Your LinkedIn profile is a crucial piece of your online persona. It’s much different than a Facebook profile or Twitter handle though. While it’s content can be entertaining and a great way to connect, LinkedIn was specifically designed to be professional. For this reason, it's unlike any other platform. Your profile on LinkedIn needs to be handled with care. With that in mind, avoid any of these unprofessional faux paus:
Unprofessional Email Address
LinkedIn is not the place to tell people to contact you at JustinBieberLover420@gmail.com. Save your personal e-mail address for your friends and family. Instead, leave a work email address or a simple YourName@gmail.com in your contact information. Don’t have one? Create it! It’ll only take a few minutes and you’ll come off much more professionally.
High School Jobs
While you want to have a decent amount of experience listed, don’t fill it with nonsense. You don’t have to limit yourself to only listing your current industry, since some non related jobs will still cast you in a positive light. However, mowing lawns during summer vacations may not be a confidence builder for your prospective employers and clients.
This one should be obvious, shouldn’t it? Misspelled words, poor grammar, and typos will make you look totally unprofessional. Proofread your LinkedIn profile several times, and also have others proof it for you. Otherwise, you may miss out on great opportunities and never even know why.
Don't include things like date of birth, ethnicity, religious affiliations, reasons for leaving your previous job, or other unnecessary information. It’s illegal for perspective employers to ask you these things and they simply don’t need to be said. Be sure if you want to list a phone number, you put a number you’re okay with receiving work-related calls on.
Again, LinkedIn is where you need to keep a professional demeanor. It’s possible your hobbies can be listed under your Volunteering section, which is helpful, but something like knitting would not be. Save cataloguing your favorite things to do on the weekend for your Instagram or Facebook followers.
It’s considered uncouth to put a salary next to your any positions listed in your job experience, even if you’re currently on the job hunt. Let your prospective employer ask you these questions in person; don't potentially turn them off before you get to make your good impression on them.
It’s not a good idea to tell people your age while trying to come across professional, and your age can be deduced from your graduation date. You don’t want anyone to think you’re too young to do the job professionally or too old to be well-versed in the right technology. While you may be proud of a recent degree, telling the professional world that you’re part of the Class of 2015 will scare off more people than you’ll impress.
Generic Job Titles
Generic job titles make you look unprofessional and boring, or worse- fake. Reword generic titles so that your future employer or potential clients have a better idea of what it was you actually did. Calling yourself a “Talent Acquisition Consultant” comes off more impressive than a “Recruiter”. Just be careful you don’t inflate your past experience too much and turn “Salesman” into “Director of West Coast Sales Division”. That won’t work out well for anyone, especially you!
LinkedIn has become the professional social media platform. It is helping people stay connected with old coworkers, brag about their skills to potential employers, share industry insights with colleges, and find reliable freelance work. Employers are using LinkedIn to research candidates for employment, even before the interview process begins. Just make sure your profile is totally professional so you’re missing your shot before you even know you have one.
For more help with LinkedIn, and other social media platforms, download our free eBook Mastering Social Media for Business.