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What the (bleep) are these LinkedIn users thinking?

What the (bleep) are these LinkedIn users thinking


Holy @#**^&#! You wouldn’t believe what some people say on LinkedIn.

A search for some of the leading profane or vulgar terms[i] reveals they have been used by a surprisingly large number of people on LinkedIn on their professional profiles. Holy s**t! (Used by more than 8,000 people.) Really?

Yes, really. Over 31,000 people have used words on LinkedIn that one doesn’t normally associate with the label “business professional.” If you – heaven forbid – are one of them, this would be a good time to stop and think about the impression this makes of your professional outlook, your brand and your potential value. With more than 300 million business professionals on LinkedIn, that’s a huge potential audience you could be alienating.

Or perhaps you don’t give a f**k? (Over 3,000 people.)

Dig a bit deeper, and you’ll discover some other things that are equally astonishing. For example, the top five industries guilty of LinkedIn potty-mouth are:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Marketing and advertising
  3. Music
  4. Information technology
  5. Writing and editing (!)

C**p! (Over 3,000 users.)

Incredible, isn’t it? So is this: the top five (globally) obscene organisations on LinkedIn include:

  1. Microsoft
  2. US Army
  3. McDonald’s
  4. IBM
  5. Google

(By the way, the top five offending countries are the US, the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia.)

What does this tell us? That over 31,000 people don’t care what they look and sound like on LinkedIn? Or that these 31,000-plus people just aren’t thinking? Either way, imagine the impact, risk and outright possibilities for brand damage this poses for the organisations they work for!

Professional? Not with that mouth.

[i] Including a range of terms we wouldn’t print but if you really want to know then email enquiries@thelinkedinman.com


8 thoughts on “What the (bleep) are these LinkedIn users thinking?

  1. Nick G

    Nice article, thanks.

    Personally, I get more alienated by the phrases like Award-Winning, State-of-the-Art and Best-of-Breed. But the worst culprit has to be the casual overuse of Solut*ons, There is simply no justification for the S-word in business writing today.

    1. James Potter

      Don’t get me started Nick! I should create a bingo game for them and them put it on an update, together with a kitten and a maths problem … No fear .. I am joking, hate those too. Thanks for the comment. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

  2. James Potter

    Oh those trite phrases, I so feel your pain, “award winning” makes my skin crawl as does best practice (without evidence or research to back it up). Thanks for the kind comment and the smile about solute*ons. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

  3. Chris L

    Interesting article James – and comment from Nick as I agree – I am fast finding “engagement” a little skin crawling as the mega (!) over usage is detracting from the times when it is “the” word to use!!!!

    1. alison Post author

      Oh don’t get me started on the buzzwords it makes me mad, as do acronyms and industry “speak” that no one else understands like some sort of secret code. Let’s just listen, talk and share coffee I think 🙂 Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

  4. Lynn J

    Hi James, can’t understand why would someone use bad language in print or online. Keep it for the when you accidentally stub your toe on the desk or some other office calamity.
    With Chris L on the misuse of !, they are creeping up in sentences everywhere, most often when they are not required and often in a crowd!
    But what is bound to get me hitting the delete button before you can say ‘What does that mean?’ is people who want to connect with me but have long intractable, confusing and ridiculous descriptions of their self/skills that are totally impossible to fathom or understand. Please keep it simple…

    1. alison Post author

      Dear Lynn, Thanks for the kind comment, I am often amazed by what people say about themselves on their profile and more often what they don’t say that they should! Thanks for the kind comments and keep up the good work. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

    2. James Potter

      Completely agree, we’d never do it in real life and hence shouldn’t do it on LinkedIn either. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

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