With more than 600,000,000 users, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. But despite its popularity, there are still a large number of people who don’t understand how to best set up their profiles so they can benefit from LinkedIn. After all, LinkedIn is the number one tool recruiters use to source job candidates so your profile needs to make a good impression.

But, time and time again I see some of the same mistakes that people make on their LinkedIn profiles.

Here are five of them:

LinkedIn Profile Mistake #1: Using the Default Headline

The default headline that LinkedIn uses is your most recent job title. The best thing you can do is to overwrite this headline and incorporate some keywords. Increasing the keywords in your Headline improves your ranking in search results. You have 120 characters to work with, that will accommodate a lot of keywords!

LinkedIn Profile Mistake #2: A Missing or Bad Profile Photo

LinkedIn has told us that a LinkedIn profile that has a profile photo will get up to 21 times more views. Profiles that don’t have a photo don’t have the same credibility as ones that do. Most people won’t accept a Connection request from someone with no profile photo…they just seem…sketchy.

And almost as bad as having no photo is having a bad photo. Bad lighting, uncomplimentary camera angles, and my favorite, the “took a group picture at a wedding and cropped everyone else out” is not going to get the job done on LinkedIn. The photo doesn’t have to be a professional headshot but make the effort and don’t forget to smile!


LinkedIn Profile Mistake #3: Using the Default Background Photo

LinkedIn defaults to an extremely boring background graphic but did you know that you can change it? Adding a custom background photo is another opportunity to brand yourself to your reader. And not only that, it just makes your LinkedIn profile look much more polished and professional.

LinkedIn Profile Mistake #4: No Summary Section

One of the first places a recruiter is going to look when they view your profile is your Summary. In this section, you have 2,000 spaces to introduce yourself. This is, in essence, a place to put a written form of your elevator speech where you can share your story, express your core beliefs, and differentiate yourself from your competition. Always complete this section and tell the world who you are and what you can do. And don’t forget to update it as you move through your career!

LinkedIn Profile Mistake #5: Just Copying Your Resume In

Your LinkedIn profile is so much more than an online resume. It is an online marketing tool for you to use. While a well-written resume has the ability to market you, you do have limited real estate to work with. Don’t merely copy your resume into your LinkedIn profile. Be sure you incorporate not only your achievements but also some of your personality throughout your profile.

Remember, LinkedIn is a networking platform, and networking is done by humans. So be sure you always talk in a human voice in your LinkedIn profile. Nurture your profile and your network and it will pay off in ways that you won’t believe!