Your LinkedIn is your brand. That’s it. Whether you are job hunting (or people are hunting you), or are showing off your business, insight, acumen, or simply networking; your profile on LinkedIn needs to stay appealing and not drive potential headhunters, bosses, clients, or networking groups bananas.
Let’s start with a three part list of what you MUST do, what you SHOULD do, and what you COULD do.
Here’s what you MUST DO (as in, do it now).
- Get a #GREAT LinkedIn photo. Nothing sells you like the right profile picture. No selfies. No mountain biking. Get a professional headshot. Don’t lie about your age. Wear what you wear when you’re on the job. Smile. People are visual.
- Simplify your profile. Cut the buzzwords. Cut out excess skills that don’t add to your vision or that don’t represent the kind of job you want. (i.e. most of us can use Outlook but few of us need to mention that skill because we don’t support Outlook). Focus on the skills that are important.
- Keep it current. Your LinkedIn should reflect your career and current responsibilities. Update the description. Add new projects. Change your groups as you change in your career and move towards new levels. Indicate when you receive a promotion.
- Extra, Extra! Headlines. Don’t use something lame for your headline. How would you want to catch a headhunter to look at you if you could only say 10 words? Make it standout. There are thousands of managers – but only one you.
- Custom URL. Just do it. Pick your own URL. It’s FREEEEEEE.
- Get the app. Make LinkedIn a part of your mobile life and check it more often than you do Snapchat.
Here’s what you SHOULD DO (Set aside some time at Starbucks and go do this in the next month).
- Tell your story. Your summary should bring to live the content of your career. Don’t leave that section blank. Spend some time crafting a cool story. Run it by your professional mentor. Send it to your English major friends.
- Connect. Add colleagues. Add partners from other organizations. Use connections to broaden your network. Synch your profile with your address book. Add people after a conference.
- Endorse your connections. Identify people you’ve worked with and give them the endorsements – which can get them to come endorse you!
- Ask for recommendations. Ask a colleague, partner, or manager to write you a recommendation to help advertise your skills.
- Add a nice cover photo. Again, visual people. Some more on that here.
Here’s what you COULD DO (If you’re feeling dedicated, what you can do to give yourself an extra edge.)
- Share your media. Upload presentations, videos, speeches, or projects that you can share. (Don’t violate company policy though!).
- Publish original content. LinkedIn has a vibrant publishing feature and sharing your original work (or content you’ve published elsewhere) is a great way to share your voice.
- Post status updates. Share your reactions. Share articles. Repost from influencers. Be active and keep your feed vibrant.
That’s a quick list to get started. So go start your LinkedIn makeover (and I’ll go do the same). Let’s get connected!