Slideshow 10 LinkedIn red flags to watch for with potential new hires

Published
  • November 03 2017, 11:33am EDT
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10 LinkedIn red flags to watch for with potential new hires

Many potential employees equate LinkedIn profiles to digital resumes, but there are a number of negative red flags employers, including benefits firms, should look out for. Several experts at Young Entrepreneur Council, an organization of business founders younger than 40, give advice on the red flags to watch for on the profiles of your potential recruits.

Reciprocal recommendations

When recommendations are given on a “tit-for-tat” basis, some hiring managers view this as “resume-stuffing” and “gaming the system.” Look for more authentic profiles that include unprompted recommendations and referrals from managers and business partners.

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Business name-dropping

A profile should represent the candidate, and if they call out some of their high-profile contacts, be cautious. It can seem unprofessional if those contacts don’t personally know the candidate.

A job a year

Candidates who hop from job to job may burn out quickly or have poor relationship skills. Startup companies require people in it for the long run, and commitment and confidence in a strong team is important to growing business.

Inappropriate language

This particular social platform needs to be treated as a professional network, and people who use lewd or suggestive language can come off as unprofessional, which is problematic from a business perspective.

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Exaggerated skills

Watch for profiles where candidates claim to be the master of every program and aspect of a business. Look for candidates who own their strengths, but who “don’t pretend to be a pro at the entire gamut,” says Young Entrepreneur Council. Employers are looking to fill specific talent gaps.

An unprofessional profile photo

This is one of your first impressions of a potential employee. Job seekers should know better than to include photos with other people or use filtered or unclear photos.

Outdated information

A current profile shows initiative and a desire to be up to date. At minimum, a candidate’s profile should be updated annually. “People who don't take the time to update their profiles at least once a year are [saying] they don't care about their online brand, which in this day and age is just foolish,” says Young Entrepreneur Council.

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A weak headline

Strong candidates will sell themselves with a strong headline. This aspect of a candidate’s profile serves as an attention-grabber and an “essential one-sentence sales pitch.”

Embellished job titles

Overstated job titles serve no one. A hiring manager may question the candidate’s authenticity, while a candidate may miss out on a great opportunity because the hiring manager thought they were overqualified for the job.

Excessive use of keywords

A good number of LinkedIn accounts are run by users relentless on sending out spam after connecting with other users. Avoid profiles that over-optimize with key words to show up in relevant searches.