9 Common LinkedIn Mistakes to Avoid

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Your LinkedIn profile is akin to your online resume. If you don’t invest some time and effort into it – or worse, don’t have one – you could lose out on a job opportunity.

So, what are some common mistakes you could be making without even knowing? And how can you craft a LinkedIn profile that leads to results (namely, a new job you love)? The LinkedIn profile writers at ResumeSpice offer the answers:

Mistake #1: A lack of photos.

You don’t have a photo on your LinkedIn profile because you don’t have a professional headshot. This is understandable. However, you’re going to look sketchy to potential employers without one. The good news is you don’t have to hire an expensive photographer to get a great shot. You can use one from your phone. Just make sure it’s clear, paints you in a professional light, and that you’re alone in it.

Mistake #2: A grainy or badly cropped photo.

While no photo is bad, a bad photo can be cringe-worthy. These include anything from a photo that’s been poorly cropped (think a random hand on your shoulder) or are grainy or blurry in terms of visual quality. Again, you don’t need a pricey professional head shot. Simply a photo that’s clear, well-lit, and makes you look professional.

Mistake #3: A poor headline choice.

Beyond your photo, your headline can make or break your LinkedIn profile. If it’s awkward, crammed with keywords or missing altogether, you’re not going to be taken seriously.

Keep in mind, your headline serves two purposes. First, it’s how recruiters and potential employers find you and should include keywords. Second, it should make it clear who you are and what you do in a professional way. So avoid the “Programming Ninja” and “HR Superhero” headlines.

Mistake #4: A boring About summary.

While your LinkedIn profile is similar to an online resume, you have more freedom to showcase your personality with it. One perfect place to do that is in your About summary. This is where you not only talk about what you do, but what you’re capable of, what you love about your job, and what drew you to the industry in the first place. This should not be a dry, cookie-cutter paragraph about you. It should make you shine and stand out to potential employers.

Mistake #5: A career history that’s different from your resume.

If you’re in the midst of a job search, it’s particularly important to ensure your resume and LinkedIn profile align with each other. They don’t have to match exactly and, in fact, shouldn’t. You can go into more detail on LinkedIn, for instance.

But if your resume says you’re a manager and your LinkedIn profile skips this, it’s going to make hiring managers wonder. Once you’re done updating your resume, make sure you review your LinkedIn profile and edit it accordingly.

Mistake #6: Tasks and duties, not accomplishments.

Don’t simply list all the tasks and duties you’ve handled in past positions. Just as you do for your resume, make sure you’re talking about accomplishments you’re most proud of. Include any awards, big challenges you overcame, or ways you went above and beyond for a client. Wherever you can, add numbers and quantify your achievements.

Mistake #7: No recommendations or endorsements.

It’s important to have a robust LinkedIn profile and this includes asking colleagues in your network for recommendations and endorsements. Not comfortable asking? Start leaving them for people you know. Once some time passes, reach out and ask them to do the same for you.

Mistake #8: No skills.

Another area you should focus on filling out and keeping updated is the Skills section. This tells potential employers and recruiters what you’re capable of and whether you have the skill set that is right for them.

Since this isn’t a professional resume, you can be a little more casual about the skills you list here, particularly if you work in a creative industry. Remember your goal here is to stand out and to differentiate yourself, not list the same old skills everyone has.

Mistake #9: Boring, cookie-cutter language.

Creating a LinkedIn profile might not be your favorite way to spend an evening or a Saturday. However, don’t cut corners and copy and post text from the web. You want to make your profile uniquely about you.

You can and should certainly look up LinkedIn profile samples for ideas and information. However, you want visitors to your LinkedIn profile to see what you do well, what makes you unique or different, and things that make you an interesting individual. Write the way you speak and avoid the “results-driven professional” language.

Experiencing writer’s block with your LinkedIn profile? Get professional help.

At ResumeSpice, we’re experts when it comes to writing LinkedIn profiles. We will work with you to learn about your background, skills, and unique personality and then craft a LinkedIn profile that stands out. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.