Friday 22 February 2013

3 Things to Never Spell Wrong on LinkedIn

Photo credit: Cubosh on Flickr
I've seen several comments over the past few weeks about spelling, grammar and general accuracy in LinkedIn profiles, CVs, and other important professional documents. Some of these comments have contained errors themselves. The irony of it all.

Spell check can help you with this of course, but there's a limit to the number of scrapes it can get you out of. There's no substitute for checking. Having said that, certain parts of your profile will always get more attention than others, so you should give them (even) more attention yourself.

Here are 3 Things to Never get Wrong

Your Job Title

You might think I'm making this up, but a quick trawl through LinkedIn for those working in "apllication" development will show otherwise. Even as I type, the bad spelling has been flagged up, so there's really no excuse here. Another favourite is confusion of "principal" with "principle". Spell check won't help you here, but if this word is in your job title, you're probably quite high up the food chain, and it'll be on your business card, so check it there.

Your Employer

Contain your incredulity, and search LinkedIn for "AXA Insuranec". You're unlikely to get head hunted by a large corporation if you can't spell the name of the one you're currently working for correctly.

Your Mega Client

Last year I saw a LinkedIn status update from someone in my network proudly announcing a major report he had been commissioned to write for his client, "Erst & Young". One has to hope the client was correctly referred to as Ernst & Young in the final version of the report.

Why this Matters

In an increasingly complex world, accuracy is everything. Mistakes such as these will demonstrate that you: either don't know about, or don't use, tools which are there to assist you; don't check your work; don't care about your current job, employer, or client. As employers and potential clients make increased use of LinkedIn, presentation skills (or a lack of them) will be one of the factors used when deciding who should be on the short list.

Friday 15 February 2013

IT Recruitment Industry Resorts to Sexist Crap?

A colleague received the following email yesterday (February 14th):

Hi Sarah-Jane,

Hope your well.

I hope Valentines Day is not to cringe for you and although you may have that special someone special in your life, my PHP Developer is more special to you and your business.

He is available immediately.

If you are looking or are interested in finding out more please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Wow. Given the poor sentence construction and grammar, this might be unintentional, but it's still crap.

Thursday 7 February 2013

How to Spot Fake Social Media Profiles

Fake profiles on Twitter are nothing new, and in the world of online dating they're quite common as well. You might think LinkedIn has escaped all this, but it hasn't. Help is at hand, however, because some of the tools used for other social networks work just as well on LinkedIn.

Stock Photos

Recently I was intrigued by a profile thrown up by LinkedIn's "people you may know" feature. Something looked a bit off about the photo, which had me looking at the rest:
I've hidden the company names, as they are all apparently legitimate. We'll come back to the photo, but notice the lack of details supplied for the three roles listed under experience, the 500+ connections, and the fact that she's a 2nd level connection - i.e. people I know apparently know her. Or not, based on my checks.

Back to that photo. It looks a bit like a stock photo, and that's because it is. You can click here to see it listed on a stock photo web site. So, if we come across a photo, suspicious or otherwise, and we want to check it out, how can we do this? Google Image Search is a good option, but there's another useful search tool called TinEye which comes in really handy for this. It's a reverse image search, so you give it an image, and it finds instances of it on the web.

Give it a try now, the URL of the stock photo is
- just copy this and paste it into the box on the TinEye home page, and you'll get over 600 results.

Magazine Photos

This second LinkedIn profile is a public one, so you don't need to be logged in to LinkedIn to view it, here's the link:

Let's put TinEye to work straight away. The URL for the image is
and TinEye will find 7 hits for this, and from looking at them you'll discover that this is, in fact, Indian film actress and model Trisha Krishnan. You can view the original cover of Maxim which featured this photo by clicking here.


I've mentioned before that it's important to use a photo, and to use the right photo, on your LinkedIn profile, so I should add that the "right photo" should NOT be of someone else, as it makes you look suspicious. Equally if you're approached by someone with a dubious looking photo, tools like TinEye are a quick and easy way to check. Incidentally, there are browser plugins available which you can use to cut out the copy and paste effort, and they are well worth adding to your browser.