As one of Houston’s leading providers of resume and career services, including cover letter and LinkedIn profile help, we see common mistakes people make when building their LinkedIn profiles.

And if you’re currently in the market for a new job, you might unknowingly remove yourself from consideration based on what recruiters are finding on your LinkedIn profile. You don’t have to worry because the team at Resume Spice has your back.

Mistake 1: Your profile picture is not professional or you don’t have one.

Not only does a profile picture add credibility to your profile, you’re also more likely to be viewed by potential employers if you have a photo.

We all want to be taken seriously as professionals, so save the bathroom selfies for Facebook. In the same spirit, you shouldn’t use photos from your wedding, cropped group photos, or photos where your face is obscured.

How to fix it: Make sure you have a high resolution photo where your face takes up at least 60% of the frame. The background of your photo should be simple, and you should be looking directly in to the camera. Make sure you’re wearing what you would wear to work in your photo. And just like that, you have a professional LinkedIn photo.

Remember that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on professional photos. Most smart phones have great cameras that include high resolution options.

Mistake 2: Writing your professional history like it’s a resume.

The employer already has your resume and understands your basic skill sets. Don’t just copy and paste your resume into your LinkedIn profile.

How to fix it: The beauty of LinkedIn is that it gives you an opportunity to not only showcase your skillsets and experience, but you have the freedom to expand upon anything you want. This will give a sense of who you are as a professional and as a person.

Mistake 3: Discrepancies

Recruiters turn to LinkedIn not only to get a well-rounded sense of who you are, they’re also looking for any indications that you’ve been dishonest on your application or in your resume.

While your LinkedIn should definitely not be a mirror image of your resume, it should at least include the same general information: dates of employment, job titles, and skillsets.

How to fix it: Do a quick audit of your LinkedIn profile as compared to your resume. Make sure dates, job titles, basic duties, and skills match what you’ve claimed on your resume.

Mistake 4: Overly quirky headlines and/or job titles

In general, your headline is meant to tell what you do, but it doesn’t have to just be your job title. This is beneficial for a few reasons. Your headline is kind of like your personal brand and functions just like a headline in the news – it’s meant to grab attention, tell people what you’re about, and spark interest in the subject – you.

But the downside is that writing an effective headline isn’t as easy as it seems.

You don’t want to be too general. Listing yourself as “Team Lead” is far too general but calling yourself a “Marketing Alchemist or Superhero or Guru” is a little to quirky and probably a stretch, depending on where you work or the types of employers you want to attract.

How to fix it: Take some time to write out what you do in a sentence or two and keep trimming that down until you get to the heart of the message you want to convey.

Bringing it all together

Just like most things you do in the professional world, you want to strike a balance between exhibiting professionalism, while also conveying what makes your skills and background unique. LinkedIn allows you to do that. By following LinkedIn’s best practices, you can sharpen your profile and increase the chances you’ll be found or considered further by your next employer.

If you would like personalized LinkedIn help and/or more information on all the career services we provide, contact Resume Spice today.

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