By Jennifer L. Jacobson
Do you want to stand out professionally and have potential business partners or clients take you seriously? Whether you’re an an entrepreneur in search of startup funding or new customers, your LinkedIn profile may be working against you.
Here are 5 of the top things people do to their LinkedIn profiles that hold them back.
1. Your Profile Photo is Ready to Party
Unless your job is professional entertainer or party planner, what flies on Instagram doesn’t give you the same cache on LinkedIn. If your photo features you, in party attire, a drink in your hand, and your arm slung around someone who is clearly cropped out of the photo, do yourself a favor and take a real headshot.
2. Your LinkedIn Name Doesn’t Match Your Known Name
If someone meets you at an event, has your business card, and still can’t find you on LinkedIn, because your name doesn’t match, there’s a problem. The name you use on LinkedIn should be the name you go by in the professional world.
3. We Can’t See Your Face
If your profile photo features your pet, your kid, an avatar, or otherwise, it’s unacceptable. The purpose of LinkedIn is to help you clearly communicate who you are as a professional. Your profile should feature you.
4. Your Title is Your Current Position
If your LinkedIn title is literally the title and position at your current company, you’re missing out. With very few exceptions, most people hold a number of positions in their lifetimes, at a variety of companies. Make your LinkedIn title work for you. It should state the kind of position you hold and in which field you excel. If someone wants to know where you currently work, they’ll scroll down to see your current position. Examples of appropriate titles: SEO Specialist, Senior Vice President of Communications, Human Resources Consultant, etc.
5. You Only Say What You Did, Not How You Helped
Your LinkedIn profile is your place to extol your accolades. Don’t just state your various positions and the type of work you did. State how your work directly contributed to making that company better. Cite specific examples where you can. Future employers are more interested in the value you’ll bring to their company than the specific tasks you preformed.
Jennifer L. Jacobson helps emerging brands find their voice. Her clients have been TIME’s best site of the year, and graced the likes of Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Popular Science, Scientific American, USA Today, and thousands more. She is the founder of Jacobson Communication; a PR and marketing firm. Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @Jcommunication.