Five Reasons Your LinkedIn Profile Fails#linkedin by August 23, 2016
LinkedIn is now one of the biggest social tools used in business today, and while many users have seen success and built strong relationships through the platform, others have been doomed to fail from the very beginning, and their profiles are quickly lost in the mix.
The question you need to be asking yourself is, why is this the case? And will this happen to me?
The answer is very simple.
LinkedIn is your online resume, and it speaks volumes about you as a professional, yet many treat it like any other social media account, which is a critical mistake.
You simply cannot get away with the same kind of mistakes you make on your Facebook or Twitter when it comes to LinkedIn. The audience you attract is different, and it has the potential to make or break your professional development.
To help stop you from hindering your chances of success, we’ve outlined the top 5 reasons most LinkedIn profiles fail, and how you can avoid becoming another statistic.
Listing every piece of experience you’ve ever had
This is an issue as old as time, and it’s no surprise that it creeps into people’s LinkedIn profiles when they want to showcase their abilities.
Highlight areas that you have the most experience in, but listing the babysitting gig you had in high school isn’t going to cut it. No one needs to know about that kind of experience.
If you’re a student, or you’ve had limited work experience, play to your strengths. This would include things like any awards or praise for your academic work, voluntary positions or any self-taught tech or creative knowledge you may have picked up.
Until you’ve made your mark in your chosen field, you’ll have to be creative, although you don’t ever want to portray yourself as someone that you’re not.
Keep in mind not to oversell, as companies and recruiters can sniff out that kind of thing from a mile away.
Bad profile pictures
We all know the internet can be a superficial place at times, but you want to make a good impression, and one of the first things people see when they click on your profile is your picture, so make sure to choose wisely.
Avoid photos with your partner, your kids, or in any other kind of social setting. Also, avoid group photos or any vacation shots of you having a wild time.
It’s surprising how often people attach whatever their profile picture is on other social media and simply run with that.
Be professional and keep it simple. You wouldn’t go to a job interview wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, so don’t use a casual profile photo.
Highlighting unemployment or seeming desperate
It’s tough being out of work, and it can be incredibly demoralizing at times. Even so, you can’t let any of that negativity seep into your profile.
It also isn’t smart to slam a previous employer or reference a bad experience. That kind of behaviour doesn’t bode well for your prospects.
Focus more on your skills that are relevant to the industry or job you’re looking for. Even if you’re hoping to find work in an industry you’ve no previous experience in, look at company job descriptions and mention any transferable skills or things you excelled in at your previous jobs.
Some skills aren’t worth mentioning
Following on from our initial point on listing every experience you’ve had, the same applies to skills.
Listing anything to do with religion, alcohol, gambling, hunting or any activities that may be seen as criminal or too personal for work can prove detrimental and are best kept to yourself. This includes listing hobbies - unless you have in-depth knowledge in a particular area that you feel compliments your professional life it’s best to leave it out.
Most points of failure in people’s LinkedIn profiles stem from a lack of professionalism. We all occasionally make mistakes, but it’s important that you show yourself in a positive light to inspire people to connect and open dialogue with you.
How you express yourself in writing is more crucial than ever. Pay attention to your word choice, the adage of don’t use a complicated word when a simple one will do certainly applies here. Formatting and grammar are two of the biggest blunders in LinkedIn profiles; both are easily dealt with if you take your time and proofread your content before hitting the save button.
When reaching out or responding, remember to keep things professional, but personable. People like dealing with people, so you have to hit that fine line.
Be polite and approachable and look at your LinkedIn profile as an extension of your resume rather than just another social media account and you’re sure to be a LinkedIn pro in no time!