I spend quite a bit of time every week on LinkedIn and I look at a lot of Profiles. I’m also asked by many people to review their Profiles. And, I often have people tell me that they don’t see the “value” of LinkedIn because they don’t see any results from it.

Over and over again, I see the same mistakes and while they are EGREGIOUS…they are easily fixed! But, most people just don’t take the time to do it. If they would, they would find that LinkedIn is an extremely valuable business tool – that can help their business!

So, in no particular order, here are the three most EGREGIOUS mistakes:

#1 Bad Photo

The only photo you should ever use on your LinkedIn Profile is one that is PROFESSIONAL! This is not the place for a photo of your child, your pet, your spouse or your vacation! Save those photos for Facebook.

Your LinkedIn Profile is also not the place for a photo that was taken years ago! We’re all a little bit vain, but with age comes the wisdom, experience and knowledge that we should be shouting from the rooftops.

While using a professional photographer provides the best photo, it’s not a necessity. Dress as you normally would when you do business, stand in front of a plain background and have someone use the camera on their cell phone to take the photo.

Crop the photo (LinkedIn has basic editing capabilities built in) so it shows just your shoulders and head (it’s a HEADSHOT!) and you’re done.

One final thing – SMILE! When someone looks at your photo, you want it to be warm and inviting. And, you want them to be able to look at it and find you in a crowded room.

#2 Bad Professional Headline

Your Professional Headline is your quick introduction to the reader. Make the most of it! You have 120 characters, so use every single one.

The vast majority of Profiles that I see have simply a job title as the professional headline. Blah. Blech. So what? Most job titles really don’t make anyone want to meet that person, now do they?

Which is more interesting:

Founder, Wise Women Communications

or

“The SociaLight” | Professional Speaker, Trainer and Social Media Advisor
National Radio Host | PR and Marketing Pro

Both are “me”, but the latter is definitely more interesting!

One really important thing to remember: when someone Googles a person’s name, their LinkedIn Profile comes up in the search. And, here’s the key thing: the short description that shows is the PROFESSIONAL HEADLINE! Make it count!!

#3 Bad Summary

You should be using the Summary section as the way to tell the story of your professional career. Sure, you may have bits and pieces of that in the other sections, but why make people search for it?

Many people won’t read past the Summary, so you’ve got to capture their interest. You have TWO THOUSAND characters to tell your story, so you don’t have to worry about being brief. However, write it to make it interesting to readers, not just to toot your own horn.

Include things like ways to contact you – again, don’t make people search through your Profile to find that info. You can also be “forward thinking” in your Summary. Talk about your future career goals.

After reading your Summary, you want the reader to think “Wow! I MUST connect with this person!”

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There are additional mistakes people make on LinkedIn, and I’ll talk about them in future blog posts. But until then, make sure YOUR Profile isn’t committing one of the Three Most EGREGIOUS Mistakes!

I’d love to get your feedback and thoughts on this. Comment below!

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