A new job applicant might have an impressive LinkedIn profile with lots of interaction and hundreds of endorsements, but how does an employer tell the different between someone with social networking savvy and someone with actual, relevant skills and expertise? Find out how to read between the lines on LinkedIn so you can find candidates during the pre-employment applicant screening process that truly meet your needs.
Understanding LinkedIn Profiles During Pre-Employment Applicant Screening
Endorsements Likely Don’t Mean Much
LinkedIn’s endorsement system lets users endorse each other for various skill sets and knowledge. On the surface, an endorsement is someone backing a user’s claim that he or she has a specific skill. In reality, it’s hard to tell whether endorsements are genuine or are just users patting each other on the back. LinkedIn’s system suggests users endorse each other, and agreeing with a self-stated skill on the platform is as easy as liking a post on Facebook. Take the skills and endorsements list with the same grain of salt you would take similar information listed in a resume.
Look for Knowledge Displays
As with information on traditional resumes, experience, education, and work history on LinkedIn can be falsified or inflated. It’s harder to pass off incorrect information in an online environment where past coworkers and bosses might also have profiles, but it’s not impossible. Instead of taking a profile at face value, dig deeper into the descriptions a candidate supplies on their profile. Look for industry or career-specific verbiage. Lack of any verbiage—or verbiage clearly used in improper context—is a clue that the person has inflated his or her experience. Other knowledge displays that help you decide if an applicant is genuine include links or lists of publications, education lists, and interaction in groups on the platform. Pre-employment applicant screening services can include verification options for past employment verification, education verification, and professional license verification.
Don’t Rely Solely on LinkedIn
Never rely solely on the information in a LinkedIn profile—or a traditional resume—when hiring a candidate. Verify professional references and work history and use pre-employment applicant screening services to ensure the candidate meets your requirements when it comes to issues such as driving records or criminal background checks.
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is never intended as legal advice and is for information purposes only.