7 LinkedIn Mistakes That Will Make You Look Unprofessional

By: Todd Clarke

Your LinkedIn page and profile is your online billboard. It’s your chance to show and share your personal brand.

That is, if you do things right—not wrong.

Because too many people make too many mistakes when it comes to self-promoting on LinkedIn.

You want to show up as your very best on LinkedIn—the most ‘professional’ of all networks. So you can look like a pro. Get hired as a pro. Maybe even find business as a pro.

Here’s a list of seven common (and not-so-common) LinkedIn mistakes that make citizens of this social network look unprofessional.

Consider them to avoid getting fired before getting hired.

Yes, many of these are common sense. And yes, many people still commit these LinkedIn offences.

But not you. Not anymore.

No more hurting your credibility. No more being unclear about your expertise. No more making it hard for others to connect with you.

Let’s start from the top, literally.

4. Weak (or no) summary

Why it’s a problem

You’re wasting an opportunity to ‘continue your story’ that you started with your headline.
Just. Write. It.
It’s often the only part of your profile visitors will read (after your headline). Think of this section as your elevator pitch.

What to do about it

You’re more than just the summation of your job experience.
As such, don’t force your viewers to connect your work experience sections into a tidy story about you. That part is on you.
Some elements to consider for your concise story:
  • Who, what, why, when, and how
  • Core skills (commit to the few, versus the many)
  • Why you do what you do
  • What big problems you solve
  • Show any numbers
Write in the first person, because this is personal. Writing in 3rd person sounds pompous, and not personal. I mean it.

And of course, speak like a human, not a bot. Ditch the jargon, cliches, and baseless claims.

Remember the mantra… clear over clever. And 7 other tips for writing clearly.

“I’m passionate about transforming organizations into innovative, people-centric, businesses with a repeatable process that delights customers.”

Oh please.

“Specialized, leadership, passionate, strategic, experienced, focused, energetic, creative…”

Lose them all.

If you knew visitors would only read your summary, what do you want them to remember about you?

6. No personal message for your invite

Do I really need to list this mistake? Guess so, because I get invites like this too often. You probably do, too.

Why it’s a problem

You sound impersonal and provide no useful reason for connecting.
Why should someone blindly hit the ‘accept’ button when it feels like this…
Hi there.
You don’t know me. We never met. Never worked together. I live far, far away. And not sure we have anything in common.
However, why not add you (a complete stranger) to my trusted network?
You in?

What to do about it

Connect with a purpose. State that purpose in your request to connect.
A few reasons for connecting could be…
  • You read and appreciated their blog post
  • Maybe they could use your skills in the future
  • Maybe there’s a reason to partner and do business together
  • You know someone in common
You don’t need to write much, in fact, don’t. Be clear and succinct with your reason for connecting.

See all 7 mistakes, how to correct them, and the complete Hootsuite blog post.




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