Lying on LinkedIn

friendly man comic

I have noticed that there is a fair amount of lying on LinkedIn and I wanted to share my thoughts about it.

I recently had someone connect with me and even though I didn’t know him, he endorsed me for skills. Now I didn’t ask him for that, and I didn’t want that. I don’t believe in the skills section, because it is inflated for everyone. Most people are not in a good position to evaluate your technical skills.

I responded to him saying that I don’t appreciate people who lie by endorsing me for skills he doesn’t know if I have or not. I blocked him, and I considered reporting him. I don’t need my skills inflated by people who lie. That might work for others but it doesn’t work for me. I would rather have it look like I have no skills than have skills that people don’t know if I truly have or not.

friendly man comic
friendly man comic

However, it is not just the skills section that people lie about. I have talked with many people from LinkedIn and they routinely admit that they lie on their resumes. Why would you do that? If someone doesn’t like who I am, then I am not going to lie to make them not like me. I understand that some recruiters may look at my resume and the stays that I have had with some companies and think things that are not true. They may think, well he isn’t stable and stays at one job for a long time. I have had many recruiters say that I am a job hopper and that I don’t look good because it doesn’t look like I commit to a job.

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It is a shallow point of view. Anyone who has worked since 9/11 has found that most companies are very challenged by competition. For this reason, many companies and industries are dying. Many companies that I have worked for have had mass layoffs, and my boss said it wasn’t anything that I did wrong. I wasn’t the first to be let go, but often 15% or more of the workforce was let go. I don’t blame companies who do that. They have to make a profit. I do blame recruiters however for not asking questions and for assuming things that are not true.

This isn’t about me but rather about how “making things look good” often means that recruiters have to sort through the lies. No one helps anyone by not being honest, no matter what your work or personal life history is. I don’t blame people who help their family or who take time off to take care of a medical or other serious problem in their life. They aren’t less employable because they are responsible. To me, they are more employable because they are responsible.

Don’t judge people by what you read on LinkedIn. This is barely the surface of who someone is.