5 Mistakes on Your LinkedIn Profile

By: Cheryl Palmer

Think your profile will help you network or get a new job? It won’t if you make these five mistakes.

It’s no doubt that you have heard the term personal branding. In the past it seemed that only large corporations had to worry about their brands. Now individuals do as well, especially executives who are interested in effectively managing their careers and finding new job opportunities. If you maintain a profile on LinkedIn, it is worth considering what your profile conveys about you, especially to those who have not yet met you. Here are five common mistakes that LinkedIn users make on their profiles that hurt their personal brands:

  1. Poor attention to detail. Typos and incomplete profiles are a signal that you do not pay attention to detail. Even if you pack your profile with keywords that draw attention, you will damage your brand if you present a sloppy profile or one that is incomplete. Proofread your profile carefully to make sure that it is not misrepresenting you.
  2. Being unaware of proper social-media etiquette. Before participating on LinkedIn, you should understand proper social-media etiquette. You can easily discourage other LinkedIn members from connecting with you or a potential employer from seriously considering you as a candidate if they see that you behave inappropriately in the online world. One example of poor etiquette on LinkedIn is spamming people who you do not know and asking them to help you find a new position. Someone who is social-media savvy may conclude that your lack of awareness of social-media etiquette extends to the workplace as well.
  3. Having a bland profile. On bland profiles, there is nothing presented that is distinctive or appealing. If your profile is vanilla, it does not give other LinkedIn members a reason to connect with you or motivate an employer to give you a second look. In other words, you blend in to the background of the millions of other social-media users.
  4. Having too few connections. It is very easy to build your network on LinkedIn, because other users are on this site to network. Most of them will be open to connecting with you. But if you simply fill out a profile and expect people to come to you, you will have too few connections to make you appear appealing. Make a point of getting involved and joining groups of like-minded people.
  5. Making unsupported claims. Your professional headline for LinkedIn should say something about what you have to offer. If you are the director of training, for example, you might say, “Director of Training: Increasing Bottom-Line Profitability Through Learning Strategies.” Don’t expect a potential employer or colleagues to believe a claim that you have not substantiated. Increase your credibility and your appeal by supporting any statements that you make and demonstrating your value. You can include your accomplishments on your profile under your different positions that are listed.

Cheryl Palmer is president of Call to Career and helps her clients with finding their niche and landing new positions. She has been interviewed on Fox Business News and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and MarketWatch. Website: www.calltocareer.com; Email: [email protected]

Learn how to take your LinkedIn profile to the next level during ASAE CareerHQ.org’s webinar with Cheryl Palmer on Thursday, June 9. For more information and to register, visit CareerHQ.org.

Cheryl Palmer

Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed., CPRW, is a career coach at Call to Career.