LinkedIn Profiles: What Not To Do

620_300_cropIf you are like me, or pretty much any other living, breathing person on the planet with access to the Internet, then you’ve probably Googled someone in the last 24 hours.

Actually, I Googled someone while writing this post; had a gander at their LinkedIn profile and then went about the rest of my business.

I’ve mentioned previously how a LinkedIn profile works in shaping a person’s opinion of you, but how do you ensure it’s shaping a person’s opinion of you in the right way?

Getting Mileage Out of Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re a jobseeker and you need to overhaul your LinkedIn profile, then some things to avoid:

Lying: Lie on your resume à la ex-Yahoo CEO, Scott Thomson, and you’re running the gamut of being found out at some point; lie on your LinkedIn profile and you will definitely get found out (either by a colleague or former employer), but lie on your CV and not your LinkedIn profile: now you’re not only a liar, you’re also a stupid one!

It’s simple: don’t lie. Ever.

Too many recommendations: if a prospective employer is scoping you out — perhaps to verify some of the claims in your CV or interview — and you don’t have any recommendations it’s likely they’ll consider you a dud networker, or worse: a dud employee.

To remedy this, send out a few recommendation requests. But don’t overdo it (when you’re job hunting, for example) — a slew of recommendations all at once makes it obvious you’re job hunting, which your current employer may not think too highly of.

Your job description is vague: maybe you think it’s mysterious, but vague or ambiguous statements in your job description is just plain elusive, and it makes you seem as though you’ve something to hide. Like maybe you’re not as fabulous as you let on you are.

The statement “assisted with the grand opening of a new store” could mean anything. For all we know, you could have put out the plastic cups people were drinking their complementary bubbles from. Instead, write what you actually did. No matter how small the task was.

No photo: this isn’t a beauty contest, nor is it the correct medium to post a picture of yourself drinking from a seven-foot beer bong. But the option to upload a picture is there for a reason.

A picture tells a thousand words and like it or not, visuals are important. If they weren’t, we’d never have to go for an actual job interview.

Ambiguous keywords: choose your keywords wisely; avoid overused buzzwords like “proven track record” or “team-player”. They may sound impressive (to you) but they really aren’t.

Instead of saying you have a proven track record in sales, show people what that proven track record was — if you pitched and won a multi-million dollar account for your company, say that. This turns an empty statement into a quantifiable accomplishment.

We work with professional partners that help combine our online training courses with services that help you to improve your chances of employability, or hone their talents and skills for running a small business. If you’re new to LinkedIn, we’ve discussed in a previous post how you can use your LinkedIn profile as your resume to find work. If you are looking for opportunities to become an independent contractor and operate your own business from home see the business opportunities at Workface.