LinkedIn: 4 Deadly Miscues That Can Kill Your Career
LinkedIn is a powerful business social media networking site which provides an ideal medium to advance our career and business objectives. It opens the door to an online professional summary, the ability to connect with current and past business associates, develop relationships with industry experts and cultivate new opportunities.
In order to successfully use this compelling tool we must develop a profile that’s professional, stands out amongst the 135,000,000 competing entries and is fresh and informative, clearly convincing the reader we’re experienced, dynamic and extremely capable.
As you surf your way through the sea of profiles you quickly see who the leaders are and who should be placed in a corner with a pointed hat until they correct the dramatic blunder they call their profile. Your profile can do wonders to enhance your image or it can scream you’re an undependable amateur.
We’re going to consider 4 key profile miscues to avoid:
(1) Your Photo: Have you noticed some of the profile pictures on LinkedIn? Many people use cropped pictures from their last great night out. You know the ones where someone else’s hair is clinging to the side of their head. While you likely enjoyed that wild night, it lets the rest of us know you’re not very professional.
Solution: Use a photo of yourself in business attire taken in a professional setting.
(2) Your Words: It’s amazing what individuals write in their profile. I recently read a profile of someone obviously trying to be witty who wrote; ‘I cannot guarantee I have taken my medicine today.” If we also have a profile on America’s Most Wanted this may be funny, otherwise it tells our peers and potential employers to stay away.
Solution: Carefully choose your words, selecting phrases that build up your credibility.
(3) Your Work History: Many people try to list every job they’ve ever had starting with that entrepreneurial lemonade stand they started when they were 7 years old. In some cases it gives the impression that you change jobs as often as Paris Hilton changes outfits.
Solution: Select your most important work history, list your basic duties and any accomplishments while there.
(4) Your Personal Websites: LinkedIn allows you to list up to 3 websites and a Twitter account. In many cases people use these slots to feature their Facebook account or sometimes their personal Twitter account. An employer who is seriously considering you for a key position in their organization may not find it impressive to read your list of inarticulate 2am Tweets recapping your evening exploits. This may be a Fox News Alert to your friends, though it’s a warning sign to recruiters.
Solution: Only list your business website, well written blog or professional Twitter account.
It’s up to you to make LinkedIn work for you by avoiding the self-inflicted sabotage of unwise choices.