“As a claims professional, how important is my LinkedIn profile during a job search?”
The most important thing during a claims job search is that your resume is optimized so employers who view it know in seconds what type of claims you handle, where you do your work, and why you stand out from other claims professionals. But just as important is your ability to pass the computer screening test that many insurance employers use to review your information. This is accomplished by including keywords that reflect your exact skill sets and experience that closely match the job to which you’re applying. If you can master the resume (get a professional resume writer), then this document will be the foundation of your LinkedIn profile, and it will make your resume come to life.
During your job search, your LinkedIn profile gives employers a complete picture of you. You can add a professional photo (no selfie in the mirror), add numerous skills and endorsements, display recommendations, and add any career-supporting documents like awards and certifications. You control the message like a billboard. This is huge during a job search, especially if you align your skill sets with the job that you are applying for.
Your LinkedIn profile is like a Yelp or Trip Advisor review. Once an employer gets your resume and has an interest, your LinkedIn profile is one of the first places they will go to verify that you are who you say you are. (Please note that many companies will set interviews based solely on your resume since they don’t have the manpower to check LinkedIn. Just be aware that when you interview with hiring managers, they will check your LinkedIn profile five minutes before your walk into their office. Thankfully, if you prepare correctly for the interview, you will have viewed their profile, as well.)
A well-done LinkedIn profile also can connect you to claims jobs that you never knew existed. Employers and insurance headhunters search LinkedIn for candidates every day for jobs that are not posted anywhere. If your LinkedIn profile is optimized, then you will come up first in search results, which can result in an InMail from an employer gauging your interest in changing jobs. Think of LinkedIn as a large resume database—except you have control over the content that can be viewed.
Finally, beware of how LinkedIn can hurt you in a job search. I have seen job offers rescinded because the application/resume of the job seeker was missing jobs that appeared on the LinkedIn profile. This also happened with dates of employment being wrong, as well. These have to match up.
One last thing: If you are not a big fan of LinkedIn (like many claims professionals) but set up an account at some point, then I recommend either deleting the account or optimizing it as discussed. It’s like checking restaurant reviews on Open Table only to find the last review was in 2011.
Got a career question for Roger? Email him at Roger@GreatInsuranceJobs.com.