I recently stumbled on to the following information in a summary and I had to laugh. Here’s an excerpt from the Summary:
“I am an experienced insurance analyst, benefits specialist, and client advocate. My history in the medical field has provided me with a perspective that many insurance agents lack — I understand the challenges patients can face when they attempt to use their benefits without being educated about them. I am not just a salesman; I am an educator, an advocate, and an expert in my field.”
Fine so far.
Then I looked at the Experience:
Current Employer: Independent Insurance Agent – December 2008 – Present ( 5 months) Uh-Oh
Previous Job: Insurance Specialist – July 2008 – December 2008 ( 6 months) Hmmmm
That’s it. Then the next listing is for Education with a college graduation date of 2008.
So let me get this straight. This person claims to be an experienced insurance analyst and benefits specialists after 6 months. And an expert in health insurance after 5 months.
Everyone new to a job or an industry where sales is involved is trying to seem credible. I get that, but the statements and facts don’t support each other. When you’re building your profile on LinkedIn you want to make sure that 2 + 2 = 4.
If you don’t have the experience at least borrow it. A better way to phrase the profile would have been to say “I’m part of an organization that has been helping clients with their health insurance and benefits related needs since 1984”. It doesn’t make you an expert but it helps with the math.
My business is insurance whether it is helping folks in Georgia with their individual health insurance or small businesses with designing comprehensive benefits packages. Maybe that’s why this stood out so much, and if the person had made similar claims managing databases I wouldn’t have noticed. But somebody else would have.
Your LinkedIn profile is your brand and when you fudge the facts they can come back to bite you. “Fake it until you make it” may be a common refrain, but so is “it’s the first impression that counts”.
What do you think? Am I being to harsh?