Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Web Site Guy | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk | Sushi Lover | Cancer Volunteer
LinkedIn was founded on May 5, 2003, a date they affectionately refer to as Cinco de LinkedIn. It’s hard to believe that LinkedIn has been around longer than Facebook (founded February 2004) and Twitter (March 2006).
Even harder to believe is how many people continue to make the same mistakes with their LinkedIn profiles. Your LinkedIn profile is the online representation of your personal and professional brand. If it doesn’t match up with who you are in “real life” (and makes you look boring and lazy when you really know you’re exciting and energetic!!!!!), then you’ve got a branding problem.
The good news is that you can easily fix these common profile mistakes. Just schedule a little time to get it done and you will quickly remove yourself from the list of lazy and boring LinkedIn profiles!
1. NO PROFILE PICTURE
I continue to be amazed by how many people represent themselves on the #1 professional network with the image on the right.
Take a smiling, head shot picture, wearing what you normally wear in a business setting and hit UPLOAD. Problem solved.
The last stat I heard was profiles with a picture are viewed 8x more than profiles without one. I’m guessing if you’re in business and on LinkedIn, you want people looking at your profile, right?
P.S. — Avoid cropped pictures where someone else’s hair is on your shoulder (I’ve actually seen that before) or where you’re at the beach on vacation (yep, seen that too) or where you look like you were overserved at a cocktail party (and yes, I’ve seen that too.)
2. NO PROFILE SUMMARY
What this essentially tells visitors to your profile is
“My business and life story isn’t interesting. And even if it was, I’m not going to share it with you. Why would I want to give you information that may interest you or encourage you to get to know me personally and professionally?”
Need help? Check out this post I wrote in August 2012 that still holds true:What Makes A Great Summary On A LinkedIn Profile?
3. BORING PROFESSIONAL HEADLINE
I was going to grab a screen shot from someone else’s profile, but I thought it would be best to avoid using them as an example of what not to do.
So I’ve included my LinkedIn professional headline (which appears just under your name on your LinkedIn profile) to the right as just one example.
If your professional headline currently says something like “CPA”, “Financial Advisor”, “CEO”, “Accountant”, “Sales Professional”, or any other one or two word boring descriptor, please, I’m begging you, for your benefit and for the benefit of people looking at your profile, SPICE IT UP.
Need a little inspiration? Check out this post I wrote in August 2011 that still holds true: LinkedIn Tip: Personalize Your Professional Headline. (Just Like These People Did!)
If you take this advice and choose (wisely) to update your profile, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!