LinkedIn Not Working For You?

If Facebook was a piece of clothing it would be a pair of yoga pants. Heck, you are probably wearing yoga pants and active on Facebook right now. Since this is Denver, it’s safe to say there’s a special place in your heart for these stretchy pieces of heaven.

It’s time to step it up a bit and look into your closet. See that finely tailored suit towards the back? That’s LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is one of the only ways that someone who doesn’t know you, but who may hire you or look to you for a business deal, will see how “professional” you can be. You do NOT want the search results of your name to bring up how you won a beer pong tournament at Liberal Arts University in 2009. If your Facebook pops up, and this happens to those of us with uncommon names, are you confident that your privacy settings have created an impenetrable barrier to any awkward photos or posts?

Let us reassure you. Upping your LinkedIn game is not difficult and it can really pay off. Let’s work in a top down approach.

LinkedIn Photo:

For the love of all that is good in the world, only have yourself in the picture. No one wants to see your kids, or dog, or significant other. The only exception is if you are a dog trainer or a daycare provider. Then maybe, just maybe, it’s ok.

LinkedIn tips for Men:

If the only time you looked nice is in a photo from your wedding day or a special occasion five to ten years ago, please go and get a nice haircut, put on a button up shirt and ask a friend with a decent camera to snap a picture in front of a brick wall. After all, it’s better than cutting your wife out of your wedding photo. If you’re not sure what a good photo looks like, search for realtors. They have got this down.

LinkedIn tips for Women:

We love that you hike, or run, or looked excellent in that dress, but this is not a dating profile, so heed the advice given to men. We want to see you from your shoulders up, not a speck in the upper right skiing Copper Mountain. Also, don’t have a glass of wine in your hand, unless you are a sommelier or own a winery.

LinkedIn Tips for Either Sex:

Please do not use your graduation photo.

LinkedIn Professional Headline:

You have 120 characters. If you’re not sure how much that is, type it up into a Word document, highlight the text, click the “Review” tab and the fourth tab from the left is “Word Count.” It’s a nice touch to add in your Twitter, phone or email so viewers don’t have to hunt and peck for it. With your title be as specific as possible. One example would be “Sales and Marketing Recruiter Seeking Professionals in Southern CA” rather than “Senior Recruiter.”

If you feel like your LinkedIn is not working, stay tuned. In our next installment, we’ll cover Professional Experience and Skills, Volunteerism, Hobbies and whether LinkedIn Premium is worth it.

Bonus points if anyone can identify how many of these LinkedIn errors I committed in my own photo.