To be or not to be (found)? What’s in a name? LinkedIn is here to help!

Aug 31, 2021

What happens when people look you up and don’t find you? Did you ever consider what the cost is of not being found? Are you aware of how many people misspell your name? Do you get frustrated when people can’t or don’t pronounce your name correctly? 🙈

In this blog, I will provide a few practical tips to be found more easily and to avoid future frustrations about your name. Nobody ever said LinkedIn was easy, or at least I didn’t! 😉 At the same time, these pragmatic tips will potentially change your life (forever?).

Misspelling your name? No problem!

First, let’s imagine that one of your existing, happy customers drops your name at a meeting with one of your prospects or, if you are a jobseeker, with a top recruiter. She tries to look you up but doesn’t find you. Perhaps she might try other spelling options, but when she can’t find you, she will often just give up. The result is simple: not being found = no opportunity!

Why am I telling you this?

Many mistakes are made against my name every day. At first, I wasn’t aware of this, until I missed out on a big opportunity as a direct result of not being found. As a passionate lifehacker, I did a bit of research and found out that people are misspelling our name(s) more often than we think. Even if your name is pretty straight forward, you’d be surprised how often people get it wrong…

For example, in my case, my first name ‘Bert’ is often misspelled as ‘Burt’ or in some Asian countries it is often spelled as ‘Bird’. My last name, Verdonck, is easily misspelled, especially in the Netherlands where they write it without the ‘c’ before the ‘k’. But even with typos in my first and my last name, my LinkedIn Profile still pops up high in the search results. Just give it a try!

How? I am actively exploiting one of the key advantages of LinkedIn Profiles. Did you know that every word on LinkedIn counts? That’s because every word (on your Profile) is searchable! With this knowledge, I added some common misspellings deep in the ‘Older Experience’ section of my Profile, where fewer people read, but search engines still crawl. I hope this isn’t all Greek or Chinese (伯特韦尔东克) to you!

Common misspelling mistakes

With any of the names listed in the screenshot, it should be sufficient to find my LinkedIn profile and never again miss out on an opportunity! So, please, try this yourself with your own name! 😊

Nicknames & life changes

Secondly, now that we are talking about our names, do you have a nickname, an abbreviated version, a preferred moniker, or a slightly different name people usually call you by? Examples are ‘Bob’ for Robert or ‘Mike’ for Michael or ‘Swamee’ for Samuel.

What about using your partner’s last name? This means that people, who know you from before you changed your name, can’t really find you, right?

Luckily, LinkedIn has a special field for inserting your ‘former’ name. Former colleagues and friends from high-school or uni can now reconnect, unless you don’t want them to. 😉

Add a dash of emojis for an extra whiff of personality

Talking about connecting, how do you feel about a little creativity when it comes to decorating your name field? Inserting emojis (or emoticons) has become quite popular, also on LinkedIn. However, some people tend to go overboard and then all sense of connecting seems to be gone.

dash or emoji in LinkedIn title

So, what is your take on this example? Is it too much, not enough or do you simply appreciate the creativity of this non-standard profile? Or do you happen to know any funny or preposterous examples? Ping me! #iamcurious

The word is ‘pronunciation’: can you do it right?

Finally, some people get frustrated by others pronouncing their name wrong, often without intending to. Especially foreign names can be challenging. Here are 3 examples to get you started:

  1. Ananya
  2. Saoirse
  3. Caoimhe

If you are pronouncing this last name as ‘kee-va’, then you are on the right track, but I guess you understand my point when I say that most people would pronounce it slightly different, right? So, LinkedIn has provided a handy tool to allow you to record your name pronunciation (via the LinkedIn app only!) and display it on your LinkedIn profile for others to listen to. Just visit my profile and discover mine! 😉

Good luck!

All the best with updating your LinkedIn Profile and facilitating others in finding you (easily). If you have any questions or require more help, just ping me on LinkedIn. And it shouldn’t matter if you write my name correctly or not, you should still be able to find me! 💁 

Want to know more? 

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