• In my work at amazes.me, I script, rewrite and edit LinkedIn profiles to maximise their effectiveness. Here are the five commonest mistakes in LinkedIn profiles that I come across, which you can remedy in just a few minutes by editing your own profile…

1: Your headline states your current role

As a default, LinkedIn suggests your latest role’s job title for your headline. Don’t follow this model. Your headline should invite people to connect by stating what your key area(s) of expertise are – and is important in being found in LinkedIn search results.

In essence, this is your lead story about you – one that travels with you all across your interactions on LinkedIn. Put it to work by including a compelling statement that suggests why connecting with you would be a good idea – what pain do you take away, what benefits do you deliver?

2: You have not claimed your personal LinkedIn URL

What happens when you Google your name? Does YOUR LinkedIn profile appear at the top of the list? If not, a contributing factor can be if you have not staked your claim to your own name on LinkedIn. This is easy to do and takes just a few minutes.

Another way of boosting your personal brand is by registering your own name as a domain name, and putting in place a simple few pages of information using a WordPress blog. A service like IOwnMyOwnName.com does this for you for less than £40 a year.

Claim your name before your namesake does, and control your online footprint permanently. If not you, then who?

3: You have no contact mechanisms on your profile

How can people who are not connected to you get in touch with you to do business if you don’t have a contact mechanism in place on your profile? Add a phone number, email or a link to a contact form on your web site.

If email spam worries you, split up the email so it reads like this: david[at]petherick[dot]org or you can use an efficient online contact mechanism like Shortwhale.

4: You have no summary on your profile

You are more than the sum of your parts, so make sure you add a summary.

Your LinkedIn summary needs to tell the concise story of you. Who, what, why, when, and how much? What is your core area of expertise? How many books have you contributed to? What’s your big passion outside of work? When did you make a major change in your career? Why do you specialise in that particular niche area of the market? How can I contact you to take the conversation further?

This is what appears first on your profile, and may be the only thing a visitor to your profile reads. Make it count.

5: You have too many or too few skills listed

Who do you know that is an expert in 50 different areas? I don’t know anyone. Edit down your set of skills to a core set that you want to be known for, and eliminate the incidental or repetitive.

Remember too that you can move elements of your profile around – for example, I list my skills directly after my summary. Just drag and drop when editing using the arrows that appear at top right of each section.

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