9 LinkedIn Profile Mistakes You Might Be Making
For the third year in a row, Bustle's Upstart Awards are honoring young women who are doing incredible things in the realms of business, STEM, fashion and beauty, the arts, philanthropy, and beyond. Want to be an Upstarts honoree one day? Read on for career tips, insights, and inspiration to help get you there.
About a month ago, I downloaded the LinkedIn app on my phone, mostly because I knew I would use it constantly. After all, LinkedIn is *the* place for career-based social interaction, and as a recent college graduate, I'm interested to learn things like what jobs my connections are taking, and see who I may have ins with thanks to my current contacts. Of course, before I could do anything, I had to set up my own account, which leads to a somewhat daunting question: "What makes a good LinkedIn profile?"
"Whatever you do, don’t be negative," Gregory Pontrelli, president and CEO of Lausanne Business Solutions, tells Bustle. "Negativity is a turn-off to everyone, especially hiring managers. Don’t attack a person or company on LinkedIn. Reserve your shares and comments to compliment and commend others."
The key to a successful LinkedIn profile is to keep it extremely professional. This is the space you are using to present yourself to potential employers and co-workers. It is not the space to discuss going out or food recipes — we have Facebook for all of that. When creating and updating your LinkedIn profile, try to take a step back and examine it as if you were a recruiter who didn't know you. Would they be impressed or turned off?
Read on for what to avoid including on your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn, or any form of social media, is not the spot to bash the place or person you used to work for. It looks unprofessional, sloppy, and makes it very unlikely anyone will take a chance on you. Save it for venting time with your friends. As Pontrelli says, this is an extremely important thing to avoid.
LinkedIn is a career-based platform. This isn't the place to discuss your on-again off-again relationship, or announce your engagement. The only content you post should be work-related.
While it's always good to show you're a well-rounded individual, expressing interests unrelated to your chosen field leads to a more crowded page. Potential employers want to quickly scan through to see you are qualified for the position. They don't need to know that you go to the courts to shoot hoops every Saturday.
"You should never have anything personal that you can't relate back to your professional life on your LinkedIn," Brandon Hoffman, director of digital marketing for KEA Advertising, tells Bustle. "Love competitive eating? Maybe leave that off your LinkedIn profile if you're a financial advisor."
Unless you did something truly exceptional or had a specialized education, nothing in high school is usually worth noting. Clear that space for your next big accomplishment.
There is no reason to post the amount of money you received for a job on your LinkedIn page. You know what you're worth, and you can express it to an employer once you are offered a new position.
Save it for your dating app bio. This isn't the place to list your favorite color or movie, it's the space to show your career accomplishments.
Sum up the most important and relevant parts of your job to keep your profile easy to read. A sentence or two should be plenty to describe your tasks, or a few bullets if you prefer that format.
LinkedIn is not where your artsy, overly filtered photos belong. Your profile picture should clearly show your face, and make you look approachable and trustworthy. Simple is better in this case.
This should go without saying, but do not lie on your LinkedIn profile. First, it's wrong and second, odds are you're going to be found out anyway. Be proud of your accomplishments, and display them honestly.
While it may seem intimidating to create a a professional, well-developed LinkedIn profile that shines light on your many attributes and accomplishments, don't let it overwhelm you. All that matters is that you keep it professional, concise, and clean. Get to it, and watch the messages roll in.