The 3 Biggest Mistakes that People Make with their LinkedIn Profiles



As LinkedIn quickly becomes the today’s preferred business networking tool, many people are totally unaware they are making a huge mistake with their LinkedIn use.

Your profile is the most important component of your LinkedIn activity. Yet many people miss three very important steps:

1. Include a professional photo. The biggest mistake is not including a photo at all, the next biggest is putting an inappropriate photo on your profile. This is your image, the professional image you want to show to your prospects; surely it’s worth investing in a professional photograph – not your wedding photo.

Personally I never connect with anyone who doesn’t have a photo on their profile. If they can’t be bothered including a photo, they really don’t understand LinkedIn as all. And if I know the person, I blast them for being so lazy.

2. Spend time on your description. Describing yourself as manager (with no company name) or a CEO (with no history at all) is a waste of time. If you don’t have time to complete full profile, then don’t set up a LinkedIn profile right now – wait until you have time (at least 15 minutes) to do it well. If you do multiple things, prioritise the things that you do. List your no. 1 priority work first, followed by your no. 2 priority etc.

On my profile, I list my description as Networking Strategist, Writing Mentor and Ghost Writer. Until recently this is the only location where I promoted ghost writing and I am able to track that 30% of my business, specifically ghost writing, comes directly from LinkedIn.

3. Invest time and effort into your profile. Many years ago I was employed in the sales industry and learned ‘the more you tell, the more you sell’. Couple this with my networking knowledge gained over the last twenty plus years and it is definitely worth spending time listing your current jobs, past jobs and previous experience. You are currently a combination of your current and past jobs, life experiences, wisdom, connections and special interests. Being able to include as many of these things on your LinkedIn profiles is important if you want to maximise your potential connections. Once you have spent 15-30 minutes compiling your LinkedIn profile, you will agree that it has been time well spent. The key is to continue to add to your profile until it is 100% complete (according to the LinkedIn system)

Finally, systems are the key to you building your profile, career and business opportunities and your connections. I do believe it is a case of “build it and they will come.” The more people you connect with the more opportunities you will create for yourself and for your networks. Consistently spending 15 minutes per day accepting and sending invitations, making a comment in your update, commenting or responding on others updates, reading the latest articles and forwarding those you think are worth reading to your network – these are the habits of LinkedIn members who generate business every week.

Article written by the “Australian Queen of Networking” Robyn Henderson

Global networking specialist, Robyn Henderson has authored and contributed to more than 30 books on networking, self promotion and self esteem building. She has spoken in 12 countries, presents over 150 times per year and has never advertised. All her work comes from networking, referrals, LinkedIn and her website www.networkingtowin.com.au

Categories : Online Networking


  1. Thank you for this post. I recommend professional photographs to all of my copywriting clients and have written a fair few Linked-In profiles for BNI members too. Even if we are really brilliant at our profession, we are not often good at selling ourselves – so, in a shameless plug for the copywriting profession, it pays to hire someone to help you write about yourself.

  2. Great tips Robyn – was good to see this come through on the BNI newsletter!

  3. Barry J. Driscoll says:

    Hi Robyn,
    Thank you for your insights, I am one of those who has not put my photo on my page, just didn’t get around to it, I will now find a suitable shot.
    Regards Barry

  4. Caroline says:

    It’s funny how we were just talking about this at our BNI meeting this morning, social media is here to stay. I totally agree with a professional photo I will not deal with anyone who doesn’t have a profession photo or no photo.
    I have been to a couple of Robins seminar and that was in 2007 or there about.
    I just wish for social networking they set up the site easy to follow site for people like me who struggle.
    And totally agree about the 15 minutes per day to up date read articles.

  5. Thanks Robyn, for your thoughtful and well considered insight into LinkedIn. I’ve been hesitant to follow up invitations to join, despite my colleagues’ move towards profiling themselves on it, but now I know I need to move forward myself and embrace LinkedIn for what it can be for my business success.

    With your valuable tips in mind, I’m sure it will be as advantageous for me as it has been already for many.

    Laurie Cavill

  6. Great article Robyn with some really useful tips for LinkedIn. I still can’t get over how many professionals put the time into their profile but don’t include a picture!!

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