The guru, the loser, the lout… 10 profiles you find on LinkedIn

Mar 05, 2020

4 mins

The guru, the loser, the lout… 10 profiles you find on LinkedIn
Marlène Moreira

Journaliste indépendante.

There’s the one whose CV is so finely tuned it could make a Corvette’s engine purr. Then there’s the one who hawks products like a fishmonger at a market (“My e-book is so fresh. It’s the freshest!) Welcome to the diverse forum of more than 600 million users… including a few eccentric ones. LinkedIn: for better, for worse or for laughs.

(Note: Any resemblance with any persons living or dead is strictly coincidental. Or not.)

The one who’s embellished their CV a bit too much (and it shows)

They have tackled their career history as if they were on a home makeover show, plugging the holes in their CV and smoothing over their experiences with a power sander. “Financial director of a territorial development structure”? Let’s not kid ourselves, everyone knows they were just treasurer of the local charity. Both funny and innocent, their career path flirts with hyperbole. And it’s so obvious you can only laugh. Deep down though, they’re more enthusiastic than they are egotistical. Their end goal? To have more than 500 connections. Which is why they added you, by the way.

The one who thinks they’re a guru

They got two self-help books for Christmas and they’ve seen all the TED Talks there are on positive management. It’s a proper revolution they absolutely feel the need to share with the entirety of their network. Their posts are often accompanied by a stock image with an stale quote such as “It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey.” Since then, they’ve added some extravagant qualities to their LinkedIn title: “Michael Langford. Accountant | Disruptive thinker | Working with passion.” Among all their life lessons, you might find one useful nugget that could actually change your vision of the world.

The one who’s always shouting their head off

We’ve all had that cranky neighbour who rants about the local kids, the bus that was two minutes late or rain in the middle of June. (“There are no more seasons any more and it’s all because of the Illuminati!”) But ever since they got high-speed internet, they have a direct link to a larger audience to more easily spread their bad mood (and their conspiracy theories — with direct links.) They’re the kings of quick, angry comments. Of course, they also take the time to write their own short and biting posts. Yellow vests, the coronavirus, dinner v. supper… the list of subjects that outrage them is long and colourful. The sky’s the limit!

The one who thinks they’re on Tinder

They haven’t found the “super like” function, but they might as well have. For them and their tactlessness, LinkedIn is a supermarket for love (and sex). “Can you hire me a half-dozen pretty girls looking for an internship, please? Thanks.” It is, after all, your fault for attracting them by flagrantly highlighting your skills in project management, Microsoft Excel and public speaking. You little scamp.

The one who shares their life story

This one doesn’t think they’re on Tinder, but on Facebook. In a world of resolutely pro-business people, they share each crucial moment (to them) from their professional and personal life with everyone. They use and abuse hashtags and turn each event into a “genuine human adventure”. Any occasion is a chance to post something: a new job (#NewJobNewLife), their kids’ graduation (#SoProud), or a work trip to a tropical island (#WorkInParadise).

The one who asks for recommendations though you’ve met only once

Among the mysteries that have plagued humankind are: the construction of the pyramids, Brad Pitt’s eternally youthful looks, and the request from that person who would like you to recommend their skills in strategic planning. Not only have you never worked with this person, but what “strategic planning” might involve has always been a bit unclear to you. (It’s when you use highlighters on important things in your schedule, right?)

The one with the off-the-mark job offer

Your heart nearly skips a beat: “A recruiter has consulted your profile”, LinkedIn tells you. A few minutes later… ding! “You’ve got a new InMail”. Reading it is an emotional roller-coaster. How your background, 100% in marketing, led them to offer you a job in agricultural engineering is a bit of a mystery. The offer is so far removed from what you actually do that it’s nearly comical. You hope that the next Boeing pilot flying you to your destination was recruited in a more serious fashion.

The one who adds everyone but doesn’t know anyone

This one lives in an exotic land you’ve never visited, has a particularly vague job title, just 50 connections and a pixelated profile picture. Shady? Totally. Even if you really try, it’s hard to imagine what you can do for one another. But surprise! It’s your lucky day! His late uncle has left him a diamond mine, and he just doesn’t know what to do with it. Why not give it to you? It will ONLY cost you €100 via Western Union. Don’t delay!

The one who’ll harass you and try to sell you something

They’ve put down all their knowledge into a well-structured blog and an e-book. Knowledge that they’ve distilled into catchy posts such as, “Top 10 tips you need to boost your business.” You made the mistake of liking it once. Since then, they’ve gone into attack mode sending you some pretty extravagant requests through your DMs. Read their article. Join their group. Buy their e-book. Donate your kidney to them. Please.

The one who Likes and comments on everything

Their enthusiasm is matched only by their sharp knowledge of the latest fashionable hashtags. Faster than lightning, they’re the first to react to every post that appears in their feed. They sprinkle a dash of Like here and there, a smattering of encouraging messages and a drop of optimism. When you change jobs, they’re the first to send you a message congratulating you. Even your mother isn’t as proud as they are. Of them all, this is the one you love to hate the most.

Translated by Kalin Lindsmith

Photo: Welcome to the Jungle

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