4 things you need to remove from your LinkedIn profile
We’ve broken down lists and lists of things you need to include on your LinkedIn profile, and how you can optimize and improve your LinkedIn profile – but many of you don’t realize what you need to remove from your LinkedIn profile.
Just like your resume, there are little details on your LinkedIn profile that you must pay attention to. In the case of your LinkedIn profile, it is even more important to pay attention to these details because your profile is accessible online.
If your LinkedIn profile is your online resume, you have to keep it completely professional to ensure you are giving off the best first impression – and that is precisely why you need to remove these four things.
1. Outdated or Unprofessional Profile Picture
The lack of acceptable profile pictures on LinkedIn is disgraceful. This is not your Facebook profile picture, this is a professional image of yourself for potential employers and recruiters to view. These are people who don’t know you, and your photo is the only impression they have of you.
An outdated profile picture is just simply inaccurate. A picture of yourself ten years ago should not be the picture on your profile. This is not a trick to use if you are trying to mask your age because when you arrive for an interview, they will figure it out.
2. Present Tense for Past Jobs
Just like your resume, you should only use present tense verbs and descriptions for your current role. All previous roles should be written in the past tense. This ensures that the reader will be able to follow along through the story of your career, starting with your current role and moving back through your earlier roles.
3. Older Roles
Many LinkedIn users see that their profile has no limit on its length, and therefore choose to include all of their previous roles. Simply because you are not constrained to two pages as you are in your resume, this doesn’t mean you can continue adding as much information as possible.
The resume rules still apply. Only focus on your relevant roles in the last 10-15 years of your career. Any roles earlier than this point should be completely eliminated from the LinkedIn profile. You also cannot include roles without dates, as dates are a required field when adding a position to your LinkedIn profile. Therefore, it is even more important to only focus on the last 10-15 years, as you don’t want potential employers and recruiters to see just how many years of experience you have if you’re hovering over the 20 to 30 year mark.
4. Personal Information
LinkedIn allows you to include personal information such as your marital status, hobbies, and Twitter username. Your marital status is never required information, so don’t include it. Your hobbies are most likely not related to your professional skillset and therefore not relevant on your profile either. Finally, when it comes to information such as your Twitter username – it can get tricky. If you choose to include your Twitter username, you must ensure that your tweets are always professional. If you tweet using profanity or about inappropriate topics, this will reflect poorly on you as a professional candidate.
Take five minutes to scroll through your LinkedIn profile and ensure you haven’t made these mistakes. If you have, take action immediately. Your online resume is in jeopardy and it’s time to save it.