Recruiters and the LinkedIn Liars…..

ImageI am a big fan of LinkedIn. It has made my life as a recruiter a thousand times easier. But with this fantastic tool comes a very real problem … the LinkedIn Liar.

When it comes to putting together a LinkedIn profile, just like a CV, many will be a little creative with the truth. Fair enough to a certain point. I don’t really have a problem with a little cherry on the top to present oneself in the most favourable light or even missing out stuff that isn’t really relevant (I don’t think my small stint working on a fairground is necessary to include for example!!!). But then there are those whose profile is just full of lies…. big, fat, juicy, Lance Armstrong-esque lies

These lies come in various forms.:

The obvious is those that make-up (or forget) large chunks of their career. Dates of previous employment are changed to conveniently fill gaps, often at the same time hiding jobs that they don’t want to reveal. 

Then there are those whose descriptions of what they did, or are currently doing in a job is so far from the truth it is like reading an article in a tabloid paper.  A basic “Recruitment Consultant’ suddenly gets a promotion three years after they left to ‘Team Leader”

Some people’s long list of recommendations read as if they are some sort of demi-god. We all like a genuine recommendation and especially when it is unsolicited, But when they are just are an exercise in mutual back slapping … “You don’t know me that well but say something good about me (I will even write it for you) and I will do the same back”. …well, it doesn’t really mean anything.

And there are those whose profile, updates, job postings and general big noting of themselves have as much truth to them as the Easter bunny (I am pretty sure no one under the age of 10 who reads this blog…. but sorry if I just shattered your innocence!)

There is very little anyone can do about this. LinkedIn is a public site and as long as you are keeping it ‘clean’ then you won’t come under the attention of the LinkedIn police. Maybe you should be able to report an offender – maybe you already can, I don’t know? But that is not really the point; and in any case who can really be bothered – I have better things to do with my time.

But what we should all definitely take the time to do is not assume everything we read on LinkedIn is true. If you automatically just believe what you see then more fool you. And that applies not just to recruiters sourcing candidates, but also to candidates sourcing recruiters. Just because someone says their business opened two years ago, don’t assume it is true – maybe they have actually only been in business for 6 months (you know who you are) !!!  Similar to when a candidate says they were at their last employer for 3 years as General Manager – but in reality were only promoted into that role in the last 6 months.  Or the person who was ‘travelling’ for the last year but in fact have been in a series of failed jobs. I could go on…it is shocking the number of fraudulent profiles out there.

As LinkedIn continues its popularity with recruiters, in many cases becoming the primary sourcing tool, and replacing CVs as that first look at someone, so we all need to be much, much more vigilant.  Smart recruiters will continue to do what they have always done and be thorough in checking someone out. Poor recruiters will just make assumptions and believe what they see, either out of naivety or laziness.

Luke Collard


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7 thoughts on “Recruiters and the LinkedIn Liars…..

  1. Mark Turner on Reply

    Many new recruitment candidate/client management systems have tools for adding candidates to the system directly off LinkedIn as well Luke. Some convert the LI page to a resume of sorts. No doubt many consultants don’t bother following through to get a full resume from the candidate before representing.

  2. Holden MyGroyne on Reply

    First time commenter long time reader…

    Luke, I have to ask if you actually still enjoy recruiting? The reason being is that your posts of late have been overly bitter and negative. You seem to always be complaining about something or someone; clients that double cross you, candidates that don’t do what you want, big noting on the jobs you are filling,… Luke, its boring! You are suppose to be a ‘recruitment specialist’ and ‘twitting’ on about it (see what I did there – it’s called a play on words!)is even more boring. Look at yourself, and take responsibility as a recruiter and stop being a big mouth and complaining all the time – not all recruiters are liars or are trying to double cross you.

    Happy Easter!

    1. lukecollard on Reply

      Holden MyGroyne…classic !!! Beats my previous favourite of Amanda Huggandkiss ….
      Anyway, thanks for your comments – we welcome all feedback whether it be good, bad or ugly !!! To clarify…I love recruitment(not all the time, but the majority of it). It is not without it’s challenges, and talking about those is part of the reason for this blog. A lot of the time we talk about topics that people ask us to. PS – all the best Deborah and/or Tanya at Hanniford Ross (it’s always encourgaing when a competitor takes the time to read and comment on our blog). Happy Easter.

  3. Valentin on Reply

    Curiously, I feel like it’s more difficult and dangerous to lie on LinkedIN since it’s public and most of your colleagues/peers can read about it. Personally if I had someone in my network with major lie in his resume, I would be quite relunctent to work with him and I am quite sure he would definitely hurt his online reputation.

    So in this condition lying on a resume sounds finally easier for candidates and harder to detect for recruiter.

  4. Brett Iredale on Reply

    Hi Luke

    Yes I agree. The other issue that is really frustrating me at the moment is the amount of linkedIn inmail spam I am receiving from fake LinkedIn accounts. They all want to “manage our overseas software development” and the like. I am getting a few a day at the moment and can’t find any easy way to block them.

    1. lukecollard on Reply

      Thanks Brett. Spam is another unfortunate consequence of the rise of LinkedIn. I often receive spam emails advertising jobs that I am clearly not suitable for….sometimes even form competitors. There will always be those that see LinkedIn as an easy route to the candidate market, but in doing so fail to understand it’s real potential.

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