Don’t Violate LinkedIn’s User Agreement Terms
Even if you don’t use LinkedIn, and I’m not sure why you’re not using it as a marketing and prospect tool, your LinkedIn profile is working for you.
When you search someone’s name using Google, Bing, etc. chances are that the person’s LinkedIn profile will appear on the first page, in the first 3 spots. Sometimes before their own website. Try it!
Because of that, your name, on your LinkedIn profile is very important.
I learned just how important when, in 2010, after 6 years of using LinkedIn, my account was suspended without LinkedIn notifying me. One day I went to my account, and couldn’t get in.
Last thing I thought was that I’d done something wrong.
How wrong I was.
You see, I had listed my name as Coach Maria Marsala and someone reported me. And as I learned, putting anything in the First Name, Last Name area of your profile violated LinkedIn’s user agreement terms. Now it’s not spelled out as such, but that’s what I learned 3 days later when LinkedIn replied to my email to them.
What the agreement specifies is that you use your personal name on your LinkedIn account. So realistically, adding anything to the First Name, Last Name area of your profile, is a violation.
However, it seems that if you have some type of certification, like MD, CFP, CPA, PHD, etc. they will allow it. But I wouldn’t press my luck and put any of my certifications in the area of my profile that’s meant for my Last Name, that’s for sure.
Another thing to NOT do in your name area is to put anything in the area that is not a letter of the alphabet. No stars, checkmarks, no space before your name, etc. Why? When you’re connected to someone, and they look up your name on the connections list, instead of showing up after the letter of your last name, you’ll show up in the area called “other” or “#” and few people look there for anything.