Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Social Networks Businesses Technology

LinkedIn Profiles Contain Fewer Lies Than Resumes 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-you-honest dept.
RichDiesal writes "New research reveals that personal information provided on LinkedIn may contain fewer deceptions about prior work experience and prior work responsibilities than traditional resumes. However, LinkedIn profiles contain more deceptions about personal interests and hobbies. This researchers believe this may be because participants are equally motivated to deceive employers in both settings, but perceive lies about work experience on LinkedIn as more easily verifiable."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

LinkedIn Profiles Contain Fewer Lies Than Resumes

Comments Filter:
  • bullshit (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2012 @07:30PM (#39215607)

    my linkedin has me working at aperture science as a research facilitator and a security guard at black mesa

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Even it were true, folks who were checking up on you would find folks linked to you and well to make a long story short, eventually they'd find out the truth.

      Then you'd be known for the bullshitter that you are.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2012 @07:54PM (#39215797)
        No, he's not bullshitting. I remember working with this guy at Black Mesa. He kept fraternizing with one of the scientists and got fired for it. It was strange because that scientist never said a word...
      • by Barbara, not Barbie (721478) <barbara.hudsonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 01, 2012 @08:32PM (#39216103) Journal

        Nobody really believes the stuff on linkedin will be checked.

        We used to look at our former coworkers profiles and laugh. Sure, they're full of exaggerations, lies, etc. The problem with verifying them is that most employers have a strict policy that they will only verify the start and end dates an employee worked, nothing else. In some places it's the law, in other places they just don't want lawsuits from former employees. And in some cases, they're just hoping that their biggest competitor hires the t*rd and ends up costing them a bundle.

        If someone called, there was no way we would say "that's a lie." We would confirm only the duration of employment, say that they left with no hard feelings, we wish them the best in their new endeavors, thank you very much have a nice day click!

        There's nothing to stop a dozen people creating fake linkedin profiles, as well as a phony website (what - $8 a year?) and giving each other references.

        They want to call head office? A burn phone is $25 a month. Split the cost among the dozen and it's $2 a month each. Or just list your former employer as a recent corporate bankruptcy - there's enough of them around.

        Faxes? "We don't do faxes - what is this, the stone age?" Create the head office in some area far enough away, and all they can do is google earth it.

        "But if the employer finds out, they can fire you!" ... so what - in the meantime, you have a job. And they won't even bother if you list a bankrupt biz no longer in operation as your former employer.

        To paraphrase Tennyson:

        I hold it true, whate'er befall;
        I feel it, when I sorrow most;
        'Tis better* to have had a job and lost
        Than never to have had a job at all.

        *or at least more profitable.

        Now, would I lie? Are you kidding? The truth is awesome* enough :-p

        *disclamer: chocolate required for proper functioning. valid for some very non-standard value(s) of "awesome." ymmv. batteries not included. avoid elevators, operating heavy machinery, and slashdot. seek professional advice if non-professional advice doesn't work. ignore previous sentence as it is non-professional advice. all rights reserved. parking reserved. reservations reserved. Why yes, I do have reservations, serious reservations, but everyone here else seems to think this place is good enough to eat at.

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          > If someone called, there was no way we would say "that's a lie." We would confirm only the duration of employment, say that they left with no hard feelings, we wish them the best in their new endeavors, thank you very much have a nice day click!

          That's very commendable.

          A former boss, after a 3 month break-in period, called the entire team into a conference room, shut the door, and told us quietly that as these things required his approval, none of us would ever transfer out of the department, would neve

          • by stanlyb (1839382)
            All you have to do is just to leave and never ever mention this mother f&^&^%&^%&^ in your resume.
            • by roc97007 (608802)

              ...and leave at the first sign that you're in that kind of situation.

            • by RsG (809189)

              Second that. I've had bad bosses (and a few good ones), and I would never, ever trust the worst of them to be an employment reference.

              If an employer tries to assert control by intimidation, to the effect of "quit and you'll never get a job again", they're bluffing. They know that the moment you turn in your notice, their control over your future goes out the window. They don't want you to realize this. Mostly because, if they're the sort who resorts to intimidation, they're also the sort who can't affor

              • by tlhIngan (30335)

                Most future employers will not expect to speak to all of your previous employers, and as long as you yourself aren't the problem, there will be other references you can use. Plus, if you apply for a job while holding an existing one, they generally won't insist on contacting your current employer, meaning the best time to jump ship from a toxic boss is while still employed.

                Most future employers can't. Unless you worked at very big multinationals like IBM and such, the smaller companies you worked for may ha

          • I wouldn't have made it to the end of that meeting. I'd have left and been out the door the very second this douchenozzle opened his mouth. Well, at least the very second he mentioned the whole thing about the bad references.

            Of course, I do recognize that there are good economic reasons for not being able to do so. But hell, telemarketers are always hiring and will give you a million times more job satisfaction than working under someone like that.
        • by Larryish (1215510)

          If anybody wants static websites to generate buzz and help you target robust e-tailers while you matrix vertical relationships in order to synthesize mission-critical partnerships on linkedin, email me:

          larryish@gmail.com

          I will create the domains/subdomains, create the sites, and host them, turnkey, for $1 per website per year.

          This offer is for static sites only and does not include any sort of scripting or updates.

          • If anybody wants static websites to generate buzz and help you target robust e-tailers while you matrix vertical relationships in order to synthesize mission-critical partnerships on linkedin, email me:
            larryish@gmail.com
            I will create the domains/subdomains, create the sites, and host them, turnkey, for $1 per website per year.
            This offer is for static sites only and does not include any sort of scripting or updates.

            Investing in domain registration: $8/year
            Cheap hosting: $ALMOST_NULL
            Having the goo

        • From a given job record. This kind of check up is easier to do than pre-social software days. Linked-in does carge a hefty fee to send messages to non-links.

          Then I guess somemone could create a whole slew of fake co-workers and links to game this method.
      • by cshark (673578)
        Nobody really cares, or pays much attention to this kind of thing. I lie about everything on my linked in profile, even my name. I figure this gives me the credibility I need to convince people I'm somebody else entirely.
    • So, do you think you can get me a date with GLaDOS? I'm just _dying_ to do some "research" with her...

  • Trust, but verify (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2012 @07:32PM (#39215627)

    Reagan said it best: Trust, but verify.

    • by toadlife (301863)

      An empty and contradictory phrase. The need to verify implies the absence of trust.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        Sort of the theme of the Reagan administration. Wow he was a great fiscal conservative and lowered taxes except that he didn't. But he played a cowboy so it must be true ;-)

      • by Surt (22457)

        And yet it led to a clear, effective strategy that avoided civilization's destruction.
        And it did have a pretty clear meaning: that we would act in every OTHER way as if we had trust (proceed with treaty requirements etc), but we would continue to check to ensure the other side wasn't lying about their compliance.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If it makes you feel any better, Reagan was quoting Lenin.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Reagan didn't coin that. He was quoting a famous Russian expression:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust,_but_verify

  • but perceive lies about work experience on LinkedIn as more easily verifiable

    You can't verify a lie. You can only verify whether something *is* a lie. Insert comment whining about Slashdot's editors.

  • by belthize (990217) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @07:48PM (#39215745)

    A resume is typically viewed by an employer so the incentive is to be honest about hobbies and lie about experience.

    LinkedIn is typically viewed by friends and acquaintances so the incentive is to be honest about work and lie about hobbies.

    Nothing terribly profound.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @08:02PM (#39215857) Homepage Journal

      A resume is typically viewed by an [personnel department screeners who know almost nothing at all about the work which would be done for the] employer so the incentive is to be honest about hobbies and lie about experience.

      LinkedIn is typically viewed by friends and acquaintances so the incentive is to be honest about work and lie about hobbies.

      Nothing terribly profound.

      The goal of a resume is to get a foot in the door. After that, it's backing it up in interviews.

      • by hicksw (716194)

        The goal of a resume is to get a foot in the door.

        or

        The purpose of a resume is to get an interview.
        The purpose of an interview is to get a job offer.
        The purpose of a job offer is to get a raise.
        --
        Law of truly large numbers - almost all numbers are larger than you can imagine.

    • by Cederic (9623)

      I'm currently job hunting. I check up the people that will be interviewing me on LinkedIn. I find out who I know that knows them, or knows their contacts.

      The UK only has 60 million people in it. Narrow down to people working in my field, in the industries I have experience in, in the regions of the UK in which I've worked, and LinkedIn interconnects around two-thirds of the people I search for.

      So my CV aligns to my LinkedIn profile. Same jobs, same timeframes, and my LinkedIn contacts are available if peopl

  • Skill checkbox (Score:3, Insightful)

    by griff199 (162798) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @07:56PM (#39215815) Journal

    Although not a lie per se, what does checking a box labeled "Troubleshooting" mean in the context of an automation engineer? I've been at this since 2003 and have seen a *wide* range of troubleshooting skills both high and low. LinkedIn encourages everyone to go ahead and check that box. So while it isn't full of lies, I believe is full of exceedingly watered down truths.

  • by lucm (889690) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @07:57PM (#39215825)

    Since LinkedIn is there, it has become much more tricky to lie on a resume because there is always the possibility that the recipient of the lies stumble upon the discrepancies.

    So for the last year or so, whenever I have to send a resume I simply send the PDF that I can get from my LinkedIn profile. And if I have to lie (like hiding my VB6 experience or the fact that I used to work for Enron), I do it on LinkedIn.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Since LinkedIn is there, it has become much more tricky to lie on a resume because there is always the possibility that the recipient of the lies stumble upon the discrepancies.

      So for the last year or so, whenever I have to send a resume I simply send the PDF that I can get from my LinkedIn profile. And if I have to lie (like hiding my VB6 experience or the fact that I used to work for Enron), I do it on LinkedIn.

      I have a bogus name on my LinkedIn account. I've about half filled in my stuff, stopping when I felt it was too intrusive. I look once in a while, to see what garbage is on there for me to look at. LinkedIn == Myspace for "professionals"

      • by lucm (889690) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:45PM (#39216499)

        I have a bogus name on my LinkedIn account. I've about half filled in my stuff, stopping when I felt it was too intrusive. I look once in a while, to see what garbage is on there for me to look at. LinkedIn == Myspace for "professionals"

        If you don't take it seriously and you just put in bogus info and/or collect connections like business cards, then yes, it is useless and noisy (unless you are a headhunter). But if you take time to setup a proper profile, disable noisy features and maintain a relevant network of connections, it can bring interesting opportunities. For my last two contracts I was contacted via a LinkedIn reference and never sent a resume. (And I'm not talking about mass-mailing from head hunters but contacts from actual connections).

        I don't buy much into the "give a reference" feature, but I know that potential (and current) clients have been looking at who are my connections to get an idea of who I am. Which is why I have only a handful of high-quality, relevant connections.

        But hey, if you enjoy doodling around in Word every time you want to switch jobs or apply for a RFP, be my guest.

  • It's a basic principal of crowdsourcing. Call it the Resume wiki-effect

  • by Anonymous Coward

    LinkedIn profiles probably contain more accurate info because you're still connected to past employers and co-workers, many who you may look to for endorsements. I believe the guilt of lying or embellishing and having your former peers and bosses see it is enough for most to avoid doing it. I once had a former co-worker request an endorsement from me. After reading through their profile I couldn't do it. Not only did they lie about their experience but much of the experience they claimed to have matched rea

    • by uncqual (836337) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @08:37PM (#39216139)

      building up a potential competitor for future jobs

      I would hope that this would not be a factor in recommendations or endorsements among technical colleagues. Of course, the inaccuracies would be more than enough to decline giving a reference.

      When giving a reference, I try to imagine that the person I'm talking to hires the person we are talking about (independent of if I give a positive, lukewarm or, even, a negative recommendation) and, two years hence, I'm interviewing with the same company and they remember both the content of my reference and how the person turned out. I'd like to hear:

      Oh yes, I don't recall if you remember giving a reference for Jake a couple years ago. We hired him and it turns out you were spot on with the reference you gave. [ "We are so happy we hired him as you recommended." | "We really wish we had weighed your reference more highly and not hired him." ]

  • by Walt Sellers (1741378) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @08:22PM (#39216017)

    You can say "I worked there" but its harder to get a bunch of other people to say the same, especially people with active profiles.

    I trust a LinkedIn reference more when a person has several links to people who also worked there.

    I heard someone say the looked at candidates' "net tracks". They looked for forum contributions, blog entries, Google results, etc.

    • This is true, but consider that in the company I am currently working in we have an ex-staff member that wasn't that great. In fact, not so great that over a year onward he still appears in our company page as one of the higher ups (at least by title). I've tried to flag it multiple times but LinkedIn support came back with something to the effect of "yeah we get it but every time you say he's not in the company, we tell him to update his details.. ultimately it's user generated however".. the inference is
      • by w_dragon (1802458)
        Why would an employer trust linkedin more than a resume? It takes 30 seconds to call up a company, tell them this person is applying and ask if they could verify the person's employment. Most companies will give you the start and end employment dates without too much trouble. If they can't be bothered to do that much background checking they probably deserve the people they get.
  • by reason (39714) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @08:47PM (#39216213)

    I had a grad student last year who stopped showing up after the first few weeks, and eventually had his studentship discontinued.

    Being a student here gave him an email address here and one at a university with which we had a collaborative arrangement.

    While he had it, he created a LinkedIn profile listing himself as a "Research Scientist" here and a "Software Development Consultant" at the other university. He then proceeded to connect through LinkedIn with others who work at both organisations who didn't know him, but who probably thought they should, given the relevant email address and link requests. He was careful not to try to link this fraudulent account with anyone who did know him and his real position here.

    The profile is still there. I don't know whether it is to protect his ego (he seems to have problems in that area) or whether he is using it to fraudulently get consulting contracts. Guess I should do something about it, but I don't want to stir up trouble.

    • by SydShamino (547793) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:04PM (#39216319)

      This is a serious problem for companies under SEC regulation. Everything said by a company representative (including associates like independent advisors) has to be pre-approved and logged. They even have to scan social media sites for people who mention the company name to see if they are giving advice or implying a recommendation for a product or service.

      My understanding is that LinkedIn and similar (Facebook) have varying degrees of support to clamp down on such fraud, ranging from annoying (USPS-mailed official letter on company letterhead by an executive, notarized, to the social media site) to nonexistent (no ability to remove the fraudulent profile).

  • The beauty of something meant as a social tool. If you have colleagues friends etc attached to your profile they'll call out your "inaccuracies" vs a one time submitted resume that only the hiring company sees. Sure they can check each one of your references. How many do? How many drill down low enough to confirm that you really did use Cassandra as your data store and played with REST interfaces? I suspect that a lot of the reference checks are pretty much:

    1) Did Bob work there from X to Y as a "developer"

  • by hiryuu (125210) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:09PM (#39216349)

    In the aftermath of an acrimonious divorce, someone pointed out my ex-wife's Linkedin profile. (I don't do social networking of any kind, so I never see nor go looking for these sorts of things.) Said ex-wife was an unemployed/underemployed "small business owner" with a penchant for dishonesty. For some time on Linkedin, she'd been listing the fictitious "John Smith Construction" (with my name in place of the obvious) as her employer, with "owner/wife" as her position. Yeesh.

  • Although people can game the system, at least there is a system. It is certainly better than just trusting a piece of paper.
  • Answers a lot. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Freak (16973) <prius@driver.mac@com> on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:36PM (#39216471) Journal

    I am on the "interview" team at work (interviewing candidates,) and I usually try to search for each applicant on LinkedIn, etc. I have noticed that when job titles differ from resume to LinkedIn, they are almost uniformly less-inflated on LinkedIn. (One applicant's resume read as almost completely different than their LinkedIn history - it even took effort to realize that the LinkedIn profile showed the contract agency, with the client company in the small print, while the resume showed only the client company, in nearly every job.)

    • by phorm (591458)

      "it even took effort to realize that the LinkedIn profile showed the contract agency, with the client company in the small print, while the resume showed only the client company, in nearly every job"

      Does the contract agency really matter that much? If the applicant has a couple years at a reputable company, then assumedly that company kept him/her because of good work, regardless of which headhunter got the initial interview.

    • by 0racle (667029)
      Wouldn't that make sense? Their social circle is more defined by their contracting company (more visible on LinkedIn) where as their work history is more defined by the company they were contracted to (more visible on the resume).
  • Facebook profiles contain as many lies as matchmaking website profiles.

  • And some times it's to get past HR / non tech mangers who post jobs.

    With stuff like 5 years in X even when it just came out.

    We want thoroughly know the ins and outs of a os still in a beta / preview with the line of (it may only be less than a week old, but we still want it....) and why would a office want to jump into a new OS that fast any ways much less one still in beta.

    A big skills list that seems more like a list of 2-3 jobs mixed into one big list.

    Stuff like top-tier university for IT jobs when tech

  • This is what it is like to hang out with very smart people. You dont lie about shit because chances are someone in earshot can call you on it. Nice to have this applies to the stupids too.
  • What about those of us who have the same information on their resume as on LinkedIn? :D

    As for why LinkedIn has a higher truthiness rating? Community. Your friends and acquaintances will keep you honest, and the embarrassment of not being who you say you are publicly will be enough to keep most people on the (relative) straight and narrow.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've never lied in an Application Form, CV or Resume.
    Ever.
    Not once.

    Been unemployed for ages.

    I will not give in to the tide of deceit.

  • I still have to take skill tests to see if a certification or skill is actually usable.
  • ...then I wonder what people are reporting on their CV. I don't use Linkedin at all, but I could find there the profiles of many people I know. I was astonished to see how many lies they were reporting about their professional skills. Probably the most appaling profile was that posted by an ex-friend: he claimed that he worked in R&D for a chemical industry (he actually was a secretary, doing about 10,000 photocopies/day), is an inventor (never filed a patent), etc. His currently claims to be a security
  • On Linked-In you are guaranteed to get your details peer-reviewed. Unless your peers want to support your lies you're going to have to write something that's close to the truth. So this appears to be another piece of pointless research and hardly news worthy enough for SlashDot.
  • I wondered why I was not getting ahead in the world. I don't lie in LinkedIn or on resumes and I assumed nobody else did either.
    At least I still have one advantage over everybody else. I only have to remember one version of my story.
  • I used to work with a graphic designer, who eventually got his MBA and was given the chance to do some project management while he was attending evening classes. We lost touch over the years, but I was looking at his profile recently. Apparently, rather than doing graphic design and getting a chance to dabble in project management, he was the head of the IT Development Department. This position was almost 10 years ago, but he probably used this lie to as he was making his switch-over.

    I know LinkedIn has

  • on most of the forums?? go on over to c++, java, opengl, android, iOS groups etc.... look at the topic questions, jobs available. does this mean that people part of these groups that are americans just choose not to interact much in this area and just choose to have their linkedin profile and nothing more? i joined a lot of these groups hoping to maybe join in some good conversations but all it is, is a bunch of noob topics filled with jobs in india.
  • This researchers believe this may be because participants are equally motivated to deceive employers in both settings, but perceive lies about work experience on LinkedIn as more easily verifiable

    Maybe, but I believe it's more likely that participants are customizing their resumè to fit the job posting and not bothering to update their online profiles (which would be difficult to do if said participant is applying for several jobs).

Cobol programmers are down in the dumps.

Working...