LinkedIn is the perfect place to expand aspects of your resume that you couldn’t quite fit onto that one page resume limit or in a cover letter. As a professional, your LinkedIn profile is a landing page for your business, your personality, your community involvement and all other aspects that will show others why you’re the best at your job. But three common errors could damage the effectiveness of your page whether you are job-hunting, building your business or enhancing your brand’s credibility.
This is a huge factor when it comes to credibility. While choosing a profile picture may seem like it should only take 10 seconds, the truth is if you are representing a larger industry then your picture needs to reflect that. As an executive, using a photo of you enjoying a night on the town doesn’t seem like it would be appropriate. Headshots are best, especially if they are professionally taken headshots. Remember, pictures should be focused on you, so a picture of you with a hat on or a wild background will take away from your face. You should be instantly recognizable.
The summary section is where you have the opportunity to explain the story of your career and what your brand’s voice represents. It should reflect who you are as a person and the philosophy of how you run your business. Try not to write in third person in this section – this is your profile, not your resume, and you should be explaining yourself and your experiences to other business professionals. Think of this section as though you were talking to someone, right after you shook his or her hand. Make it conversational, and highlight your strengths and motivations.
What is your title? Many people view the headline as the most importance facet of your LinkedIn profile. The headline is a porthole to the rest of your profile and if you cannot accurately describe your professional expertise in three words or less then you could lose potential connections. When people are browsing LinkedIn, the only three aspects someone can see are your name, your photo and your headline. It is so pertinent that these three aspects are ready to go. When crafting your headline, think of how you want people to view you. “Experienced Professional” is not descriptive enough – it says nothing about your areas of expertise and is way too vague. Try, “Executive Level Business Coach” or “Social Media Strategist”. Make your LinkedIn headline count!
Your LinkedIn profile has the potential to reach thousands of people, allowing you to make strong connections to other executives in their respective fields. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity by having mistakes that may turn people away.
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