LinkedIn is one of those platforms you know you need to have, but you don’t necessarily check (or enjoy checking) as much as your other social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
For that reason, it’s easy for your LinkedIn profile to become outdated - and that’s not helping you or your current and potential connections.
But what better time for a refresh than the beginning of the year?! Here are four little ways to spruce up your LinkedIn profile for 2017:
1. Update your headshot
First and foremost, how’s your professional headshot looking? More importantly, does it look like you? If it’s been a few years since that picture was taken, you may want to update it with something a little more recent.
Quality is also something to pay close attention to. Is your current picture cropped odd or grainy? If so, that’s another good reason to refresh. Your picture is the first thing people see when they type in your name or go to your page, so you want to make sure it’s giving a good first impression.
2. Update your current position, skills, and experience
Even if you didn’t move jobs last year, chances are, a lot still happened. That said, update your profile accordingly. Add any new skills you learned, new projects you worked on, new certifications you achieved, etc. Even if you don’t checked LinkedIn much, other people do, so it’s important that your profile is up-to-date and accurate.
Pro tip: You can actually reorder how sections appear on your LinkedIn profile. So if some of your sections are stronger or more relevant than others (e.g. your certifications, your skills, your recent publications, etc.), consider moving those to the top. All you have to do is go to your LinkedIn profile, hover over the section you’d like to move, click and hold down on the blue up-and-down arrow, then drag that section to the place you want it to appear. (This ultimately just helps convey your brand - and yes, you have a brand - quicker.)
3. Rewrite your summary
Your summary is the first section on your LinkedIn profile - right below your headshot and header. It’s important because it tells (or should tell) your story. Think of it kind of like a cover letter. A cover letter allows you to explain - on a more personal level - who you are, while your resume then lists your specific skills and background.
A LinkedIn summary works in much the same way. It allows you to really sell yourself and emphasize your strong points. Remember, storytelling resonates with people more so than any other tactic, so if you have this section filled out, you’re immediately at an advantage.
4. Search for and add connections
Ideally, it’s best to connect with people as soon as you meet them. But let’s say last year was a whirlwind and you simply didn’t have time to do that. If that’s the case, start connecting now. Are you connected with all of your coworkers and close peers? What about industry leaders and your most engaged members? If you don’t have these connections in place, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to expand your personal and professional network.
Note: You’ll want to do this last, after you’ve updated and built-out your profile. People tend to look at other people’s profiles the second they connect, so if you start connecting with people before you’ve updated your profile, they’ll see that outdated information and get a misrepresentation of who you are/what you do.
Now one final note here: Just because you’re not looking for a job doesn’t mean you don’t need to update your LinkedIn profile. Having a complete, up-to-date profile allows you to not only make connections, but build upon your existing ones - and that’s something we could all benefit from, regardless of where we are in our careers.
Want more tips for utilizing LinkedIn and other social media platforms? Check out our Small-Staff Guide to Social Media below!