Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn Profiles

A first impression can make or break a job. If you have an in-person interview, you can style your image to be just right, but what if your online resume prevents you from making it to in-person round? When used correctly, LinkedIn is a great tool for landing an in-person interview, or even directly receiving a job offer!

However, a LinkedIn profile will only be successful if it’s interesting to recruiters. To showcase what an optimal profile looks like, we’ve pulled real examples of live LinkedIn profiles. The name of each profile has been blacked out to protect identities, but all other information is the same. Read on to learn specific techniques that boost - or kill - a LinkedIn profile.

DON'T

The profile below contains some strong features, however, in this case the bad outweigh the good. The first easily notable problem is the lack of a cover photo. All profiles should contain a cover photo; they’re easy to upload and take almost no time. Profiles without a cover photo are often perceived by recruiters as lazy or lacking effort. Additionally, a cover photo is the perfect opportunity to distinguish yourself from others: choose a photo that showcases your interests or talents.

The second problem in this profile is the About Me section. While the provided information showcases his experience and priorities, the sheer number of grammatical errors are distracting. The section looks like it was pasted directly from a resume, and all formatting was lost in the process. If you do paste into LinkedIn, be sure to edit the content before publishing it on the site. Typos are a huge red flag to recruiters, and they’ll often discard your application from the pile if one shows up.

The profile below looks good on first glance; there’s a cover photo, the headshot is very nice and professional, all sections are filled out. However, with a more thorough look, problems begin to emerge. The first problem is the person’s job title - or lack thereof. There is a designated section for your education, and it’s not in your title.

The next issue with this profile is the About Me section. It’s incredibly vague, and it seems like certain buzzwords were thrown in just for the sake of it. The long, wordy sentences make it take up a good amount of space without actually saying much.

DO

This profile grabs your attention. The woman has an interesting job title that immediately tells you what it is that she does. Sure, her pictures could be a bit more professional, however, this aesthetic shows off her personality.

Most About Me sections tend to be on the longer side, so her short and concise section stands out. It’s also intriguing, convincing the reader to keep going down the profile to discover more.   

 

In fact, when the reader does explore the rest of her page, he will be equally impressed. Her experience section is every bit as strong as her bio. She begins by promoting the company where she works - a tactic that increases her own credibility as well as the company’s. It also shows that she is loyal; if a recruiter is skilled enough to snatch her away from this company, he has done very well.

This profile also does an excellent job of highlighting the woman’s job duties, talents, and strengths. Perhaps the only improvement that could further strengthen this section is verifying her company (thus making its logo appear) and adding her actual job title (only in this section. Her listed job description at the top doesn’t need to be changed).

Each of the above profiles were pulled directly from LinkedIn. Test it out for yourself: search random names on LinkedIn and see who comes up. You don’t have to know the person to view their profile; search popular names like Amanda, Michael, Andrew, John, Sarah, and Jessica to guarantee a wealth of options for your own evaluation. While some profiles are in serious need of help, others can be inspiring. Look around and find what works, then don’t be afraid to use the same tactic to enhance your own profile.

 

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