Skip to main content

LinkedIn Reference Search & Your Digital Footprint: Be Careful!

Here's a feature on LinkedIn I didn't know about: reference search. Available only to premium (a.k.a. paying members), it allows them to find contacts who
LinkedIn Reference Search
have worked at the same companies at you. So the scenario is -

  1. You are applying for a job at Company X.
  2. The recruiter at or for Company X is a LinkedIn premium subscriber; he can "research" who works or worked at your current company, Company Y.
  3. He can reach out to those people and ask about you, "as a reference," even without your knowledge. So these are references, but ones you do NOT select or put forward. Yikes! If Coworker A at Company Y does not like you, he can give you a bad "reference" and wreck your job prospects.

Reference Search Exists Whether You Like It, Or Not


Many people - myself included - didn't even know this feature existed. And now there's a lawsuit about it on privacy grounds. The thing about Internet privacy in general is that, pretty much, you should go on the assumption that there is no privacy. Be careful about your "digital footprint," and be careful about being nicey-nice with everyone these days. You never know.

For the New York Times article about the lawsuit, click here.

Popular posts from this blog

How Customer Service Dies at USAA (and Other Places)

Oh, customer service. Of endangered species, you are perhaps the most endangered. Companies with formerly great customer service seem to be abandoning it in droves. Take USAA, the big insurer (of which I have been a member since about 2000). I had the misfortune of credit card fraud on my account, through no fault of my own, and after resetting my credit card with one division, the other division "didn't get the memo." 


Two late fees later, I got an envelope through SNAIL MAIL with an alert. So I call into the call center to reset the credit card and are first told that they'll waive the late fee, and then oops - that they can't. The computers are clearly in charge.

Next, after listening to platitudinous message after message from the Customer Service (SIC) rep, I ask how to file a complaint, and she says, "Oh, we don't have a Complaint Number or Department." We can't actually file a complaint.

So basically the bottom line message was, "Sorry …

How to Get a Negative Review on Yelp - the Chik-fil-A Way!

This is how companies get bad Yelp reviews. Step one. Offer breakfast (which, to be honest, is very good as "fast food" goes at Chick-fil-A), but only serve it to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Step two. Have an employee literally run out at 10:30 am and flip the signs to lunch. Step three. Be so popular with your breakfast that you have a pile up of cars in the drive thru. Step four. When a car pulls up at 10:32 a.m, having literally been the "next car in line," tell the occupants - Sorry! It's lunch time now (10:30 in the morning for LUNCH?), and that it's too bad. They can't get breakfast. Step five. Let said occupants sit in car for about 5 to 7 minutes while they wait for the other folks ahead of them to get their food, and let them listen to the cars behind them bark into the drive thru - WHAT? NO BREAKFAST? You're kidding me. Step six. Let said occupants, drive hurridly through the drive thru (without getting any food), and be starving while they g…

An Email Sign Up Should Convey the Value Proposition

An email sign up should convey the value proposition. One "easy" thing to do is to show past email newsletters or alerts, so users can see what they "get" by signing up.

Here's REI's email prop: