With over 17k connections, I’ve seen a lot of profiles on LinkedIn. I’ve searched and browsed by company, by job function, by the number of years of experience people have and by another half dozen categories available for targeting search. I’ve seen amazing profiles by college students with minimal experience, and I’ve seen CEO’s with terrible profiles. So what makes a good profile, and what makes a bad one? Let’s break down the dos and don’ts so you can craft an impressive profile that will represent both you and your company well. Whether you’re a C-level executive, or a temporary intern, you need a sharp LinkedIn profile to maximize your chances of professional success in 2016 and in the foreseeable future.
We’ll start with the fun part. Here are a few statements taken directly from the “Job Title” line from people’s’ profiles. It shows up directly under your photo and name. It’s designed to give people an idea of what you do for a living. Recruiters and hiring managers will search for people with the job title and experience they need, so this line is important for getting you found by the right people for the right jobs. These examples are the ones you’ll want to avoid replicating.
“Looking for a job”
While this definitely lets recruiters know you’re available, they may wonder why you’re not already employed if you’re really that great at what you do. I’m not condoning hiring managers and recruiters thinking this way, just acknowledging that sometimes they do.
“Where he leads me I will follow”
For those who may not know, this is an interpretation of a Bible verse. But there are a couple things wrong here.
- There’s no attribution, meaning that if someone doesn’t already know who “he” is referring to, it may seem a little odd or disturbing. The person could be talking about a spouse or partner, but the language is really weird for that. No one says that about a partner.
- Even if there were attribution, I don’t recommend using any religious statements in place of your job title. Even for people who are employed full time in a church or place of worship, you should use your title there, not a religious creed or verse. And while faithfully practicing your religion of choice is perfectly fine, LinkedIn is a place of business and professional identity. Many will be put off and unresponsive to someone who seems to have no original identity.
“Seeking new opportunities”
Why? Did you fail at what you were doing before now? Do you not have any direction for what you want to do next? What industry do you have experience in?
Why? Are you searching for something or are you content being unemployed?
Congratulations. So what do you do? I wish there were a designated place for a job title so I would know at a glance.
“What are you doing to realize your dreams?”
I’m hoping this person was a motivational speaker (Oh that there were somewhere to put a job title), otherwise this makes no sense as a replacement for a profession.
“Give more than you get!”
Okay. Cool. Bye.
“Starting Something New”
What were you doing before? What are you doing now? Why did you switch? Why are you making me work harder to learn basic information about you?
“Available for brunch each Sunday”
Who is available every single Sunday of the year for brunch? Who can afford to eat out for brunch every single Sunday? Honestly I’m thinking this person is just really fond of mimosas and hoping you’ll pick up the check.
We’ve had some fun here, but pretend just for a moment that you’re searching for a candidate to fill an important role in your company. You need someone professional that puts you at ease and makes you feel like they’ll have no problem tackling the work load. Do any of these profiles above give you that feeling? They didn’t for me. I doubt they’ll be next on the interview list anytime soon.
Imagine an existing employee updating their profile to reflect one of the statements above. If you were their supervisor, would you wonder about them? Are they quitting? Does their statement give you confidence in their motivation on the job? Do they reflect well on your company?
While LinkedIn is a personal profile, it reflects publicly on the company you work for by its very design. You claim them and they claim you. You don’t want to embarrass them. They don’t want to drag you into an HR meeting about how employees use social media. So let’s get your profile and practices set straight right now.
Having a polished LinkedIn profile benefits you and your company so much. Whether you’re wanting job offers, leads or you are genuinely just planting the seeds of connection in case you need to grow it and use it later, LinkedIn is your way to do it. If you want to learn how to craft a great LinkedIn profile, continue reading here!
Charlotte Stapp Price – Social Media Strategist, Marketing Coordinator