Have you updated your profile lately?
How long has it been since you updated your LinkedIn profile? If your answer is months or years (shame on you), now is the time to turn the spotlight on your LinkedIn profile and give it the shiny New Year’s makeover it deserves.
Here are ten ways to make sure your LinkedIn profile stands out from the crowd:
1. ADD A RECENT PHOTO
If your LinkedIn profile photo is more than 2 years old, it is out of date. Make sure your photo is not one of you out on the town holding a wineglass, but one that portrays you as the professional you really are.
2. MAKE YOUR PROFESSIONAL HEADLINE WORK FOR YOU
Although your entire profile should be keyword-rich, making your Personal Headline as keyword-rich as possible will go a long way towards getting noticed. When someone searches for someone using key words e.g. Sales Manager, your search ranking will be higher if the keyword appears in your Professional Headline.
Rather than leaving LinkedIn to auto-populate with your current role, you have the ability to use this valuable piece of profile real estate to describe who you are and what you do. You have some options to choose from as to how to use your 120 character allowance. You can include titles from your portfolio of careers or employment history separated by commas or other characters eg:
Highly Successful Sales Professional – International Sales Manager – Business Development Manager
Or you can make a value added statement:
“International Sales Manager with a proven track record of driving international sales figures beyond expectations”
3. REVISIT YOUR SUMMARY
Does your summary accurately reflect who you are and what you have to offer? Think about your audience and what they will expect to see if they are considering working with you.
4. UPDATE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Make sure you have included your employment history in the Experience section. Are the descriptions concise and accurately describe your roles? Have you included achievements?
5. UPDATE YOUR SKILLS & EXPERTISE LIST
The Skills & Expertise section allows you to showcase your skills by selecting from a drop down list. This section is especially important if you want to be found by recruiters, potential employers, clients and others based on your skills and expertise. It also enables you to have your skills ‘endorsed’ by others (see next).
If you haven’t visited LinkedIn for a while, you might not know about Endorsements. The new Endorsements feature enables you to endorse the listed skills of your LinkedIn connections and they can do the same for you.
7. UPDATE YOUR GROUPS
You can join up to 50 groups so make sure the groups you are following are working for you. Some are more active and useful than others and it can take a while to determine which are going to be the most beneficial. If it’s been some time since you selected your groups, have a look to see if there are new groups you can join. Simply change the search criteria to ‘Groups’ and type in keywords relevant to your industry.
8. ENGAGE WITH GROUPS
It’s one thing to join groups; it’s another to engage with them. As a member of a group you can follow the group’s wall, post items and comment on items posted. You might like to share your thoughts on industry-related news or issues. Your groups are also a valuable professional development resource in that you can post questions to encourage discussion, increase your knowledge and understanding or generally get to know colleagues in your industry.
9. MAKE NEW CONNECTIONS
There are likely to be a number of new people you have worked with recently who you can connect with on LinkedIn. If you share groups or connections, you can send them an invitation to connect with you. Be sure to personalise your connection request rather than using the default “I’d like to add you to my network”. Instead, remind them of how you know each other, point out what you have in common and suggest how you might be able to work together in the future.
10. CREATE YOUR LINKEDIN SIGNATURE
Did you know you can create a LinkedIn Signature to add to your outgoing email messages? It’s a great way to get more exposure and encourage others to connect with you. Follow the instructions at the LinkedIn Signature page. Alternatively, you can simply add the URL of your LinkedIn profile (e.g. uk.linkedin.com/in/lisalarue) to the end of your regular email signature.
Even if you can only manage to do at least 5 of these actions you’ll be well on your way to improving your LinkedIn profile and making it work better for you.
Most professional networking experts will recommend that you update your profile at least once a month to ensure it is fresh and up to date. If you fear you’ll forget to do this on a regular basis, put an alert in your diary so it gets done.