By Christy McNee at

What Your LinkedIn Profile Says About You

These days, first impressions are delivered through Google search results, not in a face-to-face meeting. So getting your brand to gleam brilliantly in bits and bytes is essential because we all know how important first impressions are. Thanks to the popularity of LinkedIn, your profile will likely show up in one of the top spots in Google search results. So, by default, like it or not, your LinkedIn profile is often going to be your first impression. That means it is essential that you invest time and energy to make your profile complete, authentic, differentiated, and compelling. If it’s anything less than that, you’re inadvertently sending a message of mediocrity to those who check you out. Here’s what they’re thinking – along with easy fixes to let your spectacular self shine through.

You’re hiding something.

If you don’t have a photo, you’re immediately suspect. “What’s she hiding?” The same is true if you use your company logo or another image that’s not you where a headshot would normally appear. The web is a weird, nebulous place. Content is suspect. Showing your face and letting people look in your eyes will make your words more believable and will give viewers a window for connecting on a deeper, more emotional level.

LinkedIn profile

You’re lazy.

If you left the summary blank, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to tell people not only what you do but who you are. And it whispers “lazy.” Your LinkedIn summary will likely be the most-read version of your bio – so spend time making those 2,000 characters tell your story in an authentic and compelling way.

You’re a commodity.

If you don’t craft your own headline, LinkedIn uses your current job title as your headline. That’s boring, and it puts you in a commodity category, preventing you from showing what sets you apart from everyone else who does what you do. Use your headline like the headline of an ad. Its job is to capture the attention of decision makers and entice them to want to learn more.

You’re outdated.

One of the best features of LinkedIn is the opportunity to follow Influencers, publications, and topics. If you don’t belong to any groups and have left the “Follow” category blank, it gives the impression that you’re not up to speed. If you’re only using LinkedIn as your digital resume, overlooking the full powerful of LinkedIn for keeping the saw sharp, you’re not only losing out on the site’s most important features, but you’re also telling people you aren’t interested in what’s happening in your field.

You’re not connected.

Having 500+ connections says you have built a large network. Having 499 connections or fewer says you’re not a player yet. Strive to get to 500 connections. That number shows up prominently when someone is checking out your profile.

You're a jack of all trades.

Your endorsements should match what you do. Let’s face it; we all think the LinkedIn endorsements feature is silly. We are often endorsed for things we have no business being endorsed for and receive endorsements for skills from people who have no idea if we actually possess those skills. You need to keep your endorsements pure. They should show people the skills you’re best at, showcasing the ones that will help you land your next role.

You’re paranoid.

If you're not willing to show people your connections, you’re saying that you’re afraid people will poach them. The spirit of LinkedIn is to be open and generous with networking.

You’re distant.

When you write your summary in the third person, you’re missing out on connecting fully with the reader. Using first-person pronouns is almost like having a conversation with your audience. Third person puts up a barrier between you and decision makers.

People don’t value you.

If you don’t have recommendations, your profile is just you talking about you. Recommendations give you a way to validate what you say about yourself with input from others. Request recommendations from people who have witnessed your work, especially if they are known in your industry or have impressive titles and work for respected brands.

source:  Forbes


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