LIL. Have you heard of that acronym? No, it's not a typo for the overused laugh out loud. It
stands for LinkedIn Liar. And yes, that's a thing. In fact, lies are common no matter what resume format people use. Fibbing and truth stretching might decrease on the professional network if they put in a system to automatically spot errors in your online resume, something that could be part of a patent application they just filed for.
Fortune says LinkedIn just filed an 82-page document with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, "covering a wide variety of situations, types of information, and ways in which the system could automatically fact-check information."
One of the ways certainly could be fact-checking all the user-generated content the company wants to increasingly become known for.
A little bit of background
LinkedIn's content creation play has been underway for several years now, and continues today.
In early 2011 LinkedIn launched the social news platform LinkedIn Today; a content aggregator that collected news and articles shared by its members. This enabled you to follow news by industry and sources, companies, and groups.
A year later the Influencer program was launched, allowing "150 of the most influential thought leaders" to share original content directly with LinkedIn users.
That meant you could read what the likes of of Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Caterina Fake, Craig Newmark, President Barack Obama, and many more were saying, like and comment directly on their posts, and share with your network.
Next, LinkedIn announced it acquired Pulse, the popular newsreader for the web and mobile. LinkedIn said it made the acquisition because it wants to “be the definitive professional publishing platform – where all professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content."
The company most recently announced the introduction of Elevate; a new app that suggests articles and content for users to share on LinkedIn and other social networks.
So lots of user-generated content is being created, curated and posted, and LinkedIn has every incentive to ensure that content is free of mistakes and purposely false information.
Fortune notes that while the company's fact-checking patent application did not make any specific mention of applying the technology to users’ professional profiles, it is presumed it could be.
Although it might be difficult or nearly impossible for LinkedIn to verify some claims, Fortune says "others could easily be compared against publicly available information online or in private databases that LinkedIn could buy or license."
Lying early - and often
As any staffing pro, recruiter or hiring manager can tell you though, stretching the truth, as well as out and out lying on resumes is common.
Even at Cornell University, an Ivy League institution, the college students in their study lied nearly three times in their profiles. About 92% of the participants lied at least once and the highest number of lies they told was eight.
A nationwide survey conducted last year by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, found 58% of hiring managers saying they have caught a lie on a resume, with one-third saying they are seeing an increase in resume inaccuracies.
"Embellished or exaggerated responsibilities are the biggest thing I find," said one recruiter and Staffing Talk reader I spoke with. "I also come across inaccurate dates of employment fairly frequently. Would I welcome a tool or technology to smoke out some of the LinkedIn Liars or fibbers? Absolutely."