LinkedIn Experts answer: Can you add extra info to the LI name section

Can we or can we not add extra info to the name section on our profile? My understanding has always been that this was against their T&C’s (this maybe outdated now) but someone I network with now says it’s totally acceptable to do this so long as you don’t have a full on sales offer.

I’ve noticed that people are now using that section to put a huge long description about what they do. Does anyone know the official line on this? Rx

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That’s a great question! Wondering if maybe @judiwfox might know the right answer to this?

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Paging @judiwfox @louise @hello2 :heart:

I have heard it’s technically allowed but discouraged. A better place to put that extra info is in your headline (where it says “Profiler | DISC Trainer” etc. in the example).

Same with putting emoji in the “name.” Best practice is just the name. But as far as I know, nobody’s getting kicked off for putting all that extra stuff in there.

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I spoke to a couple of product managers at LinkedIn last year and they said specifically they want to discourage people from putting anything there except names - that is why they created the gender pronoun option in the introductory card, because so many people were putting it in their Name. You don’t get kicked off for it, but they don’t want you to do it. Does that help?

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@louise thank you and I heard roughly that too. Before it used to be against their T&C’s I believe? That was much easier to teach/enforce whereas now it’s so vague you feel disadvantaged not having something querky following your name. It’s so much more visual to have your name followed by - video expert or - awards master or - queen of calm and so many people are doing it now I feel I should be teaching it too. Plus the person used in the example says she received her first enquiry just one day after changing her name to that format and she’s been on LI for years! Rx

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Thanks for the tags @christine and @jencoleict :slight_smile:

@rachel1 you are correct that this is still against LinkedIn Terms and Conditions.

I have seen LinkedIn send cease and desist letters and emails to stop putting the extra words in the name field. I do know they are still cracking down on this. The official terms and conditions on LinkedIn are that this area is for your name ONLY. What I see is LinkedIn goes through spurts of cracking down on this and then relaxes and then goes on another spurt of cracking down.

I have seen people argue that their tag line is a preferred professional name, but the example above is really long and would not pass the T&C.

Here is the LinkedIn T&C as of 2021 "The name fields of your profile name may only include the first, middle, and last names of your real or preferred professional name, plus your preferred pronouns.

When registering on our site, LinkedIn does not allow members to use pseudonyms, fake names, business names, associations, groups, email addresses, or special characters that do not reflect your real or preferred professional name. "

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Thanks @christine, the problem with the headline is that it plays second fiddle to the name line, it’s much smaller and not in bold so anything after the name is so much more visual and to the point - a great free advert. I wish they would say one way or the other and not leave it so vague. I want to teach best practice but feel I’m missing a trick to teach them. Rx

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It looks like you got your answer.
As @judiwfox and @louise stated- it’s against LinkedIn’s T&C and they are starting to crack down on those who break the T&C’s.
I have had 2 clients have their profiles shut down for violations (not when working with me, they came to me to rebuild their profiles and help them NOt break anymore rules).

The name section is just for names… you have plenty of space to add what you do and how you do it in the headline and about you section as Christine pointed out.

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Thank you so much @Judy Fox this is music to my ears. Rx

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@hello2 - awesome, thanks again for clarifying this. Rx

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Hey, @rachel1 Great question. I see it’s been answered by @judiwfox but to add, it’s a pain when people have these great long names! When tagging someone in, it’s more conversational to remove their surname and this can be annoying if there are a ton of other words to delete too. It doesn’t make for a very friendly UX - not great when you’re trying to build relationships!

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@sarah2, I totally agree, I find it really frustrating having to delete all the other words when trying to comment because it makes reading the post so difficult and looks horrible too.

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Hi @judiwfox, sorry, me again on this. I feel like I’m turning into a dog with a bone on this but I am just seeing so many people doing it that I want to get my facts right before/if I challenge.

I had a quick look at the LI user agreement for 2022 User Agreement | LinkedIn and I cannot see anything that relates to it. I love the fact that you have highlighted the exact words from the T&C’s above and I would love to be able to use that but I’m wondering now if they have changed since 2021? Any thoughts? So sorry to be a pain. Rx

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Totally makes sense! I used to work in corporate compliance and terms and conditions are subject to interpretation and of course taking a risk if you interpret “wrong”. In the 2022 LinkedIn User Agreement above if you search the word “name” there are 2 times it says to use your “real name” as part of the agreement.

Of course people can try to interpret “real name” the way they want, but that is why they have the help section to describe what they mean by “real name” and in that case I would find the help section from 2021 (Link to the Interpretation in the Help Section - Names Allowed on Profiles | LinkedIn Help which is the most recent way to interpret what LinkedIn means.

That is my compliance legal background speaking. :slight_smile:

Here are the references:

  1. 2.1 Service Eligibility. To use the Services, you agree that: (1) you must be the “Minimum Age”(described below) or older; (2) you will only have one LinkedIn account, which must be in your real name;
  2. 8.1.3 Dos You agree that you will: Use your real name on your profile; and
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OK, so it’s not now as specific as it was in 2021 and it’s down to you as to how you interpret what they mean by ‘real name’ - basically a grey area and no doubt worth taking the risk as 2 or 3 words behind your profile name most definitely makes you stand out! Many thanks for your time @judiwfox I very much appreciate it. Rx

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