Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Fix LinkedIn's Biggest Annoyances

Melanie Pinola

Love it or (most likely) hate it, LinkedIn is the leading social network for your career, whether you're looking for a job or just want to stay in touch with others on a professional level. It's also incredibly frustrating to many of us. Here's how you can make LinkedIn less annoying and more useful.

ll social networks have their fair share of annoyances and critics, but LinkedIn appears to have the most (or at least most vociferous), with complaints about the service ranging from it being "useless" to "spammy" and "creepy." Just like getting past our biggest pet peeves about Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, though, there are solutions or workarounds for LinkedIn.

Annoyance #1: SO Many Emails

Join LinkedIn and it seems like you've signed up for an endless stream of spammy emails. Emails saying "please add me to your LinkedIn network," "Jobs at your company," "Congratulate This Person and 3 others," and "News about Some Other Person and more happening with your network." If any little thing happens to any possibly connected person to you on LinkedIn, it's going in your inbox. The ratio of email notifications you get from LinkedIn to the amount of time you spend on the service is absurd.

There's a simple kill switch: This bookmarklet that turns all of the email settings to "no email" in LinkedIn. That's the nuclear option—no emails at all for any type, but there could still be relevant emails you do want to get out of your spam folder and into your inbox (without having to set up complex filters)

To change the frequency of specific types of emails, go to your LinkedIn settings by hovering over your profile photo on the top menu, then Privacy & Settings. In the Communications section, choose "Set the frequency of emails." There you'll be able to restrict emails by category to individual email messages, a weekly digest, or no email. (Here's a more in-depth explanation and tips in video form from my LinkedIn in 30 Minutes publisher.)

I'd set only the emails that are directly to you from other LinkedIn members in your network (those under "Messages from other members") as individual emails and the rest as either weekly digests or no email to keep the inbox spam to a minimum.

Annoyance #2: Too Much Automatic Sharing

Annoyance #3: Lots of Paranoia and Stalking

Annoyance #4: Meaningless Endorsements and Recommendations

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