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- If you’re on LinkedIn, there’s a good chance you’re guilty of (at least) one of the mistakes listed below.
- We talked to LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele about how to avoid them.
- For example, if you’re job-hunting, be sure to alert recruiters that you’re open to new roles. Your current employer won’t find out.
LinkedIn can be a terrific place to build your brand, expand your network, attract new clients, and find job opportunities.
But use it the wrong way and you could turn off professional contacts — or even lose out on your dream job.
We spoke with LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele about the most common (and most egregious) mistakes she sees on the platform, as well as what you can do to avoid them. Read on, and get ready to make some potentially serious changes to your profile.
Your profile headline is incorrect or missing entirely
This is "prime real estate," Decembrele said.
It’s the first thing other members see besides your photo. You can use these 120 words either to list your current title (e.g. "senior reporter at Business Insider") or to describe your job more generally (e.g. "reporter covering career development and entrepreneurship").
You don’t have a profile photo
According to LinkedIn data, profiles with photos receive up to 21 times more views than profiles without photos, plus nine times more connection requests.
That’s not to say that any photo will do — it’s important to choose one that’s visually appealing, Decembrele said. Think a solid-color background without distractions like a friend’s arm dangling off the edge. Your face should fill up roughly 60% of the frame.
You haven’t written a summary
A summary "describes who you are as a professional," Decembrele said. It’s your elevator pitch, or your chance to "spark a potential employer’s interest in 20 seconds."
That’s why you should include your experience, skills, and interests. Most importantly, "don’t be afraid to have your personality shine through." LinkedIn says summaries of at least 40 words are more likely to turn up in search results.
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