Thursday, February 13, 2014

Use caution with new ‘congrats’ feature on LinkedIn

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
A feature added to LinkedIn may harm users’ job prospects by alerting their current employers when they are revamping their online résumé, or by broadcasting that they’ve landed a new job when, in fact, they are out of work.

In an effort to increase interactivity and social recognition, LinkedIn automatically notifies users’ entire networks when they change their job title or profile unless they adjust their settings. Further, LinkedIn makes the assumption the person has snagged a promotion or new job, says as much and prompts people to congratulate the achievement. “It’s basically like a suggestion engine to encourage you to reach out to your contacts,” says independent LinkedIn consultant Dan Sherman, adding that birthdays and work anniversaries are similarly broadcast to newsfeeds.

But congratulations are not always in order. That’s when things get awkward – or worse.

Simply by rewording their profile, users may unwittingly trigger an auto-generated newsfeed update with a “say congrats” button. So folks receive congratulatory notes when they have not made a career move, or when they update their profile because they are out of work, Sherman says.

Just a reminder.