4 Deadly Mistakes HR Folks Make on LinkedIn — That Can Be Corrected In 5 Minutes or Less!

By Alan Collins

LinkedIn recently went over 450 million active professional users.

And in my view that STILL makes your profile on LinkedIn…

The best business card
on the planet for HR pros! 

Hands down.

Nothing else even comes close.

So you absolutely, positively MUST be on Linkedin compellingly if you want to attract more opportunities to advance your career — especially if you’re in HR.

But if you’re like a few human resources folks, you may be making four very simple, but costly mistakes in maximizing your Linkedin presence.

Here they are…

#1:  You’re not findable.

Recruiters and headhunters get paid big bucks to find HR talent.  And all of them use LinkedIn as as ONE of many resources they use.

But you frustrate the crap out them by making it impossible for them to get in touch with you.

Here’s how to deal with this.

If you go to your Privacy Settings on LinkedIn, then go the the Job Seeking section, you’ll find a place where you can “Let recruiters know you’re open to new opportunities.” It even lets you update your career interests.

Make ONE CLICK there and you’re done!

This change in your profile privately flags to recruiters that you’d be willing to respond to their outreach. 

Why do this?

It’s an opportunity for you to start to build relationships with companies that you may want to work for in the future. Having that initial conversation can help you determine if the company is a fit for you.

Then, you can follow up in the future if a time comes when you are ready to change positions – either voluntarily or involuntarily.

That will help you privately jumpstart your job search process.  

If you want to remove this info once you’ve landed the HR job of your dreams, that’s fine.  But in the meantime make it easy for recruiters, headhunters and search pros to reach you so that they can help deliver it to you.

Once you become findable, it’s time to address another issue which is…

#2:  Your Profile Summary is too dense.

Dense paragraphs of 4 lines or longer are tough to skim in a LinkedIn Summary.

Remember, you are writing for the web, not providing a detailed performance review to your boss.

Instead of creating a lengthy description or bio on your Summary, simply do this…

Break up those large paragraphs!

I recently made this change in my own profile and I’m very pleased with the results.

Shorter, easy-to-consume sentences draw in more readers, especially those with tiny attention spans.

Here’s a great example I pulled from another HR profile to illustrate this idea:



As Employee Benefits Director with six years experience at three major hospital systems, I’ve:


In the above summary, this human resources director who specializes in Employee Benefits concisely outlines the scope of her authority and her experience.

And, more importantly, she uses bullet points to break up her key accomplishments which enables busy people who are scanning her page to quickly see what what she’s all about — and that’s the idea.

With that in mind, let’s move on to…

#3:  Your profile has job titles, but no story. 

A bare-boned LinkedIn profile with just your past job titles does you no good and creates missed opportunities for you every day.

An incomplete profile like this doesn’t tell anyone anything other than you’ve had some jobs.

It doesn’t tell them what you can do.

So today, right now, go back and flesh out a story for each of the jobs on your profile.

By this I mean, along with those jobs you’ve listed, include a description of the results you achieved in the past.  Three to four sentences for each job is ideal.

And, yes, quantify those accomplishments where possible.  Numbers, not words speak volumes and help sell your value.

You want your profile to grab people by the throat and clearly let them know why you’re remarkable and worthy of being in their network, contacted or referred.

That said, here’s a big one…

#4:  You have only a handful of contacts.

I recently came across an experienced HR VP’s profile page with just twelve contacts.

I find that unbelievable…and inexcusable.  

Don’t get me wrong.  You don’t need to have 500+ contacts, but if you have just a handful many (not all) executive recruiters will assume that you’re lazy, out-of-touch, or a technophobe and will wonder deep down if you understand the importance of building relationships and networking.

Obviously this isn’t the kind of first impression you want to leave as an HR pro.

So, show them that you’ve gotten with the program, beef up your contacts and show them you can connect with other professionals online.

Let’s now summarize.

In a nutshell…

These are four simple mistakes made on Linkedin. 
But they are also the most COSTLY…and EASIEST to correct!

So go take care of these four items right now, if you haven’t already.

Don’t wait until you’re on the prowl for your next HR gig to address these four simple issues.

It may be too late then.

Each day you neglect to make these simple corrections is a day in which you are getting overlooked for job leads, consulting opportunities, speaking engagements and important career contacts…any of which could lead to that ONE phenomenal HR job you’ve always aspired to have.

So take a few minutes this weekend to make these changes in your profile.

I believe you’ll be glad you did.

‘Nuff said.

Comments or additional insights about this article?  Share them below by clicking HERE. 


For even more strategies for utilizing Linkedin (which acts as your resume online) to attract opportunities in today’s challenging HR marketplace, check out: HR RESUME SECRETS:  How to Create An Irresistible Human Resources Resume That Will Open Doors, Wow Hiring Managers & Get You Interviews! by clicking HERE.

About the Author: Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of a variety of best selling HR books including HR RESUME SECRETS.  He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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27 Responses to “4 Deadly Mistakes HR Folks Make on LinkedIn — That Can Be Corrected In 5 Minutes or Less!”

  1. benidad Says:


  2. Andrea Says:

    Thanks for another great article! Every article I read on successinhr.com offers inspiration and action items that can get me started climbing the corp. ladder!

  3. Chuck Imhoff Says:


    Right on target!

  4. Nagaraja D B Says:

    Hi Alan
    Truly a wonderful piece! Though I have my Linked in profile, advise for contacting me column was blank!
    I updated it immediately after reading # 1. Thanks a lot.
    I will work on other points too in the week end.

  5. Pranab Chakraborty Says:

    Thanks for your advice. I will definitely amend it and rewrite the resume .

  6. Pranab Chakraborty Says:

    Thanks for your valuable advice. I will amend it accordingly

  7. Amirtharaj M A Says:

    Great with very relevant examples.

  8. Joan Jackson Says:

    Thanks for the great advice. As usual, simplicity is best. I will be changing things in my portfolio.

  9. Paul Says:

    Another great article Alan – Well said!

  10. Araktim Saikia Says:

    Hi Alan,
    Thanks for sharing such an insightful article. I am glad that I got the opportunity to read this article as I am in the middle of a job search and I have not done much of quantifying of my profile. Maybe that’s the reason people are viewing my profile but nothing much is happening. I’ll get the changes made right away and hope to turn the table. Do keep sharing more interesting articles. Thanks!

  11. Syed Adeel Khalid Says:

    I have got my entire Linked In profile “Revamped”. Thanks Alan stay blessed.

  12. Catherine Says:

    Spot on Allan, thanks. I’ll work on mine.

  13. Parnell Says:

    Good insight. I will go back and look at my profile. Thanks

  14. Karen MacRobie Says:

    Thanks Alan. I regularly coach others as part of their job search preparation and quote similar statistics. However, when I looked at my own profile-it could use some updating too-Thanks for the insight.

  15. Bert Goos Says:

    Thank you Alan for this great article.

  16. Ireneus Says:

    Another piece of knowledge from Alan. I don’t regret knowing Alan or becoming part of your network. The benefits are real!

    Thank you again for making my day and my carrier bearable! Going for profile change now by provided insights.

  17. Amit Says:

    Thanks alot Alan. Real simple but effective ones.

  18. Raman Says:

    Alan,very basic yet critical points. Thnx. whtz ur opinion on putting ur story in thr Summary to connect the dots of experience.

  19. Anjana Says:

    Thanks Alan, in simple way a life lesson for me.


  20. PAMELA C. TEMBO Says:

    Thank you for this information, I have really learned something very important on the topic and I will be able to add value to my linked profile. Thank you once more

  21. Awuor Says:

    Thanks Allan, great advice, I shall re-look at my profile an improve, and wish myself success.

  22. Williamson Says:

    Wow! This is very timely and I’m in the process of re-writing my LinkindIn profile/resume right away. Many thanks for such a resourceful piece.

  23. Ashutosh Says:

    Indeed this is some incredible advice which will certainly add value to our Linkedin profile.

  24. Alan Says:

    Great points John. Thanks. -Alan

  25. Muhammad Tahir Says:

    Thank you for this insight.

  26. Agnella Says:

    Wow !
    Its time to check out that profile and do like the pro has advised.

    Thanks ,

  27. Ismail Sokunbi Says:

    Thanks for this information, we learn everyday.