What About Bob? LinkedIn's Top Names for CEOs, Engineers and More

Maybe you won't ever have to worry about looking presidential -- but perhaps you will wonder if a Rose by another name would sound more like a CEO.

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Wed, April 27, 2011

CIO — If you're a Peter, Bob, Deborah or Sally, there's a good chance you may have climbed the ranks to earn the top position at your company as CEO. If you're a Rajesh, Ravi, Kiran or Jun, you might work as an engineer. And if you're an Emma, Katie, Claire or Jennifer, you could be a human resources employee. That, according to new data released by professional networking site LinkedIn.

The LinkedInsights data team culled information from more than 100 million public profiles on LinkedIn to determine the "top" names now, by finding the most over-represented names within a specific population or functional area.

Their findings include the top names for male and female CEOs, engineers, HR representatives, members of law enforcement, salespeople, restaurateurs and athletes.

"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," says Monica Rogati, a senior data scientist at LinkedIn. "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."

One correlation the LinkedInsights data team found was that sales professionals tend to have short names with around four letters, such as Chip, Todd and Trey, while engineers tend to have longer names, around six letters, such as Rajesh, Jeremy and Andrew.

Frank Nuessel, editor of Names: A Journal of Onomastics, says that the use or nicknames versus longer names can be attributed to the individuals' line of work.

"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," he says. Female CEOs, however, tend to use the full version of their name, Nuessel says, which could signify that they want to be taken more seriously and professionally.

[Want more LinkedIn tips, tricks and analysis? Check out CIO.com's LinkedIn Bible.]

[Skip to the full list of top names for professionals.]

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