LinkedIn is the most valuable network for the professional. Many people only consider LinkedIn when they are involved in a job search, but the value extends far beyond that. It can be used to find decision makers or network to find a new opportunity. However, like most things, the time to start using it is NOT when you need it. Your profile should be up-to-date and you should be regularly using it in anticipation of the moment when you do need it. Here is a list of five things you should check today in order to ensure your profile is up-to-date!
Have you refreshed your picture recently? Is it the same picture you are using for Tinder? If I saw you on LinkedIn, would I recognize you in person? Your picture will be the first thing people notice when they look at your profile. How does it represent you and the organizations you are associated with? And if you don’t have a picture, it’s time to get one.
Action Item: Add your picture or make sure it is recent and relevant!
Jobs and Timeline:
Are your timelines accurate? What does your headline say about you right now? What were your actual job titles? Make sure to list out specific responsibilities. That doesn’t necessarily mean listing out every skill–so Microsoft Word probably doesn’t belong here–but you should list your achievements and clients. This part of your profile can be found via LinkedIn search and the Recruiter Tool; if you want to be discovered, this needs to be complete.
Action Item: Go through your timeline and make sure all of your positions are listed accurately. You can include all of them–this is your extended resume!
Skills & Expertise:
This part of your profile has two important features: First, you can now be endorsed for specific skills by others, lending credibility to you. Second, this part can also be searched for. If you have unique skills or technical abilities, you should list them here. This will let people looking to work with you find you. Adding information here is like doing a bit of SEO for yourself!
Action Item: Go add three skills to your profile right now!
Don’t ask people for recommendations when you need them. Instead, you should be asking them periodically at opportune times, like when you change jobs or when you finish a project. When I see someone ask for many recommendations at once, I assume they are looking for a new position or already have one foot out the door.
Action Item: Go ask one person for a recommendation. When you do this, make sure to personalize it!
LinkedIn has become a content powerhouse. Whether it be joining groups, following influencers, or following companies, you should become a more active participant in the conversation. When you find great people to engage with or amazing content, LinkedIn can become your go-to source for all things professional.
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