By Josh Steimle
A dazzling LinkedIn account is an invaluable asset for professionals and almost necessary for networking purposes. The website currently hosts nearly 740 million accounts, and all it takes is a few costly mistakes to make your professional peers roll their eyes and move on to other profiles.
To make matters worse, most people don’t even realize when they are making a misstep on the platform. It’s understandable as not everyone is experienced with the effective business card of the internet. Still, some unofficial rules and guidelines guarantee your profile promotes you in the best possible light.
By rooting out these common errors, any profile can be fine-tuned and become far more effective in finding opportunities and keeping your business network strong.
1. A lackluster headline
If your headline doesn’t have a hook, your profile isn’t likely to garner much attention. Just like a magazine headline or book title, a LinkedIn headline should be a brief advertisement of what a reader can expect to come in the profile. It’s the first thing people will see, so it’s important to make a positive first impression.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should copy and paste your job title. Instead, focus on using keywords and actions relevant to your work, as this can improve your search ranking association.
The best headlines are brief — some say under 120 characters — impactful and leave the reader with a positive impression. It’s worth tweaking and experimenting with your own until you feel this has been accomplished.
5. No personal URL
Creating a personal URL for your LinkedIn profile is an easy step that adds a layer of legitimacy to any profile. Unfortunately, those who simply go with the default setting of random numbers and letters appear less professional than those who take the time to customize.
Not having a personal URL has several negative drawbacks, the most immediate being it becomes more difficult for people to remember or find your profile. It also can show a degree of laziness or technical incompetence, neither of which are helpful labels for any professional.
When taken as a whole, a LinkedIn profile is a critical step in creating an effective digital presence for your professional self. Creating a clean and effective profile isn’t that difficult, and the positive effects of doing so can connect you with global opportunities that are truly life-changing.