Listen, LinkedIn is far from my favorite social media platform, but I know it can be a powerful tool for business professionals. Unless, of course, you completely screw up your LinkedIn profile! Let’s look at some of the common mistakes people make on their LinkedIn profiles, so you’ll know what to avoid.
Profile picture: This is your first impression, so why does it look like someone took your photo with a potato? Or does yours have your cat in the picture? Or do you not even have one? People, use a professional headshot and make sure your clothes and hair are neat and tidy.
Background image: If you’re on LinkedIn, you need a background image! Please don’t make it too personal, but cheesy-looking stock images are bad too.
Headline: I don’t need your life story in your headline. That’s what the rest of the profile is for! Keep it short and sweet.
Experience: If you only have one thing, I assume you’re unemployable. On the other hand, I don’t need to know every last job you’ve ever had, including that lemonade stand you ran in elementary school. Put your last few jobs, not all of them, and be concise and specific when describing your experience.
Education: This is for legitimate education, people. Don’t list every school you’ve ever attended and every certificate you’ve earned, including the one you got in the bottom of a cereal box. Just include the degrees and programs that are relevant to your current career goals.
Skills & Expertise: It’s not 1999 anymore. Every competent professional is skilled at Microsoft Office! This is one of the most important sections of your LinkedIn profile, so list skills that are relevant to your industry and job title.
Volunteer Experience: Never do any volunteering? Now I’m assuming you’re just a horrible person. Don’t forget to list any volunteer experience you have!
Interests: Keep this section brief and relevant. Nobody wants to read about your love of iguanas or your stamp collection.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform, but it can be pretty embarrassing if you make any of the mistakes listed above. So, avoid these common profile blunders, and you’ll be on your way to having a killer LinkedIn profile that will help you in your career!