Social networking profiles more accurate than resumes?

493533923In the debate about whether to search for candidates online before they’re hired, here’s another reason hiring managers may consider doing so:

Candidates are often more honest in their LinkedIn profiles than in the resumes they send employers.

At least that’s what LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman said at the Social Recruiting Summit held recently at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

His reasoning: Resumes are read only by a few people in a company, who know nothing about the candidate. On the other hand, candidates might have hundreds of LinkedIn connections, and in theory, know or have worked with all of them.

Reid’s point: It’s pretty hard to lie publicly in front of current or former colleagues.

Of course, LinkedIn profiles aren’t really replacements for resumes — most users don’t put the same detail into a profile, and there aren’t many versions tailored to different types of positions.

But some experts recommend finding a candidate’s profile to quickly make sure it matches the info the candidate sent to you.

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  1. Nikhil Vaswani says:

    Very True!LinkedIn will soon become the most effective way of building your professional career and creating a personal brand. However, one will have to invest time in learning the effectiveness of this site and ways to use it properly.

    By the way, I am new to LinkedIn too and have found this resource quite useful. It is a new book called “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” by networking expert Jan Vermeiren. Check it out, you can find a free lite version at

  2. Looking at business connection sites during the recruiting or selection stage can certainly be another tool for HR or recruiting to try to differentiate a large group of candidates and whittle it down to a smaller group. Even then, there are significant issues to keep in mind, such as the potential for discrimination. However, keep in mind that if a person lies on a social networking site, there is no direct consequences. These sites do not contain a comment area where others can disagree, or warn employers that qualifications are overstated. In addition, colleagues may not even know that an applicant has lied. If an applicant has listed a certificate or educational accomplishment that is not true, exactly how are colleagues suppose to knew that, much less bring it to anyone’s attention. There certainly would be no mention made of past criminal records or civil suits for things such as harassment or trade secret theft. Those things are unusually not going to be volunteered on a business connection site.

    In addition, the suggestion without metrics that people do not lie on a social network site because others will view it will not likely be much of a defense in court if a firm hires a fibber, and it turns out a background check costing a few dollars would have revealed it.

    The bottom-line once again: There is nothing as effective as actual verification of a candidate’s claimed experience. The internet may provide tools for sourcing candidates, but it simply does not provide due diligence.

    For more information on the use of social newtwork sites and employment, see:

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