Interpol Chief Admits Facebook ID Theft

By: Tracy Levine, President, Advantage Talent Inc.

As most people have heard by now, Interpol Chief Ronald Noble announced at the inaugural Interpol Security Conference in Hong Kong that criminals had used Facebook to steal his identity.  Before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, they did not gain access to his identity by stealing information off of his Facebook Account.  Two Facebook Accounts were set up in Noble’s name where the criminals gathered information about a recent global Interpol-led Operation Infra Red.  The operation was for tracking down criminal fugitives who had fled national jurisdictions. 

Web 2.0 social networking is a catch-22 for many people.  Some think it is dangerous to put any information about themselves out on the web.  While others have no qualms about putting everything about themselves out on the internet.  There have been numerous articles written on the dangers of putting too much personal information on the internet.  In contrast, very few articles have addressed the consequences of not owning and managing your Web 2.0 social networking information.

If you do not claim your identity, brand and image someone else might. If Interpol Chief Robert Noble’s identity can be stolen, then anyone’s can.  It shows the ease with which the criminals are able to forge people’s identities across all forms of social media sites to steal information.  While I would not necessarily suggest everybody sign up for every Web 2.0 platform available, I would strongly suggest executives claim and control their Linkedin Profile.  For an executive, his/her contacts, clients and industry knowledge could be at stake if he/she ignores their Linkedin Profile.

According to Alexa, Linkedin traffic rank is 17th in the US and 27th in the world.   What does this mean to the typical executive?  Linkedin will come up before almost every company website in the US.  I.E. There are only 16 websites in the U.S. that rank higher than Linkedin.  If someone claims your identity on Linkedin, they have effectively stolen your identity.  Google Search and most other search engines will pull up your name in Linkedin on the first page before your company profile or any other internet information.  With aggregators such as ZoomInfo, 123 and many more, if someone steals your identity on Linkedin, the false information will get picked up by the web aggregators. It doesn’t take long for the identity theft to go viral.

What Executive group is the most vulnerable to Web 2.0 identity theft? The group that Interpol Chief Noble belongs to, 50+ years old.  According to Alexa, the largest group to participate on Linkedin is the 35 to 44 year age range.  The 55+ years and above age range are statistically too low to calculate.  This means that a large group of some of the most influential executives in the U.S. have left themselves vulnerable to a situation similar to Interpol Chief Ronald Noble.

To learn more about the incident visit:

Tweet Your Resume on Twitter?

By: Tracy Levine, President, Advantage Talent Inc.

Recently many blogs have popped up about how to post your resume on Twitter so recruiters can find you.  Purportedly, droves of recruiters and hiring managers are using Twitter to find their next employee.  I do not know if this is true or not, but it never hurts to go ahead and get your name out there. You never know where your next job will come from.   With that being said, it is important to understand who uses Twitter so you can understand the audience and set realistic expectations.  There are no concrete numbers on how many people actually use Twitter versus those who have opened an account and subsequently abandoned it. The number of Twitter Accounts are growing with an estimated 18 million people who visit Twitter at least once a month accounting for approximately 3 ½ to 4% of adult internet users. On the flipside, almost 60% of the people who sign up for Twitter abandon their accounts.  The median age of a Twitter user is 31.  Most of these statistics can be found at Pew Internet & American Life Project website. (

As an Executive Recruiter who has talked to other Executive Level Recruiters, my impression is not only would they not look for resumes on Twitter many just don’t get Twitter.  My personal experience with Twitter is new.  I use Twitter to tweet jobs because it drives people to Advantage Talent, Inc.’s website to submit resumes directly.  I have no statistics on whether this is helpful or not.  My followers are not huge but since I started tweeting, Advantage Talent, Inc.’s jobs have been showing up on numerous job boards run by private individuals and bloggers.  In a roundabout way I am looking for resumes for specific jobs on Twitter and garnering some success. This is not the same activity as searching for posted resumes on Twitter.  So if someone asked if I looked for resumes on Twitter the answer would be yes and no.

Yes. Tweet your Resume.

The main reason you should Tweet your resume has nothing to do with Recruiters or Hiring Managers.  It is hard to find a job if no one knows you are looking. Tweeting is another form of networking. If you are currently using Twitter, let your contacts know what type of job you are looking for and guide them toward your resume.  The following is an example of how to notify people you are looking for a job in the 140 character limit and direct people to your resume.  In this example, the link goes to my Linkedin Profile.

RT #Tracy Levine seeks a CMO Job Atlanta #Resume #CV

  • RT is shorthand for retweet.  When you send the original tweet this encourages people to retweet to their followers.
  • # is the symbol used for hashtags which are terms people search when looking for posts.  For example Resume and CV have hashtags.
  • At the end is the URL address back to my LinkedIn profile. You will notice that the URL is shortened.  You do this by going to  and pasting your LinkedIn Profile address into the space provided. You will be provided with a shorter URL.

Follow me on Twitter @TLevineATI.

Happy Tweeting!

LinkedIn Recommendations For Your Job Hunt: Do They Help?

LinkedIn Recommendations For Your Job Hunt: Do They Help?

By: Tracy Levine, President, Advantage Talent, Inc.

Recently, I was forwarded an article about how Executives could get a job through LinkedIn.  One of the suggestions was to solicit recommendations for the hiring manager to read.  The observation was made that in the normal job situation you only get to provide a few recommendations but now with LinkedIn you can give the hiring manager even more positive recommendations to read.  The declaration made me laugh out loud.  Published studies show that the average hiring manager only looks at a resume for 10-15 seconds.  It flies in the face of logic to think that the hiring manager who only takes seconds to read a candidate’s resume is going to take even one second to read recommendations on LinkedIn.   Professional Executive Recruiters and HR Directors are tasked with asking specific questions that relate to the job at hand when calling a reference.  A short recommendation on LinkedIn isn’t even in the same league as a real recommendation and cannot be compared.

Some people have taken to attaching their LinkedIn recommendations to their resume. Most Executive Recruiters and hiring managers I have spoken with say they take recommendations on LinkedIn with a grain of salt.  Recommendations that are from people who have actually worked with the person or used a person’s services are the closest to real recommendations.  The problem with LinkedIn recommendations is that many people solicit recommendations from people who know them from social situations and networking but cannot speak to the person’s work experience.  Another problem is the “you give me a recommendation” and “I will give you a recommendation” situation.  Typically, these exchanges are not conducive to real or to meaningful recommendations.

Getting recommendations are great if you stick to only getting and giving recommendations to people you have personally worked with in a meaningful capacity.  However, no amount of recommendations can erase a checkered history.  It is the job of the Professional Recruiter or HR Director to do a thorough background check.