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One of my LinkedIn contacts was recently admitted to several graduate schools as well as a prestigious international fellowship program, and over the course of a few weeks, she posted the acceptance letters as she received them before finally announcing the PhD program she'd chosen to attend. I've seen similar announcements from other contacts, and I've often wondered whether or not such posts are helpful to one's professional standing.

In my opinion, a letter of admission from grad school or a fellowship offer is a reflection of your accomplishments but not an accomplishment in its own right, and thus doesn't belong on your resume.

However, on LinkedIn, space is unlimited and posts recede quickly into the bottom of the feed, so I wonder if it might be more acceptable to post about declined opportunities there. For those just starting out in their career, there's pressure to provide "hard proof" of their competency. If you got both a job offer and a grad school acceptance, you might want to indicate that you were prepared for the one even though you chose the other, particularly if they are in different fields. And I have seen cases where the poster was admitted to a very prestigious graduate program but (I can infer) chose to attend another for financial reasons.

Thus, my questions are

  1. How do recruiters perceive it when they visit someone's LinkedIn feed and see posts about declined opportunities?

  2. Is there an acceptable way to share that you have been offered a competitive professional opportunity that you will not, or cannot, accept?

  • i would say that (1) is opinion-based and should be re-phrased "is it professional to...", and (2) requires answer to the question what are you trying to communicate – aaaaa says reinstate Monica Apr 19 at 23:34
  • For (1) I chose the phrasing "how do recruiters perceive" such posts because it is less opinion based than asking if it's professional: I want to know the (positive or negative) thoughts that might go through a recruiters' head in a situation like this, not necessarily whether the sum of those perceptions amounts to evaluating you as "professional" or not (which is a matter of opinion and depends on the particulars). Re: (2) I provided several examples in my third paragraph of what someone's goal with these posts might be. If you see a way this can me made clearer, please edit my post. – Max Apr 19 at 23:50
  • Posted as in “put on her profile”or posted as in “made random social media posts on her timeline?” If the latter, no one but her buds care one way or the other. – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Apr 20 at 0:11
  • Posted as in "made social media posts on her public timeline" which is, in theory, visible to recruiters etc. – Max Apr 20 at 2:17
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At the end of the day, whether you had only 1 offer from a school or selected the school from a pool of other similarly top ranked school, the end result is the same. You can only go to one school.

As a hiring manager, this shows me the posting person is still pretty early in their career and insecure in their position in the world. But otherwise it's not really a red flag or does it elevate the candidate in my eyes.

I'd much rather see what the person learned and did during their education. e.g. Did they take up a leadership role in a student organization? Did they publish a prize winning paper at a top conference in their field? Etc.

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It depends on the sort of work you're after.

Scholarships/fellowships do matter in academia and including their list in your CV is a good idea, even those declined. I would think that holds internationally.

Whether including the list of fellowships in your CV for a non-university job is ok or not is probably culture-dependent. I've done that in some countries and haven't in others. The declined fellowships can also be included if they are prestigious, why not.

This doesn't include letters of admission from grad schools obviously, which aren't an achievement. When you get a good fellowship/ scholarship someone wants to pay you. If you get admitted it only means someone wants you to pay them (in the US).

As you gain more and more experience outside academia, university scholarships should play a lesser role and can be removed at some point.

All this also refers to your Linkedin profile, which is basically, an online version of your CV.

However, it doesn't to the Linkedin timeline. Only most important updates should be shared on the timeline. There are people who treat the timeline like their facebook feed, but I would think many people find that irritating.

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