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6 Mistakes to Avoid Making With Your LinkedIn Profile


2/5/2013 10:01:44 AM

6 Mistakes to Avoid Making With Your LinkedIn Profile 6 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make With Your LinkedIn Profile
By Bob McIntosh, Career Trainer

I’ve reviewed many profiles as a workshop facilitator and LinkedIn trainer. Many profiles are well constructed, while others are not indicative of future success.

Is it easy to create a compelling profile that gets noticed in a positive way? Not for all LinkedIn users. It takes hard work and commitment.

The mistakes I’ve seen on LinkedIn profiles range from a poorly done photo to typos and spelling mistakes. However, when I think about six egregious mistakes you don’t want to make, the following ones for jobseekers come to mind.

1. The advice to not post a poor photo hasn’t reached enough ears, because there are still those who have inappropriate photos. Think about what a photo of you skiing on the slopes of Killington says about your value as an employee? It says you’re a helluva skier but not much about your brand.

2. Please don’t simply write “Unemployed,” “Looking for next exciting opportunity,” etc., in your title. This doesn’t say much about your talent and potential to help future employers. This is prime real estate for branding yourself and including some keywords. (As far as I know, not many employers consider seeking unemployment as a key selling point.)

3. Bragging in your Summary statement that you’re the solution to every problem will get you nowhere, save for an immediate click on the back arrow. Though you may think bragging is acceptable because you’re suppose to “sell” yourself, it comes across as dishonest.

4. Speaking about being dishonest, Forbes advises against lying and 9 other mistakes. Don’t be dishonest in your Employment section. Employers can smell a liar like a bloodhound can smell a man on the run. Don’t write that you achieved 100% customer satisfaction because it sounds good. A “near perfect” rating is more acceptable and easier to defend at an interview.

5. Don’t copy and paste your resume to your profile and leave it at that. I advise those starting out to make this first step, but then you have to modify it to fit its purpose, which is a networking vehicle. A professional photo and personal Summary that tells your story are a must for networking. A good thought to keep in mind is that your profile is an extension of your resume; employers aren’t expecting to see an exact copy of it.

6. Don’t neglect to use LinkedIn’s tools which are meant to enhance your networking. Use the tools LinkedIn gives you, such as the Skills and Expertise section, Additional Information, Media capabilities, Certifications, and Awards are just a few of the tools that can give employers and networkers a sense of your accomplishments. Your profile is your online presence. Potential employers might judge you based on what you say and show on your profile. If they like what they see, your chances of success will be greater. If they don’t like what they see, it’s on to the next profile. So be sure not to make the six mistakes listed above.

Read more biotech career tips. Find more biotech and pharma jobs by visiting the career center.

About the Author

Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer at the Career Center of Lowell, where he leads more than 20 workshops on the career search. Bob is often the person jobseekers and staff go to for advice on the job search. As well, he critiques resumes and conducts mock interviews. One of his greatest accomplishments is starting a LinkedIn group, which is one of the largest of its kind in the state, and developing three in-high-demand workshops on LinkedIn. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Please visit Bob's blog at www.thingscareerrelated.wordpress.com.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - February 7, 2013.

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