things that don’t belong on your LinkedIn profile

by Ask a Manager on August 9, 2012

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* PSAT/SAT/ACT scores (and it’s even weirder when your summary leads with these things and you are in your 40s)

* statements that you are smarter and more talented than the person viewing your profile (As in, “I am smarter than you. I write better than you as well.” This is not quirky and charming; it is arrogant and rude and quite possibly wrong.) (This is a real example.) (So many parentheses!)

* photos of your children

What have  I missed?

{ 229 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Links to your church, political stuff, and hobbies unless you are using work done for such organizations as work experience. Even then, I’d be very judicious about it.

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I don’t think personal interests have NO place on Linked In… I mean it’s not a resume. I have, at times, has a sentence or two on what I do in my spare time on my “summary”.

I also have all my volunteer positions listed, largely because if I want to connect with other volunteers I have to say how I know them. Most of my volunteer work is not related to my profession (although it’s also not political or religious, but if it were I’d still want to connect with people).

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Piper August 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Agreed that LinkedIn is a bit more personal and social than a traditional resume. Under my interests section, I have things I would never put on a resume, but that someone researching me online may find interesting (marathon training, etc). I also list my volunteer work, even though some of it is not directly related to my line of work. It is indirectly related, though.

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jmkenrick August 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Yeah, I think that LinkedIn is a bit more casual than a resume. So if any of this stuff contributes to what you think you’d bring as a job canidate, it can be useful.

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Jubilance August 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Recently I ran across a LinkedIn profile where the photo was a picture of the person’s fraternal organization. Now, this particular organization is known for being a life-long association, not just something you do in college. Yet I still thought it was unprofessional on a site like LinkedIn.

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Having it as a picture is a little much. However I belong to my sorority’s networking group which is visible on my profile. It might turn some people off, but it’s also a really active group with a large reach, so I’m glad to belong.

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Jubilance August 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I also belong to my sorority’s group on LinkedIn and I think that’s way different than making your profile pic your organization’s official crest/shield.

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Annie August 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Don’t belong: your 1960′s, Black and White, bouffant hairstyle photo. I have seen this!

Also, is it really necessary to put every single title acronym after your name? I saw one once with seven sets of initials after their name.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Oh, don’t get me started on people who put their degrees after their name, aside from the cases where it’s the custom to do that (like MDs).

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Catherine August 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Working at a university, I see some really ridiculous displays of this. My favorite so far is the nursing undergrad degree student who put “RN Bachelor’s Candidate” after her name.

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sam.i.am August 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Is it in her name or is it her Linkedin headline? I don’t see a problem with it being her headline, but if it’s “Suzy Smith, RN Bachelor’s Candidate,” that’s a bit much.

I will admit, I do have some interests listed in my profile. It’s not my resume; it’s a profile on a social networking site. But they’re also related to somewhat professional things, ie “Contemporary art” is listed as an interest, but I also list my art history B.A. and membership in an arts organization.

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Catherine August 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm

This was actually on an email signature, I should have clarified that. And if she had put it in a LinkedIn profile under the education or interests section, that would seem entirely appropriate. But to designate yourself in that manner…I just don’t see how getting a bachelor’s degree is special enough to warrant it as a title. It’s an accomplishment, yes, but not every accomplishment needs to be listed as a title (especially if you haven’t even finished it).

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jmkenrick August 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Other than MD and PhD, is there any field where that’s commonly done?

RN, maybe?

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Some JDs do it, but I find that borderline.

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Lots of people in the computer industry will put some certifications, like PMP or some Microsoft certification or CSM, industry specific, but I’m still not sure if it belongs.

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Piper August 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I know someone who lists his master’s degree and it’s not a typical master’s degree, so the letters make no sense to anyone other than him. Think: Master’s of Science in Chocolate Teapot Making abbreviated to MSCTM.

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JT August 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

It makes sense to do it in certain industry/profession specific contexts, where the degree is viewed as important in being a professional, but not as a general practice.

Ditto certain types of certifications.

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Eric August 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

JD isn’t unheard of, although Esq is probably more common.

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Kimberlee, Esq. August 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Incidentally, Esquire is a fairly meaningless title. In England, men used it to note a high social rank, and it’s generally a men-only term connotating “fancy-pants.” To my knowledge, America is the only place where women use it, and its the only place that denotes the practice of law. And neither of those are official. Justices of the Peace and even Notaries Public in America use the Esq. title. Which means I’m going to start using it right now.

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Jane Watson August 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Awesome. Is it weird that when I read someone’s name with Esq. behind it, my brain processes a dramatic pause between the name and the title? As in: John Smith…………Esquire!

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Liz August 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I believe that more recently, Esquire simply meant “landowner”.

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

CPAs do it a lot.

I think it’s understandable since there’s generally a big jump in salary for a CPA vs. an accountant and no way to tell the difference from education alone.

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Tax Nerd August 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I’m guilty of this, for the reason you point out. Though I’d say that CPA isn’t a degree, it’s a certification that requires experience, continuing education, and passing that darn exam! However, I never put my degrees after my name. I’m convinced that MTx (Masters in Tax) will make people think I’m boring before they even meet me.

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Hate to break it to you, people already think that from the “CPA” part ;-)

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Anonymous August 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

The fact that you go by “Tax Nerd” isn’t helping either… :-)

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JLH August 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

I think tax nerds are hot. ;o)

sam.i.am August 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Every CPA and tax nerd I’ve ever met has loved their job and has been really happy. So if I saw your degree after your name, I’d think, that person loves what they do!

Besides, you know where they money goes. You know ALL the secrets.

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Laura L August 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

I wouldn’t! I’ve considered getting an MTx and a CPA certification. Although I’m probably not going to do it in the foreseeable future. Maybe a mid-life crisis career change. :-)

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Jennifer August 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I wouldn’t think it odd to see PE after a name on a LinkedIn profile for an engineer. It is really common on engineer’s business cards.

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AnotherAlison August 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

It’s also required to practice engineering in some industries, same as an MD or CPA. There are exempt industries that don’t require it, so it’s important to show you DO have it if you’re in the industries that need it.

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Definitely. In Canada, the designation is P.Eng.

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Catherine August 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm

It’s common to see things like ABD “all but dissertation” for PhD candidates, but I have only seen that in an email signature.

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fposte August 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I don’t think that’s very well received, though, so I’d advise against it. It’s not actually a degree, after all.

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Cindy August 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

For those of us who actually completed the dissertation and earned the PhD, seeing “ABD” after someone’s name is really annoying.

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Rana August 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm

+1

(ABD is pretty much just a masters, after all. Though I was briefly tempted to tag myself as CPhil. before I got my doctorate, because, honestly, how hilarious is it that being a “Candidate of Philosophy” – the technical term for ABD – is an actual thing?)

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Anon August 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm

ABD is not an actual title. I would be embarassed to put that after my name because that shows I can’t complete something I started. And Cindy has a point, it minimizes the efforts of people who actually get their dissertation. We had a job candidate who listed ABD on his resume for a Scientist III position and our manager laughed and threw his resume in the trash.

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Data Monkey August 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm

+1

We had a similar incident at my previous job where one of the candidates listed “ABD” as his degree. Not a smart move especially when there were several PhD holders in the office. When asked about his “ABD” during the phone screening, he did not have a sufficient reason for not finishing his PhD. Needless to say, he was not offered an in-person interview.

Liz August 10, 2012 at 1:36 am

Are you sure it wasnt meant as a self-deprecating joke? It kind of sounds as if it was…

Blinx August 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I’ve seen PHR. No idea what it means — the person is a webmaster.

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CJ August 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Professional in Human Resources? – the other two are SPHR and GPHR.

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ThatHRGirl August 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

PHR or SPHR is common.

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sab August 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I’ve seen a lot of librarians use their masters after their name, i.. Jenny Smith, MSLS, Robby Johnson, MLIS, etc…

And as a librarian, I think it’s a bit silly. I can see why academic librarians would do so, but in other libraries? Not so much. :)

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Another Jamie August 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I’ve seen this a lot in the software industry, with Agile-related things. CSM (Certified Scrum Master) and CSPO (Certified Scrum Product Owner). I get putting that in your description or list of skills, but right after your name? Maybe it works for them, but for me, it looks like they are limiting themselves to Agile only workplaces, when they could be effect project managers in many different types of companies.

Plus, I’ve had bad experiences with Agile-nazis and putting Agile certifications after your name where you’d put a PhD? Big turn off for me.

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Xay August 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm

In my workplace, there seems to be an unofficial competition to see how much alphabet soup you can list after your name. It is a given that if you have a masters that you list it in your signature (and on your door label), but I’ve even seen a few BAs and BS as well.

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Michelle August 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm

It’s extremely common in the field of mental health, where credentialing and licensing mean everything. Professionals get so used to adding their credentials to their signature like they’re required to do for official documentation, sometimes they end up doing it all over the place, whether it’s appropriate or not. However, none of the above applies to those of us without postgraduate degrees or certification.

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Another Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Maybe this is off-topic, but do physicians even NEED LinkedIn profiles? I’m serious. Physicians don’t need to network, at least not in the same way the majority of other professions do. Their training, job placement and career trajectory is completely different than all other fields that I can think of. Maybe if the physician works in academia LinkedIn would be more relevant to a her. My background is in the health sciences and I know of only ONE MD who has a LinkedIn profile, and this person is not a practicing clinician.

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Anon August 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Architects do it (you’ll see AIA after their names, which is the licensing organization). Like doctors, architects are licensed after a rigorous series of internships, examinations, and expense. Plus, licensed architects can stamp drawings, unlicensed people (who actually can’t legally refer to themselves as ‘architects’) cannot.

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Malissa August 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I was actually going to ask about this at some point. I’ve seen one person list BA after their name and quite a few that put MBA behind it. I always thought that initials after the name implied a formal certification like a CPA or PE. I never would have thought to put a degree there. If a person get’s a PhD wouldn’t they just be called Dr. Chocolate Tea Pot Maker?

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lucy August 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I see MBA a lot, and in my industry I would probably list it because it’s a benefit, but not a requirement. Something that would set me apart.

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Malissa August 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I can see listing it in the education section on a resume, but as a tag line for every email?

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lucy August 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

OH definitely not… I was thinking more like the “name” on LinkedIn.

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fposte August 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

There are regions and universities where it’s considered tacky to use “Dr.” if you’re an academic PhD. Mind you, they would also consider it tacky to put it after your name, so that’s not really an explanation here.

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Jess August 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I have a PhD and I put it after my name in the header of my resume, but not on linkedin. I’ve seen that in academia it’s generally tacky for faculty to put the “PhD” after their name or the “Dr” before it in, say, an email signature–because you just expect that everyone has a PhD. I work outside of academia (but in a position where my degree matters), so I do have the PhD in my email sig, on my business card, etc.

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Rana August 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I used “Dr. Lastname” in communications with students, but that’s because I felt pedantic about being called “Professor” when I wasn’t technically one. But, yeah, “Rana Initial Lastname, Ph.D.” would have felt silly in an academic setting.

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Steve July 4, 2014 at 3:43 am

Silly? Really? A diverse academic setting where there are thousands of people interacting is exactly where one would designate her/his distinction from another. While there are a lot of PhDs out there, there’s no reason why PhDs should self-deprecate while other professionals get to enhance their signatory presence with their accomplishment, whether MBA or MD or CPA or CIO or whatever. What’s tacky is thinking you’re special because you find someone else tacky.

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Kimberley August 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I think a lot of people put their credentials after their name because it makes them more visible to recruiters. For example if I’m looking for a job in HR and my name is listed as: Kimberley, CHRP (the designation in Canada) and a recruiter is on the hunt for an HR professional, then they are more likely to look at my entire profile. But I agree that sometimes it can get a little out of hand.

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Kimberley August 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

And “CHRP Candidate” is an official designation here as well.

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Oooooh, I’m so glad to hear you say this. I’ve wondered if it’s just me, and now that it’s been confirmed by someone whose opinion I trust, I need some advice.

I’m a newer manager, and one of my direct reports has her Ph.D. We work in a field where an advanced degree is a nice to have, but far from necessary. This person always includes “Ph.D.” after her name. Email signatures are one thing, but she also includes it on reports, presentations, and any and all internal and external facing documents. I haven’t said anything about it – it seems nitpicky and potentially defensive, as my academic achievements are nowhere near hers. I guess I wonder if I should say something, or if I should just let it pass. And if I say something, how should I present it? To me, it just seems weirdly inappropriate and nieve, but it’s not causing any harm.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I’d let it go for the reasons you say, but I’d notice it and feel like you.

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Jill of All Trades August 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I would think that since she is so consistent about it that she thinks of it as a personal brand. These days there are many sources that speak to the importance of building your personal brand, and I doubt she thinks of it as something inappropriate (of course, I’m making the assumption that she actually earned those letters instead of just tacking them on because it looked good). Her demeanor would probably be a better indicator of whether or not she is defensive about it or using it as something other than her professional branding strategy. How does she fit into the corporate culture otherwise?
I have MBA after my name on LinkedIn to set myself apart in search results and my networking/job hunting email address and twitter handle are firstlastmba@email.com/ @firstlastmba because it’s safe and professional, but on my resume or email signature it’s just my name. When I get a job (pray for me!) I’ll let the corporate culture determine how much or little my degree is publicized.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Personal branding (and I admit I hate the concept and the term and one day will write a screed against it) isn’t usually about your degree though; it’s supposed to be about some sort of unique packaging and … ugh, I can’t even finish writing that sentence because I despise it so much.

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Liz August 10, 2012 at 3:02 am

As Liz Lemon would say of that screed,” I want to go to there..” can’t wait to read it.

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Dr. Important, PhD August 10, 2012 at 1:28 am

At my previous job, my manager would actually add my PhD to my name in the Author block of a document if I didn’t do it myself. I think he felt that the extra letters gave my report more umph/weight/validity if an executive, regulatory agency or customer ever saw the report. (I also secretly think it made him feel important to advertise that he managed a real scientist.)

In my current job, I do include my PhD in my email signature, business card and LinkedIn name because it makes customers feel like they’re getting attention from somebody “important” (more important than I really am). I do not, however, add it to my name when I sign emails or write reports, and nobody ever calls me Dr. SoAndSo.

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AnotherAlison August 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm

An older woman who I’m connected to has what must be her 1990s glamour shot. It is scary.

In general, I should recognize you when I meet you in person if we first connected via LinkedIn.

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Maraca August 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Love it!

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A Teacher August 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Actually in some professions it isn’t uncommon. Nursing, PT, and athletic training are 3 that come to mind. On my sister’swork badge and for professional meetings she’s required to list RN, TNS, BSN. She also has a host of other credentials she doesn’t list and the top of her resume is just her name, no credentials but when she signs a cover letter it is RN, BSN and sometimes she puts her paramedic credentials.

In athletic training I am MS,MA, ATC in my signature because its common. Again not at the top of my resume or as my linked in title, but in my profession for email signature I can’t just put the
ATC because that just assumes I have only a bachelors (nothing wrong with a bachelors).

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A Teacher August 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Also whe I sign medical records I have to list my credentials so it’s just become kind of habit. I don’t walk around and advertise my credentials but in my professional life, like a lot of other medical practitioners , I use them because it is common practice.

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Anon2 August 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Another area where dating (online) is similar. ;)

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Elizabeth West August 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Bwaa ha ha!

Mine is the pic by my name. That’s also on my writer business card, and both my blogs. If I change the picture on one place, I’ll have to change them all. :P Thank goodness VistaPrint is cheap.

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Sparky629 August 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Or your 1980′s Glamour Shot phote complete with big hair, sparkly lip gloss, torn/ripped jeans, and of course the ‘one shouldered shirt’.

Or a pic that clearly should be a FB profile pic. There is a faculty member at my job whose profile pic is her with a shirt that is clearly her ‘date night’ shirt. It has billowy sleeves with slits from shoulder to elbow and a low cleavage line

Seriously. smh.

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Sara August 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm

How sure are you that that’s not a current picture? I went to an 80′s party the other day and bought my entire outfit at Target =/

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Sparky629 August 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Lol.
Because that person no longer has that particular 80′s hairstyle and hasn’t in the 6+ years that I’ve know her. She’s also not that thin anymore either.

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Karyn August 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

How about just flat-out lying about the position you held at a company when a bunch of your coworkers are on your page? A former coworker of mine claimed on his Linked In to be “Assistant General Counsel,” when he was no such thing (he had a law license but was the manager of a non-legal department). He was found out when the ACTUAL General Counsel saw the description on his page, after my coworker added him. Good job, Ace.

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Blinx August 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm

This always floors me! It *may* fool a future employer, but none of their previous colleagues. What are they thinking?? One of my former coworkers made a title for himself that didn’t exist. I guess it’s how he saw his position.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I recently saw one career-advice blogger recommend making up your own title for your resume, etc. Sigh.

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Stells August 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Oy!

I’ve only ever recommended changing a title on a candidate’s resume (in my agency days) when it was for a company I KNEW had odd or unknown job title or had ranking issues (for example one company was notorious for using designations that under-represented their job duties – Coordinator intead of Associate instead of Specialist, etc) and even then I always make sure they know to qualify this in the interview and list it correctly if they ever fill out application.

(Significantly) changing your job title on the wrong document will get your offer rescinded before you can blink!

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Stells August 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm

(in some places I mean)

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Boina Roja August 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Statements of your “skills” in third person. I.e.; “Boina is a very communicative, organised person who always has time to coach her peers without missing her targets. She is also a sparring partner for management to whom she displays her out off the box solutions”

Eeeeeeeeewwww!

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Yes! It’s not a third-person blurb about you on a book cover; everyone knows you wrote it yourself.

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Shane August 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Or the alternative that you didn’t write it yourself and had to have someone else tell you what your skills are…

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I just saw that on someone’s profile! I did laugh! I think, however, it was simply copied from a corporate document, where that tone is very appropriate.

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm

It’s actually normal to write some biographical things in the third person. Look up “professional biography writing.”

I could see lots of valid reasons to put your professional biography on LinkedIn. Normally, though, you see these types of biographies on personal web sites or company web sites. It’s considered reasonable to write them in the first person as well, especially on personal web sites (like Alison’s “About Me” section on this site), but more common to do it in third person on business sites.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm

The problem is that it’s not the culture of LinkedIn to do third-person; it’s a networking site, not a conference program.

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Kelly O August 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Kelly has long wished to be as QEII and refer to herself as the Royal “we.”

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Anon... August 11, 2012 at 11:57 am

you go girl! lol

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Elizabeth West August 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Writer bios are usually in the third person, but I would not put mine on LinkedIn.

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JLH August 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

A third-person bio clearly written by the person it’s about make me oogy. It can be done right where you don’t get the sense it’s written by the person themselves, but when it’s not done right it reminds me of people who talk about themselves in the third-person.

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Ask a Manager August 13, 2012 at 3:08 am

Eeekk! I need to confess that I just realized part of my own LinkedIn profile was written in the third person. How embarrassing.

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

It bothers me when someone’s headline is something other than their job title.

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lucy August 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Most linkedin how-tos actually tell people to not make their title their headline.

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Piper August 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Best practices of LinkedIn say to change the headline to something more active (think advertising headline rather than your job title). I’ve used the headline to say what I do and that I’m seeking work. Trust me, it works. I’ve gotten three jobs from being recruited through LinkedIn.

Those headlines are important. Using something other than a job title is fine, especially when you’re current job title is superfluous and only makes sense within your organization (i.e. they’re calling you Master Wizard of Tea Pot Making when the rest of the world calls you a Product Developer).

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Malissa August 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I wonder if the headline of ” Frozen Accountant looking for warmer weather” would work?

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Some of us have job titles that don’t really help people find us for relevant jobs.

My official title is Research Assistant. That tells you jack diddly about what I research, so it’s meaningless to a search engine. I could be researching anything from Chocolate Teapots to Toffee Coffeemakers.

So, instead, I specify the type of research I do. That has meaning and tells people if I might be the kind of person they’re looking for.

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Laura L August 10, 2012 at 9:28 am

Oooh! I want a toffee coffeemaker!

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Bionic Wombat August 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Ooo, any time I see “Experienced Chocolate Teapot Professional,” I think “unemployed and not very imaginative.”

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Lily August 11, 2012 at 7:22 am

Well, i worked in a state govt job with a position officially called “IT Generalist” mainly a large subset of work functions can fall inder this grouping. It was normal procedure to add a functional/working title to our signatures; hence, much thought went into this, and I created one that reflected my duties for both my LinkedIn and my email signature. Deciding a functional title was no easy task as in state govt we are stretched thin over a broad set of duties…particularly those of us who specialize in Web which is a world of difference compared to, say, legacy apps tier 1 phone support, also an “IT Generalist”. But who on earth could glean meaning from “IT Generalist”? When I see people put that as their title, it makes me think they haven’t really acheived definition and/or understanding of thier role and functions.

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Jamie August 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

I’ve never seen IT Generalist as a title, but used as a description.

It typically means Jack of all master of none, which isn’t bad – its a very useful function in some environments.

For example, if you have limited IT staff your go-to IT person should be a generalist so they can deal with anything from network, db, hardware, peripheral issues, etc. The knowledge base is wide, but not as deep across the board as that of those who specialize.

One of most valuable skills a generalist can have is the ability to learn what they need to support their environment, and to know how to clearly communicate the issues and specs – to be the liaison between their company and specialized contractors/vendors.

Using it as a blanket title in an org strikes me as lazy though, because you’re right in that it doesn’t tell you enough. I would still caution using a made up title on a resume, though. If the title won’t be verified by HR during a check it will be a big red flag to many. I would rather explain the details of a vague title than explain why I am using one not given to me.

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Lily August 21, 2012 at 12:29 am

True. It did require learning new skills as the needs of agency changed. And my role changed significantly over the years, as would be the case with a “Generalist”. But in this case, I did specifically take a position in web, on the “web team” at my agency; we mainly handled front-end web, overseeing the content management system and supporting the users (non tech program-office people); that involved building the infrastructure, designing the look/feel and creating the framework and subsites. Later it became exponentially more complex when we had to migrate to a portal environment. The “generalist” in me had to pull from many broad skillsets like project management, business analysis, etc and I actually had to define the role for my manager because it became well beyond the scope of her understanding as work crossed many areas of IT. But it was always ‘web’ related. In fact I had a higher level “IT Generalist” position doing IT contract and project mgmt prior but voluntarily took a demotion to follow my original goals (since the year 2000 after obtaining a web cert I had tried to find a position specific to front-end web, not apps dev etc…) but unfortunately this title burned me in the end. After 6 yrs of stellar work and building skills and experience toward my career path in web, workplace bullying/mobbing was what recently ended my career. The toxic management was able to do a bait and switch and move me to a completely useless position designed to be redundant and miserable, as given in my above example, they did an adverse move to a Tier 1 phone help position and justified the high level by saying i would become the agency MS Access expert (a technology the agency was actively phasing out and was something I had essentially ‘whistleblown’ about when the team I was shoved onto against my will; in a job having nothing to do with web, was using an extremely inefficient 20 yr old silo MS Access app to track helpdesk tickets instead of the standard system everyone uses. This meant everyone was kept in the dark on info that came from our users, which would have gone into a supported Statewide robust ITIL compatible system, all data combining to build a very useful searchable knowledge-base; I was justifying audibly that we use the State Govt’s supported and effective standard, we already own and had in place for years. This was required for Helpdesks. But this agency wanted to keep the disconnect (power i guess, by hoarding info in a way that can’t be tracked/quantified, nor used. My punishment for justifying we follow the standard (and complaining of abusive manager) was to be shoved into an adverse role that used none of my skills, while they simultaneously justified the web position I had prior as ‘critical to agency business’ and a ‘rare, broad skillset, very hard to find; not existing in-house”. While giving pretextual explanation for moving me off ‘web team’, they would plan to train me to become the expert on the very technology/system i justified we move away from. The idea was more setups for failure in a position that had no other similarly situated employees. One of the contractors from that helpdesk team now has my former web role. I, on the other hand, left for u paid extended sick leave due to PTSD from years of workplace bullying and knowing this was the beginning of the end (putting me where it would be easy to just say “you failed”) whereas in web, i had stellar accomplishments behind me and knew my job better than anyone (because i built and defined it, of course, w/ my manager’s blessing at the time). So yep, the ‘generalist’ title made it hard to prevent them moving me adversely for retaliatory purposes. I’d have to sue them to get the full facts on the table. Which i felt reluctant to do (i would be making citizens pay in tax dollars for the morons who did this). Interestingly, i was retrained in 2000 by voc rehab, as a perm disabled person, specifically for web. None of that matters when there is mobbing, when HR is corrupt, and when the supervisor is a corporate psychopath.

I strongly advise defining a role functionally and making sure everyone knows what that is and is in agreement. It took toxic managers years to defame and destroy me as I had been ‘known’ for the areas in which I specialized, throughout the agency and even across various agencies. I helped create various standards for ‘web’ for all agencies, working with the office of admin via giving feedback and setting solid examples they decided to use.

I just was too busy, and uninformed, about mobbing and workplace bullying. Thought it was simply project stress that would pass… meanwhile they destroyed my career and that of at least 3 people who supported me, 2 of which are now gone too. A solidly defined role, agreed upon and in writing is key. It is also imperative to have regular annual performance reviews and updated job descriptions (something else my supv neglected to do, esp during the best most productive yrs i had there; pretty sure that was not by accident, in retrospect)…

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm

What about joint husband/wife LinkedIn profiles? I have heard tell that these things exist, although I think they’re mostly apocryphal.

Also, unprofessional pictures in general. Whether too casual night out pictures or wedding pictures (I’ve seen both). Listen, I look good in my wedding pictures too but that doesn’t make it okay to use as my professional photo!

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Catherine August 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Sort of like husband/wife Facebook profiles? Makes sense for a purely social network like FB but that seems weird to me on LinkedIn, where one of the main goals is to get jobs…you’re not hiring the pair.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Joint husband/wife profiles? I kind of want to offer a reward to anyone who gives us a link.

Unless it’s for an industry where you’d hire the pair — like a circus.

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J August 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

WHAAAA? This I gotta see!!

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Andrea August 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I would love it if circus people were on LinkedIn. With pictures in sequined costumes.

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twentymilehike August 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm

“Unless it’s for an industry where you’d hire the pair — like a circus.”

Priceless. Absolutely priceless.

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Heather August 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Literally lolled.

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Dana August 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

If you do a LinkedIn search and put ‘and’ in the first name search box, up comes a bunch of husband and wife duos.

Most seem to be husband-and-wife business owners or real estate agents, but I do love the couple who describes their 2-person team as “Entrepreneurs and Home Business Owners who empower others to live the life of their dreams.”

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I just did this! Very disturbing.

I maintain that even if you are in business with your significant other, you both have YOUR OWN LinkedIn with the joint business name as the company name (and a company page in both names if you’re so inclined).

P.S. my favorite result of the “and” search was the twin ladies who have a twin talent agency. I did not know that such a thing existed! It’s almost as good as a circus duo.

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Anon... August 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

So I just went to Linkedin and put ‘circus’ in the search box under jobs..

there is a ‘Circus Performers’ group with 990 members! (I actually have 8 2nd degree contacts in this group! lol, who knew?)
Also, a clown group, jugglers group and several performance/entertainment groups. And a cruise ship entertainer group :)
This was enlightening – thanks AaM commenters for inspiring me to check into this catagory. You never know who you know..

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Anonymous August 10, 2012 at 8:41 am

The profile I am connected to belongs to husband and wife who own a dance school. In fact, its title is the school name.
They are not LinkedIn-savvy, won’t bother with building separate profiles because they are not really looking for jobs.
Go ahead and snicker now.

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Jojo August 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I almost choked on my tea. Hahhaha

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Charlie August 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm

No way! Why? Why would anyone ever do that?

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Kelly O August 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Because, *ahem* in “healthy relationships” there are no secrets between husband and wife, and all social media outlets are shared, so there is no temptation to engage in potentially questionable behavior with members of the opposite sex. (Although no one has mentioned same sex, so I’m guessing those are okay.)

I have a LOT of old friends from home who do that. It annoys the fire out of me. For one, I get birthdays mixed up that way. For another, sheesh. I figure if I don’t trust my husband enough to not worry about every moment he spends on social media, we have way bigger problems than Facebook.

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Rana August 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm

+1

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Charlie August 10, 2012 at 4:43 am

Hilarious! And, it stops your other half being able to moan about you to their best mate on social media! Woohoo!

This is a great idea! No one will ever split up, ever again!

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Stells August 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I’m so guilty of using a wedding photo for mine, but they were so much better than anything I had at the time.

That being said, I used what was basically a headshot. I wasn’t wearing my veil, so it really could have easily been from some gala or something (my dress wasn’t super ornate).

I have a non-wedding one now. That was a few years ago.

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Sandy August 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I have a photo from my engagement pictures as my LinkedIn picture. But I figure it was done by a professional photographer, I looked nice, and I cropped it so it looks like a headshot. I also picked one that my husband wasn’t in.

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I am just about to switch mine to a honeymoon picture we had done by a pro. Also one without my husband and cropped to a headshot. So I approve (if that was important to you ;-) )

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Eric August 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

If we are taking SAT scores off of our Linked-In profiles, can we take the question out of job applications (for positions that require graduate degrees and 10+ years of experience, at least).

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Good god yes.

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JT August 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Where did you see that question about SATs?

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Liz August 10, 2012 at 3:08 am

NGOs always ask for this, gpa, and GMAT/LSAT/GRE.

Somehow they are still known for being badly run. Go figure.

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Kelly O August 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I also submit not having to put your GPA from high school on applications.

Because although I had an awesome one, it has done jack diddly for me since I got into college.

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Elizabeth West August 9, 2012 at 10:28 pm

I HATE THAT.

I have two college degrees; obviously I finished high school! Also, I can’t put my graduation year because of age discrimination.

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Liz in a Library August 10, 2012 at 9:10 am

I have absolutely no idea what my high school GPA was…

And I’m one of those obnoxious people who could tell you my exact SAT and ACT scores (but don’t, I promise!). How do they expect people to remember high school GPA?!

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Laura L August 10, 2012 at 9:26 am

Ha! For real. My HS GPA was also good, but, alas, no one wants to hire me and pay me lots of money because of it. :-)

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ARM2008 August 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Before a recent interview I had to come up with HS and college GPAs, SAT score, GRE score, and something else. I tossed in that I was a national merit scholarship and I had gotten the highest grades in the school on the first grade standardized tests, but I don’t think the recruiter passed that on.

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Laura L August 10, 2012 at 9:27 am

Ha!

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lucy August 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I hate it when people post a bio of the company after each job title in the experience category… if i wanted to know that, i would google the company. I want to know what you actually DID.

**An exemption might be CEOs or entrepreneurs (which i have no idea how to spell. I obviously am not one.)

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Yup August 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Excessive sharing of personal data like home address, full birthdate including year, marital status, cell and land lines, and a link to your personal blog that discusses where your kids go to school and upcoming vacation plans.

I worry for these people’s safety, digital and physical.

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Blinx August 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm

These must be the same people who give Facebook-like status updates in LinkedIn… “Boy, it’s gonna be a hot one today, everybody stay cool.” Um, what?

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Boina Roja August 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Often done by managers/CEO who are over 40 and desperately want to keep “their” company hip. Or by start up owners fresh out of college.

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perrik August 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm

And that brings us to personal Twitter feeds! I have several connections who have linked Twitter to LinkedIn. If you’re tweeting with links to relevant articles or blog posts on professional topics, fantastic. If your Twitter spews out automated updates on tasks completed or music listened to or books read, etc., or most of your tweets are about personal stuff, please kill the LinkedIn feed. Pretty please.

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Boina Roja August 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Why? Don’t you want to know that the earlier mentioned CEO , who is well over 40, his orange bjorn borg boxers are a bit to tight?

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A Bug! August 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

No kidding! There was a recent article about how little information a person really needs to get access to most people’s entire lives online. It’s an interesting read, and a real eye-opener. I’m sure most people don’t really consider themselves as a likely target for hackers, but all it took for this guy was that he happened to have a Twitter username that someone else wanted.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/

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khilde August 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

This was a great article. I don’t have any Apple products, but it’s still eye opening how vulnerable we are with everything we have these days. Thanks for sharing.

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J August 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm

But you probably buy things from Amazon, and that’s how the social engineering hack got started.

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Elizabeth West August 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Amazon fixed that after this happened, thank goodness.

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Dan August 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm

No they didn’t. It says it in the article that Wired was able to duplicate the hack twice more in mere minutes.

As far as I can tell, neither Apple or Amazon are taking any responsibility. Personally, I’m taking back my credit card info, alternate emails, and any other info about me that these clowns don’t need. >:-[

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khilde August 10, 2012 at 9:58 am

oh, good point. To be honest the whole thing hurt my brain and I got lost about how it all went down while I was reading it. Sometimes I wish I could just learn to live without all that stuff and then not have to worry.

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Jamie August 10, 2012 at 10:01 am

And go off the grid? How do you do that?

Excel sheets which are chiseled into stone tablets would be really hard to edit.

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Suzanne Lucas--Evil HR Lady August 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I had a LinkedIn connection who used to post the name of the book he was currently reading. Seems kind of harmless, but it was always some controversial political book.

He unlinked me, and I always wonder why. I knew him from church and we’re both still linked to about 50 people that are in common. I wonder what I did to earn de-linking. Probably when my title changed from Consultant, Labor & Employment Law to Human Resources Writer. I sound far less prestigious now.

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

There is a Linked In Amazon “what are you reading” app that I’ve used before. But I try to only use it for professional titles. I definitely don’t post my smutty fiction choices up for everyone to see/judge or politically charged works. Things like “What Went Wrong With Enron” and “The Paradox of Choice” are what I tend to go with.

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Kelly O August 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

So y’all don’t want to know that I’m reading A Storm of Swords? Because the ins and outs of Westeros are totally relate-able to business. I mean, if you view business as war, and incestuous, back-stabbing wars full of people who make wild assumptions based on… wait, maybe it IS appropriate for business…

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Blinx August 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm

One of my connections has their whole Amazon reading list posted — and it’s mostly novels. People, you’re not on Facebook!

Suzanne — maybe he no longer wanted an “evil” connection?

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Elizabeth West August 9, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Mine says I’m reading Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich. I wonder what would happen if I put Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on it. That’s what I’m reading right now. :)

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BS August 10, 2012 at 12:44 am

That’s too bad, Suzanne. I’d have considered it pretty cool to be linked to you on LinkedIn! I’ve been unlinked once or twice that I know of, and it definitely made me wonder what the deal was.

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Laura August 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm

AAM- I have to disagree in SOME instances about SAT score.

For consulting and investment banking recruits, even a handful of years out of school, it is often the first thing required. Some online screens just ask for no resume, but SAT score, college GPA, and transcript if available. That is often a first screen.

I have applied to the top firms and got emails immediately back that my resume didn’t have SAT score.

Granted, this is ONE sector and only for younger hires.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I still maintain it doesn’t belong on your LinkedIn profile, if only because it will look silly to everyone else :)

Also, this particular person appears to be mid-40s.

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AnotherAlison August 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I just checked this former coworker of mine’s profile, and yep, he’s still got his GPA listed. We started in the same position at the same time, 12 years ago, and he was always in a one-sided competition with me. Then he got laid off. : ) He has a lot of legitimate grown-up accomplishments listed, so the GPA really is more of a detractor than anything.

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J August 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm

GPA still loses to PSAT scores!!! :)

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jmkenrick August 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

It’s so confusing! I feel like, if you’re out of college, listing your GPA or your SAT score carries with it the implication that you haven’t done anything noteworthy since.

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fposte August 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Heh. I didn’t see this when I wrote mine. We are as one on this.

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BureaucratJedi August 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I have one connection who lists test scores. Normally I’d think it’s a bit weird, but in his case I can see why he chooses to spike the football:

GRE scores: 800 (Verbal), 800 (Quantitative)
SAT scores (pre-recentering): 800 (English), 800 (Math)
SAT II scores: 800 (Literature), 800 (Math II), 800 (Writing)

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JT August 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Whoa. Those are impressive.

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Anon August 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

What about GMAT scores, if your score is good enough (and corollary, what is “good enough”)?

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

No.

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Catherine August 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm

That may be impressive to some but if you don’t know how to upload a file to a content management system then I don’t really care what your test scores are. (I’m looking at you, all you incompetent tenured professors.)

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Oh, I so agree. Our professors can’t deal with content management systems at all.

They also have a tendency to demand their own special content management system, so we have over 10 different ones across the single sub-department that I work in. As in, 10+ different products that all need to be maintained, for the exact same business purpose! One guy is responsible for at least 3 of them, and he keeps the same documents in each one.

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Rana August 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Agreed. All that tells me, honestly, is that the guy was, at one brief moment in his life, very, very good at taking tests.

The real question is: what has he done with those smarts since then?

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Exactly. Smart doesn’t matter if it doesn’t turn into achievements.

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fposte August 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

He still had better quit that, though; otherwise he’ll start to look like a forty-year-old who’s putting that high-school touchdown on his resume. The farther away you get from those, the more their prominence suggests that it’s been downhill since then.

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Blinx August 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm

BureaucratJedi — Is his name Sheldon? Only half kidding. A person like Sheldon WOULD list all of those scores, along with his IQ.

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Liz August 10, 2012 at 3:19 am

I literally thought of putting Mensa on mine, but I think it is a bit of a scam (like those”who’s who of america’s high schools/dental hygienist programs/ cat fanciers.” fortunately I realized no or who met me would believe it (I did qualify but I sound like a little girl when I talk) and, more important, no one I would want to work for would like it :$

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm

How do you feel about being linked to parents, or other non-professional relationships, on LinkedIn?

I’ve personally avoided being linked to anyone that I don’t have some sort of professional relationship with. I personally want to use LinkedIn for work purposes, not for socializing, as I think there are other places more appropriate for that.

However, my mother gave me an extremely hard time about this when I wouldn’t link to her. She’s a housewife with no interest in getting a job in the foreseeable future, and she has no relevant experience in any career field that I might ever interact with. After that conversation, I realized I don’t really know what the norm is on this front, or how much anyone can see of my links. Is this something I should worry about, or is adding my obnoxious mother mostly harmless?

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I’m linked to my mom, I mean it doesn’t hurt anything (and we have different last names) I’m also linked to my husband and sister-in-law and many friends. I mean having access to your family’s networks isn’t a bad thing and it’s not like you’re posting hearts and smiley faces on their wall.

On the other hand if you son’t want to be linked to your mom she should let up on you :)

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Andrea August 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I think LinkedIn is becoming the next Facebook. If empty-nest homemakers–not interested in looking for outside work & just connecting with people they know for funsies–are on there, then the end is near.

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Lexy August 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I missed the bit about anonymous’s mom being a housewife… my mom’s a professional in asset management. She’s a killer connection for anyone :-)

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Liz August 10, 2012 at 3:20 am

Nice!

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Catherine August 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

+ 1

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Kelly O August 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Y’all would not believe the stay at home moms who do this, and put their title as CEO of Smith Household. (And I am in no way trying to denigrate SAHM – trust me right now I would totally be one if I could – but I’m just saying, balancing your checkbook is important, but it does not make you a CFO, no matter how many times someone tries to convince you.)

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Jess August 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Yes!! I was going to comment about this, but I figured that I should search the comments first because someone else had to have written about it! I have seen SO MANY of these “CEO of the household” profiles. Cannot understand how that belongs on linkedin.

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BS August 10, 2012 at 12:48 am

What?!? Wow, I’ve never seen anything like that. The closest I’ve seen is my mom who simply has “Independent Professional” listed. And yeah, there’s nothing bad about linking to your mom. 99.9% of my LinkedIn contacts are professional relationships, but if the occasional family member wants to link to you, what’s the big deal?

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Jamie August 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

This. And I’d never denigrate SAHM’s either…I was one myself for more than a decade.

But it’s not the same. It’s harder in some ways, and the stakes are definitely higher in the long run, but managing toddlers isn’t the same as managing grown-ups at work.

If it isn’t, you’re doing it wrong.

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Part of why I don’t want to link to her is because she’s kind of sleazy. Her LinkedIn profile describes a fake job – and it’s obviously fake. I’m rather worried that, if anyone looks at it and it’s clear that she’s my mother, there may be awkward questions.

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Catherine August 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm

What?? Oh definitely don’t link to her. That’s weird. If anyone did that I wouldn’t link to them, regardless of connection.

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Stells August 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Definitely don’t do it, and tell her why, IMHO.

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jmkenrick August 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I’m linked to both my Dad, but I also consider him part of my network. I mean, our industries overlap and we live in the same area.

I’m not linked to my Mom, because I’m not a psychologist. If your Mom is a housewife, I would consider it irrelevant. I mean, no reasonable person is going to go through your connections and check for a shared last name.

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sam.i.am August 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I’m connected to my dad and brother for the same reason. Likewise, I’m connected with plenty of people who are personal friends, but aren’t in my professional network. You never know want to get to know another accountant friend, via this non-accountant.

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I might feel differently about it if I thought the connections would help. But, she’s a housewife, and she doesn’t have meaningful connections. She has 7 total, to people that also don’t have jobs. I’m sure that there are housewives with big networks of useful people – but that ain’t my mother.

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Piper August 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Also, you can turn off the option for allowing people to even see your connections.

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Anon... August 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I have unlinked to people who have requested to be linked to me and then turn out to have their connections hidden. WTF? So they get to see mine and I don’t get to see theirs? Not cool. A few I wrote to and they weren’t aware, a few gave excuses why they hid their connections. I unlinked from those (after telling them why)

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Jess August 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Eh, I’m linked to my dad and husband on linkedin. And probably a dozen people who are friends but who I never have interacted with professionally. When I joined linkedin years ago I was a graduate student who had not yet started my career, and all of connections pretty much were friends! Some of them were graduate school friends and so could be considered professional connections, but still.

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Rana August 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I’m linked to some of my relatives and in-laws, but all of us treat LinkedIn as a source of connections and a place to have a professional profile, so it works okay. We socialize in other venues.

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Lisa August 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

If your mom is going to send hugs and kisses statuses, then yes , ignore her link request. however, my mom just graduated as an RN, and linking to her means I am a 2nd connection to her school friendwho has family connected to them that are in MY industry. I can then try to connect with this 3rd connection without using inMail which costs money.

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ChristineH August 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Nope – I’ve come across a few relatives and online friends on LinkedIn, and a couple of them have invited me to connect. But if there is no mutual areas of professional interest, then I decline.

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BS August 10, 2012 at 12:51 am

Wow, why would you decline them? What possible harm is there in adding a relative or online friend on LinkedIn? Yes, it’s a professional networking site, but how is it hurting you to be linked to someone you know but don’t share a mutual professional interest with?

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Alisha August 10, 2012 at 4:22 am

I’m connected to my husband (whose surname isn’t mine) and my brother. Will probably add my sister-in-law when she finds me as well.

When I first joined, I was stricter about all that. But once I saw that the only conversation occurring on LinkedIn Groups was from fake accounts posting spam links to their data-phishing sites and multi-level marketing scams 2-3x each in ONE day (that and the whole “You must pay $34783246 for any useful feature” thing), I decided it had jumped the shark. (Oh lord. Happy Days!) Now I just use it to dash off notes to contacts and receive job tips from headhunters.

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Anonymous August 10, 2012 at 5:51 am

There are good groups on Linkedin, also, you just have to choose carefully.

It depends what you are looking for.

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Jamie August 10, 2012 at 6:53 am

Sorry, that was me. New RSS so wiped out my name.

The groups on LinkedIn are like anything else, there are some that are crap and some that are extremely helpful and informative for different things. You can’t paint them all with the same brush.

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Alisha August 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I’ve joined 12, and I’ve been seeing similar spammers pop up on each. I’ve checked out 16 in total, but I dropped 4, where the worst offenders were.

Could you suggest any tech-related groups where there aren’t spammers? Believe me, I wish I could find them, but the ones for my region have a higher ratio of spammers to actual participants.

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Jamie August 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Are you looking for job search groups or professional groups? I’m not looking for work so the ones with which I’m familiar are the professional discussion groups.

Alisha August 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I will agree that it’s fair to say I shouldn’t paint all the groups with the same brush, but the ones in my region are all of a piece.

I have some great news though: My husband got a FT job in NYC AND I got a PT job!!! Which could go FT if I do well. We’re slated to start at the end of September, and I’m totally amped about this new beginning. Maybe I’ll even hook up with some awesome LinkedIn groups. In fact, I’m sure of that! This couldn’t have come at a better time…I really need this fresh start and it’s great I’m getting it.

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Alisha August 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Whoops, sorry Jamie, I didn’t see yr comment – I’m looking for job-search groups.

I do agree that the professional discussion groups are good. I was active in those when I was working. Sorry I wasn’t clear about that. Since I have this PT offer though, I think I’m going to really work the recruiter, headhunter, and MeetUp circuit in NYC. Plus, my employer has ties to the design/creative scene, so I’m sure to pick up more work that way. It’s just such a relief to know I’m going to be able to get of unemployment soon. For anyone who’s been there, I’m sure you remember the feeling.

Anon... August 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

+1

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Andy Lester August 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Most things that are an attempt at humor. I just saw a profile of someone I know the other day and under interests, along with technical interests, he listed “Your mom.”

Same rule with resumes for hobbies and outside organizations: Only list if they somehow relate to the job. You support Obama? Leave it off. You performed some tangible benefit for the Obama campaign? Put it on.

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Catherine August 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

“Your mom”? Really? Grow up, people. These are the same kinds of people who email you their resumes with emails like “kittenkisses@aol.com” and “foxxymamma888@juno.com.”

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jmkenrick August 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

What? I like kittens, ok?

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A Bug! August 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Or “yourname420@hotmail.com”. Even if your birthday is April 20.

(And especially if you’re involved in a custody matter where you’re adamant you don’t use marijuana.)

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Stells August 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Don’t even get me started on the person who listed ThunderThighs69 on her RESUME, y’all!

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Rana August 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Egad!

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Jill of All Trades August 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Wow. I declare this to be the winner!

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Stells August 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Yeah, it was really bad.

I have a friend who works for a call center doing IT Helpdesk work – we always compare email addresses, but she always wins because people care less about what their cable service provider thinks of them.

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ThunderThighs69 August 15, 2012 at 2:29 am

Hey, wait! What’s wrong with my email address?

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twentymilehike August 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I’m finding this discussion very, very informative! I’m currently wrestling with the idea of starting a LinkedIn account, but I’m wary–as I am with most things on the internet. My hubby and I are really careful about what we put out there in the world and who can find us. He purposefully keeps anything personally identifying him off of the internet because of a checkered past full of people he doesn’t want to reconnect with. I’m personally still bitter about my bratty classmates from high school and don’t care to see or hear from most of them. I’m always shocked at how much personal information people so willingly put online!

So, if used how its described here (the good, not the bad! and purely professionly) do the benefits of having a LinkedIn account outweigh my (possibly ridiculous) fear of dealing with unwanted connections?

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Catherine August 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

“I’m always shocked at how much personal information people so willingly put online!” And then they gripe about Facebook changing their privacy policies and threaten to leave it. Facebook is quaking in its boots, people. Quaking.

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AnotherAlison August 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I use it as a rolodex. It’s the only way I keep track of former colleagues. You can export your connections list, too, so you have a record that you own in case your connections unconnect.

Pros – I’ve used it to track down references, recruiters have contacted me, I’ve kept track of all the people I meet at conferences. I also use it for research in my job. I even open the occassional article link people post and find some interesting tips. I’m also connected to a lot of contractors, so it makes it easy to refer them to my friends and coworkers.

Cons – If you are a job seeker, you are much easier to verify, and maybe you don’t want that.

I haven’t been tracked down by any crazy people from high school. I don’t have my HS on my education section or my maiden name, so it’s not easy to find me. You can lock down your profile fairly easily.

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twentymilehike August 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

AnotherAlison–great feedback, thank you! Especially the part about not using your maiden name or putting high school on there. I forget that’s the exact same reason I don’t have those things listed on my facebook profile! I also don’t list my workplace or what I do on my facebook profile for the opposite reason. I try to keep those things completely separated.

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Tina August 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm

As I understand it, LinkedIn created the “test scores” section when they added a series of sections intended to help younger individuals with limited experience, such as college students, round out their profiles with more information. Work with what you have, right? I agree the usefulness is limited, and I wouldn’t want to see test scores for individuals who have already graduated and been working.

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J August 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

It’s probably ok if you’re still in college, but afterwards, especially 5+ years in the working world afterwards, it’s just embarrassing. To me it sends the message that you:
1) have the bad judgement to still think it’s something that people should care about and judge you by even though you’re way past school age
2) you have accomplished nothing else of importance

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Bridgette August 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

* photos of your children.

But Alison, those are accomplishments! ;)

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Hello Vino August 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I’ve seen LinkedIn profiles where people don’t bother to use capitalization at all. Everything in lowercase!

Also noticed a lot of people connecting their Twitter accounts to LinkedIn and tweeting about things that are not appropriate in a professional setting.

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ProfilePicsGoneWild August 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

What about profile pics with your pet? My realtor has a picture of herself with her dog. Is it professional, assuming you aren’t a vet or animal trainer?

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

What is with realtors and pictures of themselves?

They plaster their picture more indiscriminately than Hollywood starlets. Business cards, For Sale signs, bus benches, and those crappy little fridge calendar magnets they send you every December.

I have never understood this – no other profession needs to hand out pics of themselves like it’s 8th grade and the school pictures were just distributed.

I get pissy once a year when that calendar comes and my husband puts it on the fridge. And every year I take it down and toss it in the garbage and have the same freaking argument. She’s not family or an adorable kitten or puppy – why on earth should I have to look at her whenever I go in my kitchen? She’s a woman who helped us buy our house almost a decade ago…the bond is just not that strong for me.

/end rant – but seriously, if someone could explain that logic to me I would appreciate it because it absolutely baffles me.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I have always wondered this too. Josh S. came up with a plausible theory for it here:
http://www.askamanager.org/2011/11/employer-is-including-our-photo-in-all-emails-we-send.html#comment-41540
(And now that I look, many other commenters in that thread had good theories too!)

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm

That will teach me to search the archives before ranting out loud. There has to be something to it, because it’s so pervasive, maybe Josh is right. It has the opposite effect on me, though.

Apparently sending me your magnetized picture with a calendar in the mail each December is a tried and true way to get me to hate you.

And if I were to pick on based on a pic alone, I can tell you I wouldn’t choose one of those who are grinning maniacally – which accounts for most that I’ve seen. Seriously, it’s a job people…you show houses – you’re not spending the day with Alex Van Halen on a yacht. Tone the excitement down a couple of hundred notches.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Right! And you want a tough negotiator, not a people pleaser. I might want someone like that chilled-out, almost-executed car dealer from the video I posted yesterday.

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

He is exactly who I would pick.

Still wouldn’t want his face on fridge, but he could find me a house.

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Elizabeth West August 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm

He was awesome.

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Rana August 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm

My feeling is no. Let the dog get his own LinkedIn page! ;)

(Actually, that strikes me as a pretty good rule of thumb. Don’t pose with anything or anyone who could have their own profile or business page. And if that profile or page would fit better on Facebook or Twitter, that goes double. So, no spouses, kids, fraternities, pets, hobbies…)

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BS August 10, 2012 at 12:53 am

Yeah, not on LinkedIn! I do, however, have a pic of my dog and me as my current Twitter pic.

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Anonymous123 August 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I think it’s only appropriate if you are employed within the pet industry in some way (dog groomer, trainer, etc.)

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Alisha August 10, 2012 at 4:16 am

Ladies in my area put their wedding photos, like with the veil and everything, as their LinkedIn photo. Don’t do that!

Also, if you’re approaching the 10th anniversary of your college graduation date: the date has to go. Especially if you’ve earned a master’s or higher since then. GPA should go after the 5-year mark. There are exceptions of course, but that’s for my field. High tech is a young field, and even if you’re not 25, employers want the bushy tailed purple squirrel who’s 25 and has the energy of an Olympic long-distance runner, as well as 10 years of experience with iPhone development and Facebook APIs. (I get my LOLs where I can.)

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Elizabeth August 10, 2012 at 7:16 am

I totally disagree. My LinkedIn is about who I am, and I am not just my job!!I am 55 and in upper management. I have pictures, info on my favorite Christian rock bands, and stuff about my vacations. Who is to decide what is “professional?” That term has gotta go!!!

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Jamie August 10, 2012 at 8:16 am

People can and do use LinkedIn in many different ways – but it is important for people to know that if you are using it even partly as a tool to look for work it’s a good idea to keep it professional.

If your LinkedIn profile is more Facebookesque than professional information it will be off putting to a lot of employers.

Mine isn’t personal, but it’s not good…it’s a hot mess actually…but I’m not looking for a job so I haven’t gotten around to fine tuning.

For people looking for work your cover letter, resume, and often LinkedIn profile are the first impressions of you to a prospective employer. It makes sense to put your best foot forward in a market with such tight competition.

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Dynamic Six-Sigma Black Belt MBA August 10, 2012 at 9:41 am

Linkedin has turned into a (pardon my language) wankfest for many people: how many useless corporate abbreviations and titles can I attach to my smug profile picture? Connections trying to outdo each other by listing the most current useless seminar they’ve attended or a “promotion” that changes one word of their job title.

The amount of stupid job titles and positions I see on Linkedin makes me realize that an 8.2% unemployment rate is too low. Corporate America is padded with useless employees.

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Dan August 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Really? You wish more people were unemployed?

Aaaalllrighty then…

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Mishsmom August 10, 2012 at 8:18 pm

an acquaintance of mine posts updates of things she’s doing, as if it’s a Facebook account… it’s very odd

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Reginal Baxter January 30, 2014 at 4:02 am

Question… I took about 12 courses at a college and didn’t finish. And then I completed a bachelors in Management. Then I got accepted to Master’s School at University of Oregon for Information Management.

Should I include the two unfinished schools in my list of schools? Or not? THANKS!!

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Anonymous March 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

The Wall Street Journal and PBS recently published articles stating that SAT and ACT scores could still help you land a job with certain employers.

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