How to Create a LinkedIn Profile Without Stress Or Calls to Tech Friends

A heart of the LinkedIn logo

There's lots of reasons to love LinkedIn.

You must be sick of people telling you that you’ve got to get a LinkedIn profile. Especially when you have clearly explained to them that you are busy, busy, BUSY. You’ll get to it when you have time.  Sheesh.  But we both know the real reason you haven’t set it up yet: You’re afraid you’re not going to know how. Afraid something might go wrong. Afraid you’ll look like an idiot.

So what?  Everyone thinks those exact thoughts about everything they do every single day. So put aside your fears and let’s get started.

How to set up a LinkedIn account with no stress or calls to your tech friends

  1. Decide what email address you are going to use. Nothing cutesy, nothing that sounds like it’s a family address, not a crazy  Need a new email address? Get a gmail account at
  2. Go to
  3. First page:  It  asks for name, email, and password.   Easy!
  4. Next page:  It asks for your working status, country, zip code, and industry.   You can modify these later if you want.  So don’t stress too much about the status, industry.
  5. Warning, Will Robinson, here comes the ONE tricky part.  Now this screen will come up.  It looks like you have click on what type of email you have and then there is a big button that says find contacts.
  6. Question:  Do you want an email to be sent to ALL of your contacts asking them to be part of your LinkedIn network right now?  Answer:  Not yet (you’re going to need to spiff up this profile after you get it up). So for now– click on the the blue hyperlink in the lower corner that says, Skip this step.

OK, hard part’s over.

  1. An email will be sent to the email address you entered.   Go to your email account, click on the link and then you’ll be logged into your account.
  2. Now you officially have a LinkedIn account.  Do not send it out to anyone just yet though because it is not ready for prime time yet.

Below is an example of a bad LinkedIn profile.

A linked in profile of Tom smykowski with call outs to his mistakes
You don’t want your LinkedIn profile looking like Tom Smykowski’s

Do not make these 10 LinkedIn mistakes

  1. No picture.  LinkedIn may not be the personals. But it’s close.   And like the personals, when people don’t see a picture, they assume the worst. Don’t have a good picture of yourself? Get one professionally done with forgiving lighting.
  2. Fewer than 50 connections. One of the main reasons you are on LinkedIn is to link in with the connections your connections have.  If you only have your tiny circle of people you hang out with all the time, that is not going to help much.  At this age, you know enough people in your life that getting 50 connections is not that big a deal.
  3. No recommendations. Many people don’t have recommendations because they feel self-conscious asking for them.  If you are in this group, ask yourself – how do you feel when someone asks you for a recommendation? You’re probably flattered. So go flatter someone. Still feel shy about it? Then here’s a way to get one without asking.
  4. You haven’t given recommendations. This actually is not on the graphic above, however, it is visible to other people how many you have given.  And if it’s zero, people are thinking one of two things:  you are so low on the totem pole that no one wants your recommendation,  or people asked and you said “no,” or flaked out.  Either way it reflects badly.  Think of who you would love to recommend and go recommend them right now.
  5. A long-ass public profile link.   See that underlined word that says edit?  Click on that and shorten the link so it is just:
  6. A boring, laundry list summary.  Your number one goal for your summary is to get people to read it.  Here’s the insider secret – most summaries are so dull and difficult to read that no one reads past the first sentence.  So who cares how many paradigms you’ve shifted if no one is reading it?  Keep it short and understandable so that if your aunt read it, she would understand it.
  7. Showing months if there have been any gaps in your work history.  Maybe you took off three months between jobs for health, family, moving, or any number of reasons. Yes, LinkedIn asks for months for each job, but you aren’t required to fill it out. At this point in your life, years are fine.
  8. No title or description.   If you are going to bother entering a company where you worked, include what your title was and what you did, and not what your responsibilities were.  Otherwise, people will once again assume the worst.
  9. Including jobs that date you and were junior positions.  If your last position was the Chief Technical Officer of a large company, there is no need to include your first job as a Junior COBOL Programmer.  Not only does it give away just how old you are, but it also shows you have no editing skills whatsoever.
  10. Including the year you graduated.   Of course your age should not be an issue.  And there should be world peace.  And dark chocolate should have no calories.  Here’s the deal.  An HR person going through your profile probably graduated after 2000.   She understands people older than her apply for jobs.  Here’s what she can’t comprehend:  That someone, possibly older than her parents,  could be interviewing.  Leave it off.

Finally, while you want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is in good shape before connecting with all your contacts, don’t wait until it’s 100% perfect or you’ll never get it out.  Remember, it’s not a printed resume so you can always change it.

Do you have any LinkedIn tips or questions? Add them in the comment section below.

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Did you enjoy this post?
  • Mary Pat Miller

    Humorous and helpful article.  However, I am struggling with how to address being out of the work force for a few years while raising the kids. Do I add something to the summary or do I create my own position?  My current position is Managing Partner of the household. Is it acceptable to create a this type of role for your LinkedIn page?

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