Are you a LinkedIn liar?


Nowadays, most professionals have a LinkedIn profile and use it for business networking and profiling themselves for job opportunities. But there are issues with LinkedIn. Flaws.

Don’t get me wrong. I use LinkedIn a lot, and of course so does everyone at Firebrand.

One of the most obvious is that LinkedIn appears to have no system to monitor accuracy of data on their network. Indeed, they freely admit that many profiles are bogus, and that many people have several LinkedIn profiles.

Recently I was at the Recruiters HUB conference in Sydney where a speaker, Kalena Jefferson, HRD for Kelly Services, spoke amusingly, about their office fish ‘Moby’, who apparently has a LinkedIn profile. And get this. Moby once received a headhunt approach via LinkedIn for a sales job!

Increasingly, I have started to detect flagrant misrepresentations on LinkedIn. I have close to 3,000 contacts on LinkedIn. Many of these people are quite well known to me. Some have worked for, or with me (over a 30 year career), or I have interviewed them for a job, or we have done business together.

And even though these people know they are linked to me, many of them create LinkedIn profiles that are as fictional as a Harry Potter novel!

A recruiter who held a bog standard recruiting role with my company, who now, miraculously, was apparently a ‘Divisional Manager’ whilst with us. A ‘LinkedIn Retrospective Promotion’.

Or a failed recruiter, who was managed out of the business for under-performance, now proudly boasts on her profile that she was the ‘Office Top Biller’ for three quarters out of four!

Or the receptionist – a temp when she was with us, what is more – who has morphed into the ‘Group Administration Manager’ on her LinkedIn profile, which on face value now looks very impressive indeed!

Or (and these are all real actual examples, I hasten to remind you) the ditsy, hopeless recruiter who eventually stole from the company, who just simply leaves the year she was employed here off her profile entirely! And then adds the inconvenient extra 12 months on to another job!

It happens all the time.

And it’s not just qualifications, work history, achievements and job titles that are inflated, exaggerated and quiet simply fabricated. The recommendations on LinkedIn are often as farcical as a John Cleese special.

Like the Senior Manager who worked for me, who eventually had to fire a woefully incompetent Manager… who now brazenly recommends her in glowing terms on LinkedIn! Are we surprised to find she recommends him back in a cozy, all too familiar, LinkedIn tit for tat recommendation love-in?

How can we possibly take LinkedIn recommendations seriously when they are mostly solicited, reciprocal, and worst of all – self-published! If you don’t like what they say, even in nuance, you don’t approve it.

Total nonsense. Useless. Farcical. John Cleese would approve.

LinkedIn has great application. But it is riddled with flaws too. For a start, it is packed with fraudulent, exaggerated and inflated profiles.

And it begs the question. Does LinkedIn bear a duty of care to users of their service? Should they?

Beware the LinkedIn liar.


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