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What and What Not to Include in Your LinkedIn Profile

Ever hear the phrase, “TMI”? – Too Much Information. Every now and then I’ll read someone’s profile where I feel like they’ve included too much. Now, frankly, it’s usually the reverse. Normally if there’s a content problem with a profile, it’s that the user hasn’t included enough information. Their profile summary isn’t long or complete enough. They haven’t included enough skills and endorsements. Or they don’t have enough recommendations. Or, given their age, their work history looks incomplete. That’s what I usually see. Every now and then, however, I see the opposite.

When I see too much information on someone’s profile, it’s not the length that bothers me – after all, a profile summary is limited to 2,000 characters including spaces. What I mean is, what they’ve included shouldn’t be there. For instance, snide or defensive remarks about a former employer absolutely have no place on your LinkedIn profile! I get it. Your last boss or company you worked for were, how shall we say this, less than stellar. Call your sister, best friend or your mom up about it. Don’t spew that venom on social media. This is a sure way to never get hired for any but the lowest of the low jobs again.

Another “cardinal sin”: I see vis-à-vis content in LinkedIn profiles has to do with changing careers. If you feel you were underutilized in your former career, you don’t need to say so. Just emphasize how your talents are being used in your new career and you should be fine!

The bottom line here is don’t be negative! It’s kind of like your grandmother might have said to you (I know mine did), “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Employers and potential clients are allergic to negativity! It puts them on the defensive. And it tells a lot about what kind of person you are and who you’ll be as THEIR employee or contractor. Why spoil your chances at landing a new job or getting a new client just because you said a little too much on your LinkedIn profile? Put your best foot forward, keep your profile on-point and positive, and get those jobs!

 

Four Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Excellent!

Your LinkedIn profile is the central core of any LinkedIn marketing strategy.

LinkedIn, after all, is really not much more than a massive Chamber of Commerce meeting online. And, you can look at your profile as a combination of your 5-minute elevator speech and your business card all rolled into one. Get your profile right, and you’re in business. Get it wrong, and you might as well take your ball and go home.

In this article, I’d like to talk about 4 things you can do to make sure you have an exciting and dynamic LinkedIn profile.

One:

Get a professional headshot. No, you don’t need a glamour shot like an actor needs, but you do need a really nice, professional looking headshot. If you’re serious about marketing yourself, either for a job or for business, on LinkedIn, your profile picture is worth investing a little money in.

Two:

Sub-par recommendations are almost just as bad as bad recommendations. You get to choose whether to have a recommendation included in your profile. What I often see, though, is people who accept low-quality recommendations, probably thinking a ho-hum recommendation is better than nothing at all. No, it’s not! Yes, you need recommendations but you don’t need limp, wishy-washy recommendations. You want your recommendations to be specific and exciting. How to get those? Well, if you know the person who wrote your recommendation, just ask them if they’d consider punching it up some with more specificity. If you don’t know them and you don’t feel you can contact them about what they wrote, then don’t include it in your profile.

Three:

Writing your profile summary in the third person. This screams “dull, dull, dull!” It’s just weird to read someone’s profile summary in the third person. It’s as if someone else wrote it, but we all know that the profile summary is written by the person whose face is on the account! Also, remember this: LinkedIn is a networking platform. What would you think if you went to a BNI meeting and someone started telling you about themselves but was talking in the third person? “He did this,” “She did that,” Etc. Weird! Just don’t do it.

Four:

You should know better than to do the following anyway, but just in case—don’t leak out proprietary information about your former company! If you want to make something public, an example of your work, a case study, etc., run that by your former employer and get their okay first. You’ll save yourself at least a nasty phone call or maybe even more grief!

So now that you’re armed with four easy things to make sure you’re doing (or not doing) on your profile, go out there and make that profile great!

 

Three Mistakes You’re Making With Your LinkedIn Profile

When it comes to marketing on LinkedIn, the #1 most important part of the process is getting your profile right. What I mean by that is:

1. You want your profile to be complete and
2. You especially want your profile to pre-sell you!

I see a lot of people’s profiles on LinkedIn that fail on one, or often both, of these points. So, let’s see what we can do about the three most common problems I often see and make your profile stand out.

Problem #1: Poor Profile Photo

LinkedIn is a business site! Unless you run a beach-side concession renting out umbrellas and surfboards, you don’t want your LinkedIn profile picture to be from your last vacation.

You know the one I’m talking about, right? Yep. The one where you’re wearing your multi-colored swimsuit, and you’re carrying around that boogie board you love so much.

Would you dress like that for a job interview? I don’t think so. (or I certainly hope not!)

You don’t need to spring for a professional headshot. Go dress up as you would for that job interview and get your significant other to take a well-lighted picture with your phone. That should do the job!

Problem #2: No Summary or Poor Summary

I see this all the time. People with otherwise great looking profiles, but their summary is either not there or it’s only one sentence long. That summary space has a 2,000-character limit. Use it all, or as close as you can!

Problem #3: No Recommendations

This one’s a little more problematic than the first two because you actually have to get someone else to do the recommending. But, here’s the deal. People are actually scrolling down and looking for those recommendations! You don’t need many. Two or three will do nicely. So do this if you don’t already have some: Ethically get some of your closer business associates to fill out a LinkedIn recommendation for you. You can either write it for them and they can copy and paste, or they can do it all themselves!

The bottom line is this: to be a success on LinkedIn, you need a full and complete profile. LinkedIn even prompts you for this, so if you haven’t filled out everything, you should know better! Stop what you’re doing right now and get that LinkedIn profile in tip-top shape. You’ll be glad you did!