By Eric Lundbohm, Director of LinkedIn Marketing, IMA
I have been looking at a lot of LinkedIn profiles lately, as part of a project I’m working on. Because I think so highly of LinkedIn and believe heavily in their mission, I am shocked to see that some have taken their profile entirely too lightly.
I covered why LinkedIn is important in another article, and I also wrote about pictures on LinkedIn profiles, so we should be past those two issues. Here are six problems that many profiles have and that you should take a moment to make sure you do not have.
- No contact information. Yes, it’s true other LinkedIn members can send you messages if you’re connected and “Inmails” if not. However, to not put an up-to-date email and phone number (even your mobile phone) on your profile is to rob the reader of normal avenues of contact. What are these people afraid of? Someone actually calling them? Isn’t that the whole point? I find this one hard to believe, but it happens more than you’d think.
- Out-of-date information and links. Check your profile carefully. Make sure the company website link is actually your company’s website, not the one from two jobs ago. Remove old or invalid emails. Make sure you are actually linked to your former employers, if possible. You’ll be easier to find, the company’s logo will display, etc.
- Overuse of one or more terms. Many LinkedIn profiles read a bit like resumes and often repeat the action word or phrase of the day, such as “responsible” which is the most used word on LinkedIn, followed by “strategic” and “effective” as number two and three. There are “word cloud” technologies that can easily help you understand the word frequency on your profile.
- Don’t let every sentence begin with “I.” This is a tough one for some of us. It is hard sometimes to do that, since you are the subject of everything on the LinkedIn profile. However, with some clever wording and sentence planning, you can do very well without much effort.
- Being too informal. We are somewhat accustomed to an informality on social networks that, since everyone in our network is a friend, is commensurate with friends. Do not assume that informality transfers to LinkedIn. It is a place where professionals look to connect with other professionals. Informality at some level begins to detract from that. Plus, your LinkedIn network likely has many people who do not know you well or are just getting to know you through your LinkedIn profile and activity.
- Having picture issues. I recently wrote an article on LinkedIn photos, so I won’t overdo it here. However, it’s quite clear that the profile picture is the first and most viewed item on the page. To let it be less than it could be is a huge lost opportunity and, if your picture is bad enough, a potential distraction.
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