By Brian Murray There are many reasons to be on LinkedIn. LinkedIn can help you achieve your personal and professional goals. It has become a Rolodex for the modern business person as well as a professional hub regardless of industry. In my position, I spend an awful lot of time on LinkedIn. One thing I’ve observed is that many people have out of date profile. I receive a resume and the story that their LinkedIn profile tells is much different. In most cases the person isn't trying to deceive me, instead it is likely that they just didn’t think about it. Below is a checklist to make sure your profile tells the story you want.
All of these are simple changes that can be edited by going to your own profile and clicking "Edit Profile."
When was the last time you updated your profile picture? You don't need to update it with every change in hairstyle, but should be recent. I’ve often met people that look completely different than their avatar and I begin to wonder what else isn’t as it seems. Remember this isn’t Match.com and you shouldn’t be trying to catfish someone.
How to Change: Click the camera located on your picture once you’ve clicked "Edit Profile." If you don’t want everyone to see your updates, I suggest checking this out: http://linkd.in/1ptZqbB
Your headline is prime real estate. Your professional headline is the tagline that is seen when your name is hovered over in the newsfeed, when people receive updates via email, and is a large piece of your mobile profile. The headline should explain who you are and what you are looking for. It doesn’t necessarily mean your job title.
How to Change: Click the pencil next to the words directly below your name.
Your Public Appearance
Google is the new background check and luckily you can control what is available. You want to control that right? You can choose which portions show up in public search including what is visible when someone finds you and is not connected to you. This can help people recognize if you are the right point of contact for an inquiry or if you might be a fit for their next business opportunity.
How to Change: Click "edit" next to your LinkedIn URL directly below the picture. If you haven’t already you should also make a username.
Make sure that your contact information is up to date, and connected to your personal accounts. You can also make your email and phone number visible. You may not want to put your cell phone number there (Believe me, I’ve made that mistake and received phone calls on Saturday evenings about the status of job applications. Sadly, I am not kidding.) but you can include your work phone number or the main phone number for your business. You can also add address, IM, and websites. This will allow people to answer questions for themselves rather than asking you.
How to Change: Located in the tight hand portion of your headline is the "Edit Contact Info."
Who Can View You
LinkedIn is a place for doing business and achieving professional goals. Many people peruse profiles hoping to find somebody to work with, work for, or connect with. My suggestion is to allow people to see that you’ve viewed their profile. There is a certain level of narcissism, that causes people to look at you once you’ve viewed their profile. If you are looking to get noticed, this could be a way in. The bonus is that you will be able to see who views you, enabling you to reach out!
How to Change: Go to "Privacy & Settings" located in the upper right part of your profile. Under "Privacy Controls" simply click "Select what others see when you've viewed their profile". The most important thing is that you keep your profile up to date. Whether this is monthly, weekly, or quarterly is up to you!
How often do you update your LinkedIn profile? What did I leave out?