5 Ways You’re Failing With Your Online Professional Profile

5 Ways You’re Failing With Your Online Professional Profile

In the new day of job searching, one’s online professional profile can be just as critical as a resume or cover letter. Many professionals, however, are not as diligent with their preparation and organisation of this profile as they are of the other materials. Uncover five ways your professional profile may be lacking, and how to easily remedy

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these to gain greater professional success.

Here Are 5 Ways You Are Failing With Your Online Professional Profile

1. Having an inferior profile picture. Or worse, not having one at all. If your profile picture is a selfie of you and your dog, you’re not doing your professional brand any favors. That is unless you’re a dog walker or a veterinarian. Other not quite professional images include photographs of your kids, gaming avatars and you in your swimsuit. Your online professional profile, as the name implies, is for professionals. Save those other image types for your personal social networking pages. Perhaps the worst professional profile pic faux pas is failing to post a picture altogether. Putting a face to a name helps to establish a level of trust and familiarity. Not showing your face may even can make you appear sketchy. Put your best face forward with a crisp, high-resolution headshot that looks close to how you look right now.

2. Not adding live links to your work history. Live links to your online profile are essentially samples of your work. These links demonstrate your abilities, as well as signify to recruiters and potential employers that you are confident in what you can bring to the table professionally. If you

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don’t add them, your profile is merely telling people what you do, not showing them. Seeing is believing. If you’re a finance journalist, for instance, you’d want to add links to the best articles for each publication you have written for. Or, if you are a business owner, you could add links to your business’s website, blog, Yelp page, and other professional directories. Each link should clearly demonstrate that you do indeed do what you say you do and that you do it well.


When looking for a job your CV is the most important document to reflect your expertise towards the type of role that you’re looking for. Click the below button to receive a free professional appraisal by one of our Client Relationship Managers. This will ensure that your CV is not only competitive on the international executive job market, but that it also reflects your skills and achievements throughout your career.

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3. Not having any recommendations. It’s appropriate, and at times even critical, to point out your skills, abilities and accolades throughout your profile’s “Experience” component. That’s what it’s for. Some would contend, though, that it’s even more vital to have some of your current and past colleagues, partners and employees personally praise your achievements via LinkedIn’s “Recommendations” section. If you’ve amassed zero Recommendations, it could look like no one is willing to professionally vouch for you. If you are lacking recommendations, ask two or three individuals that you’ve successfully done business with to write a positive, compelling recommendation for you. Let them know you’re seeking their sincere testimonials to authenticate the claims you make on LinkedIn about your professional acumen. It can be an effective tool to broker a recommendation by writing one for them in return.

4. Having 499 or fewer contacts. On professional profiles such as LinkedIn, possessing the magic 500+ contacts makes a psychological impact on those who view your profile. It can communicate that you’re a veteran in your field with many allies who trust your ability. In addition, your contacts may be valuable to others. The more contacts you possess, the more value you can offer others. Work hard to get to 500 by adding contacts from your past positions, linking all your email addresses, and connecting with everyone you meet.

5. Using the default “I’d like to add you to…” connection request. If you really want to create a great first impression, personalize all contact requests. If you use the generic message, the first impression you deliver is “I’m generic.” Consider some alternative ways to phrase that vital introduction. Some examples include: “It was great meeting you at the [insert name] conference”; “I see we both share an interest in [insert interest]”; “I enjoy your posts and comments in the [insert group name].” A great online professional profile can speak volumes on your behalf. Don’t let the five points mentioned above get in the way of your success!


Make sure you’re ready to to take your career to CEO level and succeed. Sign up to the CI Executive Career Management programme and get access to a Career Coach to guide and coach you through your journey to board level. Also don’t forget to keep a lookout for the top roles that become available in emerging markets.

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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

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