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LinkedIn Profiles Contain Fewer Lies Than Resumes

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the keeping-you-honest dept.

Social Networks 88

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."

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88 comments

bullshit (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215607)

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

Bullshit on your bullshit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215683)

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.

Re:Bullshit on your bullshit (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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...

It's easy to lie on linkedin (4, Insightful)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216103)

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.

Re:It's easy to lie on linkedin (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216709)

> 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 never be promoted, and if we quit, he knew how to handle employment verification calls in such a way as to give the other party the impression we were worthless, while staying within the letter of the law. He made no bones about it, demonstrating to us the way to handle a call in such a way that the hiring manager wanted to hire you, and in such a way that the hiring manager would not hire you. He made it very clear that we were absolutely at his mercy.

I got out, and got a real job elsewhere. But as far as I know my former compatriots are still there, and their lives are a living hell.

Just saying'.

Re:It's easy to lie on linkedin (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216809)

All you have to do is just to leave and never ever mention this mother f&^&^%&^%&^ in your resume.

Re:It's easy to lie on linkedin (2)

RsG (809189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39217543)

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 afford to rely on employee goodwill.

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.

Re:It's easy to lie on linkedin (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39217721)

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 have changed names (e.g., SCO -> Tarantella, Caldera -> SCO), went out of business, got acquired/merged by another company, etc. So even if you helpfully give them last known phone numbers, it could very well have been given to a new company.

Beyond 10 years or so, chasing prior employers gets REALLY hard unless you're talking about companies on the order Apple, Cisco, Broadcom, Intel, AMD, TI, Freescale/Motorola (example), IBM to which are easy to get in contact with. But if you worked at Pets.com - who can you call to verify?

Education though - many employers DO check this because most universities and other instritutions have been around long enough to have contact information. There are services that employers have that can verify outside credentials as well.

Re:It's easy to lie on linkedin (2)

deadhammer (576762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39217065)

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.

Re:It's easy to lie on linkedin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39217467)

Similarly, I knew a project manager at one company who made it very clear how he handled employement calls that indicated an unfavorable opinion of the employee, definitely within the laws:

He said he would just say: I can confirm that (name) worked here from (date1) to (date2) and that's all.

Re:It's easy to lie on linkedin (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39219969)

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.

Re:It's easy to lie on linkedin (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220195)

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 goods on liars when they do get a job: $PRICELESS

Re:It's easy to lie on linkedin (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39224773)

Best tool on the Interwebs:

http://www.dack.com/web/bullshit.html [dack.com]

just ask all the applicant links on linked in (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220547)

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.

Re:Bullshit on your bullshit (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39217279)

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.

Trust, but verify (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215627)

Reagan said it best: Trust, but verify.

Re:Trust, but verify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215713)

I prefer:

Fried, but covered in chocolate.

Re:Trust, but verify (2)

toadlife (301863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39215887)

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

Re:Trust, but verify (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215929)

An empty and contradictory phrase from an empty, contradictory man.

And by contradictory, I mean Iran-contradictory.

Rot in Pus, Gipper.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Trust, but verify (1, Offtopic)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216309)

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 ;-)

Re:Trust, but verify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39216321)

Trust in what?

Trust in a person's honesty
Trust in a person's knowledge,
Trust in a person's own trust in their own knowledge
Trust in a person's experience
Trust in a person's capability
Trust the people who influence a person

You might trust a person's honesty, integrity, but not their ability or experience to perform a particular task.

You might trust your daughter, but not her male friend's intentions.

Re:Trust, but verify (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39217701)

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.

Re:Trust, but verify (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39218403)

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

Re:Trust, but verify (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39216871)

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

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

Disingenuous ingenuity (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39215649)

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.

Re:Disingenuous ingenuity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215731)

While maybe not 'lies' per se... I would call some of the ones I have seen wild exaggerations... "funny didnt know he worked on that since it was ME who wrote all of that" Seen that exaggeration quite a few times. More like "worked on for 1 hour on this *insert cool product here*"....

Re:Disingenuous ingenuity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215753)

Yeah, kinda like "Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence! " -- Edsger W. Kijkstra

Different target audiences (4, Insightful)

belthize (990217) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Different target audiences (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39215857)

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.

Re:Different target audiences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39218377)

Then I'm doing it horribly wrong. :-|

Re:Different target audiences (1)

hicksw (716194) | more than 2 years ago | (#39219901)

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.

Re:Different target audiences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215939)

Good point.

Relatively large number of people who know you that can (and probably will) see it, and the fields and formatting are dictated to you. That probably leaves someone with less room for BS'ing.

Re:Different target audiences (2)

Cederic (9623) | more than 2 years ago | (#39219027)

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 people want to verify my history.

More interesting are the number of potential employers and job agencies that approach me because of my LinkedIn profile. So yeah, they're already aware, and they will notice if my CV differs, on work experience or hobbies.

My hobbies are diverse and cause a degree of interest in other people anyway, so they're easy to tell the truth about. That's not why they're my hobbies, but it's a nice way to end your CV anyway.

Is LinkedIn spam better than regular spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215767)

Get more spam from there than I ever got on or from YooHoo. Now that is bad right there, I don't care who you are. (apologies to Larry)

Skill checkbox (4, Insightful)

griff199 (162798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39215815)

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.

Re:Skill checkbox (4, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39215879)

what does checking a box labeled "Troubleshooting" mean in the context of an automation engineer?

You just generally have to hit 'em about center-mass. Not a lot different from most other engineers. I usually shoot when they mention "unit testing."

One lie to rule them all (2)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:One lie to rule them all (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39215875)

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"

Re:One lie to rule them all (3, Interesting)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:One lie to rule them all (4, Informative)

tero (39203) | more than 2 years ago | (#39217489)

The "privacy is for old people"-line from LinkedIn founder made me quit the site - there's nothing profesional about LinkedIn - jut another "social" site hoovering info about you.

http://www.cenedella.com/job-search/privacy-is-for-old-people-says-linked-in-founder/ [cenedella.com]

Re:One lie to rule them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39221135)

I know a couple people who work there, and that place is held together with spit and duct tape. One person left a senior sysadmin job at a huge publicly traded company (he was like the #2 guy) to be one of the army of admins that keeps the LinkedIn site running. The other is a software engineer who is slightly without clue. Hell, the whole damn outfit uses subversion, what does that say? :p

Re:One lie to rule them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39219441)

Rather different from my usage. For me, linkedin is a great place to link to everyone I know and care to remember that I do so. I don't need to qualify how much (if any) I like them. I don't need to keep them up to date. But if I need to get in touch with anyone, chances are they've kept their contact details in linkedin up to date.

And that is exactly what I use it for.

Re:One lie to rule them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39217241)

'Hiding' your VB6 experience is not lying, you can choose to not include certain skills or technologies if you feel they are not relevant.

As for Enron, I wouldn't feel the need to hide it, it still could have been a valuable experience, at the very least you have some good stories to talk about.

Guilt Keeps People Honest (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39215951)

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 real experience I possess. So I'd be endorsing their fake work experience and building up a potential competitor for future jobs.

Re:Guilt Keeps People Honest (3, Insightful)

uncqual (836337) | more than 2 years ago | (#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." ]

People and Places Vouching You? (4, Insightful)

Walt Sellers (1741378) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:People and Places Vouching You? (2)

someonestolecc (1038714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39218263)

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 if you get flagged they just ask you to update your profile. Obviously he's choosing to keep this active for what ever reason (or just ignoring it all) - but I think no matter what it looks as if he's associated with the company for anyone who looks at us on LinkedIn. Pretty shit.

Re:People and Places Vouching You? (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39219579)

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.

Re:People and Places Vouching You? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220345)

I heard someone say the looked at candidates' "net tracks".

Googling candidates is mandatory for all HR departments I've been in contact with.

There is even a thriving industry out there how to improve your online reputation by seeding the net with fake friends.

Example of a LinkedIn lie (4, Interesting)

reason (39714) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Example of a LinkedIn lie (3, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#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).

social network (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216287)

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"?
2) Would you recommend Bob?

Re:social network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39216405)

2) Would you recommend Bob?

That question is asking for a lawsuit... no one will answer it.

The only questions most places will answer are the years you worked there, your salary, and your job description.

Re:social network (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216501)

I don't know I've read that usually employers will answer it if they like you, it is only if they have negative things to say that they worry that you'll come after them if you don't get the job. As for salary being one of the things they will give: if my future employer asks for my salary and I don't chose to disclose it I don't think my current employer should be able to tell them. You can get stuck in low paying jobs because everyone finds out "well your working for 30k now so you must be happy with it" regardless of whether or not what you are being paid is fair, reflects your newly acquired skills and experience etc. I don't get to go to random strangers and look at their bank accounts so a potential employer shouldn't either. The question should be "this is what we are prepared to pay for this position is it satisfactory? Yes or no.".

What you currently make is rarely relevant because the job description is rarely if ever the same between two positions, the corporate environment and benefit packages are different etc. All providing that information does is give the hiring company leverage in any negotiations and potentially eliminate you as a candidate if you are "out of their price range" regardless of what skills would be demonstrated if you were to get the interview.

Re:social network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39216735)

You can get stuck in low paying jobs because everyone finds out

Sucks for you. Your salary is a fact, and there's no bias in answering it -- which means you can't sue them. So most employers will answer.

that usually employers will answer it if they like you

Let's say you're a truck driver.. you do a great job. You leave, and your new employer calls me for a reference. I say, you did a fantastic job, and you're a great driver. They hire you, and several months later you get in an accident. Your new employer can sue your old employer.

So no, they will not answer it, even if they like you.

And if they have a policy of doing that, then NOT answering the question will be the same as a negative reference, and the employer can be sued by the former employee for refusing to give a reference.

There is NO WAY for them to give you a reference without risk to themselves. So only idiots without legal departments answer those questions.

Re:social network (1)

vipw (228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39219219)

It's idiots without legal departments that make the world worth living in. Being too afraid to speak your honest opinion is just disgusting.

Re:social network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39219283)

you must be new here. welcome to america

Anecdote about Linkedin lies... (3, Funny)

hiryuu (125210) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

I agree, its definately better (2)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216387)

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. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216471)

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.)

Re:Answers a lot. (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220729)

"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.

Re:Answers a lot. (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221027)

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).

LinkedIn is a Wikipedia for nobodies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39216599)

Seriously, If you are on LinkedIn then you have failed at life

Re:LinkedIn is a Wikipedia for nobodies (0)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216811)

It's good to know I've failed at life, then.
The next thing you're going to say is if I'm on facebook/myspace/aol instant messenger/apple computers/etc I've failed at life.
LOL

Re:LinkedIn is a Wikipedia for nobodies (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220491)

I put facebook, myspace, and linkedin in the same boat. Some people put up stuff they want you to see. If that stuff is true or not is a different story.

Re:LinkedIn is a Wikipedia for nobodies (0)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220423)

Seriously, If you are on LinkedIn then you have failed at life
Go back to Farmville, you moron.

Some times you need to BS to cover job post BS (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39217113)

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 schools / community college tech IT skills that are needed for the job. Also there is a lot in IT that you can learn on your own and learn alot more in the same time to get a CS degree. CS = IT is not true.

Good (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#39217263)

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.

community (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#39217389)

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.

It isn't what you know, but who you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39217855)

In the early days of LinkedIn I connected with the director of small R&D team I worked with years before. This individual went on to become a well known executive in the industry we worked in. Based merely on this connection I get frequent InMail connection requests from companies looking for executive level personnel. If these people bothered read my profile it would be readily apparent that I have neither the desire or experience required for such a position. An unscrupulous person in my situation could quite possibly make a quick buck, although it would likely be a career ending move to do so.

Re:It isn't what you know, but who you know (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220233)

In the early days of LinkedIn I connected with the director of small R&D team I worked with years before. This individual went on to become a well known executive in the industry we worked in. Based merely on this connection I get frequent InMail connection requests from companies looking for executive level personnel. If these people bothered read my profile it would be readily apparent that I have neither the desire or experience required for such a position. An unscrupulous person in my situation could quite possibly make a quick buck, although it would likely be a career ending move to do so.

Being incompetent has never stopped anyone from being an executive. I wouldn't worry about it, you're probably overqualified as it is.

The world we live in (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39217931)

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.

a resume is worthless (1)

CBravo (35450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39218107)

I still have to take skill tests to see if a certification or skill is actually usable.

If there are fewer lies on Linkedin profiles... (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39218251)

...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 consultant for an university. I wonder what he is actually doing there...
I also noticed that the most skilled people I know neither have a Linkedin profile, nor they waste their time on Facebook. I think it does not happen by chance...

No shit Sherlock (1)

Dark$ide (732508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39218351)

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.

Well, there is my problem (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220397)

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.

Accuracy Wars? (1)

Chibi (232518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221157)

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 tools to recommend people, but do they have tools to call people out for lying? And then do you engage in a lie-war? i.e., My online profile is accurate, but if I were to call him out, what is to prevent him from starting to try to protect his image and claim stuff on my profile is inaccurate as retaliation?

In the grand scheme of things, it's so old now that no one would care any more, but still kind of bugs me.

Not that OT but how come there are so many indians (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221189)

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.

Customized Resumès (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221897)

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).

And birds go tweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39224893)

Yeah, makes sense. I'm sure nobody had thought of this before........

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