HOBOKEN, N.J. — Employers and colleagues alike, you’ve been warned. A substantial number of LinkedIn profiles contain fabricated details, either in part or in whole, a new study finds.
Researchers at LendEDU, a student loan refinancing marketplace, commissioned a poll with 1,252 LinkedIn users, hoping to find the veracity of info shared on the career-focused social network.
Respondents were first asked the question, “How accurately does your LinkedIn profile portray your work experience?”
While 64 percent of respondents indicated that there were no falsities on their profile, 34 percent expressed having lied to some extent on their profile.
Of this 34 percent, 11 percent surprisingly stated, “My profile is almost entirely made up of things I have never done.”
As for the types of lies that LinkedIn users displayed on their profiles, 55 percent said that they had fibbed about their job-related skills.
Meanwhile, a touch more than a quarter (26 percent) of respondents said that they had lied about the period during which they held a job. Another 10 percent said they had lied about their work experience in general, and seven percent misrepresented their academic credentials.
The researchers speculate that more individuals may lie about their skills than work experience because the latter is easier to cross-reference in a background check.
Lastly, the researchers wanted to know whether the fact that LinkedIn informs other users who has viewed their profile deterred users from visiting other people’s profiles.
The results were pretty split, but a plurality of respondents (40 percent) said that this feature did not affect their usage of LinkedIn.
Nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) said that they only viewed profiles when necessary due to the lack of privacy, while 20 percent said they absolutely avoided clicking on other people’s profiles due to this feature.
While users can turn off alerts that inform other individuals that they’ve visited their profiles, switching off this option also disables one’s own ability to be alerted to profile visits, the researchers noted.
The survey was conducted by the polling company Whatsgoodly on behalf of LendEDU. The respondents were polled between May 1 and May 11, 2017.