Don’t believe everything you see on LinkedIn. I am amazed at how many fantasy profiles exist on the platform.
A few years ago, I connected with someone on Linkedin, after we met in person at an event where I was invited to speak. I noticed #Linkedin would send notifications on his updates. I started noticing his profile changes every few months with a different set of work experience. Initially, I thought he was building competence in the medical field. He went as far as prefixing his name with Dr. I thought he must have completed a PhD, but somehow that part of his education was incomplete.
A few months later, I noticed the Dr prefix was dropped and the entire medical work experience was removed. This was followed by a series of rapid career changes, so diverse, it was hard to imagine the connection to fields like digital marketing and product management. These changes came with a new set of work experience, erasing all previous jobs before them. I found it puzzling, till it dawned on me that to this individual, Linkedin was obviously a game, and people were falling for it.
Sometimes I see profiles prompted by Linkedin on co-workers I have no memory of. The reason is simple, they were never former colleagues.
Some ex-colleagues claim roles they never had, some include responsibilities that never existed. One profile stated working for 2 years when they worked 3 months. I remember this person because they were coached to no avail for persistent tardiness. So, it surprised me that they would even keep our firm on their work experience, let alone claim 2 extra years. A former intern claimed 18 months work experience, managing multiple million dollar projects, yet they interned as an office administrator for 3 months. Yes, this is the magnitude of the claims.
Sometimes, we only find out when reference checks come in, and we have no choice but to tell the truth. Especially when asked how long a person worked with us. However, many firms don’t bother doing these checks.
Just this week, a profile claiming to have worked for my firm 2 years ago, attached our most recent company newsletters to their Linkedin profile as their work. That really shocked me as the misrepresentation was blatant.
Should companies, spend time chasing these fantasy profiles with bogus claims? Sometimes we do, most times we don’t. I only hope that firms recruiting spend time verifying some of the claims people make.
I thought #CVs were unreliable with the odd lie here and there, but Linkedin profiles have topped it up.
Now, you see it, now, you don’t. Do your due diligence