Recently a friend asked for advice on updating their LinkedIn profile. I sent over some tips but I kept thinking about it over the weekend. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I hadn’t quite finished the job. Here’s what I came up with (and yes, I sent this over to my friend first):
1) Improve Your Profile:
It’s not uncommon for employers to have an option on their website to apply via LinkedIn. With that in mind, it’s crucial that your LinkedIn profile be an extension of your resume in the sense that it represents the very best that you have to offer. The challenge, however, is that your LinkedIn profile is not a resume and you will have to make a few adjustments to make the most of it.
One of the best resources I’ve come across in this area is Gerry Moran’s “How to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile”. It’s a straight forward approach to getting your LinkedIn profile up and running.
A great profile won’t get you noticed all by itself, but the lack of one will definitely hurt your chances of making the right connections.
2) Connect With The Right People, The Right Way:
I’ve long been a proponent of using LinkedIn as an extension of a business card. When I meet new people, I collect a card and provide my own, but the work of connecting isn’t done until we connect on LinkedIn. LinkedIn, in my opinion, keeps the connection better than a simple business card (especially if people switch jobs) because it provides a lot more information about the person and their background/experiences.
But this isn’t an excuse for a lack of effort, especially if you’re connecting with someone you’ve only met once (or perhaps not at all).
Don’t send the standard generic LinkedIn invitation message. Don’t do it!
Instead, write a quick note reminding the potential connection of where you met or why you want to connect on LinkedIn. It takes less than a minute but makes a huge difference to the person who receives the invitation! The only time that the generic LinkedIn invite should be used is when you’re CERTAIN the person you are inviting to connect will know who you are (such as an existing coworker, friend, etc.)
3) Post Updates Consistently:
Set a reminder to post something on LinkedIn at least once a week. Post an article that you found interesting about your industry or about work in general. Personalize it by providing more than just a link – provide a little insight as to why you found the article interesting! (I like to pull a key quote from the article I am posting as a means of giving a little more insight in to the article beyond the headline.)
Avoid controversial topics if at all possible. If you wouldn’t bring up the topic in a professional setting don’t share it on LinkedIn!
So there you have it, 3 ways to upgrade your presence on LinkedIn! But don’t just take my word for it, be sure to check out the additional resources below and to do your own research!
- Forbes: 9 Reasons You Must Update Your LinkedIn Profile Today
- Careerealism: 10 Tips for Effectively Using Your LinkedIn Status Update
- Marketing Think: 10 Ways to Get Found More Easily on LinkedIn