LinkedIn has become the “go to” site for recruiters and company HR professionals when looking for new talent. As a result, it’s very important to have an effective LinkedIn bio and it’s critical that you build your professional network in order to have the best chance of landing a job. LinkedIn is also used by current and potential business partners who want to know more about you.
Your LinkedIn profile is incredibly important to your career. Your LinkedIn profile is the primary thing other people will see about your professional profile. It is the online world’s equivalent of a first impression, so it should be utilized well. Even the simplest errors on a profile page can have dire effects. Here’s a list of common errors to watch out for:
Suggested Reading: How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile… And 18 Mistakes to Avoid
Forgetting to proofread
One of the most basic and powerful things that you can do to create a great profile is to make sure that it doesn’t contain any errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. The reason for this is that it can show that you are sloppy and careless. Worse, some people might even interpret these errors as incompetence. Have friends or family read your profile to find errors that you may have missed.
Picking unflattering pictures
If you want to post a picture, then follow the same rules that you would in picking a picture for a resume. The photograph should be an attractive, professional, head-and-shoulders shot of you in business attire—clear, with a plain background. The idea behind a LinkedIn profile picture is to show your contacts that you can look the part of a professional. Obviously no “selfies in the mirror” or pictures that may be too casual (such as a picture of you sipping a drink by the pool).
Not being specific
Your LinkedIn profile should include enough specific information to allow a recruiter to determine if you are a potential candidate for a job. Make sure that you provide enough details in your LinkedIn profile (skills, education, work experience). Do not simply indicate general information such as “went to graduate school” or “attended a seminar”. Indicate the names, dates, and places that will give potential employers, clients, or customers an idea of what you are about.
Not being truthful
Don’t think that you can get away with lying or even exaggerating on a LinkedIn profile. Employers have an amazing array of tools, including LinkedIn itself, to check the truth of your claims. And they will. Avoid the awkwardness and almost certainly career-damaging effects of being caught in a lie by sticking to actual facts in your profile.
Writing your life story
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to put everything you’ve ever done on your LinkedIn profile. Stick to details that are most recent and pertinent to the industry that you want to work in. If your profile is too busy, people tend to simply ignore it. Just like a resume, your LinkedIn profile should be clear and easy to read.
There’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to create a LinkedIn profile. The wrong way will probably get you passed up, overlooked, and ignored, at best—but the right way will pay off in a solid network of powerful resources that will serve you well throughout your career.
Career Tip of the Day: Resumes versus LinkedIn Profiles
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