4 Mistakes to Avoid When Building an Online Professional Profile

By Amanda Peterson, Enlightened Digital

When you’re looking for a new job or internship, or simply positioning yourself for future career growth, it’s important to create an online presence where you can showcase your skills, expertise and past experience. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn, Bumble Bizz or Meetup for example, have made it simple to connect with leaders in your industry or individuals who can help you advance in your professional goals.  

When creating a professional profile online however, it’s vital to put your best foot forward. Even the smallest of details can hinder your profile from looking as professional as possible and can deter others from connecting with you. When approached effectively, your online profile can support your journey into the professional world, grow your digital network, and even land you your dream role.

Here are our four tips for creating your online professional profile:  

1. Check for Grammar Mistakes

Once you’ve completed any type of writing, it’s always beneficial to gain some additional insight. Send your profile to a professional mentor or coach, a peer, or someone in your ideal position.

Ask them for honest feedback. Do they feel it best represents you, your personality, and your experience?

Not only can an outside reader check for grammar mistakes, but they can also read through your profile to make sure it’s understandable to an audience who doesn’t know anything about you. They can ensure that your profile adequately tells your professional story and describes your experience thus far. They might even remember a crucial skill that you completely forgot you had!

2. Have Someone Proofread Your Profile

Grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and improper punctuation can quickly discredit your profile, leaving you to appear more like a rookie than a professional. Common errors like mistaking ‘there’ for ‘their,’ or ‘your’ for ‘you’re,’ may seemingly be simple slip-ups, but they can also demonstrate that you didn’t take the proper time to read through your profile nor devote adequate time and effort.

Even if you’re seeking a career in business, math, or technology, you should still have a decent handle on proper writing skills, especially when it comes to writing about yourself. If writing doesn’t come naturally to you, be sure to take note of some of these common grammatical mistakes, and reference them when proofreading your profile. It's easy for little grammar mistakes to slip by when you're self-editing. If you don’t have someone readily available to check your profile for these mistakes, try using an editing service like Grammarly or Scribendi.  

3. Only Include What’s Most Necessary

It’s easy to ramble on about your past, your skills and your career goals. Of course, you want to make sure that your audience fully understands what separates you from other young professionals and why you’re best fit for the role. It’s important to remember however, that a concise profile that’s detailed, yet to the point, will resonate most with the reader. Don’t forget that if someone has further questions, they’ll ask! An online network makes it easy for others to send a quick message if they need more information or clarification.

4. Make Sure Your Photo is Clear and Easy to View

When creating content online, a photo of yourself is the best way for your readers to connect with you. It allows them to associate your name with your face, even though they’ve never met you. More often than not, many people fail to recognize the importance of a good photo and, if they choose to use one at all, often utilize one that’s pixelated or difficult to see clearly.

Before you upload just any image to your professional profile, carve out a bit of time to take a professional headshot. Many college or university career centers will offer this service for free, but simply asking a friend to snap a quick photo with a quality camera will suffice. Be sure to dress business professional, find a simple background and pick a location with good lighting. With the help of high-quality phone cameras, photo editing apps and a few tips for getting the right shot, you can have a professional looking headshot in minutes.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your profile. While a resume traditionally is a more cut-and-dry document, your various online profiles can reveal more about your personality, your passions and your eagerness to learn. People connect better with those who showcase what fuels them on a daily basis, and they’ll want to work with you too. Be sure to continuously update your profiles as you gain more experience in your field. Not only will this demonstrate your professional growth, but it will keep your connections interested too.  

Unsure about how to share your experiences in a clear and concise manner? Check out these resources on how to get your message across quickly and with pizzazz! 

Photo Credit: WikiCommons

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