Personality perception based on LinkedIn profiles

Niels van de Ven, Aniek Bogaert, Alec Serlie, Mark Brandt, Jaap Denissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
341 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose. Job-related social networking websites (e.g., LinkedIn) are often used in the recruitment process because the profiles contain valuable information such as education level and work experience. We investigated whether people can accurately infer a profile owner’s self-rated personality traits based on the profile on a job-related social networking site.

Methodology. In two studies, raters inferred personality traits (the Big Five and self-presentation) from LinkedIn profiles (total N = 275). We related those inferences to self-rated personality by the profile owner to test if the inferences were accurate.

Findings. Using information gained from a LinkedIn profile allowed for better inferences of extraversion and self-presentation of the profile owner (r’s of .24 to .29).

Originality / value. Although prior research tested whether profiles of social networking sites (such as Facebook) can be used to accurately infer self-rated personality, this was not yet tested for job-related social networking sites (such as LinkedIn). Results indicate that profiles at job-related social networks, in spite of containing only relatively standardized information, "leak" information about the owner's personality.

Practical implications. When using a LinkedIn profile to estimate trait extraversion or self-presentation one becomes 1.5 times as likely to actually select the person with higher trait extraversion compared to the person with lower trait extraversion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-429
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • recruitment
  • online social networks
  • LinkedIn
  • big five traits
  • person perception
  • self-presentation


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