LinkedIn. When’s the last time you logged in? Well, if you’re only paying attention to it when you’re looking for a job, you should think about changing your strategy. Your profile is probably viewed more than you think and you don’t have to spend a crazy amount of time to keep it fresh. Here are some tips to update that old thing that shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes each. Hey, you might even be able to knock out a couple at a time!
1. Change your profile photo
When’s the last time you changed your photo? I know some people that have the same photo for years, have changed hairstyles four or so times, and were taken on an old camera phone. While I am a firm believer that everyone should make the investment in a professional headshot whether or not their company will reimburse them, have a friend take yours if your selfie game isn’t up to snuff. Things to consider: Keep it to the upper part of your body, don’t crop yourself out of a group photo, and take it in good light (maybe even outside).
2. Make updates to your summary
Is your summary basically telling them everything they’re about to know one they scroll down your profile? If so, change it. Include a brief summary of your overall experience, things you’re proud to have worked on, and maybe even something personal about yourself. Make it approachable, but keep it professional.
3. Update your job history and descriptions
Were you at a company for a long time and changed roles while there? Break out each role as its own position noting the promotion and change. Many jobs inquire about your starting and ending position to track your growth and get some intel into your performance.
4. Add newly acquired skills, and remove those that aren’t applicable
I recently noticed that I had a lot of skills listed on my profile that either aren’t what I’m specializing in anymore or simply are too generic to ever matter to a position that I’ll be going after in the future (It’s assumed that I know Outlook and Microsoft Office). Clean up all of those, or add 5-10 that are applicable to your position, industry and strengths. Then your connections can endorse you and have a smaller pool of skills to choose from.
5. Remember that event you volunteered to chair? Add it, too
There are many things you probably do from time to time that can strengthen your profile. If you were on a committee for a community or nonprofit event, place it under Volunteer with a sentence summarizing your involvement. While your professional experience is the most important thing on LinkedIn, your contributions may be appreciated by a hiring manager or potential partner on a project. Build up that “whole package” for yourself.
6. Connect with someone you recently interacted with
Chances are you’re working with someone on a project, or asking them for information so you can do yours. Are you connected on LinkedIn? If you’ve built a rapport with them, why not? You never know where life is going to take you and you may be able to help each other out in the future. Be sure to personalize the note that goes with your invitation.
7. Follow people and companies that interest you
I follow brands that I identify with on LinkedIn, as well as companies that I may be interested in working with/for in the future. It’s fun and informative to keep up with what’s happening with them and if the group
8. Share a status update
Did you read an article online that had a great takeaway? Who’s to say that someone in your network won’t experience the same feeling? Sharing articles, particularly those that are relevant to your industry can spark great conversation and position you as someone who keeps abreast of what’s trending. That’s a good thing.
9. Leave groups that are no longer serving your needs
I signed up for LinkedIn when it came out, still a college student, and hadn’t embarked on my career yet. I joined a gang of groups, just because. Now, I’m a bit more selective about the groups I am choosing to belong to, mostly because of the conversations that are happening. If you’re not learning anything or building up a list of leads, that group probably shouldn’t be on your list.
10. Revisit your privacy settings
With all social media, I believe you should know what information you are sharing with 1) your connections and 2) the public. If someone Googles your name, your LinkedIn profile will appear. But, you are able to hide some of your profile details to those that aren’t connected to you, so control what you want out there.
Do you have any tips that I haven’t listed? Please leave them in the comments! And let’s connect on LinkedIn!