As a professional, you really should be using LinkedIn. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, not everyone has yet mastered the art of advertising themselves to prospective clients, employers and business partners via the professional networking site.
As recruitment consultants, one of the first steps we take after receiving an application is to check out the applicant’s LinkedIn profile and you can only imagine the delights we’ve come across.
Take a glance below and we’ll reveal the 6 most common mistakes that LinkedIn users make and 33 real life pictures, posts and typos, guaranteed to give you a giggle this Friday!
Humour or Hubris?
It is acceptable to inject a little humour into your LinkedIn profile…but only if you can pull it off.
Remember, potential employers and clients will be privy to your page and although you might consider yourself ‘exceptionally good with sarcastic, smart ass remarks’ (this is a real quote from LinkedIn) others could find your words more arrogant and flippant than endearing and friendly.
Here are some of the worst lines that we’ve come across in our time…
1. “Quite possibly the only person on LinkedIn who isn’t a results-orientated team player with excellent interpersonal skills”
2. “Invented the 2 hour lunch break, which has been adapted by sales slackers everywhere
3. “The Coolest Guy in Nashville…Google It To See For Yourself”
4. “It has been known for me on more than one occasion to be visually mistaken for the character of Max out of EastEnders.”
5. “Jack of all trades, master of none”
6. “Looking for a job in marketing, admin, social care, IT or construction; I’d be great at anything though to be honest”
7. “Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar” (FYI: I did not find this on Katy Perry’s LinkedIn profile).
8. “Marital Status: single…are you interested?”
9. “Don’t hate me because I’m better than you.”
Inappropriate profile pictures are the most common LinkedIn cock-up and a swift online search reveals an overwhelming selection of bad examples. The majority of recruitment consultants will merely glance at your photo before deciding whether to take your application further (or not).
Among the most prolific profile pic faux pas, you’ll find family photos and half naked, full body portraits, inebriated selfies and completely irrelevant celebrity head-shots (like Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston.)
11 – 16
Of course, having no profile picture at all can be just as harmful. Who would trust someone that (for some unknown reason) feels too ashamed to show their face on LinkedIn? Suspicious indeed.
Too Much Information!
LinkedIn was created to become the professional and business-orientated social networking site, so keep it that way!
Although it may seem obvious to you, we still come across over-sharing profiles that display little about a person’s academic and work experience and an awful lot more about their social lives.
If your “additional info” and “interests” section is longer than your “experience”, “skills” and “education”, then chances are you’re using LinkedIn wrongly.
Who is this mysterious super-woman who’s got time to fit in such a torrent of hobbies?
Terible Tyops (see what I did there?)
In one of our previous blogs, we mentioned the importance of proofreading your CV and cover letter, revealing some of the little gems we’ve come across over the years like…
“Night stalker in Tesco”
“Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”
“Responsibility makes me nervous”
“I am a rabid typist”
…but it’s not just your CV and cover letter that should come under scrutiny!
Recruitment consultants and employers are bound to check out your LinkedIn profile at some point, so make sure you’ve proofread thoroughly enough…unlike these poor misguided souls:
18. “Excellant copywriter with innate gift for profreding”
19. “Looking to quickly move forward in my carer”
20. “Natural born larder”
21. “I’m a really hard walker”
22. “I had sex professional jobs previously but am looking to branch out into something more worthwhile and permanent”
23. “during my precious employment”
24.“I lick books, films and swimming”
25. “Interests: coking”
26. “I’m confident that I’d be a really great ass for the right business”
27. “I’ll send over my curricum vitae.”
28. “world class sailsman”
29. “graduated in 2911”
Endorsements are a great feature on LinkedIn and fantastic for boosting your professional profile but they do come with their own set of risks, especially if you allow your more “comedic” friends to get involved.
Falling at the final hurdle
Once you’ve managed to cleanse your profile of all of the above, you’ll already be ahead of most of your LinkedIn peers.
However, there is still one flaw that many fail to address.
Don’t forget about other social networking sites!
It’s all well and good cleaning up your LinkedIn profile, but most employers and recruitment consultants will look elsewhere to gather more information (we know where to really dig the dirt.)
Take a look at any other sites you may be (or may have been) active on; don’t undo all of your good work with an easily trackable profile littered with drunkeness, debauchery and profanity.
The above offenders really could do with a crash-course on LinkedIn (and social networking in general).
Would you hire them?- Mark Wilkinson