At what point does the tether between you and your job end? This is the conundrum facing one Consumerist reader whose employer recently told all staffers to edit their LinkedIn profiles to reflect the business’ very specific branding message.
Mike tells Consumerist that employees recently received an e-mail straight from the top of the company, instructing everyone to change their profiles on the professional networking site so that the text describes the business in the exact same, sales-lingo-filled way across all staffers’ pages.
“It’s obviously marketing gibberish,” writes Mike, “And I’m under the belief that we own our profiles and are under no obligation to conform. My profile doesn’t say anything negative, I just don’t want to have a bunch of embarrassing marketing speak in mine.”
Mike says there isn’t a direct statement in the e-mail that threatens employees with disciplinary action if they don’t follow suit, but he tells Consumerist that his employer has hassled staffers who resisted previous, similar efforts.
The consensus around Consumerist HQ is that the only way it would be even slightly reasonable for a business to make this request mandatory is if the business requires all staffers to create a LinkedIn page. We’ve seen this in other places, like companies that require staffers to create job-specific Facebook accounts for the purpose of social media outreach.
Additionally, if your employer discovers that you are misrepresenting the company or your position in a publicly searchable forum, it could be within the realm of understanding for it to request a change.
But it’s difficult to not look at LinkedIn as just another form of your curriculum vitae, which your employer has no right to edit.
We’ve asked LinkedIn to comment on this story and will update if anyone there has anything to add. In the meantime, tell us what you think in the poll below and in the comments…