London Calling

LinkedIn. Is it trustworthy? Is it safe?


Am I listed on LinkedIn? No I'm not.  I opted out following last years security scare when hackers slashed their way into the site and ripped-off over six million user passwords.  Bad enough in itself, but to make it even worse the perpetrators then very cheekily posted a file containing the encrypted passwords onto a Russian forum asking the global hacking community to help with the de-cryption of the hacked passwords.  

To be fair LinkedIn responded pretty quickly by saying the hacked passwords would be invalidated. Ok, that may have been a tad shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted but it was a responsible damage limitation strategy by the networking site which may have provided solace to a percentage of aggrieved users.

What about information trustworthiness? 

Well, a recent survey questions the authenticity of some of the member information carried on the site. Not a major surprise you may think.

Robert Half UK, a recruitment specialist company, has revealed that 82% of finance directors question the trustworthiness and accuracy of a potential candidate’s LinkedIn profile. When questioned, more than 68% said that they found the information ‘sometimes’ and ‘never’ reliable. Nearly 39% said they were concerned about the opportunity job seekers have to exaggerate experience and skills, followed by lack of systems/procedures to qualify information (37%), relative anonymity of social media (15%) and lastly the lack of regularly updated profiles (8%).

Interestingly, the research found that more than 80% of people surveyed considered directly received applications for employment more trustworthy and accurate than LinkedIn profiles, with nearly one in four saying they are 'much more trustworthy’.

So your written job application and curriculum vitae (résumé) may seem a little quaint and Dickensian but it could still be the way to go to secure that job interview.

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