Making a LinkedIn has become more or less a prerequisite for postgrads with hopes of finding one of those “entry level” jobs that typically require 3-5 years of experience, a masters degree, and fluency in several languages, preferably. Like many of you, I walked across the stage at graduation with mixed feelings, pleasantly surprised that I managed to graduate within five years, but absolutely clueless towards the next steps to take when it came to actually finding a job. Growing up, my grandfather always taught me that “It’s not just about the grades you make, but the hands you shake,” which of course, could not be more true.
Based off the advice of family and friends, making a LinkedIn profile was a natural way to market myself through various connections, eventually leading me to my current job through a friend of a friend. While LinkedIn is of course a great way to network and make yourself look far more important than you actually are, it is also home to some of the most unique “young professionals” I’ve had the privilege of coming across on any form of social media.
The Title Inflator
This one’s a classic. We’ve all seen those peers of ours who manage to turn their title of an Assistant Manager at Subway into “Sandwich Artist Consulting Professional” as they hope to move onto greener pastures, ideally with less hair nets and mystery meat. These title inflating geniuses are generally the kids who peaked in high school, often named “Brad” or “Jessie,” they search for a way to turn that fancy Associates Degree into a job that can buy some fresh new kicks or some stylish rims for their ’98 Toyota Camry.
The Over Achiever
Remember Trent from freshman year English? The kid with the comb over, who also wore a freshly pressed button down and slacks to class each day? I’m pretty sure he was also the one who carried the team on that group project you neglected in favor of Happy Hour and “Margaritaville” themed fraternity socials. It turns out this one time square is now dominating in the “real world” as he takes off on a two week ski trip in the Swiss Alps before starting his new job as an Investment Banker in New York. Just when you were feeling confident from that 4 percent raise that now permits you to buy guacamole at Chipotle without over drafting your checking account, this over achieving bastard has to pop up in his freshly minted headshot to make everybody else look bad. Damn you, Trent.
While this guy generally spends most of his time lurking Spring Break albums on Facebook, he too has made the pilgrimage over to LinkedIn in hopes of finding meaningful work through his limited connections from that unpaid internship two summers ago. While most of us have that semi-professional looking head shot or borderline drunken picture from a wedding, this goober is rocking the selfie in his old flannel shirt and beanie, presumably taken in his parent’s basement in between episodes of Entourage. You may not be connected with this clueless soul, but you’ll still be receiving notifications that he’s viewed your profile six times in the last month.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good endorsement on LinkedIn. Kind words from the right people, especially an old boss or coworker, can go a very long way. As a matter of fact, Martha from accounting endorsed me for “Time Management” just the other day, which we both know is complete bullshit, but I appreciate her well intentioned efforts regardless. The type of person I’m referring to here is the old acquaintance you haven’t talked to in years, but endorses you for bullshit “skills” such as “Microsoft Word” or “Event Planning.” The ability to use Microsoft Word isn’t a skill in the 21st century, it’s a damn expectation. An old classmate endorsed me for “Event Planning” this past week when they know damn well I haven’t planned a single event since that toga party sophomore year (which I will admit was a success). These types of people are usually endorsing you for random bullshit hoping that you’ll return the favor, complimenting them on that “Public Speaking” skill they have listed, though you know they can barely hold a conversation as it is. Get out of here.
This self-righteous asshole. I’ll be the first person to click on an “Advice to Millennials” piece from Mark Cuban or words of financial wisdom from Dave Ramsey, but I’ll be damned when some guy named Pete with the title of “Supply Chain Specialist” is posting his writings on topics such as leadership or networking. Sometimes when I get the notification of a connection posting a cliché inspirational quote or their own personal ramblings, I get that same feeling of rage from the various political arguments and cultural clashes littering the zoo that is my Facebook newsfeed. Keep this nonsense off LinkedIn, Gandhi.
The Family Member
I love my family, but I don’t enjoy interacting them on social media. While this is generally a bigger issue on Facebook, that awkward and embarrassing Aunt of yours has made it on to LinkedIn too, despite her being retired and living in the sticks of Kentucky. New job? “Congrats honey, I’m so proud of you!” You’ve got a new skill added to your LinkedIn that Aunt Gretchen has never observed? “Endorsed!” This kind of bullshit may be tolerated on other forms of social media to make Thanksgiving dinner a bit less awkward, but nobody’s trying to look like a Momma’s Boy on LinkedIn.
The King/Queen of Power Moves
Of the various jackasses that grace my LinkedIn, I find these to be the most entertaining, if nothing else. Some of us (myself included), actually take LinkedIn somewhat seriously, assuming that at some point employers will use the provided information in the hiring process. Then you’ve got folks like my old college buddy, Greg. This son of a bitch is a real life Todd Packer from The Office and is out to make everyone look like an incompetent jackass. A mutual friends of ours recently landed a new gig as a Financial Analyst to which Greg responded “Did you lie on your resume?” He’s also the first to leave a sexually suggestive comment when a female connection changes her profile picture to something more professional, a real power move. Avoid people like Greg, they are to LinkedIn as Donald Trump is to politics: pure troll.
We all have a habit of getting the sketchy messages from a generally attractive recruiter that thinks you could be a “perfect fit for a great opportunity.” This sketchy head hunter from South Beach has a habit of finding “jobs” that generally have absolutely nothing to do with your current line of work, and seems to have a countless number of additional colleagues who are also selflessly looking out for your current employment situation. Just don’t give them your Social Security number, for Pete’s sake.
The Job Jumper
Despite my distaste for the boastful over achievers of this world, I still appreciate seeing the updates of my friends’ professional lives as they move on to bigger and better things. That being said, we all have that one LinkedIn connection who is changing their job or even career every other week. These are generally not the people you want to be networking with because well, if they’re only staying at their job for an average of six weeks, then they probably suck at everything they’ve tried or will continue to try. Steer clear friends, head for open waters..
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