Let’s get right into it. Shall we?
#1 – No picture.
Profiles with no pictures are ignored [because they are boring]. Please place a picture on LinkedIn. Stop procrastinating, get a nice headshot, Photoshop it just a bit if you must, but get one pronto! Contrary to what others will say regarding attire, I am advising you go with something other than the ‘mundane’ black business suit. A warmer earthy tone will help your profile pop in the sea of black attire.
If you don’t have time to attend a professional photoshoot and have decided to take your own picture then please be very attentive. Choose a picture that zooms in on your attractive face, smile, polish your look, choose a clean and well-lit background, and please make sure you are the only person in the picture (no family members, no one else in the background and definitely no pets.)
#2 –No tagline in the “Headline” section.
Most LinkedIn users will list their most recent job title in this area since this is what populates by default. This is a huge mistake as the Headline section not only is a great keyword section, helping you gain better traction on LinkedIn and Google, but because this is excellent real estate (ROI). Use this Headline section to make a strong impression and offer value to your network.
#3 – Not customizing the URL.
Instead of using the default LinkedIn URL, create a customized link address. If your name is already taken, consider adding a job title or keyword at the end of your name. For example: www.linkedin.com/in/michaelweisscreativedirector.
#4 – Repurposing the resume Profile on LinkedIn as a Summary.
LinkedIn is a social networking site. While it also has become the #1 social media that recruiters and hiring managers go to and scout for top candidates, it is still about your connections. Therefore, your LinkedIn Summary section should be network ready. That means it must be friendlier, more concise, and more relatable than your resume. Another reason why you shouldn’t repurpose your resume on LinkedIn is that you must create a reason for recruiters to contact you. If your resume is not on LinkedIn, well, that is a really good reason to contact you. Would you agree?
#5 – Keeping LinkedIn private.
While I understand your attempt to keep certain information confidential, the idea behind developing an online presence is so that others find you. This is going to be pretty difficult if you are not allowing search engines, like Google, to index your profile. The solution is to make your LinkedIn profile partially available and then conceal the rest.
Here is how: Go to “Customize Your Public Profile” section and click on “Make my profile visible to everyone.” Then carefully check the areas you’d like to reveal. I suggest the following: Basics (name, industry, location, number of recommendations), picture, headline, summary, and skills.
The rest can be disclosed to your contact once you have approved him/her as a connection. Remember that because you are NOT going to place your entire resume online, you won’t have too many details of concern.
#6 – Not personalizing the “Additional Info” section.
Remember that this profile should be friendlier, welcoming, and inviting. While I would leave any personal interests off the resume, this area is great for your online networking activities.
#7 – Not linking to projects or media mentions.
LinkedIn’s interface allows you to add more sections than those you see when you first sign up. Review all of the options available to you and leverage them to link to accolades, mentions, publications, patents, etc. Anything that sets you apart from others and makes YOU unforgettable is worthy of inclusion on LinkedIn.
#8 – Spellcheck.
While LinkedIn doesn’t have a spellcheck feature, you must still create an error-free profile. Believe me, it can happen to the best of us. Here is what I like to use when I help my clients with LinkedIn. I recommend you use the Chrome browser https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/ which has an integrated spellcheck feature.
Here is how to add spellcheck to your Internet Explorer though I find it more cumbersome: http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2422
Next time we’ll dive into LinkedIn strategy mistakes. For now, please use this post as a checklist and revamp your LinkedIn profile today.
What other mistakes are you seeing on LinkedIn or do you have any questions I may able to address? If so, please comment below and sign up for our blog.