Five Top Mistakes Made with Online Profiles

by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

1. Thinking what you have is good enough already.

The problem with this is that sadly, 85% of the profiles listed on any given site do not maximize the potential for the candidate. If you want to be found by recruiters and hiring managers, and/or you want to build a great group of networking professionals, trying your own hand at writing your profile can be a disaster. Most people find it difficult to write effectively about themselves, and do not know how to showcase their talents in a concise, keyword rich profile. What they end up with is a mediocre profile and mediocre results. Don’t be one of the statistics!

2. Treating your profile like your resume.

Online profiles are much more limited in space than a resume. In an online profile, you want to have as much punch as possible in a much more limited space.

3. Copying/Pasting from your resume to develop your profile.

Most people erroneously do this because it is easy, and seems to save time. Unfortunately, what seems to save time actually costs you in results. Just pasting resume content for the bio is crippling because the function of the resume and the function of the bio are very different. Unlike a resume, a profile needs to be noun rich to ensure the profile comes up in searches.

4. Not keeping your profile updated.

Because online profiles are used so much by recruiters, it is important to keep information updated and current. I’ve seen profiles with old career information on them and email addresses that are no longer valid. What is the point of having a tool help you be found if you then can’t be reached?! Keep your work experience up to date whether or not you are job searching, and be sure you can be contacted through a current email address that will reach you and you check often.

5. Adding “fluff” material.

Remember that online professional networking sites are very different than online social sites. Listing your 10 cats’ names for example, really is not the way to go! Discussing your most recent vacation trip isn’t either. Think professional all the way!