Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

Does Your LinkedIn Profile Need a Boost? Add Media!

Posted on June 28, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

Media can be the great differentiator. It can take your LinkedIn profile from ho-hum to phenomenal–and compel viewers to contact you about your products and services, job opportunities, and more.

My recent LinkedIn User Survey showed that only 39% of the respondents are taking advantage of this powerful profile feature. Infographic 2015 Power Point-05Don’t tell anyone at LinkedIn that I said this, but I think it’s so good that they could probably charge for it.

In a nutshell, prominently displaying media or links to media on your profile is an awesome way to share your professional brand with the whole world. And if you’re part of the 61% of users who aren’t taking advantage of this incredible feature, I doubt that’s because you don’t think it would be helpful and pretty cool but because you can’t figure out how to do it or you don’t know what you should share. So let me help you with both.

How do I add media to my profile?

You can add media to three sections on your LinkedIn profile–Summary, each Job Experience entry, and each Education entry–and it will be displayed at the bottom of the selected section. These entries not only add additional information about you, but they add a certain level of visual appeal and interest to your profile.Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 10.44.08 AM

It’s as simple as clicking the Add Media icon and then cutting and pasting the link or uploading the media file. For more detailed instructions, follow the steps outlined in the LinkedIn Help Center by clicking here.

What type of media should I share?

Like most of the information you share on your profile, it depends on your specific LinkedIn strategy. Here are some suggestions of what you might want to include, and I’ve categorized them by some pretty typical LinkedIn strategies.

Improving your overall branding and market presence

  • Pictures, slide presentations, pdf files of some of your work samplesScreen Shot 2015-06-26 at 11.00.49 AM
  • Articles or videos where you are mentioned
  • Certificates or awards you have received
  • Articles you have written or coauthored
  • Link to your personal blog or other social media pages

Generating sales leads

  • Slide presentation of your company’s capabilities, products and services offered, and markets you serveScreen Shot 2015-06-26 at 11.03.00 AM
  • Articles or videos of your products in action
  • Case studies or testimonials from your customers
  • Registration page for upcoming events
  • Link to sign up for your company newsletter or other free resources (ebook, tip sheets, white papers, etc.)
  • Link to your company’s blog or other social media pages

Finding a job

  • Upload of your resume (traditionally written or video)
  • Pdf upload of letters of recommendation
  • Video links or uploads of examples of your work
  • Detailed list of references
  • Personality test results or strengths-related information
  • Slide show summarizing your career or job experiences

Helping your favorite nonprofit or school

  • Videos or articles that mention the Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 10.46.20 AMorganization
  • Links to register for upcoming events
  • Articles highlighting accomplishments of members, alumni or students
  • Uploads or links to examples of student projects
  • Link to sign up for the organization’s mailings
  • Link to a form for updating alumni contact information

Now that you know how to add media and what types of media you should share, take a few minutes right now and add some media to your profile so I can not only read about your accomplishments and interests but I can also see them. Trust me–a few keystrokes can greatly enhance your professional image.

Are You Wasting Your Valuable Time on LinkedIn?

Posted on June 21, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

Do you ever jump on LinkedIn to check your messages, and the next thing you know you’ve spent thirty, sixty or even ninety minutes, but you’re not really sure if you’ve accomplished anything?  Time Management Concept

Today I’d like to address time management, because people are constantly asking me how much time they should spend and how can they make sure their efforts get results.

How much time should I spend on LinkedIn?

There’s no cookie-cutter answer here, but let’s see how almost 1500 people responded in my latest LinkedIn user survey when asked, On average, how many hours per week are you spending on LinkedIn?

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 6.25.39 AMHalf of the respondents spend no more than two hours a week, and the other half spends three hours or more each week, with 10 percent of respondents spending eight or more hours a week on LinkedIn.

What should I be doing with my time on LinkedIn to optimize my effectiveness?

Like most things in life, the more time you put in, the more results you get–as long as you’re spending your time doing the right things.  So, what are the right things?

Without having a one-on-one LinkedIn consulting session with you to learn more about you and your business, it’s hard for me to answer that specifically, but here are the top three activities that will produce results, regardless of your individual objectives and strategies on LinkedIn. They have been extracted from my free 20-question LinkedIn self-assessment titled LinkedIn Success Scorecard: How do you measure up? Download your free copy below.

In an average week, how often do you post an individual status update? [0 = 0 points, 1-5 = 5 points, 6-10 = 7 points, 10+ = 10 points}

To learn more about posting status updates, read LinkedIn Status Updates: The Rule Everyone Should Follow. 

Have you saved at least one Advanced People Search? [10 points]

To learn how easy it is to amp up your results by using saved searches, read Easy Ways to Generate Leads With LinkedIn.

When people in your target audience show up on your “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” list, how often do you send them a message or an invitation to connect?  [Never = 0 points, Sometimes = 2 points, Frequently = 5 points, Always = 5 points]

Read Who’s Viewed Your Profile: LinkedIn’s Top Rated Feature to learn how this LinkedIn feature can pay big dividends. 

These three activities are best practices with most of my consulting clients, but it’s important for you to evaluate the features and activities you’re spending your time on each week and make sure they’re giving you the results you desire.

If you’d like to schedule a personal session with me to learn more specific ways to generate results for your company or your career, contact me here.

LinkedIn Success Scorecard: How do you measure up?


Download (PDF, 314KB)

Does LinkedIn Really Get Better When You Pay For It?

Posted on June 13, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

Is it worth it to start paying for a premium LinkedIn account?

I can always count on hearing this question during the Q&A portion of my LinkedIn presentations. Since the pricing and options changed in January 2015, I think it’s time to address this once again.

How many people are currently paying for LinkedIn?

The results from my latest LinkedIn user survey show that only 18% of us are paying for our LinkedIn experience. Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 2.12.46 PMThat number has been consistently rising since I began my survey five years ago, but the majority of users are still taking advantage of the world’s largest database of business professionals for free.

LinkedIn premium options

There are a number of options available when you decide to upgrade from a free account to a paid account.

Note: If you already had a premium account when LinkedIn updated the premium options, at least for the time being you can continue with that plan even though it may not be currently offered to new subscribers.Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 2.15.07 PM

There are three premium categories, with multiple options within each category.

General:  Job Seeker ($29.99), Business Plus ($59.99), Executive ($99.99)

Sales:  Sales Navigator ($59.99), Sales Navigator Professional ($79.99), Sales Navigator Team ($129.99)

Recruiter:  Recruiter Lite ($119.95), Recruiter Corporate ($899.99)

Each plan offers different features and additions to your free account. Check out the side-by-side comparisons of the additional features you get at https://premium.linkedin.com. If you’re interested in a free 30-day trial of a premium account, get the details here

Is it time to upgrade?

For most people, probably not. I base that opinion on what you get with a premium account and the fact that most people I encounter are barely scraping the surface of the free account’s powerful features. It’s kind of like handing your 15-year-old, who just got his driver’s permit, the keys to your new BMW when he isn’t even ready to drive the 12-year-old Honda Accord.

iStock_000042971244_SmallMy advice is to buy a copy of my book and follow my suggestions for optimizing your profile. Next, spend some time getting into a good LinkedIn routine (Chapter 17), and then maybe you’ll be ready for the BMW.

LinkedIn has a simple way to let you know when it may be advantageous to start paying. I call it running into the “free wall.” When you’re consistently using a LinkedIn feature (Advanced People Search, Saved Searches, InMails, Who’s Viewed Your Profile, etc.), a message will pop up asking you if you want to upgrade and receive greater access to that feature. LinkedIn realizes full well which features help users get the best results, and thus those tend to be the features they limit in some way. If you want more of those goodies, you’ll need to get out your credit card.

Why I upgraded to a premium account

Two years ago, after more than four years on a free account, I started paying. Currently I’m on Sales Plus for about $48/month. However, this option is not currently available for new premium users.

The main reason I upgraded is because I wanted to see all the people who looked at my profile, and with the free account you can only see the last five people who checked you out. For a full discussion, read my post “Why I’ve Finally Upgraded to a Premium LinkedIn Account.”

Whether you’re using a free or premium account, I hope you’re getting great results!

If you were one of the nearly 1500 people who took the time to participate in my 2015 LinkedIn user survey, thank you!

2015 Power Formula for LinkedIn Infographic widget

In the next few weeks I will share with you my observations about the results and give you some strategies to help you capitalize on what I’ve learned.

Let’s start with the LinkedIn features people have found to be the most useful.

The number in parentheses is the percentage of respondents who selected the feature when asked, “Which of the following LinkedIn features have you found to be helpful? (check all that apply)”

#1.  Who’s Viewed Your Profile (76%)  For the third year in a row, this was the top-rated feature. I have to confess Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 5.53.34 PMthat I was not taking full advantage of this feature until it won the top spot in the survey. I then started to investigate its importance by talking with users who were getting results. I’m now a believer and have documented results–not from simply checking out who “stalked” me but by reaching out to the people who are in my target audience.

For additional strategies and thoughts on this year’s top-rated feature, click here.

#2.  People You May Know (61%)  This is always a great way to find more people to add to your network. This never-ending listScreen Shot 2015-06-05 at 5.43.54 PM served up to you by LinkedIn brings you people from your past, people in your LinkedIn groups, people in your industry–and who knows what else goes into LinkedIn’s secret formula.

This feature is a little hard to find since LinkedIn updated the home page. Hover over the Add connections icon and click People You May Know. Then start looking for people who ought to be in your network. Happy hunting!

#3.  Reviewing profiles before or after meetings (56%)  The more you know about a person before a meeting or phone call, the better prepared you will be–and this step should be standard operating procedure for everyone. To gain the best insight about people before meeting them, check out:

  • How You Are Connected
  • In Common With
  • Summary
  • Current Experience
  • Education
  • Interests

I think the day is coming when you say to someone, “Tell me about yourself,” and they will look at you and say, “You mean you didn’t check out my LinkedIn profile before we got together?”

#4.  Search for companies (48%)  Even though LinkedIn was designed as a database of business professionals, Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 5.48.47 PMthe company page is a great way to get an overview of a company. Also, if you click # of Employees on LinkedIn, you can see a list of all the folks on LinkedIn. This will help you prepare for your big meeting at the company. It’s always good to see who you already know at a company and who your connections know–or, better yet, who you want to get to know. This feature makes it easy to get that done.

#5.  Messaging first-level connections (43%)  Once you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you can direct message him/her through LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s research shows that you will have a higher open rate from a message sent within LinkedIn than if you simply use someone’s email address. I think the open rate is higher because an affiliation is already established, and the message lands in two email boxes rather than one (their LinkedIn inbox and whatever email service the user’s LinkedIn messages are sent to).

This truly deserves to be one of the top-rated features. I hope you are taking full advantage of this.

#6.  Follow companies (41%)  If you click the yellow Follow button on a company page, you will start receiving in your home-page feed the status updates that company shares, includingScreen Shot 2015-06-05 at 6.16.52 PM job openings, new products or services, company events, industry insights, promotions, and lots of other goodies. There is no limit to the number of companies you can follow, and companies do not preapprove their followers.

I suggest you consider following these types of organizations:

  • Current clients
  • Prospective clients
  • Competitors
  • Industry associations or groups
  • Nonprofits you have an interest in
  • Your next great employer

#7. Advanced People Searching (39%)  This was the most popular feature for the first few years of my user survey–and in my humble opinion, this is the real power on LinkedIn. After all, LinkedIn is the world’s largest database of business professionals, and Advanced People Search is your key to accessing this incomparable database.

To learn how you can capitalize on the Advanced People Search feature, click here.

In the coming weeks, I will share additional insights on the survey results. In the meantime, here is the complete infographic. I hope you’ll use the share buttons below to share this important information with your friends and business associates.

2015 Power Formula for LinkedIn Infographic User Portrait sm


8 Fast Ways to Generate More LinkedIn Leads

Posted on May 30, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

You’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile. You’ve mastered the art of searching on LinkedIn. But you’re still not getting the dramatic Word Cloud Lead Generationresults that other people are reporting. What else can you do to tap into LinkedIn’s goldmine of opportunity?

Here are eight fast ways to improve your LinkedIn lead generation.

1.  Status updates. Share status updates regularly, and include links to resources from your company and other industry leaders.

2.  Landing page. Design a separate landing page on your website with resources, guides, checklists, etc. Use your LinkedIn profile, status updates, and group discussions to direct people to these helpful documents.

3.  “Who’s Viewed Your Profile.” Check out this Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.28.12 PMhelpful LinkedIn feature every day. These people are checking you out for a reason. If you find potential customers, contact them. This is money! On my latest user survey, this is the #1 rated feature on LinkedIn.

4.  Groups. Join up to 50 groups, and listen, share and connect. The bigger the group the better.

5.  5-star connection request. After searching for people in your extended network using the technique discussed above, be sure to use what I refer to as a five-star connection request. After they connect, be sure to send them a thank-you note with an invitation to get together or set up a phone call.

6.  “People You May Know.” Check this handy LinkedIn feature often. Remember–connections are the gas in the tank on LinkedIn; the more you have, the further you go.

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 8.28.46 AM

7.  Strategic connections. Connect with the best and smartest industry experts. Monitor their status updates and “share” them frequently with your LinkedIn network.

8.  Company page. Create a LinkedIn company page, and make sure you begin sharing status updates with your followers. After all, that’s why they chose to follow you in the first place.

Here are eight of the best ways LinkedInExplode Home Page Widget-01 can help you generate leads and grow your business.

If you want to capitalize on other LinkedIn features that will provide dramatic results, check out my online training course “Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn.” This comprehensive, video-based course will help you master my five-step process for LinkedIn success. Click here for details.

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Produce More Leads

Posted on May 23, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

When people discover your LinkedIn profile, you obviously want to make a great first impression–and if you include the rightlead generation information, they’ll be encouraged to contact you.

Here are some simple but powerful ways to enhance your profile.

  • Headline. You can include 120 characters in your Headline. This is the first thing people see, so be creative and use keywords. Consider including a call to action.
  • Summary and Advice for Contacting. Include your business email and phone number in the Summary and Advice for Contacting sections of your profile. Then people who aren’t part of your network can contact you immediately–even before they request to join your network.
  • Professional Portfolio. Add media to your profile. Include white papers, checklists, video, audio, slide presentations, and other customer-focused resources in your Professional Portfolio.
  • Summary. Use your Summary section to clearly explain how you help people.
  • Special profile sections. Use special sections, like Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 8.15.13 AMProjects, to encourage readers to sign up for your company newsletter.
  • Job Experience section. Discuss specific client situations/results so people can see how you can help them, too.
  • Keywords. Include LOTS of keywords throughout your profile to highlight your expertise and increase your credibility. Of course, this will also improve your chances of ranking higher on the list when people search for someone like you

Optimize your LinkedIn profile today with these simple tricks, and soon you’ll be generating more leads Explode Home Page Widget-01and growing your business.

If you want to capitalize on other LinkedIn features that will provide dramatic results, check out my online training course “Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn.” This comprehensive, video-based course will help you master my five-step process for LinkedIn success. Click here for details.

Easy Ways to Generate Leads With LinkedIn

Posted on May 17, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

Generating leads using LinkedIn is a very hot topic, but most users don’t know the tips and tricks to capitalize on LinkedIn’s vast potential. However, with a little know-how, LinkedIn will automatically serve up a list of targets who meet your exact criteria (e.g., customers, vendors, donors, employees, strategic partners, experts, etc.)
.Lead Generation

5 easy steps to find prequalified leads

Two of my favorite LinkedIn features are Advanced People Search and Saved Search. Here’s how to discover a goldmine of leads by using them together.

1.  Click the word Advanced on the right side of the blue Search box.

2.  In the criteria boxes, enter the keywords, job titles, company names, geographic areas, etc. that your target person would use on his/her profile to describe himself/herself.Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 8.18.43 AM

3.  Review the search results, and look for people you’d like to meet. Then check to see who in your network knows these individuals.

4.  Click the words Save search on the top right of this list of search results.

5.  Assign a name to this target list, and choose Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 8.22.44 AMhow often you want LinkedIn to notify you of new results.

From that point forward, with no further work on your part, LinkedIn will consistently deliver to you an updated list of your best and most qualified leads–and, perhaps more importantly, they’ll show you who in your network might be able to introduce you to those potential targets.

This is one of the dozens of ways LinkedInExplode Home Page Widget-01 can help you generate leads and grow your business. If you want to capitalize on other LinkedIn features that will provide dramatic results, check out my online training course “Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn.” This comprehensive, video-based course will help you master my five-step process for LinkedIn success. Click here for details.

8 LinkedIn Profile Strategies That Will Make a BIG Difference

Posted on May 10, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn is constantly changing, andworkaround you need to capitalize on those changes. Sometimes this is easy to do, but other times you’ll need new strategies and workarounds to make the most of these updates.

Here are eight simple tips to help you quickly capitalize on some of LinkedIn’s newest features and options.

Reorder your profile entries.  You can move profile sections up or down within your profile for increased emphasis, and you can also rearrange your current job experience entries.

  • To move an entireScreen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.06.26 PM profile section, just click, hold and drag the up/down arrow to your preferred position.
  • To move a current job Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.07.44 PMexperience entry, scroll over to the left of that entry, where a gray vertical bar will appear. Click, hold and drag the gray vertical bar to the desired location.

Reorder your recommendations.  Since only two recommendations will be displayed for each job or educational entry, it’s important to make sure those two are the very best you have to offer. (Viewers of your profile can click See More if they want to look at other recommendations you’ve received.)

  • Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.09.41 PMTo reorder your recommendations, click, hold and drag the up/down arrow (located on the upper right-hand side of a recommendation) to the desired location.

Reorder your skills.  People tend to endorse you for the skills that are listed near the top of your skills list, so it’s important to make sure your most important ones are displayed there. Also, from time to timeScreen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.10.54 PM you may want to move other skills near the top, thereby improving the chance of receiving additional endorsements for those skills.

  • To rearrange your skills, click the +Add skill button in the Skills & Endorsements section. Then click, hold and drag the skill you want to move.

Reorder or hide group logos.  The groups you display on your profile can be a personal branding statement because you’re showing people your interests. However, some of those interests may be controversial to certain people in your target audience (e.g., politics, religion, sports teams, etc.). Thus, you may want to rearrange or even hide a logo.

All of the groups to which you belong can be seen by viewers of your profile if they click See More, but the first seven groups are always displayed on your profile. Therefore, the order in which you list your groups is important because these seven have higher brand value than the others.

  • To hide a group logo, click GroupsScreen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.13.52 PM under the Interests tab on your top toolbar. This will take you to your Groups page. Click the selected group box, and then click the settings icon on the top right. Next, uncheck the top entry, Display the group logo on your profile.
  • To reorder your group logos on Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.15.22 PMyour profile, go to your Groups page and click the settings icon on the top right. Your groups will be shown in their current order. By changing the number or clicking the up arrow, you can reorder your groups on your profile.

Include frequently misspelled keywords.  When people use the search function on LinkedIn, “close” doesn’t count! Therefore, Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.18.31 PMto make sure you show up if people spell an important word wrong (people often spell my name Brietbarth rather than Breitbarth), you may want to include the misspelling at least once on your profile. I show mine in my summary and in my Advice for Contacting section.

Use a comma to separate entries in your Interests and Organizations sections.  This is important for two reasons. Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.19.35 PMFirst, if you or others click the word, LinkedIn will take you to a page where you can see all the people who have that word in their profile.Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.22.37 PM

Second, the entries in your Interests section are part of the In Common with feature, which displays the interests that you and a viewer of your profile have in common. These can be great conversation starters when you’d like to break the ice with a stranger or casual acquaintance.

Decide which profile changes you’ll tell your network about.  Usually it’s a good thing to notify your network that you’ve made a change to your profile, but sometimes you might prefer to keep it to yourself.

  • Choose whether you’ll notify your network of a profile change by sliding the Notify your network? button to Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 2.24.19 PMeither Yes (green) or No (red). This setting is in the right-hand column of your profile.

Choose whether to hide the People Also Viewed profile section.  I have chosen to hide this section on my profile because the list is typically filled with the names of my competitors, and I’d rather not give them any free advertising on my profile. You’ll need to decide what’s best for you.

For more strategies on this helpful profile section, check out my article LinkedIn’s “People Also Viewed”: How to Make it Work for You.

If you want more LinkedIn success, make these eight tactics and workarounds part of your LinkedIn strategy.

How Many of These LinkedIn Mistakes Are YOU Making?

Posted on May 3, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

This past week I presented a keynote address titled Personal Branding Using Social Media Tools. After the presentation, someoneiStock_000059004542Small asked me What are some of the biggest mistakes people are making on LinkedIn?

I made a few quick comments but promised I would get back to him with a more thoughtful list.

So, in the interest of helping you as well, I’m making this the topic of my weekly tip.

1. Punctuation and grammar mistakes in profile

I learned this the hard way when some people made comments about grammatical errors in my profile. I thought to myself: What is the big deal? But the more I thought about it (and the more my wife badgered me about it), I came to realize I didn’t want anyone to think I wasn’t caring and smart enough to have this right. After all, this was my online reputation on the line, and I want that to be as stellar as it can be.

I am not always perfect, but I am being much more diligent when it comes to grammar and punctuation. I suggest for some of the larger sections on your profile that you write them in Word, spell and grammar check, and cut and paste into your LinkedIn profile.

2. No photo or unprofessional photo

This is your professional identity. Why in the world wouldn’t you want that picture to be the best, most recent, closeup face shot that has ever been taken of you? This may be the only image of you a person ever sees. LinkedIn’s research says your profile will be viewed fourteen times more often if you have a photo.

Watch this helpful video (1:32), “LinkedIn Profile Picture Fails,” from Careerealism for some examples of poor pictures. I hope yours is not one of them.

If you have no photo, let me leave you with two questions:

  • Do you want to be the little, blue, nubby head? Paper man's silhouette avatarI doubt it. I am quite certain you are more good looking than that.
  • If you are going through a LinkedIn search listing and you get to a person who does not have a photo, what do you do? Chances are you skip over him/her. I don’t really think you want people doing that to you.

3. Conversations that should be taken offline

Some conversations are not appropriate to be taking place online. Don’t forget–we still have the telephone, email, and, yes, even snail mail for those critical personal conversations or confidential business exchanges.

4. Not using the magic words “thank you” or “you’re welcome”

Our mothers taught us this. Enough said.

For more on this, check out my article “In Life and LinkedIn, Saying Thank You Can Take You a Long Way.”

5. Making unprofessional or “inside” comments to your connection when asking for an introduction to one of his/her connections

Remember–the person you want to get introduced to sees the comments you make to your connection who is agreeing to introduce you. Inappropriate comments to your close friend that can be read by people you don’t know is not only the quickest way to not get the introduction, but it will also give these people a very poor first impression of you.

6. Using your Status Update to tweet

Don’t share what you had for breakfast unless you own the restaurant, the details and photos of your latest trip unless you are a travel agent or photographer, or your pet’s latest tricks unless you own the pet store. That is what Twitter is for.iStock_000023617648Small

LinkedIn has a very different set of rules and acceptable practices. It is really not appropriate to have twenty status updates each day on LinkedIn, especially when most of them are about what you ate for lunch or the color of your new shirt or tie. This is a business site, and we all need to do our parts to keep it that way. Otherwise it will just turn into Facebook, and then we may all retreat to our old worlds where social media didn’t exist.

I suggest you follow the 6/3/1 rule. Read more about that in my article “LinkedIn Status Updates: The Rule Everyone Should Follow.”

7. Using the Summary section in your profile as just a laundry list of keywords

That is not to say that your important keywords shouldn’t be in your summary–they most definitely should be part of your summary. But your summary is meant to be that all-important cover letter to your viewers, and they need to hear and see you as a real person–not as just a list of words.

8. Only posting one job

Unless you have only had one job, it sure looks like you are trying to hide something from someone.

9. Not having your most important jobs in your headline

Your headline is a very important part of your profile because it travels with you wherever you go on LinkedIn. Do you really want your headline to say that you volunteer part time at an animal shelter instead of saying you are the president of your own company? Probably not.

You can decide what goes in your headline. However, if you don’t generate your own entry, LinkedIn will default your entry to the most recent item in the Experience section of your profile. Don’t let this happen to you. Be creative, and craft a headline that includes your most important position along with some additional marketing punch.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 9.26.19 AM

For more help on this very important section of your profile, download my free worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline in the free resources section of my website.

10. Not having a LinkedIn company page

This is like not having a company website. If I search for your company and you are not there, it must mean you are not open for business. Also, if you don’t have a company page, then the individual profiles of the people who work for the company are not properly linked to the company page, thereby missing an important branding opportunity.  

Don’t make these ten rookie mistakes because they WILL affect your professional brand.