THE BLOG
12/26/2014 10:03 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

8 Red Flags to Watch for on a Potential Hire's LinkedIn Profile

At a minimum, every business owner should at least check that a job candidate has a LinkedIn profile before scheduling an interview. But don't just scan it -- LinkedIn can be a handy tool for weeding out candidates too. Eight business owners weigh in on the signs that a potential hire probably isn't a good fit, below.

A. A Short Job History

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I understand only working at one or two jobs for a couple months or a year, but if this is consistently happening it's a bad sign. I have found employees that bounce from company to company to company to be problems. Either they don't get along with other employees or they just aren't happy with projects for a long time. Beware of these jumpers! -- John Rampton, Host

A. A Blank Page

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I swear I've seen this. Just a name; that was it. They had maybe 15 connections and absolutely no information regarding where they had worked or went to school. Nothing. The most shocking thing was that the applicant had put the link on their resume. I understand wanting to have a LinkedIn just to be online in some capacity, but if you haven't filled out your profile yet, why call attention to it? I did not hire them. -- Brian Honigman, BrianHonigman.com

A. A Non-Existent Profile

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The biggest red flag is if they don't even have a profile on LinkedIn. Especially for a technology startup, it's important for employees to be engaged with the latest technology. If they don't have a profile at all or have one that's incomplete, they're either out of the loop or are too traditional to work here. -- Tolga Tanriseven, GirlsAskGuys

A. Poor Spelling and Grammar

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It seems obvious, but there are lots of LinkedIn profiles with terrible spelling or grammatical mistakes. If I'm looking for new talent, regardless of whether it's for a language-heavy position like marketing or a programming position, poor spelling and grammar means that the person is sloppy with details and communication. Always double check these things before you update your LinkedIn profile. -- Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

A. Inconsistencies With Resume

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It's always a red flag when information on a LinkedIn page differs from a submitted resume. I once saw a candidate who listed "Director of Sales" on LinkedIn and "Senior Vice President of Sales" on a resume. I've also seen inconsistent end dates on jobs. A quick scan of LinkedIn is a great way to make sure a candidate is being honest...or at least consistent! - Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

A. Third-Person Language

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There is something that rubs me the wrong way when a LinkedIn profile is written in third person. It's like they're acting as if someone else wrote it in order to make themselves more important. Richard Branson aside, we all manage our own Linkedin page. I'm not suggesting saying "I," but definitely don't use, "Michael." -- Adam Stillman, SparkReel

A. Incomplete Sections

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If you're going to invest the time and effort in creating a social media account for your professional life, you should really take it seriously. It bugs me when a potential employee fills out one or two sections on their profile but then leaves off other sections or their profile picture completely blank. Put simply, it shows a lack of passion for or dedication to personal growth. - Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

A. Lack of Ownership

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When someone describes their past work as a string of responsibilities instead of a summary of achievements, it's a big red flag. It means that if you hire them, at best they'll only ever view their work as an endless chain of things they have to barely get done. I want someone who considers their work to be an opportunity to achieve, not just a list of chores in exchange for a paycheck. - Jared Brown, Hubstaff

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.