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LinkedIn has fast become the go-to place for employers and recruiters to find, view and evaluate prospective candidates. Alan from Human Resources wants to know more about an applicant? Easy. He runs a quick Google search and chances are one of his top results will be from LinkedIn.
With information so easily accessible, content here is key. And it’s as much about what shows up as what doesn’t show up. So whether you’re applying for a new role or expanding your current network, here are 4 things to immediately remove from your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is a place to showcase your personal brand. Make it succinct and persuasive. Anything too old or irrelevant can be a real distraction. It’s great to show career progression, but all that detail about a retail position when you were starting out and now work in finance… Consider cutting it out. Allow your most recent and relevant roles to sell you with others slimmed down to the very basics.
The same rings true for recommendations and skills & endorsements. It’s always great to get good feedback and recognition but make sure they highlight the skills you want to be known for. Accountant-turned-marketer? Consider a spring clean for some of those irrelevant skills that can confuse people on where your key qualities and real interests are.
Steer clear! Fact-checking someone’s work history is straightforward. There’s not much worse than going through a whole interview process only to become unstuck at the end because of a lie. Even something small can make a fledgling professional relationship sour all too quickly.
And more than that, everyone in your network (including current colleagues) can see your profile. Trust is built slowly over time but can be destroyed in a second by a lapse of judgment.
Congratulations, you’ve hired someone to write your profile for you…oh, no, wait, it’s third person writing. Some people think using third person sounds professional but it’s also stifling. Your profile should convey who you are as an individual, and by using your ‘I’s’ and ‘me’s’ you’ll engage your reader in telling them your story.
The most effective way to communicate important information? A story.
There’s a seven second window for first impressions when meeting someone in person and your LinkedIn profile acts in the same way. Having a low quality image, a selfie, a confusing group shot or anything unprofessional ultimately detracts from all the good stuff that comes below. Match your photo to how you want to be seen and remove anything that detracts from that image.
Your LinkedIn profile is a showcase for your personal brand. So clear away the clutter, tell your story and set the tone with a confident, professional smile.