Do you know about LinkedIn’s Name Pronunciation feature? I love it because it has obvious and stealth benefits.
Create a Global Database of Name Pronunciations
First, if we all take a moment to use this feature, we’ll create a global database of name pronunciations.
Learn to Pronounce Other People’s Names Correctly
Then, we’ll have a quick, easy way to learn how to pronounce the names of people we’re about to meet.
Nothing is more core to our identities than our names.
Thus, people who pronounce them correctly get some halo effect.
That’s a learning error identified by psychologist Edward Thorndike 100 years ago. He found we apply an excellent first impression of a person to all their abilities and traits, especially when we don’t know them.
So, when a recruiter or a hiring manager glows after you pronounce their name correctly, you’ll get a halo effect.
Seriously, would you hire someone who didn’t bother to learn how to pronounce your name?
Help Other People Pronounce Your Name
You will start relationships with people in a friendlier way if you share how to pronounce your name.
A Greenhouse survey found 43% of respondents had their names mispronounced in interviews.
Then they got miffed. But hey, their bad, when they could have prevented many of the problems via LinkedIn.
Mitigate Job Search Name Discrimination
Also, if your name is outside the dominant culture, this feature helps you avoid discrimination.
A study by the US National Bureau of Economic Research found that people with “racial” names get fewer interviews.
Some of that is racism.
And, some interviewers won’t talk with people when they fear mispronouncing their names.
So, if you have a difficult name, be sure to provide an audio recording with its correct pronunciation.
Also, given our diverse world, assume your name is difficult for someone.
Next, this feature provides job seekers and other LinkedIn members personal branding opportunities.
LinkedIn gives you a 10-second audio clip.
I don’t know how long it takes you to pronounce your name, but I would guess it’s less than a second.
That leaves 9 seconds to record a:
- Friendly statement (example)
- Branding statement (example)
- Call to action (example)
- Jobseeker elevator pitch (no example)
- What else?
As you can see, I’m still looking for an elevator pitch example. If you’ve heard a good one, I’d appreciate an email or a link in the comments below.
Beyond the job search, using LinkedIn name pronunciation can help with employee onboarding.
A survey from Wisetail found 26% of new hires have anxiety about saying co-workers’ names.
So, to welcome a new team member, ask people to use LinkedIn name pronunciation.
Then, point the new person to LinkedIn with a list of their colleagues’ profile URLs. The new person will learn about their backgrounds and how to pronounce their names.
I’d love to see this become a common courtesy.
(BTW, that 26% number? It’s a good proxy for how many recruiters and hiring managers fear mispronouncing candidates’ names.)
LinkedIn name pronunciation is such a powerful branding and rapport-building opportunity. If you aren’t using it, you’re missing out.
I don’t know about you, but I love listening to the recordings. They’re a fun way to learn a little bit more about someone.
Give people who think they’re just going to view your profile an extra treat, some authentic you!
Step-by-Step Instructions to Add a Recording
Now, if you’re ready to record, I watched several “how-to” videos, so you don’t have to.
Akshay Ahluwalia, a Director at the American Marketing Association, crushes it:
If you prefer written instructions:
- Open your LinkedIn mobile app.
- Click your mini-me photo in the top-left corner.
- Click “View profile.”
- Find the edit pencil to the right of your photo and click it.
- Look below your name entries for “Your audio recording” and an edit pencil.
- Click the pencil.
- Click “Record new pronunciation.”
- Hold the mike and record your 10-second spot.
- Then, click “Tap to preview.”
- If you like it, click “Retake” (confusing, I know) and then click “Replace.”
- If you don’t like it, click “Apply” and start over at step 6.
- Finally, when you have a recording you like, complete step 10 and click Save in the top-right corner.
- Then, make your recording visible to 1st-degree connections or all members. I suggest all members.
It’s way easier than the 13 steps make it look. Except for the part where you do 10 or 20 takes to get a recording you like. Or was that just me?
And, if you know someone who could use a little help with their personal brand, please share this post with them.
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Updated May 2022
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Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
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