5 Ways To Keep Your LinkedIn Account Looking Fresh
Posted July 2, 2013 by Hillary Wright in Networking Buzz
With so many social networking sites available, updating your status on each one on a regular basis can be time-consuming and tedious. However, keeping your account on LinkedIn spiffy is vital to enhancing your professional persona. It not only keeps you up-to-date in your industry, but it can also lead to various career opportunities.
Here are five areas in which you can maintain your LinkedIn account with flair.
- The Profile Photo:You would be surprised as to how many people don’t even have a profile picture for their LinkedIn account. What is the point? Having a picture to a name is helpful to everyone, especially in your network of prospective job applicants and employers. Always, I repeat, always post a profile photo for this social networking site. It’s a key identifier.Then there are some who post a profile photo that may be okay for Facebook, but inappropriate for LinkedIn. I’ve seen it all. A photo of a person with their pet, a photo with their spouse. Some even take it a bit further and post a photo of a celebrity or the logo of an organization they support. I shake my head in disbelief. A potential employer or connection won’t take you seriously when your LinkedIn account has a photo of your favorite rock star plastered on to your profile. Sure, it may playful, but this is business. Choose a decent photo, one that you wouldn’t mind showing your boss. And change it up every once in a while to keep it fresh.
In my own journey making connections on LinkedIn, I have also noticed what I like to call “meatless” profiles. The content is slim, some not even giving the basic information like the headline and current occupation. For a LinkedIn account to be useful, effort must be put forth. LinkedIn is an online resume, detailing your professional history. The information can come straight from your paper resume. Be sure to include your responsibilities and achievements under every position you post. Comprise a list of your activities as well, such a volunteer work and any professional memberships or offices you hold. And don’t forget to add skills as well. With all of the added “meat”, your skeletal profile will quickly become a well-nourished body.
You likely follow numerous organizations on Twitter and Facebook. Look them up on LinkedIn as well. They will most likely have a profile and some sort of group you can join that discusses current issues within your line of employment. Since I am a legal assistant by day and moonlight as a writer, I have joined many groups in both categories. I also recommend joining groups of organizations you support.For instance, I am passionate about women and gender issues, so I made sure to follow WorkingWomen, the Lean In community group, ForbesWoman, etc. These groups have ongoing online discussions about new trends and issues in their respective. Start and participate in these group discussions. I have learned various things just from reading others comments and opinions on several matters. It’s vital to keep these conversations going, because from them, we can expect solutions.
- Who to follow/invite to your network:
You should, of course, send requests to connect to your friends, colleagues and acquaintances. They can definitely build you network through their friends and friends of friends. But have you ever thought about sending a request to your career idol? By career idol, I mean those whose work you follow in your industry. I am inspired by fellow writers and bloggers and also successful women in business. Normally I would never advocate cyber stalking anyone. However, when it comes to leaders in your industry, you need to jump on it. Review their profile. LinkedIn actually lets you know who has been looking at your profile, and in this case, that is actually a good thing. It lets people know who may be interested in your work and vice versa. So try to find some of your industry giants on LinkedIn and send them a request. Who knows where it could lead you down the road?
- Endorsements and Recommendations:
Logging into LinkedIn and suddenly seeing a flood of requests from the site to endorse your connections for various skills can be mildly annoying. It pops up with four at a time and keeps going through your list after you endorse the first four. I will admit, this is something in which I like to click the “Skip” tab. Nonetheless, endorsing others for skills will enhance their profile and in turn they are more likely to endorse you back.Recommendations are also helpful. This is something I struggle with on a daily basis, but I am determined to get at least three in the next month. If you can swing getting several of them from colleagues, you’ve really hit the jackpot. These recommendations are like your own personal references that usually accompany a resume when applying for a job and make your LinkedIn profile glow.
No matter how much or how little time you might have to devote to updating your LinkedIn profile, these tips will keep your LinkedIn fresh.