LinkedIn is one of my favorite social networks. Why? Because it is a professional network. For this reason, you need to stop what you’re doing and address these 10 things. The most common issue that I find is that people tend to not pay attention to and/or update their profiles until they are looking for employment. Any novice user of LinkedIn knows that this is bad form and that it is a best practice to keep your LinkedIn fresh and up to date, even for your company, like we do.
- Update your current position & job description
If your current position is up to date, take a few moments to update your job description. Be sure to highlight your key responsibilities, and brag about any major accomplishments during your tenure. Don’t be shy, but keep it professional. Spruce up your prior work experience and tailor it so that it is relevant to your current career goals. Even if you aren’t looking for new opportunities, there are recruiters constantly looking for candidates, and its great to see what options you have when you compare yourself to others within your space.
- Update your picture
Putting a current picture on your profile will increase the likelihood of being recognized by previous colleagues. If you don’t have one, maybe its time to take some! Make a note, and update it as soon as possible. Your colleagues would love to see that update in their feed.
- Connect with 10 people
LinkedIn isn’t a popularity contest, unlike some social networks that shall remain nameless. With that being said, it’s not necessarily about the number of contacts you have. In fact, after you have 500 connections, your profile displays a modest “500+” to show that you are well connected. What IS important about having a number of connections, is your ability to expand your network based on your degrees of separation. For example, if you are looking to connect with someone at your dream company in the future, and you have connections with someone that has a direct relationship with that person already, you can ask for a warm intro, a recommendation, or if you are lucky, you may get an endorsement for one of your skills. Also, people move around, so you never know when one of your connections will become a much-needed asset for a project or to help leverage a big opportunity.
- Endorse 10 people for skills that you know that they posses
It feels great to get an endorsement, so pay it forward and make someone else’s day. This is one of those random acts that always has a way of coming back to benefit you many times over; you might as well do it today, and every time you login.
- Write a Recommendation
It feels like CHRISTMAS when I get a recommendation, so once again, pay it forward, and give someone an honest and thoughtful recommendation. You never know, you may get one in return. The more people that can say great things about you, and your work, the better your profile will look. This is especially true if you get a recommendation from a high profile and well-respected figure within your professional space.
- Share a post from the Pulse
The Pulse is awesome, yet somewhat addicting. I’m grateful that the Pulse content is mostly separate from your main feed, or else I would probably get stuck reading awesome content from various companies and thought leaders around the world for hours. Share a post on your personal feed. This shows that you are engaged within the platform and it shows more of your personality. You may otherwise feel your presence on this platform is under-whelming since LinkedIn is pretty much devoid of any opportunity to customize your profile visually and/or out of the context of your work experience. So share something, in fact, share a few “somethings” when you feel compelled to do so or have ideas that are too good to keep to yourself.
- Add some Media to Your Profile
You can now add SlideShare presentations to your profile. This is one of the newer features to LinkedIn that I personally love that enables you to post images, videos, and links or upload white papers and case studies that you’ve put together. Trust me, you’ll thank me later when you aren’t having to scramble to find relevant examples of your work. Show your stuff, and give your best work a home on your LinkedIn page. NOTE: Make sure you have permission from your company to share these items!
- Update your miscellaneous information
Do you have any special certifications? Affiliations to organizations? Honors or awards? Do you support any causes or volunteer? There’s a place on LinkedIn to shed a little light on these extra-curriculars. These areas tend to get overlooked by people, however, companies love seeing the philanthropic side of potential candidates, and the various additional information that LinkedIn provides fields for.
- Follow a few companies
Your dream company is most likely active on LinkedIn. Follow them, as they may post job openings and inside news. Their posts are consistent with their personality and their inner culture. So get to know them and compare them with other companies that are similar.
- Schedule an hour in your calendar 1-2 months out. Wash-Rinse-Repeat.
Pick a day, and time, and spend an hour or two once every month or two at minimum. There are so many social networks, however, this one matters more than you think and with the proper maintenance, you could be proactively preparing yourself for your next biggest opportunity. People are watching you. Don’t believe me? Check the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section.