The Twitter handle @BestofLinkedIn was created for the sole purpose of mocking the self-serving and self-aggrandizing posts people put on LinkedIn. Some of them are truly cringe-worthy. Whatever you do, make sure your own LinkedIn posts never wind up there.
LinkedIn is a fantastic social network for job-hunting, recruiting, seeking out sales leads, or general networking. But in recent years it’s become something else too: a place for executives with inflated egos to post self-aggrandizing nonsense that could set your teeth on edge.
At least, that’s how John Hickey sees it. The writer, digital ad agency exec and standup comedian used to spend his time prospecting for sales leads on LinkedIn, which means he had to spend an awful lot of time there, reading the drivel that people posted. “It turned me off to the platform,” he says. Because LinkedIn is considered a professional setting, he says, “Everyone is on their best behavior and it is so inauthentic. It’s a bunch of people telling each other, ‘Great job!’ because they want that person’s business or want that person to work for them.”
He longed for some straight talk on the platform. “I just wish someone had the balls to say, ‘This didn’t ever happen, your six-year-old never said this, this movie scene wasn’t created as an analogy for how you run your business.’ You can’t call anybody out.” So Hickey decided to do the calling out himself on Twitter, a social network not known for its excess of courtesy. He created the handle @BestofLinkedIn and began posting images of the most egregiously self-aggrandizing LinkedIn posts, with the author’s name blacked out. The idea caught on, he says, and now he receives about a dozen tips a day from other people who hate self-important LinkedIn puffery as much as Hickey does.
What sorts of LinkedIn posts are likely to land you in @BestofLinkedIn? I asked Hickey that question and he sent some samples. Here’s what you can learn from them:
1. Don’t brag about your own bad hiring practices.
Smart job candidates use LinkedIn to learn about their potential employers. Would you apply for a job with this guy?
You lowballed him
He said fuck off
Zero “lesson” here#bestoflinkedin pic.twitter.com/yS93Od1Sbx
— The Best of Linkedin (@BestofLinkedin) February 12, 2018
2. Don’t make stuff up.
Or if you do, make it sound somewhat plausible.
This Did Not Happen#bestofLinkedin pic.twitter.com/VSMR1MQzah
— The Best of Linkedin (@BestofLinkedin) January 18, 2018
3. In particular, don’t make stuff up that your child supposedly said.
At least spend a few minutes with a child so you have some idea of how they actually talk.
Ah, the introspective 8-year old#MadeUpKidMonday #bestoflinkedin pic.twitter.com/BZtLDvPdFh
— The Best of Linkedin (@BestofLinkedin) July 22, 2019
4. You just can’t put a positive spin on some things.
But you can make yourself look silly by trying.
So your friend is not a fan of the application process, hates networking and isn’t open to relocating?
Sounds like a straight shooter with upper management written all over him#bestoflinkedin pic.twitter.com/T45nTzQCqQ
— The Best of Linkedin (@BestofLinkedin) January 23, 2018
5. Relax. You’re not that important.
Are you worried that thousands of people are waiting impatiently for your next post? They probably aren’t.
I can promise you Joel, not a single person was wondering why you haven’t posted content since Friday#bestoflinkedin pic.twitter.com/n98OUYQ2a5
— The Best of Linkedin (@BestofLinkedin) August 9, 2018