Regardless of how active you choose to be on LinkedIn on a weekly, monthly or even yearly basis, it is essential that you ALWAYS maintain a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn profile. This not only serves as your resume online to which you can refer new contacts you meet in your job search and/or career networking, but also serves as one of the most searchable outposts for your personal brand on the web thanks to its high rankings in Google and other search engines.
When employers, clients, partners or anyone for that matter searches your name specifically or relevant industry keywords, your LinkedIn profile will often be where they find come across you first. Therefore, how your profile presents you can literally make or break a potential career or business opportunity for you, and in most cases, you won’t even have a clue that you missed out!
I have compiled a list of the top 10 LinkedIn profile mistakes professionals make in hopes to help you optimize your LinkedIn personal brand presence and avoid losing out on new opportunities for career success.
1. Not having a 100% complete profile. LinkedIn provides you a step-by-step guide to complete your profile. Not only does completing your profile 100% make you look more professional, but it also, helps optimize your placement in LinkedIn’s People Search results.
Here’s what you need to have a 100% complete profile:
- Your Current Position
- Two Past Positions
- Profile Summary
- Profile Photo
- Your Specialties/Skills
- 3 Recommendations
3. Not proofreading your profile for grammar, punctuation and capitalization. Make sure to review your entire profile a number of times to avoid missing any grammatical errors. Ask someone you know to review your profile for an outside perspective and for an extra pair of eyes to catch possible mistakes or opportunities for improvement.
4. Not including your personal brand or statement in your profile. First of all, in your profile subtitle, don’t miss the opportunity to attract more profile viewers and impress potential employers and career stakeholders by listing yourself as “Finance Professional,” “College Student” or anything else generic or boring. Use this area to share your brand and unique and differentiating value with your network and future target audience. Also, don’t forget about your summary section where you can feature your personal brand and supporting pitch and really hook viewers to read the rest of your profile.
5. Not customizing your own LinkedIn profile URL. Many professionals forget or neglect to personalize their LinkedIn profile URL with their name and leave the default letters and numbers in place. This looks less professional, but also prevents you from using this in your networking efforts to link your contacts back to your profile.
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