Is Your LinkedIn Profile Cringe-Worthy?

There’s no denying that LinkedIn is a great way for professionals to stay connected with prospects, current customers, business partners and colleagues.

With more than 332 million registered members — including 23% of U.S. adults — LinkedIn has proven its value in helping to forge professional connections.

In addition to advising companies on how to maximize their brand presence on LinkedIn, EMA has also provided recommendations for how their staffs can better engage on the site. There are countless examples of profiles to learn from — from super-star level to cringe-inducing.

Here are some common LinkedIn profile flubs to avoid:

  • Terrible Profile Picture. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking tool for individuals to manage their professional identities. Your picture is one of the most important pieces of your profile; choose a photo that best represents you professionally and puts your current role into context. It’s suggested you avoid pictures of yourself partying, on the beach or with a pet; also avoid a photo that is outdated or would be more suitable on Tinder. And don’t be that person with the generic blank outline as your profile image. This article offers helpful tips for choosing the right picture.
  • No Context. If you’ve listed your current and past positions, that’s a great start. To help people better understand what you did/do, write a short description of your role and accomplishments. LinkedIn is one of the first results to show up in search — keywords matter, so write your descriptions thoughtfully.
  • Too Few or Too Many Connections. LinkedIn is not a popularity contest, but if you only have a handful of connections, it does make one wonder if you’re stuck in the Dark Ages. On the flipside, having upwards of 1,000 connections can also raise eyebrows. Regardless of how many connections you make, make sure they’re meaningful.
  • Underestimating Grammar and Punctuation. There’s no excuse for misspellings, misuse of punctuation or improper capitalization of words (including your name). Proof your profile before publishing, because LinkedIn does not have a built-in spelling or grammar check.
  • Oversharing. Keep it professional at all times and avoid irrelevant posts. Personality quizzes and sharing random photos that are trying to “go viral” are better content for personal networks like Facebook.

If you’re guilty of any of these flubs, log in to your profile and start editing. Making sure your profile is in great shape can lead to more connection requests and less cringing.