Don’t get fooled by LinkedIn

Earlier last week news came out that former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson (both also current sprinters) tested positive for banned stimulants at the Jamaican championships in June.

In the middle of the subsequent investigation is Toronto-resident Chris Xuereb. Apparently, Xuereb was hired to help the athletes recover from injuries. How Xuereb was able to even obtain access to these athletes is now under suspicion too. At least by some.

Why? Well, on Xuereb’s LinkedIn profile it states that he was a member of the 2004 Argo Grey Cup Champions. (Xuereb’s account seems to have been shut down.) According to an interview with the Toronto Star, spokesperson Eric Holmes stated, “We have no employment record for Chris Xuereb, and I can confirm he was never employed by the club.”

Which brings me to my pain point: Don’t get fooled by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a great tool that allows people to network with other people based on their professional “resume”. However, one must do some extra “homework” before entering into any type of business/employment relationship with a person:

  1. While Endorsements seem to be the equivalent of the Like button, it is still important to see what people are recommending and how often they recommend an individual.
  2. Does their profile include any other contact information such as email, phone number, blog or other social media profiles? While not everyone needs to have a blog or Twitter account, there should be some other ways of connecting with an individual.
  3. Recommendations. Anyone worth their salt should have for than just a few recommendations. If your candidate has none: sirens should be blaring in your head.

These are just a few simple tips to help determine whether a person on LinkedIn is really who they say they are. How do you use LinkedIn?