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Do people lie on LinkedIn?

A new study conducted by the recruitment firm Employment Office has found that 82% of those surveyed believe candidates lie about, or exaggerate, their skills and experience on their LinkedIn profiles.

As part of the research, Employment Office spoke with 300 clients that make hiring decisions or are business owners.

The survey also revealed that 67% of respondents believe job titles and responsibilities in previous roles are the most untrustworthy pieces of information. This was followed by periods of unemployment with 15% and education and qualifications with 12%.

“LinkedIn is a great way for professionals to connect with their industry peers and colleagues,” said Tudor Marsden-Huggins, managing director of the Employment Office.

“However, when it comes to recruitment, it is vital for employers to safeguard their business by utilizing a robust recruitment platform including thorough reference checks and testing procedures to separate the wheat from the chaff,”

According to Marsden-Huggins, there are currently more than 500 recruitment companies using LinkedIn as a source of talent.

 “People are less likely to provide false information on easily verified facts such as employment history and educational qualifications,” he said. “However, it can be very easy to get away with exaggerating their skills and responsibilities in previous roles.

“Many candidates believe employers don’t have the time to verify every detail of their previous employment, and unfortunately, this is often the case.  We are often dumbfounded at how often candidates are hired without a single referee being called.”

Marsden-Huggins recommends that people should incorporate a comprehensive shortlisting method as part of the recruitment process to help being caught out by what he calls ‘LinkedIn liars’.

“It is the same with LinkedIn as it is with life, untruths are usually uncovered at some stage.  It’s best to portray yourself with truthful information in your LinkedIn profile to avoid damage to your reputation if and when colleagues find out you’ve lied and exaggerated,” he suggested. “After all, LinkedIn is supposed to help your career and build credibility, but unverified information can actually do the opposite.”

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