Benedict Evans:

LinkedIn fails to hit absolutely basic product features that should have been in there 5 years ago, both on mobile and desktop. Instead, the core features get buried under successive layers of mediocre non-core products, the latest being a flood of me-too news aggregation that’s creeping through the product like ivy, and none of which can be properly configured, let alone turned off.

Evans’ criticisms of LinkedIn as a product are spot on. The problem is, the incentives are in the wrong direction. The company makes money off recruiters paying for premium accounts to contact you, not to help you find a job. I realized that switch when I stopped getting the “Upgrade to a premium account!” emails.

Ben Thompson elaborated on the jobs to be done of LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is the poster child for value chains: the jobs you pay LinkedIn to do work very well, and the stuff you get for free doesn’t.

His advice is very apt:

For too many years, I fell into the LinkedIn/resume trap, but after starting stratechery, I’ve received more offers for better positions with more interesting companies worth more money than I ever did on LinkedIn.

I’ve found the same to be true. Writing this blog for several years now has led me to connect with more interesting people and gotten me more jobs than I’ve ever been offered from recruiters spamming me on LinkedIn. If you invest in doing a great job and owning your online presence, it says a lot more than just updating your LinkedIn resume every couple of years when you change a job.

I guarantee the quality of opportunities will be much better as well. Any company that is turning to recruitment firms is having it’s own issues attracting great talent. There’s probably a reason why they can’t hire on their own1. The best firms never post a job listing.

  1. I will admit there are gold nuggets out there, but they are few and far between. []