30 LinkedIn Profile Tips 21/30: Who’s who?

30 short, useful, actionable LinkedIn tips in 30 days from Doctor LinkedIn™, David Petherick. #30×30

#21/30: Who’s who? Use the name people know you by.

Hi, I’m David Petherick.

Not Dave Petherick. Only one person calls me Dave (I’m still not sure why). Everyone else knows me as David. So that’s the name on my LinkedIn profile.

  • You may have heard of the famous American Comedian, Robert Hope? Robert Hope? Ah, yes, Bob Hope.

If you’re known as Bob, don’t call yourself Robert on your LinkedIn profile. Call yourself Bob.

If there is some ambiguity, with some people or a groups of people using an informal or ‘pet’ version of your name, and others using the more formal or ‘given name’ format, then add a line to your summary with an aka or also known as statement:

  • Hello, I’m Sergei Ivanov, aka Seryozha Ivanov.
    Robert Smith, aka Slim Smith, aka Bobby Smith.

This way, people searching for Bobby Smith will still be able to find you.

It’s tricky enough to stand out on LinkedIn – don’t make it even more difficult for the people who already know you to just find you!

And if you have a very common name, be sure to make your profile as complete as possible so that people can get full context to be sure it’s the right you.

But what happens if you change your name?

They thought of that. You can also add a maiden or former name if you change your name, say through marriage. This way people can still find you by your original name. This is why you sometimes see names appearing with brackets enclosing a surname – Jane (Brown) Smith.

Add a former  or maiden name to your profile by visiting https://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit-basic-info

Adding ‘advertising’ or descriptive details after your name

Please don’t add advertising puff, email, acronyms for your qualifications or phone numbers after your name: Dave Smyth 0800 100 SMUG or Johnny Gradgrind Sales Guru London UK. Dave Smyth or Johnny Gradgrind will do fine. And if you have an MBA or Doctorate, you don’t need to shove it in my face by adding it after your name.

Although doing this keyword stuffing might make Google and LinkedIn search love you, the issue is that, quite aside from making you like like a self-serving ass, adding this annoying clutter is specifically against the terms and conditions of LinkedIn.

Just to save you reading the full thing – it’s 8.2: Don’ts. (Don’t) Add content that is not intended for, or inaccurate for, a designated field (e.g. submitting a telephone number in the “title” or any other field, or including telephone numbers, email addresses, street addresses or any personally identifiable information for which there is not a field provided by LinkedIn);

Experience (thus far) tells us that LinkedIn don’t really police this area. But you could end up with your account suspended or deleted.

But another, currently much more important point, is this: When people in your network type any of the words or phrases you’ve tortuously shoehorned into your name while adding their comments on posts and shares – your name will pop up as they are typing – as if they meant to @mention you.

They didn’t.

So. You’ve just succeeded in becoming an incredibly annoying person.You’ve become a tedious pop-over advert that stops me getting done what I intended.

And people are now very unlikely to mention you on LinkedIn because your name is in fact a ridiculously long and pompous phrase that sounds like something from a fairground barker. Congratulations.

Just don’t do it.

Say, have you met Jim Pishtracker International Top Rated Sales Ace?

No. I didn’t think so.

Use the name people know you by.