The Perfect (and Worst) LinkedIn Profiles

Writing a standout profile on LinkedIn is s a little like writing a resume. There are sure-fire mistakes you can make, but a really good one is harder to define.

I was talking about what makes a good profile with an author of a book on job hunting and social media (McGraw-Hill is publishing it in October, and I’m featured in it, so stay tuned for an update). The perfect profile is one that meets your goals. If you’re a new organization, does it inform and connect people back to your website? If you’re looking to make sales or raise funds, does it connect you to hundreds of people so you can extend your reach?

First think about what why you want to have a LinkedIn profile, and then think about the most useful things to include on it.

As for the mistakes, here are three that top my list:

  • Weird or blurry pictures. LinkedIn pesters you to upload a picture, but don’t give in if you don’t have anything good to upload. Something that’s blurry or shows you looking anything but crisp and professional is a no-no. Employees and clients check out this page, so be aware of that. Opt for nothing over something odd.
  • Poor punctuation. You wouldn’t add a bunch of open brackets or incorrectly spaced hyphens in your resume. Why would you on your profile? It may be in answer to an effort to cram in more information – or for some other reason I can’t imagine – but some people are too sloppy/creative with their postings. Make it clean.
  • Skimpy information. You don’t have to divulge everything about your personal life on LinkedIn (nor should you), but put something meaty on there. Don’t do it just to do it. Nothing at all is better than a half-written profile.

See my profile on LinkedIn.