Thursday, April 4, 2013

12 LinkedIn mistakes to avoid

By David Strom

Don't wait until you decide to leave your current job to update your LinkedIn profile. Start today, and avoid these mistakes.

Mistake 1: Funky or no portrait photo
People are suspicious of LinkedIn profiles with missing photos, says David Hults, career coach, author and speaker,

The fix: Ditch the funky picture if you have one. Focus on your face. No beach shots, or distracting background objects in the frame.  Using your iPhone camera is okay, but watch the lighting.

Mistake 2: No recommendations
This person has held numerous IT positions at the Red Cross, but has no recommendations.

The fix: Ideally, you should have a personal recommendation for each position, even if you held multiple jobs in the same organization. "Ask someone who can speak directly to your work," says Lisa Rokusek, managing partner, AgentHR Recruiting Group, St. Louis, MO. "Try to vet these as carefully as you can," she says. 

Mistake 3: Few or no endorsements of important, marketable skills
The fix: This part of your profile should look engaging and vibrant. Ask your network to endorse you for your skills. If you're the one being asked to endorse someone else’s skills, be reasonable.  "I get hundreds of endorsements from people I have never worked with, so don’t get carried away, and click on everyone’s skills," says Rokusek.

Mistake 4: Lack of details on past and current job responsibilities
The fix:  A list is not an explanation!  It's great this person has had these experiences, but more information, particularly about a current position, is needed. What projects did this BI specialist work on for their company? How did the BI implementations go, under or over budget, etc.? What is SSAS?  It could be a typo for SAS, or it could really mean SQL Server Analysis Services, but spell it out. "You should put your best foot forward," says Rokusek.

Mistake 5: Typos and profanity
The fix:  Well, this is an obvious one, but worth repeating. Avoid typos and profanity at all cost. Proofread your profile, or at least, have a friend do it. 

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