Young or old. Recent grad or CEO. It doesn’t really matter what stage of career you’re at or profession or even industry – there are some basic truths about your LinkedIn profile that absolutely need to be dialed in. Want to make the best impression online? Then let’s make sure that you’re not making these simple mistakes.
You’re Bob Dole. Remember the 1996 presidential election? I may be showing my age here, but good ‘ol Bob always talked about himself in the 3rd person. And do you remember how often Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show made fun of him? It was literally every weekend. Without fail. So let’s be clear here… don’t ever refer to yourself by name. Ever.
Your photo is horrid. No fuzzy resolution, no cropped photos, no selfies, and please, please, please don’t use a party photo. You can choose to hire a photographer or, if you have an iPhone 7+, 8+ or X, there is a really amazing portrait filter that, in my opinion, takes professional-level photos. It’s got great resolution, works well in natural light, and makes the background fuzzy so all that’s left is your face working to connect with your LinkedIn audience.
Your job history rivals War and Peace in length. I may sound like a broken record if you’ve read my blogs before, but I HATE scrolling. With a passion. And I’m not alone in my loathing. For me, scrolling is right up there with getting a speeding ticket, clowns, and anchovies. Don’t. Make. Me. Scroll. Instead, cap your professional history at 10-15 years and make sure that your content gets to the point.
Your background image is boring – and therefore, you are too. I’m guessing that many of you probably don’t even know that this image can be customized. Ditch the blue background ASAP. Simply google “free LinkedIn backgrounds” and you’ll see thousands of high-resolution images. Pick one and be instantly interesting.
Your URL is incomprehensible and you look like a Luddite. Again, something you may not know, but your URL can be customized without that long string of letters and numbers. Make this simple change, and look immediately tech savvy. (Even if you’re not.) Need directions? Shoot me a message and I can walk you through it.
You have endorsements including underwater basket weaving and trampolining. Seriously though, remove any all irrelevant endorsements. If you are a software engineer and have endorsements for dairy farming, it really needs to be deleted. It’s confusing and distracting, and if you are in the middle of a job search, you really can’t afford confusion!
You graduated college in the 1900s. It sounds horrible when I say it like that, doesn’t it? Even though I’m in the same boat (as a Gen-Xer), ageism is real and we need to everything in our power to mitigate the potential that folks will see you as O-L-D.
While all the above points cover things to immediately remove from your profile, click here to read some best practices about how to write a great LinkedIn profile. For even more advice, visit the LinkedIn tab on my blog for more great ideas.
As always, happy writing!