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Are you a LinkedIn Liar?
Posted by Acumen Republic on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 0 Comments
Earlier this month, I came across a post from Greg Savage, the Global CEO of Firebrand, that was provocative and made me sit up and think about the relevance and value of LinkedIn.
Greg's post noted a range of confounding aspects of LinkedIn, not all of which can be resolved. For the record, I think LinkedIn offers many benefits. It is credible, and an excellent and speedy way to find out, in the most unobtrusive manner, about industry peers, prospects, recruits and characters of interest. Understanding their professional history often explains much about who they are in the present day. It's now standard industry practice that when you meet someone across the course of the working day, you'll typically exchange business cards, and invariably become 'LinkedIn' once you return to your keyboard. It is one of the fundamentals of how we build our networks.
But Mr Savage suggests a number of LinkedIn pitfalls, two of which we wanted to briefly examine in this post.
Recommendations; to respond or ignore. How many of us have felt a measure of discomfort or plain unease when receiving a request for a LinkedIn recommendation? One of the pitfalls is we don't know if the requester has spammed their entire LinkedIn community canvassing for multiple recommendations, or if they have just selected you individually for your brilliant and valuable insights. We always hope for the latter but it is more likely the former. My recommendation is only respond if you feel genuinely inclined. Personal experience is that for those that I have refused or gently ignored, there's rarely any residual ill feeling. Your contacts on and offline will be more comfortable if you have been measured and genuine about the recommendations you make on LinkedIn. The key is to make sure you feel comfortable standing behind your recommendations.
Fictional qualifications: How can we assess if the qualifications on someone's LinkedIn profile are fact or fiction? We tend to err on the side of accepting these qualifications at face value. We have no reason to disbelieve them. That said, it would be logical and practical to crosscheck these. During the initial check-in process, always crosscheck an applicant's CV against their LinkedIn records. The way a candidate is interviewed can also provide an indication on whether they've fabricated or overly amplified their credentials.
LinkedIn is a valuable platform and its widespread use bears testament to the value it offers businesses. Stats from earlier this year indicates there are over 3 million users in Australia, and just over half a million in New Zealand, so it's a well-used platform. Add to this the multiple forums for like-minded groups and industries and it is clear that LinkedIn continues to offer a strong value proposition for many of the brands we work with. Let's hope that it continues to attract the right content from its users and that fact will always outweigh fiction.
Have you come up against similar challenges when using LinkedIn?
Myrna Van Pelt
General Manager, Sydney
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