Social media has taken the professional and personal world by storm. The world of technology offers so many benefits for staying in touch with people and for providing a platform to promote ourselves to prospective business partners, employers, companies, friends, or family. One such social media tool, LinkedIn, can provide a professional picture of us or create a catastrophic dust storm. To make LinkedIn work for you, avoid these five common errors in your profile.
1. Avoid Posting a Candid Photo
The most common error is a candid photo that looks like someone snapped a picture of you with a cell phone or other such low quality photographic device. These are not the pictures that should represent you as a professional person. Other pit falls to avoid in these candid pictures include showing too much cleavage, wearing reflective eyeglasses, wearing sunglasses, and including racy backdrops. You get the picture!! Solution: Contact a professional photographer who will take quality professional photographs. A quality head shot speaks volumes about your character. The expense of a quality head shot is well worth the expense.
2: Avoid Including Groveling Recommendations
Recommendations should be sincere and a true reflection of your skills, creativity, and work ethic. Too many adjectives without the substance to back up your skills will read as disingenuous. Recommendations are supposed to make you more credible to the casual reader of your profile. If these recommendations are too fawning, you have lost your believability. You may also want to limit the number of recommendations on your profile. Include just enough to get your point across. Solution: Use your best judgment in selecting those recommendations that truly reflect your skills and the image you want to portray in your profile. If you own a construction company, concentrate on those recommendations that highlight your work ethics and skills.
3. Avoid Linking to a Personal Web Page or Personal Blog
In creating your LinkedIn profile, your professional life is captured and now exposed to the world. Unfortunately, some people mistakenly believe that their personal life is relevant. Often, our workplace associates or prospective employers are not interested in our hobbies except if these hobbies may interfere with our work performance. Keep the list of hobbies and personal information to a minimum. Solution: A fine line should be drawn between your professional and personal life. Keep personal issues to yourself.
4. Avoid Providing a Trail to Youthful Foolishness
People may use LinkedIn to research individuals with whom they might employ. If your LinkedIn profile provides other information that is easily accessible via Google or other search engines, make sure that information is also favorable. Academic experience and professional experience are listed in your profile and easily searched. Be careful of past indiscretions that these searches might reveal. Solution: Provide information that is relevant to your career and goals. Including high school information is not recommended. Explore the sites listed in your experience and education sections. If undesirable information is discovered on these sites, either figure out how to purge it or change your profile. You always want to put your best foot forward.
5. Avoid Any Misspellings
This is almost unforgivable considering the spell check feature available with all word processing programs. Double-check your work—triple check your work. For most people, spelling and grammar errors in your profile are going to make people think that you are either stupid or careless. You do not want to be perceived as either. Solution: If grammar and spelling completely elude you, hire a professional copy editor, English teacher, or proofreader to go through your profile and fix any errors. This will be money well spent for an excellent profile.
Contact information: Sharon Lagina – Lagina Marketing, LLC; phone 734 558-7776