LinkedIn says “Peter” and “Deborah” are the top names for CEOs*

(Graphic: Business Wire)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--()--LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network with more than 100 million members worldwide, today released LinkedInsights data that reveal interesting findings about the top names of CEOs. The LinkedInsights data also showed surprising correlations among the lengths of names that dominate certain fields. For instance, CEOs in the United States often have four letter names (like Jack and Fred).

According to the LinkedInsights data, the top five names for male CEOs globally are:
1. Peter
2. Bob
3. Jack
4. Bruce
5. Fred

The top five names for female CEOs globally are:
1. Deborah
2. Sally
3. Debra
4. Cynthia
5. Carolyn

“It’s no secret that people often associate their title, employer and even their education as part of what defines them and their professional brand,” said Monica Rogati, LinkedIn’s senior data scientist. “What’s interesting about this data is that we were able to discover a correlation between a professional’s name and the industry or functional area in which they work.”

For instance, in the U.S., there’s an interesting relationship between the amount of letters and top names for professionals in certain functional areas. Sales professionals tend to have short names, around four letters (like Chip, Todd and Trey), while engineers tend to have longer names, around six letters (like Rajesh, Jeremy and Andrew). U.S. professionals in the food and restaurant industry tend to have longer French names (like Thierry, Philippe and Laurent).

“Typically hypocorisms, the shorter form of a given name, are used in intimate situations as a nickname or a term of endearment,” said Dr. Frank Nuessel, the editor of NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics (a publication of the American Name Society) and a professor of classical and modern languages at the University of Louisville. “It’s possible that sales professionals in the U.S. and male CEOs around the world use these shortened versions of their name as a way to be more approachable and accessible to potential clients. Interestingly enough, female CEOs appear to prefer to use their full names and not nicknames, which could signify that they want to be taken more seriously and want co-workers to think of them in a more professional light.”

Since there are millions of professionals on LinkedIn, and not every Peter or Deborah is a CEO, LinkedIn suggests the following tips to help you stand out from the crowd of other professionals who might share your name, but not your profession:

Claim Your Name

  • Customize your LinkedIn Profile URL so that it’s your firstnamelastname, one word with no spaces (ex. Not only will it get your profile to the top of web searches for your name, it also makes it easier to link to your profile in your email signature or on your business card. You can make this change easily on your “Edit Profile” page. (If your URL is taken already, you can also do lastnamefirstname.)

Show Off Your Skills

  • Joe Smith 2.0 probably doesn’t have the same expertise you have; so make sure you add relevant skills to your profile. After you’ve logged in, go directly to LinkedIn Skills to place skills on your profile with just a few clicks.

Make Sure You’re Connected

  • Who you’re connected can set you apart from the competition and open doors for you. The magic number of connections on LinkedIn is 50 contacts. Your network can be made up of clients, co-workers, former bosses, vendors, friends and even family. When you’re connected to trusted contacts on LinkedIn, your network can vouch for you and they can contact you when they see career opportunities that might be a fit for you.

To learn more about LinkedIn’s listings of top names for professionals, check out our blog post.

*Methodology for Research

For the research on the top names for professionals, the LinkedInsights data team took a look at the more than 100 million public profiles on LinkedIn. The team then determined the “top” names by finding the most over-represented names within a specific population or functional area (like “names for female CEOs globally” for instance). Functional areas were derived from the self-reported title that each member has listed on his/her LinkedIn Profile. (For example, professionals in the food and restaurant functional area would include chefs, servers, hostesses, sommeliers, etc.)

About LinkedInsights

LinkedInsights aims to uncover valuable trends and patterns in the workplace that help professionals reach their career goals. The LinkedInsights team analyzes the aggregate movement of LinkedIn’s massive member base in order to find actionable insights that help professionals around the world better manage their careers.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories. The LinkedIn website launched in 2003 and currently counts executives from all Fortune 500 companies as members. The company is privately-held and has a diversified business model with revenues coming from user subscriptions, advertising sales and hiring solutions. LinkedIn is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

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