How to Destroy Your Career in 15 Seconds on Linkedin

by Venus Barak, Featured Contributor

EVERY one of us has one BIG dream as kids. remember yours?

I was born and brought up in a small town in North India and one dream I had as long as I can remember was to fly and see the world. As part of the dream execution process during my late teens, I once attempted an Air Hostess interview.

Every experience in our lives is a revelation of ourselves, appearing for this interview made me realize this ain’t mine (i.e. air hostess). The airline is no more in operation and I thankfully didn’t qualify to the next level BUT one BIG lesson I learnt was the power of first impression. We may choose to think otherwise, however, a lot of our life is decided in few precious minutes by people who are not connected to us by blood.

Presentation today just matters more as we pace between different social networks, each one defining a different side of us and Linkedin is a definite platform for designing and defining our career, but linkedin is NOT a resume hosting platform like monster etc but a socially connecting one. Recruiters, HR, Entrepreneurs, Thought Leaders and even your prospective spouses throng to your linkedin profile to get a glimpse of your professional profile and you only have maximum 15 seconds to make an impression.

So what are few things you can do to get a one up

  1. Picture: Although Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie may pull off the sunglass profile picture but in professional profile its better if you keep your shades away. No mobile / cell phone or other related paraphernalia. Remember, everybody first looks at your picture and if you are not giving your 100% attention to them then it’s only down the hill from there on. Just imagine would you hire a person wearing sunglasses and talking on phone in their professional profile? Keep it clean and simple; wear your best suit and just smile for the camera.
  2. Your Summary: I come across a lot of profiles especially for people in their first decade to not have a proper professional summary. This is cardinal sin. Invest some time and energy in writing your achievements, strengths, value adds with a hint of personality and you are good to go. If you need help then research some comparative profile for inspiration but don’t leave this space empty.
  3. Work Exp.: Please don’t go all resume in this section. Pasting your Job Description just won’t cut if you want to impress a future employer / business partner or recruiter. Make it more human and relatable, mention achievements, Interesting travel, conventions, team compositions etc. People want to gauge as much as possible the person behind the text and your job is to make it as accessible as possible.
  4. Your Daily Activity: Although, it might sail your boat but liking and commenting on too many self help / religious / funny quote pictures might not work with your potential employer, business partner or investor. You come across as distracted. On the other hand if you invest strategic time in posting and commenting information on your field, industry, competition then you automatically get brownie points.
  5. Your Connections: You need to think like a talent agency here, more and better connection is the only thing keeping you in business. Work hard to be connected with influencers in your field or general business leaders / managers nationally and internationally. Please don’t spam though.

Modanna had four minutes to save the world but you only get 15 seconds.

What according to you are some other faux pas on likedin and how can we do better?

Editor’s Note: This Article was originally featured on Linkedin and has been republished with permission.


Venus Barak
Venus Barak
VENUS is President of Factor Global Consulting and has worked and lived in over 40 countries around the world for more than a decade and a half. Factor Global Consulting is a result of tenacious journey focused towards building a dynamic Service Brand aimed towards helping businesses across the globe to reach out to opportune markets, alliances, Resources. The core Value driving the brand is making Global Business expansion a priority, possibility and reality. Passionate about equality, Venus is currently building her initiative ‘Leaders for Equality’ which would work towards promoting equality at the work place thru constructive dialogue, awareness, training and action.

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  1. Good Article , including Catch line of …15 seconds !LinkedIn profiles are really viewed bu Recruiter as well as Spouses But Photo & summary may serve them only as tip of Ice Berg ! Good Profiles , especially Senior People’s requires lots of points & necessarily becomes Lengthty . Wonder , how it could be kept sort , cripsy ,at the same time informative hitting the Target .