Your LinkedIn profile is the first place most business colleagues visit to learn more about you. It serves as your personal website, so it is important it reflects the best version of you, your career accomplishments, and your overall brand. When was the last time you objectively reviewed your profile or made updates? Even if you recently made changes, keep reading to review the top things you should be doing with your profile. Effectively sharing your career story through an up-to-date profile is well worth the time you will invest.
The “Header” area is your first impression, so make an impact by doing the following:
- Add an image in the banner area.
- Options: Collaborate with your marketing department to produce an image that promotes your products or brand, find one that conveys something you love related to work, or use one that LinkedIn created.
- Use a current image of yourself in order to avoid meeting someone for the first time and having them not recognize you or say that you don’t look like your picture.
- Keep your contact information up to date and visible.
- Leverage your headline with creative copy. The site will default to your most current title, but that is not the best use of this space. Think of this as your personal billboard to share who you are or how you add value. You can now also add emojis if you are a fan of them.
- Additionally, you are able to add your own personal pronouns and a recording of how to properly pronounce your name.
The “About” section is the place to share all about what you do.
This is an area to creatively detail what you have accomplished. A best practice is to make it about what you have done for a client or company – how have you used your skills, education, talents, and insights to make a difference? This is not an area to rehash your jobs, experience, or education. You want to communicate creatively how you add value for others.
The “Featured” section is where you call attention to timely highlights.
Did you publish an article, give a presentation/webinar, rollout a new product/service, or have an upcoming event scheduled? Use video, articles, infographics, invites, etc. to draw attention to key items you want to spotlight. It is called Featured for one reason: to share big news or accomplishments. Use it accordingly and change it often.
Other sections on LinkedIn to make sure to update.
- URL: Edit your LinkedIn URL to have your name in it instead of a bunch of numbers. This makes it more personalized and professional when you share it.
- Experience: Make sure your most current job is listed. Share bullets of key accomplishments. Using data to communicate impact is a great way to do this.
- Education and Volunteer Activity: People like to see what level of education and certifications you may have, so list them all. And don’t forget to share how you give back to the community with any volunteer experience/work you have done.
- Skills & Endorsements and Recommendations: It is easy to get more of both by endorsing or writing a recommendation for others. In most cases, they will give one back to you. You can also reach out and ask for a recommendation, being clear on what you want them to comment on. (Especially if you are looking to highlight the career direction you are pursuing.)
After you get your page updated, it is time to drive more traffic to it. Start posting and engaging with others’ posts. Don’t be a “liker” and always only hit the Like button (or likewise, the clap or heart), but instead read what they posted and thoughtfully respond. This allows you to be visible to their network and increase your brand awareness.
Lastly, this is not a one and done project but something to do often. Start with quarterly updates and follow LinkedIn’s blog to learn about the new features they are rolling out.