How to detect an exaggeration on a LinkedIn profile?
Each week, Dr. Kirstin Ferguson tackles workplace, career, and leadership questions in her advice column “Got a Minute? This week, exaggerated “chatter” on LinkedIn, supporting employees during the pandemic and confronting an unvaccinated caregiver.
If LinkedIn is here to stay, as you said in a previous column, how can a potential employer detect if a profile’s content contains exaggerated “fakes” (to say the least ) of the owner’s choice?
I am convinced that people boasting about their qualifications and exaggerating their abilities have been part of working life since time immemorial. Flattery and self-promotion have never been limited to social media sites and I suspect they might even be at their peak after hours in the bars of exclusive business clubs.
A non-negotiable rule of thumb when listing your professional or educational background on LinkedIn or on a resume is to make sure your facts are impeccably accurate. That doesn’t mean you should be nervous about using LinkedIn. List everything you’ve done and be proud of it. Never be wrong.
Anyone who exaggerates (or worse, lies) about their professional career is bound to be at fault, especially if they do so on a public site like LinkedIn. There have been many examples of LinkedIn profiles causing someone to downgrade, such as listing a degree they didn’t complete. So while professional “scourge” can be a risk, I actually think LinkedIn is one of the safest places to self-regulate and ensure only the facts prevail.
Employers, LinkedIn profiles are just one tool in your arsenal – you’ll also need to do the usual reference checks and interviews. By now, your lie detector should be fine-tuned and you can test any details that don’t match.
Our organization wants to do something to support employees during this time. We are a non-profit organization, so unfortunately we do not have excess cash to provide employee benefits such as additional paid time off. Some employees have been locked up for months while others are living relatively normally. What can we do to help employees during this time?
I think the best gift you can give your employees right now costs nothing.
What everyone, especially those in lockdown, needs most right now is understanding and empathy for what they are going through. Ultimately, as an employer, this means being forgiving, understanding and compassionate.
For example, let your team members know that it’s okay if they don’t prioritize work and check their email all the time. Let them know that it’s okay if their kids, pets, delivery people are having team meetings. Let them know that it’s normal for a deadline to be missed or if they have questionable Wi-Fi. Let them know if it’s OK if they’re having a bad day.