The Dos and Don’ts of Updating Your LinkedIn Profile

Learn the most important dos and don’ts for updating your LinkedIn profile.

December 27, 2014


In today’s sales climate, having a good LinkedIn profile can be the difference between getting a response from your sales prospects or being passed over. Forty-nine percent of B2B buyers use LinkedIn to learn more about sales reps, so making a good first impression through your profile is essential. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you craft a LinkedIn profile that inspires confidence among your sales prospects.

General best practices

Do remember that LinkedIn is a professional network. People use LinkedIn for professional advancement, so focusing on helping others succeed professionally will help you stand out.

Don’t share all the details of your personal life. While you may do this on other social networks, it is not appropriate in a professional setting.

Do check your spelling and grammar. It may sound obvious, but you would be amazed by what you can miss, and nothing damages your credibility like a profile that is littered with these simple mistakes.

Don’t stuff your profile with keywords. While optimizing your profile (correctly) can help more people find you, creating a compelling story with relevant content is what will make them want to work with you.

Do add a photo. You have probably heard the importance of selecting a high-quality professional photo before, but you may not know that profiles with a professional-looking photo are viewed 11 times more frequently than those without. Profiles with photos receive higher InMail response rates.

Don’t add an unprofessional photo. If yours has other people or pets in it, was taken at a party, or shows you at anything other than your professional best, it may be time to revisit your photo choice.

From resume to reputation

Do make sure your profile is complete. A complete profile not only makes it easier for prospects to find you, it also means you are taking advantage of all the opportunities to present yourself as an expert in your field.

Don’t embellish or lie about your experience. Your professional reputation should not be taken lightly. As Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” so don’t take unnecessary risks. Always portray yourself with honesty and integrity.

Do let your personality show. Use your profile, especially your headline and summary, to craft a compelling narrative about who you are and the value you can provide to your sales prospects. Let your personality show.

Don’t simply copy and paste your resume. Creating a carbon copy of your resume may engage recruiters, but it is much more important to present a compelling story to your prospects, the people your success ultimately hinges on.

Do add skills to your profile to let others know what your strengths are. This is a fast and easy way for viewers to see your areas of expertise.

Don’t add skills LinkedIn does not recognize. There is a wide range of skills to choose from, so you should have no trouble finding something that matches your expertise.

Going the extra mile

Do addvideos, media, documents, and useful links to your profile. This provides a visual representation of how you can solve the real-world problems your prospects are facing.

Don’t advertise or use sales pitches in your profile. Your prospects are not looking to be sold. Rather, they want someone who knows the problems they are facing and can provide solutions. Keep your prospects’ needs in mind instead of focusing on what you have to offer.

Do ask for recommendations and endorsements.These are a great way to establish credibility and provide specific examples of your abilities and accomplishments.

Don’t bombard people with recommendation requests.  Only ask for recommendations from people who can truly attest to your abilities.

Creating an effective LinkedIn profile is an ongoing part of effective social selling, but knowing what to do (and what not to do) in your profile will allow you to consistently showcase yourself as a valuable asset to your sales prospects.