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3 Rules You Can’t Break On Your LinkedIn Profile

3 Rules You Can’t Break On Your LinkedIn Profile


You’ve worked diligently on your LinkedIn profile, and you’re ready to have it get you some hard-earned attention. So, why not give yourself a moniker like “Jayne Smith, marketing czar?”

Unfortunately, LinkedIn has some very strict rules about what can be in name fields. A name field is for your name – your real, legal one. You can include a former or maiden name as well. Read on to find out more about what you can, and can’t, include in this field.

This is something I’ve been personally wondering about for a while. Since I’ve got such a common name, I include my middle initial in my LinkedIn name field. But, should I? It’s not real clear, but I’ve decided to keep it there, since it is part of my legal name. You may have other things you wonder about – can you include a credential? A suffix?

There are simple reasons for this policy that I will discuss in this post. You’ll find out why people are tempted and what happens when they are caught by LinkedIn and reprimanded for violating the policy.

Trust me, these are rules you don’t want to break! The consequences can be severe.  So, read on to be sure you’re not at risk.


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Kristin Johnson Kristin is a TORI award-winning, 6-times certified resume writer, job search coach, and social media consultant. She's the proud owner of Profession Direction, LLC, which was recently named one of Forbes Top 100 Career Sites of 2013.