The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

May 31, 2013

Watercooler: Unlinking from unwanted connections

Q: How should I handle a friend from college who, on his LinkedIn profile, has added my name to projects I didn't participate in and put his name on projects that he didn't participate in but copied from my LinkedIn profile? These were consulting projects, with ties to outside companies, that we completed in college. I have requested he change this misinformation on his profile, and he has refused. We are not in the same workplace, but we are in the same field. At one time he was trying to get a job at the same company as I was.

A: Unlike the co-worker in my recent "Resume rip-off" column, this "friend" is doing more than copying a job description — he is claiming you both did work you didn't do, a violation that employers tend to take seriously. Give him one last warning, and then sever your LinkedIn connection with him. Even if you can't make him take your name off his work, you'll want to be as far away as possible when his lack of integrity catches up with him.

If you wanted to hasten that process, you could report his profile for false content. According to Crystal Braswell of LinkedIn's communications team, if you believe another user's profile contains inaccurate or illegal information, or uses someone else's copyrighted material, you can submit a False Profile Information form or a Notice of Content and Intellectual Property Violations form to LinkedIn's content reviewers. Just be aware that he will likely be offered a chance to defend himself, and he will probably be told who reported him, if he can't figure it out himself.

Also, unless those college projects won you a Nobel, drop them from your resume. I doubt they're still helpful at this point.

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