Around the holidays, we are often reminded of how important and valuable it is to stay connected and to rekindle old professional relationships. Your professional network can help you in your career, and when needed, in your job search. So, if you have a LinkedIn profile that’s been sitting idle, it may be time to restore it for the new year.
Even if you’re not actively job searching, there’s value to maintaining an up-to-current online presence on LinkedIn. It lets others know your current professional status and it implies to people that it’s a method with which you can be reached. People are also more likely to connect with you on LinkedIn when they know you have regular periodic updates and information to share, rather than a static profile page that implies inactivity or stagnation.
LinkedIn is a valuable platform that can help to promote you as a professional, so why waste the opportunity by leaving outdated information on it? Use it to promote your current capabilities and skills. Recruiters are searching through LinkedIn every day to find the right talent for open positions. Professionals are also looking for like-minded individuals like yourself to network with, so don’t shut the door on such opportunities.
Here are tips to updating and optimizing your LinkedIn profile when it’s been sitting idle.
- Change the profile photo
Use a profile photo that reflects you professionally as you are now. Offer others a view that would be reflective of how you’d look if you were to walk into a meeting now, not how you looked 10 years ago. LinkedIn also allows you to add a background image. Select an image reflective of your professional work or an image that will help enhance your personality as a professional.
- Update your headline
Your headline on LinkedIn immediately tells others who you are. By default, it lists your current role and employer, but there’s a better way to set yourself apart. Present a headline that defines your job whilst showing your area of specialty in terms of the problems you solve. If you’re unemployed, list a headline that indicates the job title you want to hold and your aspirations as a professional. For more tips on updating your LinkedIn profile when you’re unemployed, read: “LinkedIn Profile Tips to Help with Job Searching When You’re Unemployed.”
- Make your summary personable and engaging
As a general outline, highlight where you’ve been, your accomplishments, and what you foresee for your future as a professional. It should be written from a first-person perspective. The more relevant keywords that you can smoothly plug into this section, the better your chances of being found in search results. For more tips, read: “Tips to Writing a Summary for Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume.”
- Refresh information on work, skills, and education
Continue to make updates to your LinkedIn profile as you gain new work experiences, skills, and education. If the focus of your professional interests has changed, it’s also necessary to take out what’s irrelevant and put focus back on what is relevant.
- Post to social media regularly
There are various ways to display your LinkedIn profile as current and active aside from making the updates noted in the points above. Regularly post on social media. This may include writing your own articles on topics of value to share on LinkedIn or sharing relevant industry news, photos, and videos you come across on LinkedIn or other online platforms. Posting on LinkedIn allows you to regularly engage with your network as well as helping the process of building and growing your professional network. For more tips, read: “4 Things to Share on LinkedIn to Build Your Professional Brand.”
- Boost your credibility through endorsements and recommendations
One of the most reliable places to secure information on candidates and companies is through third party reviews posted on LinkedIn. It may come in the form of a recommendation or an endorsement. This is often viewed upon as trustworthy information to hiring managers and recruiters because there are no anonymous reviews. Everyone who chooses to provide a recommendation or endorsement is visible on your profile. Those who choose to post a recommendation or endorsement are vouching for you and expressing that they value what you have to offer. Continue to ask appropriate professional contacts for a recommendation or an endorsement on LinkedIn in order to build your credibility.
- Check that you’ve completed all sections of your profile
If you’re wondering why some LinkedIn profile may rank better in search results than others, it’s in part due to how complete your profile is. By filling in every section of your profile, it has a better chance of showing up in search results and the feed. Also, from a recruiter’s standpoint, a candidate with a complete profile is much worthier of review than one that is incomplete. LinkedIn informs you of your “Profile Strength” when you go in to view your profile in the edit setting. If you’ve completed your profile in full, you are given “All-Star” status.
- Review contact information
As simple of a section as this may be on LinkedIn, many people fail to complete it or otherwise present up-to-date contact information. Sure, there may be other methods of communication, such as InMail, but if you have a phone number, email, or professional website, why not include it? While in the “Contact and Personal Info” section, have a look at your LinkedIn profile URL as well. Customize it, if you haven’t already. It not only shortens the URL to your LinkedIn page, but you can make it specific to you like linkedin.com/in/name or specific to your profession, like linkedin.com/in/about-jobs-resume-service.
About Jobs provides personalized professional resume writing services and LinkedIn profile writing services for keyword optimization. Review our packages and other career consulting services at GotTheJob.com, or visit us on LinkedIn and Facebook.