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LinkedIn Profiles - More Accurate Than Resumes (Sad But True...)

So I couldn't make it to last week's Social Recruiting Summit at Google to speak, but as an end user I was obviously interested in the conversation, so I plugged in from time to time via the streaming video.  Good stuff, and here was an early takeaway that I thought I would share:

LinkedIn profiles maintained by a candidate are more accurate than the Resume maintained byLiarliarposter the same candidate...

Think about that one for a second.  Wait for it - there you go - the clarity and realization that if you're truly looking for "what's up" with a candidate, you need to rely on the LinkedIn profile.  Why is that true?  Because there's a community of co-workers, friends and past colleagues that always have access to the LinkedIn profile, and there's no such community with constant visibility to a random resume the candidate sends in, and you have no means to circulate the resume to that type of community to fact check.

The result?  As Reid Hoffman discussed at the Social Recruiting summit - people won't lie in public via LinkedIn.  With that in mind, the core elements at play in most LinkedIn profiles - the titles, the dates, etc. - are always going to be more accurate than the resume.

Here's the tricky part - when you're looking for a candidate to unfold what they did at ACME Inc., the LinkedIn profile doesn't usually include the 5-6 bullet points you're usually used to seeing on the resume, right?  That's a key component to understanding the context of what they did.

With that in mind, is the day coming (from an accuracy and honesty perspective) when we'll ask candidates to update their LinkedIn profiles with more detailed information on what they did at ACME?

If you have over 100 contacts on LinkedIn, I'd doubt you'll lie in a big way.  Too much crowd-sourcing going on...


Wally Bock

Another possibility is that we might not use LinkedIn per se, but make use of the principle. It's an interesting idea to use connections of the net to verify credentials.

Apres Ski

When 20-somethings get hired, some smart person usually goes to MySpace to check out their page.

It was just a matter of time before smart people started using LinkedIn as a resource instead of a person's credit report.

HR Minion

This makes so much sense to me, especially if they want to get recommendations from their connections. So can you use this as a quick integrity test by determining how much their resume matches their Linkedin profile? :)


I actually applied for a job using the LinkedIn PDF feature. The format was concise and straightforward. I felt that it was an honest representative of my body of skills and work.


Funny you mention this - I find myself going back to linkedIn to remember dates of my jobs. I figure I *must have gotten it right there*.

It'd not that I worry about lying, but I must be honest my memory for specifics on dates seems to be clouding as my [ahem] number of years of work experience grows.

Coach HR

Given the number of requests I get from HR pros on the basics of social media, it will be a while b/4 using LinkedIn as a resume. But keep spreading the word and maybe we'll get back to a time when we didn't distrust what people wrote.


I think LinkedIn is another tool and if garbage goes in, garbage comes out.
I personally have ex colleagues who are lying through their teeth on linkedin. Other colleagues either do not know how to input the truth in the profiles to set things straight or cannot be bothered to avoid conflict.
I think the use of LinkedIn in a particular job amrket or country directly reflects how people exchange information in the real world.
In my case, an ex-colleague who was dismissed due to psychological issues lied on LinkedIn. But no one will say the truth out of pity. Another took his boss' job description as his own and got someone to recommend him. Yet another ex-colleague who is hailed as a "good strategy developer" only managed upwards and always used headcount cuts as a solution. The consultants recommended him. The vendors did. But none of his peers or subordinates did.
People give recommendations not simply out of professional reasons. So I would say LinkedIn has its limitations.

Steve Tylock

Missed this over the summer...

As experienced LinkedIn users know, those that are trustworthy put good information in their profiles. Those that are not, do no.

So you have to connect only with trustworthy people...

More on my blog at

Steven Tylock
The LinkedIn Personal Trainer


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