Ten Worst LinkedIn Profile Mistakes
Here are ten mistakes to avoid to make sure your LinkedIn Profile works as hard as you do, from Doctor David Petherick.
Ten Worst LinkedIn Profile Mistakes
And exactly how to avoid them...
by Doctor David Petherick
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#1: Poor Headline
Get to the point with your headline, and don't just add your job title and employer name.
Use your headline to tell your story.
Your headline may be all that people notice on your profile.
You have a headline below your name on LinkedIn. The reason it's called a headline is because it comes at the top, and it's what people see and read first.
It also appears every time you make a comment or share something on LinkedIn. As a default, LinkedIn suggests that it's your current job title and company you use as your headline.
That's bad advice. Don't use that information in your headline.
Use your headline effectively
You now have up to 220 characters (increased from 120 characters in June 2020) to use in your headline. So there's plenty of room to add a few descriptive words or phrases that will interest people.
- Tip: Don't be tempted to overstuff the headline with keywords. You want to maintain legibility, and a shorter version of roughly the first 40 characters will appear on updates you share.
Don't use the default that LinkedIn suggests; your job title and company. This information already appears on your profile - so you're just repeating yourself. You're just repeating yourself.
You get the idea.
Use your headline to describe what you're good at, what you deliver, and why it's worth reading your profile and connecting with you. Here's a simple formula: "[Job title]: helping X do Y."
Imagine it as a short introduction so that people want to know more. Don't include your email, phone or web address - this just makes you look pushy or plain desperate.
Be careful, too, with the use of emojis - they can look frivolous and unprofessional if over-used in a headline, and may not appear on every platform, especially mobile devices.
- A good tip is to only use characters from the UTF-8 character set - these will display safely on all devices.
Don't fill it with hype
Avoid self-aggrandising hyperbole and clichés, such as describing yourself as an Acknowledged Expert or being Results-Driven. Nobody believes that horse manure. You'll just come across as being arrogant, insecure, and self-involved.
Your headline is also important because it's heavily weighted relative to other information in any LinkedIn search - so why not choose a few keywords that potential customers will search for, and find you with?
Add geography if it's relevant
You can include geographical indicators so that people can locate you in the areas you operate. 'Plumber in Edinburgh' is going to work better than just 'Plumber'.
- Tip: The text in your headline (and your current job title) is also effective for searches in Google, Bing and other search engines. You can get quite spectacular first page search results on competitive search phrases from careful work here.
You can also include #hashtags that you use for your updates in your headline for visibility for all of your content across LinkedIn.
Remember your headline will still be truncated in different places in LinkedIn
There are at least two forms of your headline - one shorter version people see when they view your content in most situations, and the full length version when they 'mouse over' your contributions on LinkedIn or view your profile.
Headline is truncated. But it still 'scans' OK.
Mouseover a name to see full headline
Here are some examples where the headline does not work because of a cutoff:
- Business Development Consultant, XYZ Global Enterprises...
- Development Team Lead / Project Manager at ABC Corporation...
- EMEA Senior asset/procurement management at Fishface Plc...
- Director - Resources, Energy and Power at Bigshot Acme...
- General Manager, Direct Channels at Smallfry Ad...
None of these headlines sells, tells or really says anything memorable, other than perhaps rather negatively implying that the subject of the headline has not really thought about how they present themselves to the world on LinkedIn.
The issue with these, and many examples on LinkedIn are that people are concentrating on cramming their current job title in there as the first part of the headline.
Your job title is not your headline.
It's not the lead!
So wake up - use your headline to sell yourself to your readers!
Lead with the main story, and test it to make sure your headline makes sense (or at least intrigues) when it breaks at (currently) around 40 or 70 characters, and also works at its full length of up to 220.
And please use simple language. "Homo sapiens engages with canine" is not as good as "Man bites dog" when it comes down to getting attention!
The classic questions people want to know in the lead of a news story are who, what, where, why, when, and very often - how much? So make your headline do the same: introduce an interesting story.
Use your LinkedIn headline to introduce a story - and make the reader want to read the full story. And remember to check the spelling!
There are over 630,000 'Mangers' on LinkedIn!
Headline Tips for Job Seekers versus Service Providers from Tony Restell
1: Job Seekers
Jobseekers need to have a headline that will make their ideal employers choose to click through on them in the search results page more than other candidates competing for attention in the same search results. So be very clear about what your career entails and give yourself a USP.
Eg. if wanting to secure a software sales job compare the headlines "Sales Manager at Smith & Grayson" with "Top Performing CRM Sales Manager focused on the SMB marketplace"
Then write an "About" section that is an elevator pitch that excites your recruiter reader to want to read the whole profile (rather than click the back button and go and look at another candidate - remember recruiters are time-poor with hundreds of potential candidate matches to trawl through in the search results).
2: Service Providers
By contrast, business people wanting to generate enquiries need to have a headline that appeals to your ideal clients and tells them how you can help them.
Eg. compare "Founder of Intelligent Financial Solutions" with "Helping Small Business Owners To Offload Their Accounting Chores" ; the latter is a constant reminder to small business owners that they should be looking at this person's profile, especially if they have accounting headaches!
Then it's important to write an "About" section that is a mixture of call-to-action (so people are prompted to book in for a call, message you, request a quote, etc.) and validation (possibly with social proof) of the problems you can help eradicate or the opportunities you can help that type of person to exploit.
#2: Poor photo
Your LinkedIn Profile photo should not be an afterthought.
Invest in a professional headshot to show your best face to the world.
Look your best
The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
So your profile photo literally makes an instant impression, and it's processed by the lizard brain. That part of the brain is full of cognitive bias, primitive instincts and emotions.
David Petherick, photographed by David Ho
Invest in a good profile photo - and find out how to choose the best photo to use on LinkedIn...
People connect with other people. So please don't be tempted to use your logo instead of your face. Apart from looking dumb and impersonal, it's also against LinkedIn's Terms & Conditions. Be human, smile, and make sure there's no distracting background.
If your photograph is seen just 21 times a day online, you have 7,665 opportunities a year to make no impression, a bad impression, or a good impression, before you have even opened your mouth or anyone has read a word of what you have to say for yourself.
- That's 7,665 potential contacts.
- Or 7,665 potential customers.
- Or 7,665 potential advocates.
- Or 7,665 people ignoring you completely.
Great free photo tool to remove background clutter
There's a great free online tool which lets you upload your headshot and then download variations with the background removed. You can even change the background colour palette to match your outfit, your eyes or your corporate or online colour scheme.
Great results from Profile Pic Maker with customised colour adjustment
The tool is called Profile Pic Maker — pfpmaker.com and works on mobile phones or desktops. The desktop experience is better for customising backgrounds and you can also download matching header images to go with your new look headshot.
Which photo should I use on LinkedIn?
Aside from the many aesthetic considerations like the quality and size of the image, the lighting, way you dress, the background focus and colour, and the way it's cropped, there's still usually a crucial decision to be made - which photo portrays me best?
Sometimes a headshot is at its best showing you in your working environment - in a hardhat offshore, or on a stage with a microphone in front of you. They key consideration is having relevant context, especially when seeking a new position.
- Pro Tip: You can also use your header image on LinkedIn to complement your photo with a company logo, or a background illustrating your working environment.
Which image conveys your personality and character most effectively to the outside world? Asking friends, family and work colleagues to select the 'best' image of you may throw up all kinds of contradictory signals — and those that know you best may not be the most objective critics.
You can crowdsource choosing the best photo...
Step 1: Choose two or three photos you feel best portray you, and have them on your computer ready to upload.
Step 2: Sign up for a free account at PhotoFeeler.com where you can choose either to buy credits with a fast-track paid option, or, by voting on other people's photos, you gain credits to use the free service.
Step 3: Upload your photos and submit them for human beings to vote on, and to appraise your photos.
Then, just listen to the wisdom of the crowd.
I thought this was the best photo...
I found that my preferred photo (also preferred by my wife) was not the one best rated on Photofeeler.
But other people thought differently...
So the photo I chose for my profile (a few years ago, before I grew a beard) was the one that the crowd liked best - not my choice.
Check your photo's visibility
Once you've uploaded your photo, it's important to remember that you can set options to control who can see your image. Click the visibility icon as shown below, and set it to make sure you don't appear as a grey 'ghost' to those outside your network of connections.
Check settings (Click to zoom)
Nobody feels confident connecting to an anonymous image, so it's worth remembering that for making new connections, it's considerably more effective to have your profile photo show - so make it at least visible to LinkedIn Members.
I choose to have my photo visible also to search engines and other services.
Remember that you can also adjust your photo to zoom in and crop it, and to adjust contrast, saturation and colour if needed.
I am not a big fan of LinkedIn's filters, but you can use these to enhance an image that perhaps lacks impact otherwise. You can even straighten photos where the horizon is off kilter, or see if you can get more profile hits with your face turned upside down.
Remember that your photo on LinkedIn can often be the first impression you make - and people on LinkedIn may never meet you in person! So it's worth a bit of care to ensure it does you full justice.
My current profile photo scores well
#3: No 'About' section
Introduce yourself and tell your story in your about section...
First person, first priority:
Write an 'About' section.
Use this section to include the essentials
The pivotal part of your LinkedIn Profile is the summary or 'about' section as it's now known. It needs to be there, because it may be the only part of your profile visitors read aside from your headline.
- Pro Tip: You'll also only gain 'All star' profile status if you complete an about section. This is more than a status symbol - complete profiles with this, the highest ranking, will appear more prominently (and more often) in search results.
Don't omit it: You are more than just the summary of your job experience, so tell us your story here, above everything else on your profile. Give us your elevator pitch.
Use the first 220-230 characters or so creatively, because that's what people will see BEFORE they trouble to click on 'See more'. You can also force a break with a new paragraph, as I've done in my example below.
The first 230 characters or so should be a self-contained 'elevator pitch' and also encourage people to click to see more...
A snappy summary opening can also make the difference as to whether visitors even bother to click, or read any further. If you don't grab their attention, they may simply not bother.
If they don't click to see more, have they been able to work out what you do from that first sentence or two? Make sure the 'short' version encapsulates the key information about you.
Your profile about section needs to tell the reader a concise story of you.
Who, what, why, when, and how much?
- What is your core area of expertise?
- What's your big interest outside of work?
- When did you make a major change in your career?
- Why do you specialise in that particular niche area of the market?
- What useful advice do you have to offer people?
- How can you solve my problems?
- Who have you solved problems for before?
- How can you save me money?
- Show me numbers!
- Who can vouch for this - who's recommended or published you?
Write in the first person singular - "I". Don't use the third person "David Petherick makes you visible, legible..." - it's anachronistic and stilted.
You are having a virtual conversation with someone one to one when you write your about section. Talk normally, and don't stuff your about section with clichés and jargon. Write naturally, as if you were speaking to a friend or new acquaintance.
Additional Pro Tip
- Remember you can also add media below the 'about' section in the 'featured' carousel: Slideshare presentations, PDF Documents, SoundCloud files, links to websites, landing pages or downloadable web resources.
Use media links to help tell your story in a professional way when you add them to your Featured section, or to your experience sections.
There's also a new feature which allows you to add your latest LinkedIn update to this Featured section with a single click.
This is ideal for keeping your profile fresh and up to date, and for letting people know that you are active on LinkedIn.
#4: Lazy Language
Don't tell me you are a results-focused professional. Tell me stories and use natural language...
Don't use lazy or vapid language.
Tell me about yourself in plain language, and avoid clichés like the plague...
I may be interested in the fact that you like scuba diving and cricket. Then again I may not.
But if you tell me you are a results-driven professional with a demonstrated history of achievement, I'm probably going to click away elsewhere.
It seems that someone, once upon a time, managed to convince the world that stuffing vapid comments and 'power verbs' into CVs, Resumés and LinkedIn Profiles was actually a good thing.
It's not a good thing.
14 Words that should never appear on your Linkedin Profile (According to Recruiters)
From the article by Amy George appearing on Inc.com
As the article outlines, there are always simpler ways to say things, and you should use simple words, and tell short stories to highlight your skills and achievements.
You can also try talking about what drives you and inspires you, and what interests you outside of work.
Your love of horses, funk music or fine wines is something I may not share - but it can certainly be the starting point for a conversation.
When I read your profile, I don't want to just learn about your business, and your skills, and how ace you are at that thing you do. I don't want to hear you boasting about yourself.
I want to feel I have had the equivalent of a chat over a cup of coffee with you, or perhaps a drink or two, and have got to know you a little.
An important part of the job your LinkedIn Profile has to do is to act as the starting point for a conversation. The more you give people to talk about, the more chance there is of sparking a conversation.
I'm interested in the following
- French, Spanish, Italian and Indian Cooking.
- 20th Century & contemporary literature.
- Catalan history.
- Scottish history.
- Formula 1.
Plenty of topics there to start a conversation, aren't there?
Visit David Petherick's Profile
People buy people - don't disappoint them
People buy people, whatever their business is. And if you're not a person people want to buy into, you are making things difficult for yourself.
So talk about yourself, and let people know about your enthusiasms and interests as well as your expertise.
And use simple language.
Be you. Be interesting, and interested.
Be human. Then people will want to connect.
#5: Sketchy Career History
Go into detail about your current and past roles...
Why don't you tell me what you actually do?
Providing just a list of job titles and employer names will tell me next to nothing about your competence.
There's a lot to be said for brevity, and some people believe that an interview or conversation is the place to tell more of their story, but this idea is frankly ridiculous within the context of LinkedIn.
People want details. They want specifics.
Anyone looking at your profile will want to know three essential things about every element of your experience - past and present.
1. What does the company do?
Even if you work for a well-known company like Google, I want to know what department or area you operate in, who your customers are, and what problems the company solves.
2: What do you do there?
What is your role? What do you actually do at your company, and what might a typical day look like? Your job title may not be enough to let others know what's involved.
3. What examples can you give of how your work is of benefit?
Show how your work makes a difference, moves a needle, or benefits your company or customers. Hard numbers help here.
For example: “I helped a customer achieve a 23% rise in their conversion rate after analysing their keywords campaign and creating four new landing pages.”
Making people have to guess what you do, what your employer does, and neglecting to give evidence of your success is not a viable strategy.
- David @Petherick | #LinkedIn Profile Writer
#6 No Skills
Showcase your top skills and remove low value skills...
“I note that your CEO's top skill is, uh, Microsoft Word...”
Make sure your skills are current, strategically aligned with your current or desired role, and are grouped sensibly.
Recruiters search and specify roles based on skills. And everyone on LinkedIn is going to skim your profile at speed. Are your top three skills really those you want to be known for?
When choosing who to work with, potential customers and connections look for alignment between your skills and what you say you can offer. They also will take notice of the social proof visible from the number of endorsements you have for a particular skill.
Take a look at the skills listed on your profile. Then take a look at your job title or headline. Is there a natural alignment between the two?
If not, here are some tips for exactly how you can fix that.
Can people actually endorse your skills?
First, check you are allowing people to endorse you for your skills, as shown in the screen shot here.
Check you are allowing people to endorse your skills...
Prioritise: Select your top three skills
Secondly, select the top three skills you want to be recognised for. These are not necessarily those you have the most endorsements for.
However, you should ensure they are the most appropriate for your current role, or for the next role you may be seeking.
You can prioritise your skills by 'pinning' three skills to the top of your profile. Other skills outside the Top Three can also be dragged and dropped into the optimum order that suits you.
Why do skills matter on a LinkedIn Profile?
There are four main reasons that skills are important on your LinkedIn Profile -
- Search. If you use a Recruiter Premium Account, you can now choose to sort a list of candidates by the skills required for the position. And guess who uses Recruiter Premium Accounts? You got it - Recruiters. So your skills can get you found and hired — but not if they are missing.
- Alignment. If you see a job title like CFO, or Chief Financial Officer, you'd naturally expect that there were some associated fiscal skills: Business Planning, Budgets, Strategic Planning, Business Development.
- Credibility. It's simple social proof - if you have dozens of endorsements for your skills, you look more credible than someone with few, or no endorsements.
- Search (again). Skills are also 'weighted' in standard and advanced LinkedIn searches - and so a lot of endorsements for skills relevant to your position help you to be found. And recruiters just love to search on skills. No skill = not found = no job offer.
What should I do about my skills?
There are seven key steps to take -
- Look around you. Check the profiles of people you admire or respect, and see what skills they list. Make a note of the most important or impressive, and copy/paste into a note file the key skills that they have, but which may not be on your profile now. It's as easy as typing in a skill to add it to your profile.
- Ask your friends and peers. Ask people what skills they'd say you have. You can sometimes be surprised by the results, and find that people recognise you for skills you'd not really considered you had.
- Prioritise. In terms of how skills are viewed, there's a Top 3 which are visible without a click, and then up to another 47. In my view, 50 skills are too many for the mind to assess - I can't enumerate 50 skills for anyone that I know. Try aiming for a maximum of 20 or 30. And decide what your Top Three skills are, and list them in order of importance - not just in the order of popularity so far, which is what LinkedIn shows as default.
- Group. Placing related skills together makes it easy for people to endorse you for the skills they recognise in you. Go for congruence. Put Marketing together with Marketing Strategy and Digital Marketing, and don't leave important skills lost on their own. You simply drag and drop to move them around so congruent skills sit alongside each other.
- Edit your skills. You can add new skills, and prioritise and then group similar skills together. LinkedIn even has an Artificial Intelligence function which, when you go to add new skills, will suggest skills you may have, based on the text in your profile, and the existing skills in place.
- Ask for endorsements. And an easy way to start getting endorsements for your skills is to give them. You can change your notification settings to receive an email when people endorse you, so that you can thank them, and as appropriate, also endorse their skills. Yes, it becomes a bit of a game, but it has an important purpose.
- Don't sit back. Is it SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation or Search Engine Optimization people are searching for? And as you now work optimising Apps for search, do you call it ASO or App Search Optimisation / Optimization? Things change, and people use different ways of naming things, and phrases evolve. Anyone remember describing working in 'New Media' or 'Web 2.0' in the early 2000s? No longer relevant - and if that skill is still there on your profile, it makes you look irrelevant and out of touch. Keep it fresh.
You don't have to stick to just 'work' skills, remember.
#7: No Recommendations
Use recommendations to underscore your expertise, attitude and flexibility...
The power of recommendations:
How to give recommendations, and how to ask for them:
What you say on your LinkedIn Profile is biased.
You always praise yourself. I can't really believe your claims, because I simply don't know you yet. All the same, I know you are going to be biased. After all, you're talking about your favourite subject - yourself!
However, when I see a photo of your customer telling me how your service or skills specifically benefited them, and I see what they do, where they are, what their name and job title is, and can follow a link to their profile, THEN I can really believe it.
In a word, recommendations give you credibility.
Recommendations for David Petherick
How do you get recommendations?
Well, they don't often come out of the blue in LinkedIn.
Try this - ask for them from your customers. Say “I want to add a credible recommendation to my online profile so that people can see the real benefits that I deliver. Would you please add your recommendation?”
The worse that might happen is someone might say no, or just ignore you. So you can ask someone else.
Of course, the way to get recommendations is to give them first.
1: Here's how to give a recommendation:
Visit the profile of the connection to whom you want to give a recommendation. (You have to be connected to an individual on LinkedIn to give or receive a recommendation.)
Click the little three-dots menu to the right of their profile picture, and select 'Recommend (name)' - it's self explanatory after that.
2: How to ask for a recommendation:
The step above also leads you to where you can ask for a recommendation.
- Pro Tip: Note that, in certain countries, if you work in a regulated industry such as financial services, you are not allowed to show recommendations on your profile.
The steps to give, or ask for a recommendation, are very clear and self-explanatory.
You can visit their profile, or click on 'Ask for a recommendation' when managing your recommendations.
It's also a good idea to keep a record of people you asked for recommendations and send reminders if needed.
Why are recommendations important?
The power of recommendations is that it's not you talking about yourself - it's what other people are saying. In a word, it's credibility, because it's some else's opinion.
It's worth asking people to be very specific and precise in their recommendation, and to do the same when you give recommendations.
“92% of respondents reported that a positive recommendation from a friend, family member, or someone they trust is the biggest influence on whether they buy a product or service.”
Paul M Rand
Remind them of the project you worked on and see if you can get them to focus on the results - the benefits.
"David is a great guy to work with"
That's pretty vague. It's not as impressive as -
“David is super friendly and efficient, and explains the technical stuff effectively. He over-delivers on what he promises. His PPC strategy allowed us to lift our click-through-rate by 129% in a month, reduce spend by 39%, but actually increase conversions by 8.7%.”
So be specific about the impact working with someone has had, and include hard facts and figures in a recommendation if you can.
Ask connections to do the same for you when requesting a recommendation — remind them of the relevant project or outcome.
Get started today...
It's very easy to start - just go and recommend someone who has impressed you today. What goes around, comes around.
David has helped me and a number of friends. There's no one better to make you visible, legible and credible on LinkedIn. I've recommended David consistently, and everyone who has used his services as a result has been bloody delighted with the results. Recommended. Highly.
- Pat Phelan
I was lucky to have David speak at my very first 24 Stories Conference and he delivered a fantastic keynote that people really learned from.
David also gave two great workshops in the afternoon of the conference and the feedback from those attending was excellent.
If you are looking for someone to talk about LinkedIn at your event look no further than David. On top of his expertise on LinkedIn, David is also one of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with, I was blown away by his engagement with everyone at the conference and with his replies to people online after the event was finished. Looking forward to having David back in Cork again in the future.
- Stephen Ryan
David and I had a chat about how I could improve my LinkedIn profile during late May. Although we had the conversation via skype, David was very detail oriented and thorough in his analysis and gave me great advice in regards strengthening my overall profile.
I have had job offers tick in ever since and I am sure that it is solely due to the optimization that David provided, enabling me to rank higher on the search results with a visually pleasing profile.
I highly recommend David to anyone considering a LinkedIn makeover
#8: No Activity
If you been contributing next to nothing on LinkedIn, what will you contribute to your next employer?
Hello? Is there anyone there?
Are you the most sullen, silent person in the world?
Do you never talk to anyone?
No, I didn't think so.
But if you never engage, comment or share anything on LinkedIn, what does that say about you to someone viewing your LinkedIn presence?
It says you are disinterested, aloof and don't care much about the people in your network. Not a good look.
So - get active on LinkedIn by following the Doctor's LinkedIn 5-a-Day Diet. In as little as ten minutes as day, you can raise your visibility, legibility and credibility on LinkedIn...
The LinkedIn 5-a-Day Diet
The LinkedIn 5-a-Day Diet is also available as an interactive guide just like the one you are looking at, and includes a one-page PDF summary to download and keep handy on your virtual or actual desktop.
Interactive 5-a-Day Diet
Add a bit of insight to something that interests you. (2 minutes)
Scroll through your home timeline, or look at a connection’s activity history. But make sure you add some value with your comment - just saying ‘this is interesting’ is not interesting. What insight or story from your experience can you add? Remember you can join up to 100 groups on LinkedIn to find useful updates in your area of special expertise.
Find someone new to connect to. (2 minutes)
You could even stretch to two people. Try using an advanced search, or look through one of your network’s connections, and always personalise your request. 2/day=60/month=720/year.
Give someone a little boost. (2-3 minutes)
Everyone likes to be acknowledged. Search out those who have work anniversaries or birthdays, or who have shared some personal or business achievement. Say Hello, but personalise the message. Like or share the updates of customers, or of those you want to do business with
in future. Do this for a couple of things that catch your eye.
Share what you’ve found interesting today. (2-4 minutes)
It does not have to be your own article or update that you share - but you should do this at least once daily, and focus mainly on your area of expertise or knowledge. A quick scroll through your homepage or the day’s news headlines or your favourite #hashtags will uncover topics you might share or talk about. Add value with your own take on the news when you make an update. Ask an open ended question at the end of your update to encourage comments and sharing, such as ‘What has
been your experience? Or ‘What is the commonest problem you have in this area?’.
See who’s looked at your profile, and look at theirs. (2 minutes)
It’s natural. They must have a had a reason for looking at your profile - so see if you can find a reason to connect from their profile details. And try looking at some new profiles with a search - try entering a ‘blank’ search, and then you can refine for geography, industry or search through a connection’s contacts.
Download your free copy of
The LinkedIn 5-a-Day Diet:
Click to download 1-page PDF file
Feedback on the 5-a-Day Diet:
This is great! So many of my clients and colleagues say they just don't have time to use LI and I suggest they make it a simple part of their routine to get the most out of it.
- Stephanie Sides
Very nice diet, well explained, easy to read and to practice!
- Carolina Correa
Simple and good advice, thank you :-)
- Marta Mendonca
#9: My duties included...
It's not enough to state what you did - what did you achieve?
My achievements include...
Talk about your achievements, rather than listing the things you do.
Very often, when employers advertise job, they sensibly include a list of the responsibilities the person they are hiring will have.
That's great when you are hiring, but completely uninspiring when listed on a profile.
Including this same list on your LinkedIn Profile makes you look like an uninspired box-ticker.
"Here is a list of the things that I do. All of them."
Change the conversation!
Make a list of your achievements in your current, and past roles.
If you can include hard numbers and outcomes that have benefited your employer or your customers, all the better.
You should focus on what positive outcomes have resulted from your work for your employer, for your clients, or for both.
Responsibility versus Achievement
- Responsibility: Managed Google Ads and Microsoft Ads Pay Per Click campaigns.
- Achievement: Raised click-through rate in Google Ads from long-term average of 1.6% to 5.2% in six months, and lowered cost per click by 78%. Increased conversions by 24.6% through retargeting and improving landing pages.
#10: Poor focus
What is your core skill? Where is your career headed?
What exactly is your offering?
Focus on conveying one key fact about yourself, even if you offer more than one service or product.
- Some people have more than one job.
- Some people have more than one service they offer.
- Some people do a lot of things very well.
- Some people have multiple roles and responsibilities within their organisation.
But to be remembered, and to be recognised, you have to focus on talking about one thing.
You're just a number on LinkedIn...
LinkedIn had over 722,000,000 members as at December 2020. The number grows by an estimated two per second. You are competing for attention with all of these people, and they all have limited attention spans, and limited capacity to recall what your special skill is.
So if you cite five separate roles or services in your headline, and have several current jobs, that makes it very difficult for people to focus on what makes you special.
The human mind finds it difficult to categorise a person into multiple roles. We like simplicity, brevity, and clarity.
In the same way, even if you have one role, and an absolutely self-evident job title, you should focus on showcasing the most interesting area of the work you do - the work you are good at - the work you'd like to do more of.
What is your speciality, your real area of expertise and authority?
So focus on one thing above all. Make that one thing the most visible, memorable and important thing on your profile.
You can talk about the other things you do on your profile, but make sure you focus on conveying one strong message about your abilities or services.
Focus on just one thing, otherwise it's simply confusing