The Biggest Mistake Most People Make On LinkedIn

Don't make this most common LinkedIn mistake.

by Donna Svei on April 17, 2013

At 200 million plus users, LinkedIn is one of the biggest employment marketplaces in the world.  Because of this, people called sourcers spend their lives on LinkedIn looking for people for their clients and employers to hire.

When sourcers find a likely prospect (this could be you!), they want to send them an email or call them. And they can’t. Because very few people include their contact information on their LinkedIn profile. That is the biggest mistake most people make on LinkedIn.

Would you leave your email address and your mobile number off of your resume or your consulting marketing materials? “No! Of course not!” you say. Then don’t leave them off of your LinkedIn profile either – because it might be your only resume or marketing piece a potential employer or client ever sees.

“But people can send me an In Mail,” you say. Uh huh. They cost money and they have a high failure rate. A really high failure rate. I shudder thinking about In Mail. Really. I have to change the subject. Now.

“But I don’t want to be contacted by sourcers,” you say. OK, but without contact information no one else can contact you either. And, if that’s the case, why are you even on LinkedIn?


OK. You’ve got me there. If it’s all about groups for you, and you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t want to change jobs this year, I suppose you don’t need to add contact information to your LinkedIn profile.

But, if you’re part of the vast majority who would like a new job, then add your contact info to your profile now. Sourcers love it when you list both an email address and a mobile number because it makes it easy for them to get in touch in with you. Provide at least an email address.

If you’re concerned about privacy, set up a separate email for LinkedIn and forward it to your primary email. If you’re concerned about what your boss will think, don’t provide a phone number. Just be sure to make it easy for everyone — sourcers, former colleagues, whoever — to connect you to your next great job or consulting opportunity.

BTW, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn here. My email address is I love connecting with people who read my blog!

More: Per Joyce’s request (below) for step-by-step instructions on adding contact info to your LinkedIn profile, see this.

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at or call me at (208) 721-0131.

Image by © momius –

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Joyce Yamashita April 17, 2013 at 10:19

Great reminder, and to do this click on Profile, Edit Profile and click on the “edit contact info” box under your name and headline. Some of us need the step-by-step ;-)

Aw Joyce, you’re ahead of me. That post is coming. Donna

Lisa Clark April 17, 2013 at 13:47

Yes sourcer’s love it when we can reach you on LinkedIn :)
I suggest that you put your email address in the summary section.
Then even if we are level 2 or 3 I can reach out to you.

Lead Sourcing Specialist

Lisa, Thank you for your input. I adjusted the follow-on post to incorporate your insightful advice. Donna

Tina Maggard July 1, 2013 at 16:29

Great tip! I am new to this game and the faster I learn the rules the better I can play. Thanks!

Thank you Tina. Donna

Dinko August 2, 2013 at 08:28

Hello Donna,

I like your thinking and I agree with you. If you need a job, you have to give your best. In any case, the search for a job is very difficult and a demanding task. About a privacy is hard speaking.

Best regards

Thank you Dinko. Donna

Sabine August 8, 2013 at 02:08

Hi Donna,

what would you say is the biggest mistake companies make who present themselves on LinkedIn looking for kandidates?

Met vriendelijke groeten,

Hi Sabine,

That’s a terrific question. I don’t have an answer specific to LinkedIn. However, CareerXroads has a lot of good empirical data about what companies do wrong. They just published their annual Mystery Shopper report of what it’s like for candidates to interact with the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Not all good news (at all), but better than last year!


Angela MacIsaac March 6, 2014 at 10:56

OK, I just logged in to update my profile with contact information. Thanks, Donna.

Yay! Thank you Angela. Donna

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