PART I: LinkedIn ‘Dos and Don’ts’
Revisions to the LinkedIn User Agreement went into effect in the Spring and again in September of 2013. The User Agreement is 11 sections and many pages long. Topics covered include LinkedIn’s purpose, User Obligations and Rights, passwords, LinkedIn Profile content, LinkedIn’s Obligations and Rights, disclaimers and Liability Limitations (does LinkedIn know attorneys are among the most frequent users?), conditions for Termination, Dispute Resolution, Complaints and General Terms.
LinkedIn ‘Dos and Don’ts’ is the section that most impacts job seekers and small business owners and is the topic of this blog . ‘Dos and Don’ts’ is 30 sub-sections long and as such is the longest section in the agreement.
LinkedIn is as essential to your job search as is a resume, and is a key Marketing tool for small business owners.
Whether you are an active or passive user, it is time to familiarize yourself with the revised User Agreement. Simply by creating an account you agree to the conditions and terms of the User Agreement and its revisions.
As of September 2013, LinkedIn has adopted a new mindset and policy to ensure user’s privacy and place tighter controls on how LinkedIn is used. This is contretemps to LinkedIn’s past practice of allowing users a wider berth in applying a more lenient interpretation of its User Agreement.
LinkedIn ‘Dos and Don’ts’ (Sec. 10.2.8c)
If you have sent a connection a LinkedIn Message that included a website URL, you most likely received an ‘error’ message and were not able to complete the sending of your message.
The User Agreement reinforces and expands upon that policy.
‘Don’t Undertake the Following’
★ “Upload, post, e-mail, InMail, transmit or otherwise make available any content that adds to a content field that is not intended for such field, a telephone number in the ‘title’ (Heading) or any other field, or including telephone numbers, email addresses, street addresses or any personally identifiable information for which there is not a field provided by LinkedIn.”
The Name Field is for the user’s name only and may not include the name of a company or someone else’s name.
Users may not share the passwords to their LinkedIn accounts with anyone else and no one other than the user may have access to an account to make changes, updates or any other edits or modifications.
Former User Agreement:
Resume Writer ★ Job Search Coach ★ Author ★ Professional Communiqués
Pledged to write Resumes that get you noticed and outshine the competition.
Revised User Agreement:
Resume Writer ★ Job Search Coach ★ Author ★ Professional Communiqués ★ Job Seeker Advocate ★ ‘The Great Connector’
‘Pledged to write Resumes that get you noticed and outshine the competition’ might be considered a promotion under the new LinkedIn User Agreement which is not allowed content in a Profile Heading.
LinkedIn had allowed users to include a ‘branding statement’ as part of the Heading. Including a branding statement in your Summary may be the best presentation under the new User Agreement.
Interpretation of some of the changes is left up to the readers and the users. You might consider a review of the User Agreement so avoid suspension or cancellation of your account.
Disclaimer: This article discusses general legal issues, but it does not constitute legal advice in any respect. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. The Job Search Advisor expressly disclaims all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this article.