Add This Guy to the Recruiter Wall of Shame

Usually when a recruiter contacts someone via LinkedIn, it’s because s/he saw something of interest on that person’s profile. Then there’s THIS GUY that apparently liked what he saw enough to plagiarize it. definition


   [pley-juh-riz-uhm, -jee-uh-riz-]  Show IPA



an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting theoriginal author

Sequence of events:

I received an email about a search (LinkedIn connection invitation format) from the following person, a recruiter.

As I typically do prior to responding to any message, I clicked on the profile of the sender to gather some information.

Imagine my reaction (it went something like this @#$%^&!!!!!) when I immediately recognized a specific segment of that guy’s summary section as MY OWN WORDS from my profile.

That’s right. Words that I placed together to form a phrase, sentence or statement on MY very own LinkedIn profile summary section about MY very own professional situation actually appeared VERBATIM on that person’s profile.

Now, you may be thinking: how do you know those are YOUR words, Kelly…?

Well, you see, having written, edited, tweaked, fine-tuned and modified my LI profile umpteen times over the years, I am quite familiar with exactly how I worded certain (all) sections. (Doing all that wordsmithing might seem anal-retentive to the average person, but that's how I roll, yo). 

Not only that, but the segment in question refers to a rather unique aspect of my work life, not one commonly found in others. And, even if someone else did have a similar “story” it would be highly coincidental that s/he would depict it the same way, using the SAME EXACT WORDS that I chose.

And, as I’ve been told many times, my writing style and tone tends to have a certain distinct zing to it. Probably because it comes from MY head through MY fingers to MY keyboard to the eventual end location on a page or screen.

See for yourself. Other person’s profile

My profile 

You may notice that the segment in question flows with the remainder of my summary. And, if the rest of my profile was shown here, you’d notice that it illustrates that particular part of my background in the context of my career in general.

However on the other profile, this phrase is just placed without any logical correlation to that person’s information listed under the employment portion of the profile.

So what’s the big deal, Kelly? (You might be wondering…)

While it could probably be argued that LinkedIn profiles (being publicly available) are not necessarily intellectual property of the profile subject or writer, they most certainly are reflective of that person’s description of her/himself professionally. That being the case, there is an implied expectation that what goes on each person's profile is his/her information, not up for grabs for anyone else to duplicate on his/her profile. 

Especially if it's part of our professional identity or occupation, most of us take pride in our own original creative, written, artistic or any other tangible work products. Thus, being that ORIGINAL writing is a huge part of my work, I consider my LinkedIn profile an example of that concept. 

Unlike this guy, it would never occur to me to scrape someone else’s professional description or other content and use it as my own. More importantly, I would absolutely, positively, never-ever work with a recruiter or anyone else known to do such things. 

Not only does this guy come across as sleazy, unprofessional and unethical, he ranks up there on the branding #FAIL list for contacting the very same person he decided to plagiarize. 


Views: 3650

Comment by John Turnberg on August 3, 2014 at 6:30pm

which of these profiles is real:

There are so many fake profiles.

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on August 4, 2014 at 6:18am

How come nobody plagiarizes me? 

I'm related to Shakespeare, Byron, Newton, Mallory, Dryden, Churchill, Marcus Aurelius and a host of other semi-literate people, but I've had a hard time catching any plagiarism (although I will admit that Saul Kripke, the World's most famous philosopher, ought to have plagiarized me... but was probably much too honest and filled with integrity to do so).

At least, so I think.  What if I am merely a clone of a clone of the person whom I think I am?  How many other Nicholas Meylers are out there in the Multiverse?  Did anyone notice that I stole my post "Puncher and Wattman, Executive Search" from Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot"?   I'm hoping that at least a few people figured out that it was an allusion to the great play about hopelessness, hope, and hoping.

Comment by Linda Ferrante on August 6, 2014 at 10:09am

I am seriously shocked that anyone would steal someone elses' LI profile!  The audacity astounds me!!  This is such a stupid, trivial thing to do, I can't believe anyone would actually do it.  To put that much energy into searching other profiles for something good to write just seems like a HUGE waste of time.  Taking it further, if he lied about his profile, what else did he lie about?!  Idiot.  What on earth would make them think this is even remotely OK?!  Never in my wildest of dreams would it have occurred to me to copy someone elses' text.  Seriously.  

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on August 6, 2014 at 1:38pm

Agree, Linda! Completely outrageous and disturbing that people are this clueless. In my experience people willing to do "small" acts of dishonesty aren't trustworthy with bigger matters with bigger consequences either. 

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on August 6, 2014 at 1:42pm

Someone else pointed out another example. I seriously don't get this! 

Meet Carrie... another HR & Talent Acquisition pro... Like these others she's also an expert at plagiarism - in case you are looking for someone new to endorse for that special skill.

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on August 6, 2014 at 2:20pm

This doesn't really upset me very much at all. In any sufficiently large group, there are likely to be a number of unsavory characters. LI has ~300,000,000 profiles- there are bound to be a lot in absolute numbers, even if only a small proportion of the total. I'm just gladIi live in a basically honest society, where most people *don't lie or deceive each other most of the time...


Keith "Curiously Upbeat Today" Halperin

*except perhaps at a very deep, existential level which I won't bother getting into here.

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on August 11, 2014 at 7:17pm

That's the price of rock-star HR fame...


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