Recruiters, don’t believe everything you read.

It’s troublesome enough that 67% of recruiters are relying on LinkedIn and LinkedIn alone to find candidates instead of leveraging the site with other tools in their recruiting toolbox.

Add in all the fabrications, embellishments and bold-faced lies on candidate profiles, and this becomes a downright risky practice.

Here are the Top 10 LinkedIn Lies I’ve spotted and have heard about in my recruiting circles to keep an eye out for:

  1. Fudging dates of employment
  2. Inflating accomplishments
  3. Enhancing Titles (a big one being ‘Manager’ or ‘Account Manager’)
  4. ‘Self Employment’ (aka unemployed!)
  5. Fake Credentials/Licenses
  6. Fake References/Recommendations (See my previous post on this dangerous lie)
  7. Omitting past employment altogether
  8. ‘Ghost’ companies
  9. Military misrepresentation
  10. Fake reasons for moving to next role


A recent survey by Australian recruitment firm Employment Office found that 82% of global employers believed candidates were likely lying or exaggerating their skills and experiences on their LinkedIn profiles. The survey also revealed that 67% of respondents believe that job titles and responsibilities listed on LinkedIn are “unreliable” pieces of information.


  • 15% of employers found periods of unemployment to be untrustworthy on LinkedIn
  • 12% said education and qualifications were the sections most likely to be embellished

How do we, as recruiters and members of talent acquisition, avoid falling for these embellishments? Conversation! Today’s generation of recruiters tend to take what they see online at face value, passing it along to the hiring manager without establishing a professional relationship with the candidate or doing some deep digging to find truly qualified candidates.

We need to teach today’s recruiters to leverage sites like LinkedIn with classic recruiting methodologies such as genuine conversation and relationship building in order to uncover the truth.

As for candidates: More than half of resumes out there (digital or not) contain falsifications, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. But common as it is, it’s best to remain honest because the truth has a way of making itself known in an interview or during onboarding! It’s not worth it to heavily exaggerate your skill set or experiences and feverishly worry about whether the employer will find out!

What other lies have you seen on LinkedIn?


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