Is LinkedIn Completely Useless?

May 31st, 2012 | by Jason Alba |

I saw a thread on the Etsy discussion board asking about LinkedIn.  One of the comments was:

“I’m on, but barely …. I find it completely useless.”

Understanding what Etsy is, LinkedIn might not be the right place for them.

But let’s go up 30,000 feet and talk about how LinkedIn can be useful.

Imagine I come to your house and give you a special tool.  Let’s say it’s like a special hammer.  One end of the head can pound things, and the other end of the head can be used as a lever to move and remove things.

It’s a powerful tool.  With this type of tool people have built things big and small.  They’ve built shelves.  They’ve built playhouses, boxes, sheds, and even houses.

This tool is versatile and powerful.

You are excited, although maybe a little hesitant, and you accept the tool as a gift.

You promptly put it in your garage and leave it there for a while.

I come back in three years to see what you’ve done with the tool and you say you’ve done nothing, and it really hasn’t done anything for you…

This is what I’m hearing about LinkedIn from a lot of people.  As the quote above says, they are barely using it (nothing proactive), or they are barely there (a weak profile).  And they say it is useless, or it doesn’t work.

Well, it won’t work for you unless you know how to use it.  Just like the hammer, you might be able to pound some nails, but without skills, practice, training and a vision/purpose you won’t be able to build a house with the hammer.

LinkedIn is useless if you don’t use it, and hone your skills, and practice, and get some education/training.

If you do use it, though, it can be an amazing tool that leads to a richer career, more and better professional relationships, more clients, more security.

How are you treating it?  As a craftsman would, or is it sitting idle in your garage?


  1. 6 Responses to “Is LinkedIn Completely Useless?”

  2. By @rombeautc on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    I use it everyday, not like a hammer for sure, but as a precious tool. If you speak little french, just have a look on this infographic I did, LinkedIn appreciated it ;) . To make people understand how good is a tool, a little image gives more than anything else. (the link: )

  3. By Fred Dempster on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    Outcomes – LinkedIn gives you tangible outcomes if you are engaged, professional, and social-smart.

    Facebook gives you nothing…

    My first question back is the same – “Are you using LinkedIn or just signed up?”

  4. By Thomas Kenny on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    Excellent perspective!

    I find the value you get out of it is based on the value you put into it.

  5. By Stephanie Sherrod on Jun 6, 2012 | Reply

    Linkedin is like going to a party. The people who
    circulate and meet others have a great time. The
    ones who sit in the corner say it was boring.
    How is it two people can go to the same party and
    have a different experience? Linkedin will give you exactly what you put into i.

  6. By Brian on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    I’ve been pondering why I still have a LinkedIn account. Being a college student who will soon be out in the professional world (hopefully), I’m all for using whatever tool that’s out there that could help with that. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out why LinkedIn seems to be the go-to professional network. I was told to find some groups to join. I joined several seemingly professional groups, but they ended up being filled with spam and people trying to sell things. Beyond groups, I don’t see anything else about LinkedIn that could be proven useful to people like me (or anyone else for that matter). I’ve tried to get myself to understand it, but I just can’t…

  7. By Frank on Mar 15, 2013 | Reply

    Get with the program you lot. This “networking” site you speak of is utterly useless aside from massaging “business” peoples’ egos, and giving the recruitment and marketing spammers a field day.

    It becomes more insincere by the day, like any other commercial networking site.

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