LinkedIn Profile

5 Reasons Your LinkedIn Profile Isn’t Working


By now, you’ve certainly heard why a polished, professional LinkedIn profile could actually be MORE important than your resume. However, you could spend hours perfecting your profile, and still not receive results from it.

But don’t give up! Here are five common reasons your LinkedIn presence isn’t drawing attention for your job search or business:

Problem #1: You Forgot To Apply The Principles Of SEO

A fantastic LinkedIn profile is still like the proverbial tree falling in the forest, because if you fail to make it easily searchable, no one will actually find it.

The best way to do this is to conduct some due diligence on the keywords used by others who are looking for new hires. Recruiters and employers often look for candidates with a particular job title, and specify a city as another parameter.

Think of a recruiter intent on finding a Senior Vice President of Sales in San Francisco, and you’ll have the right idea.

So, you’ll want to pop that desired job title or career level into as many parts of your profile as possible, in addition to skills that describe your experience.

Problem #2: Your Profile Text Looks Like A Dry Bio

Your digital presence should do more than merely exist, pulling in the reader with a narrative that lets you explain your unique selling proposition (USP) in detail. Therefore, if you dump the contents of your resume summary or biography into LinkedIn, it’s not going to work.

In fact, pasting sections of your traditional resume straight into any online social networking site is asking for trouble, because these documents are written for print, not the Web.

Online copy is fresh, concise, and a bit more energetic than your resume, and it should be written in first-person to engage your reader as an individual.

Problem #3: You Gave Away The Store

I’m commonly asked where and how to attach a resume to a LinkedIn profile. Well, there IS a way, but don’t do it!

Generate a little intrigue by refraining from providing every last bit of information to employers and recruiters. Think of your profile as the introduction (with almost the same purpose as a cover letter), where you can add just enough data to make employers want more.

Then, then back off and make it easy to connect with you (or contact you directly) so you don’t commit problem number five.

Problem #4: Your Dates Aren’t Working To Your Advantage

Searching for a job in your 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s? Don’t give employers reason to filter you out by including all that work history dating back to the 1980’s or 1970’s – please!

In fact, assuming your resume has a great strategy for combating age discrimination, be sure to employ the same techniques on your LinkedIn profile.

You’ll quickly find employers are most interested in your last decade of experience, and adding too much information leads to problem number three.

Problem #5: You Didn’t Pay Attention To Contact Settings

Yes, LinkedIn is a social networking site (with a business purpose, of course). Then what’s the idea behind preventing others from contacting you?

There’s nothing worse than finding a great professional contact on LinkedIn, only to see the message,“Bob is not open to receiving invitations or InMail.”

The Contact Settings section allows you to give a brief blurb about the best way to reach you, and this is a great place to list either an e-mail address, a phone number, or both.

However, you’ll also want to ensure the parameters within your Contact Settings are checked so you can receive any combination of Introductions, InMail, and OpenLink Messages.

So, if your profile isn’t generating enough interest, I recommend going back over your content and ensuring you’re using a well-thought-out strategy to draw the world to your digital door.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Laura Smith-Proulx

Multi-credentialed executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is the #1 U.S. TORI resume award record-holder and a published global expert on executive branding and LinkedIn strategies.


  1. Thank you for your write up.It helps to see different sides of an issue to be objective.
    First of all,about problem number #4,when you are on a company’s website,at the disclosure section after completing your application,you are warned not to misinform or conceal information.In accounting term its full disclosure-integrity to be precise.

    Secondly,as foreigner,I have sometimes met all criteria for a job but still am not called back

    Thirdly,If people actually do background check and we also have had to do finger printing for citisenship,would it not be risky for you to leave out information from your accumulated years of experience? Companies benefitted without paying for it by the way.

  2. Teddy Burriss (@TLBurriss)

    Good article Laura. The hardest thing I have to teach people is that LinkedIn is not your resume.

    I do suggest that LinkedIn members attach a PDF version of their resume to their LI Profile unde Publications (using dropbox). I teach not to include your home address (only city/state).

    I need to start teaching them not to include their email address and phone numbers as well since everyone can see this file once they find your LI Profile. However what’s the difference between posting it here and all the job boards? Just a thought.

    Thanks Laura.

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