Purpose: Job-related social networking websites (e.g. LinkedIn) are often used in the recruitment process because the profiles contain valuable information such as education level and work experience. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether people can accurately infer a profile owner’s self-rated personality traits based on the profile on a job-related social networking site.
Design/methodology/approach: In two studies, raters inferred personality traits (the Big Five and self-presentation) from LinkedIn profiles (total n=275). The authors related those inferences to self-rated personality by the profile owner to test if the inferences were accurate.
Findings: Using information gained from a LinkedIn profile allowed for better inferences of extraversion and self-presentation of the profile owner (r’s of 0.24-0.29).
Practical implications: When using a LinkedIn profile to estimate trait extraversion or self-presentation, one becomes 1.5 times as likely to actually select the person with higher trait extraversion compared to the person with lower trait extraversion.
Originality/value: Although prior research tested whether profiles of social networking sites (such as Facebook) can be used to accurately infer self-rated personality, this was not yet tested for job-related social networking sites (such as LinkedIn). The results indicate that profiles at job-related social networks, in spite of containing only relatively standardized information, “leak” information about the owner’s personality.

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doi.org/10.1108/JMP-07-2016-0220, hdl.handle.net/1765/102526
Journal of Managerial Psychology
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

van de Ven, N., Bogaerts, A., Serlie, A., Brandt, M., & Denissen, J. (2017). Personality perception based on LinkedIn profiles. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 32(6), 418–429. doi:10.1108/JMP-07-2016-0220