Is your LinkedIn profile looking neglected or worse still, non-existent? When was the last time you did a LinkedIn profile update?
I have found that there are several reasons that people don’t do this:
- Not into social media/want to maintain privacy.
- Don’t see it as important.
To tackle the first reason, it is true that by having a profile you are showcasing something of yourself. However, there are many settings you can apply to restrict who sees what and you aren’t displaying the same level of personal information as you do on other platforms.
Whether we like it or not, having a profile is now an expectation not a ‘nice to have’ and is therefore important – more on this point later. It is particularly important now with more online networking and fewer in-person meetings, this is how people can get to know more about you.
In terms of time, once you have done the main LinkedIn profile update then, just adding updates as they are relevant and/or reviewing it every few months for half an hour should be sufficient. Interaction on the platform should be way more frequent but that’s a whole other article that I’ll save for another day.
Why a good LinkedIn profile matters even if there isn’t an obvious need
- Professional credibility reinforcement – to reinforce your credibility when someone has encountered you elsewhere e.g. at a meeting or a networking group and looks you up (which they should be doing in an ideal world). It can decrease the positive impression they (hopefully) gained of you if there is no profile or a weak one.
- Professional credibility building – if someone has heard about you or is due to meet you, they are very likely to look you up on LinkedIn and your profile will impact their initial perception of you. This is happening more often, especially since we are now working a lot from home, for instance, even before internal meetings to see what you are like if they don’t already know you. Additionally, some people even check out profiles during online networking events so they can decide whether you are worth speaking to or not. Not nice and not fair but reality. What do you want the perception of you to be?
- To get found – maybe you don’t need to develop new business or look for a new role now but when you do, it is a great advantage to be able to be ‘found’ on LinkedIn. If it is a long time since you did a LinkedIn profile update and/or rarely visit the platform then you are unlikely to show up in searches. You will be missing out! This is not something that is instantly fixable the minute you need it as not only do you need a good profile but you need a good network on there too and that can take time to build.
LinkedIn profile update – what to focus on at the start
- An excellent photo of you – appropriate for what you do and one that is positively memorable. Make sure there is a clean background, and you are looking straight at the camera. It’s also important it resembles who you are now. I started work with a new client recently and her LinkedIn picture made me think she’d be rather staid and stern; she was the complete opposite in person, so make sure your photograph captures who you are and how you turn up in person or on a video call. Remember, that LinkedIn is a professional platform and it is better to have a picture of just you – no children, other halves, pets, wine glasses etc.
- Add in a banner image, potentially something related to the sector you work in. It shows you have made some effort and added some interest to your profile.
- Make your headline interesting and include any key words that people may search on to find people like you.
- Try to get to over 500 connections, so you come up in more searches.
- Write a pertinent and interesting summary of your expertise for the ‘About’ section. Try to inject something about who you are, read about Personal Brand in this article.
- Make sure your job history is accurate and makes sense. Link to previous employer’s company’s page so that their logo appears in your job history. It looks much better and is easier on the eye.
- Ensure each role has your key achievements/responsibilities against them, especially your present/last role which you may want to write more extensively about.
- Get some recommendations from colleagues at different levels and if you can, clients you have worked with. If people are stuck, say you’d just like something on why/how you started to work together, what you worked on with them and the outcome, as well as something about what you are like to work with. Make it easy for them!
I hope this encourages you to improve your LinkedIn profile from where you are at. If you would like help then get in touch with me. I write profiles for individuals to bring them and their experience to life.
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