “Design” and “Networking”, they have enough skills to type those keywords in some Search Engine and search for hits. The fact that they barely understand what these words mean or anything beyond those words, is lost on them.
In my case, requests from such “Experts” are also doomed to be reported as Spam or be deleted as soon as they comes in.
I notice that these problems are much more prevalent in India than in the Western World.
I hope LinkedIn really goes after these two issues and continue to make the platform a worthwhile and enjoyable experience for all the skilled and legitimate professionals out there.