As you know LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. Therefore, you want to be sure your profile is a compelling and accurate portrayal of your professional brand. Whether you are actively seeking new opportunities or not, it’s important to maintain your LinkedIn profile to keep it fresh and up-to-date.
A few minutes a week is all you need to maximize your visibility and capture the attention of recruiters, company leaders, and industry colleagues. You wouldn’t want to present an outdated resume to a recruiter or employer. The same applies to your LinkedIn profile—especially since it’s so visible. A few easy ways to get started:
Not only should your profile picture be professional, it should be relatively recent. It is the first impression you make on the person viewing your profile. If your photo is more than a few years old, update your headshot. In addition, LinkedIn now provides an option to update the banner image behind your headshot. Take advantage of it so that you don’t have a generic image similar to other people. Although LinkedIn provides some patterned backgrounds to choose from, make yourself stand out by incorporating a photo or background image that showcases your industry or profession or a recent product you or your company launched. This will differentiate you from your colleagues or competitors and will personalize your LinkedIn presence.
In addition to your photo, your headline is one of the first things people see when they view your profile. A compelling headline will set you apart from others in the same profession. Keep an eye out for the keywords and phrases your competitors are using in their headlines and update your headline as needed. If you find yourself between jobs, you can indicate in the headline that you are actively seeking new positions. For example, you could state: CFO – Seeking my Next Opportunity to Maximize Revenue and Profits.
Share Professional Updates
Post updates often. The updates will show up on the news feed of your connections and when potential recruiters or hiring managers visit your LinkedIn page, they will notice that you are sharing knowledge and career successes. Did you read or write a useful article about your industry or your profession? Did you attend an enlightening seminar or training? Or have you taken on a new project, a new role or even a new job? Share it on your profile.
Summary and Position Updates
Your summary is a good place to share some personal insights about yourself, including your interests, passions and career goals. It’s a chance to talk about your achievements according to you. Add new goals and achievements to your summary. Keep your job responsibilities current in your present position. Have you just changed jobs? If so, add a new job to your profile. If you have taken on a few new responsibilities, include those on your profile.
Showcase Your Projects and Presentations
Include projects you’ve recently completed or presentations you delivered. If possible, add media including video and audio to more effectively showcase your contributions. In addition, if you created a website, launched a product, spearheaded a unique campaign, or quoted in an article, be sure to include these in the projects and presentations section.
Skills and Endorsements
Staying on top of your skills and showing what you know matters. In addition, peer-to-peer endorsements are important. Check your skills often to be sure they are still relevant and endorse your colleagues so that they will likely turn around and endorse your skills. You can always add and delete skills as you obtain new skills or reprioritize your career target. In addition, LinkedIn enables you to reorder your skills so be certain the most pertinent skills are the ones listed at the top of your skills section.
The LinkedIn recommendation feature enables you to ask for a professional reference in an informal way. Any opportunity you have to add a recommendation to a current or past job should be utilized. LinkedIn recommendations boost your credibility to potential employers and recruiters.
Re-evaluate your Professional Groups
Take a few moments to browse through your professional groups and delete any that don’t align with your career goals. Add new groups that match up with your current or desired industry, location, and job titles.
Additional Areas to Refresh
If you have recently given back to your community as a volunteer, add this section to your profile. You can also add in any new personal achievements. For example, if you received a certification in your field of work, completed any courses, or received an award be sure to add these in the appropriate section.
As with any social media platform, engage with your network consistently. Share articles, like posts and leave comments. These small efforts can lead to opportunities such as finding a new position or meeting other people in your industry.