With its biggest desktop overhaul ever, LinkedIn is fighting the good fight against distraction. The 2017 updates help reduce clutter on the platform and deliver a more focused experience on all fronts, especially your personal profile.
But, just like a garage full of trash, improving things only makes a real difference if you get rid of all the random trash that’s just taking up space.
With that in mind, here are four cuts your LinkedIn profile needs to take these changes to the next level and show the parts of your personal brand that really matter:
Watch on Forbes:
1. Obsolete professional experiences
Do you still have a summary of your internship from eight years ago? Or maybe a wallet item that was totally awesome when you were just starting out?
Consider giving them the ax today.
Details about your old professional history distract from your most recent and relevant experiences. So, let your last two roles sell you out and reduce everything that happened seven to ten years ago to the basics (which in some cases may just include your job title and company name) .
The further back in your career timeline, the more âless is moreâ rings true.
2. Unapproved skills
Your skills section is an oasis of keywords, which can make loading with the maximum of 50 skills allowed quite tempting. But that will backfire on you, because in many cases a handful of them are not approved at all. (Translation: you have a list of talents that no one is willing to say you’re good at.)
These “dead” skills become a mess. They raise more questions than they interest. Worse, how much keyword power could they really have if other users aren’t interacting with them?
Prune your skills section and regularly attract new referrals.
3. Poor achievements
Many of your formerly independent profile sections, such as Projects, Honors and Awards, Patents and more, are now grouped together in a new “Achievements” section. It’s pretty awesome, because organizing content this way removes a ton of unnecessary bulk.
There is a trade-off, however: these achievements now compete directly for attention.
Take a close look at what you have listed here and identify what you would like someone to be sure they see, and what you would accept for them to forget. I always recommend removing your language skills if you are not fluent (because âhigh school Spanishâ doesn’t impress anyone). While you’re at it, cut test scores and lessons from your old academic history.
Other possible distractions include expired certifications, projects that fizzled out, and posts with URLs that are no longer valid (check them twice!). Early career rewards that you know aren’t this awesome can make too much noise. Removing these elements will make your most impressive and relevant accomplishments stand out.
The idea is to only highlight the elements that build the personal brand that you want to reflect. at present.
4. Old recommendations
Granted, every time someone says something really cute about you, it’s a good thing. So I understand why you would cringe at the idea of ââcutting pretty paragraphs all about you. But listen to me carefully: outdated recommendations can underestimate you or sell skills you’re no longer interested in using, which means they can undermine who you are today.
For example, let’s say you spent the first half of your career in marketing, but now you’re only interested in backend web development. A profile full of songs of praise for your marketing talents could skew the “I’m a server and database whiz!” Â»The impression that you are trying to make, and instead, pass yourself off as someone who dabbled in technology yesterday.
Obviously, if you’ve gained recognition from a particularly notable figure, or someone says you’re the best professional they’ve ever worked with, it may be worth keeping because of the impressive level of social proof. that he owns. But in most cases, you’ll want to replace or hide the old recommendations to emphasize the ones that are a good fit with your current focus.
LinkedIn is a place to craft an accurate, meaningful, and persuasive story about your talents, not a career catch-all. Cutting out distracting content may seem odd at first, but it’s essential to refine the message you’re delivering. So really try to make the most of its new streamlined design to wow anyone who visits your profile.
“4 Things You Really Need To Remove From Your LinkedIn Profile Today” was originally published on The muse.
Erica Breuer is the founder of Cake Resumes and a frequent contributor to The Muse.