How Bad Is Your LinkedIn Profile? 6 Tips to Improve Your Online Appearance.

We recently launched a Business Wardrobe focused LinkedIn group – in one week we have added an impressive number of members and the group is getting stronger everyday.

This group is focused on the professional businessman and his clothing needs.  I felt there was a need for this group outside of our other projects as the topics would all be business in nature and it will give men the opportunity to better interact.

To join – visit it here Real Men Real Style – Wardrobe Building for the Professional Man

There are already some amazing business style experts in the group such as:

Ann Reinten of the Australian Image Company

Grant Harris of Image Granted

Lisa Brukner of Hendricks Park

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – go check out the group for yourself to see the great group of professionals we’re assembling all of whom can offer relevant advice on dressing your best.

OK – now the reason I’m writing this article.


Houston, we have a Problem – Your LinkedIn Profile Sucks.


I’m not kidding.

Over half the men in the build your wardrobe group do not have professional pictures, have less than 5 connections, and most have not optimized their LinkedIn profile ! 

This is a big problem. Your LinkedIn profile is your online resume 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  It appears at the top of the search engines and anyone can see it.

Fair or not – after someone meets you in a professional setting (or casual event) they will Google you.  If they are not reassured by your online presentation they may not further the relationship.

Present a great LinkedIn public profile and you’ll have people follow through and want to meet again.  Present an underwhelming or worse negative looking profile and they’ll terminate the relationship before it gets off the ground.


Who Needs a Professional LinkedIn Profile?

I would argue every man who is interested in a professional career needs to pay attention to this.

Whether you are a carpenter, banker, student, or professional stuntman – you need to manage your online presentation.  In fact – the further your profession is from the tech field the better a strong LinkedIn profile will serve you as you’ll stand out from the crowd.

Below is my video summary f this article.

How is this Related to Style?

A man’s style isn’t confined to his clothing.

Style extends to the type of accessories we carry, the brand of tools we use on the job, and the way we project our likeness across the internet.

Think about it – What type of mechanic do you want working on your car – the guy that always selects the cheapest route (to include his poor quality tools) or the man who invests in himself and his tools?  I’ll pay extra to have work done right by a professional.

In the same way people make a judgment about you in person based off your appearance – people are judging you online based off your presentation, especially when they can easily see you have the ability to do better but have chosen not to invest the time.

If you spent 5 minutes registering on LinkedIn, then take another 25 to ensure the first impression people form of you when they Google you is a positive one.

6 LinkedIn Profile Areas You Need To Improve

Antonio Centeno LinkedIn

1.  Your LinkedIn Picture

  • Crisp and Clear Headshot – Most of us have a Senior high school senior portrait with more style in it than our professional linked in profile that every potential client and employer will see who is looking to hire you.
  • Smile for the camera – even in a photo it sends a feeling of health and trust.
  • Dress appropriately – this doesn’t mean a suit, but the clothing right for your profession.
  • Non-distracting background – the focus is you.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand out if you can do it professionally – people remember a creative image.
  • Go big – you can enlarge LinkedIn pictures and you want to allow people to see you closer if they want.

2.  Your LinkedIn  Past

  • Ensure it makes sense – are the experiences you are listing relevant to where you want to be?
  • Keep it succinct – you have only a few seconds and don’t drone on with corporate speak.
  • View it as a whole – does it make sense?  Does it look like you are moving or staying still or worse falling behind.
  • Cut out experience that has no bearing on where you want to go.

3.  Your Listed Education

  • Be specific – not just the university but the school and discipline.
  • Beef it up with classes and credentials – especially if you’ve gone through a career change or haven’t graduated from a 4 year university.

4.  LinkedIn Recommendations

  • Give and you shall receive – use the law of reciprocity to build your recs.
  • Sincere – don’t make this up and ensure you are honest.
  • Details and specific accomplishments are better than general buzz words.
  • Keep them short – 150-250 words is plenty for LinkedIn.

5.  LinkedIn Connections

  • More is not better – but you want to get it over 100.
  • Too few and LinkedIn regards your profile with suspicion (think spam).
  • Once you pass 500 the true number does not appear.  Some view 500+ connections as a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) networker (for better or worse).  This may or may not be the case – some people are just really popular.
  • My policy early on was I needed to have a phone call with you to connect.  The only time I break this is if you join my LinkedIn Wardrobe Group as I asked you to take a chance on me and you’ll be getting to know me through video and audio business articles.

6.  Listed Websites

  • Link to your other websites/profile pages/examples of work across the web.
  • Describe your website and make it interesting and relevant – not “Company Website”.
  • Make it easy to connect with you – people have their own preferred paths.


Your Call – Should I Continue?

I was prompted to address this issue as I saw so many men missing a golden opportunity to set a positive first impression online.  However – I also want to keep Real Men Real Style focused and feel this topic maybe better covered elsewhere

Do you want to see me cover this and other similar topics with more detail?  Let me know in the comments below!

  • Liam Clegg

    This is a great article, and as I sit here in my crisply ironed shirt I admit that I’m guilty of a pathetic linkedin profile. I’ll have to get on that.

    You are probably positioned better than most blogs to write this article, and to get it out to an audience that can benefit from it. There are probably other non-sartorial presentation-related topics that you could cover well. I would suggest, though, that you either use more gender-neutral terminology in articles like this one, or say something about how what you’re writing applies specifically to men.

  • thehobbster

    Really appreciate being able to read something on this issue. Would like to see more topics like this covered. 

  • Daniel Coleman97

    Hi Liam, I’m pretty sure the whole of realmenrealstyle is purposely aimed at men. There are plenty of sites specifically for women if they are looking for advice.

  • Anonymous

    Good point Liam – it could apply to women as well, although I know from (my wife’s experience) too attractive of a profile picture can have the unintended consequence of every Tom Dick and Harry wanting to connect for other than business reasons.  I’ll keep the suggestion in mind! – Antonio

  • Anonymous

    Thank you sir!

  • Anonymous

    Thank for jumping in Daniel!

  • Howard

    Antonio  –  Great advice about the LinkedIn site.  Hadn’t really thought about some of those points you made but they make sense.  Will have to re-evaluate mine now that I’ve heard your comments.  Thank you. 

  • geoffrey.cubbage

    Glad we could be helpful!

  • geoffrey.cubbage

    It’s a good point. We’re pretty used to just writing for a male audience here! Thanks for taking the time to point that out.

  • geoffrey.cubbage

    We’ll definitely be doing more articles on general professional topics like this as well as clothing, going forward!

  • Joseph225

    I appreciate articles of this nature.  I grew up with some basic manners instilled in me, but as far as style, and more advanced etiquette, I’m having to learn as I go.  I’m really enjoying it, though.  I was in a men’s wear shop the other day, and the guy there showed me how to do a different knot in my tie, and proper length for the tie (bottom lines up with the middle of the belt buckle), and now when I’m watching TV or out in public I can’t help but notice these things on other men.Bring on the information, and I thank you for it.