10 LinkedIn Profile Mistakes

This is a quick hit list of how many people are ruining their professional credibility with mistakes they make in their LinkedIn profiles.  For more detailed insight and guidance on LinkedIn profiles check out this blog post.

  1. Your title is your headline. 
    • Yes, your title is important but LinkedIn is not your business card, be creative, and highlight what you do in your title using layman’s terms so those outside your organization or industry can understand.
  2. No professional summary.
    • This is your quick-hitting elevator pitch on who you are and how you got where you are.  Think of this like a movie trailer of your professional life that should leave the reader excited to see more. Leave them wanting more.
    • Seems like a no-brainer that writing anything in all CAPS would be frowned upon but I am surprised on a weekly basis by profiles with all CAPS and/or spelling errors.
  4. No/unprofessional picture. 
    • This reminds me of school pictures, don’t be the profile pic that looks like you forgot it was picture day.  Get a professional headshot or ask a friend with better-than-average photography skills to take your picture. Do not crop a picture with someone else shoulder in it and pixelated because you had to zoom it in. 
  5. Irrelevant skills mentioned. 
    • It is not mandatory to list every job you have ever had.  I recommend leaving off jobs that do not correlate to your expertise or job field.  The exception to this rule is for early careerists who don’t have a deep background of experience. For those people check out this post. 
  6. No recommendations.
    • Get people you know and respect to give you a recommendation.  Trade recommendations but just make sure the people you ask for recommendations have enough experience with you professionally to write something relevant.  Think of this like a restaurant review, the more reviews and recommendations a restaurant has the more comfortable you feel going there for the first time. 
  7. Profile URL not customized.
    • Your profile on LinkedIn has a unique URL like a fingerprint, but if you don’t customize your URL it resembles the lovechild of a Random Number Generator and an Enigma encryption device. Make it another chance to brand yourself. 
  8. Failing to Create Relevant Connections.
    • LinkedIn is about connecting with people in your immediate network and connecting with others ins your field that might have been otherwise unknown if not for LinkedIn.  Highly recommend you join relevant groups on LinkedIn that correlate to your industry and interest.  Then be an active participant, nothing is gained by watching from the sideline as others lead the conversation. HINT:  Invite people to connect with a personal message instead of the default invite LinkedIn sends on your behalf, more people respond to messages with a quick reason highlighting why you are asking to connect. 
    • Build a network quickly with
      • A great resource for building a massive LinkedIn network quickly but not recommended for those looking to build a tight industry-specific network. 
  9. Pay Attention to Your LinkedIn Messages
    • Much like email, you will receive requests and communication from people inside and outside of your network on LinkedIn.  You need to engage with that inbox every few days to stay engaged with your network.  It’s not that difficult and it pays dividends over time.
  10. Be ACTIVE on LinkedIn
    • Many people build a profile and a network of strangers on LinkedIn and then sit and watch other people act.  Why waste your time?  Get engaged, get involved, and build real connections.  Just like it’s easier to find a job when you have a job, it’s easier to build a network over time than trying to engage people when you need something.  Desperation stinks and people can even smell it on the internet.