Use LinkedIn Updates to Tell Your Story
Looking back over the last year, you may find your goals have shifted. Have you updated your LinkedIn profile to reflect those changes so that you’re ready to welcome opportunities in the new year? The LinkedIn layout has changed in recent months, too, so it’s an especially good time to make sure your profile is on point.
Make Your Profile Strategy Match Your Goals
Let’s face it: careers evolve as we learn more about ourselves and are exposed to new experiences. Make sure the people who see your profile get a true feel for who you are and where you’re headed now, rather than seeing what you did three years ago. Your photo, headline, and story are key elements in attracting the right network of people and your ideal employer, so keep them current and fresh.
Things change quickly on social media. Let your LinkedIn profile sit unchanged for a year or two, and the key words you use may make you seem less than innovative. Wait three or four years between updates, and people will wonder if you’re still breathing! While LinkedIn gives you only three to four lines to attract would-be recruiters and hiring managers, this is a line or two more than you used to have. Use current language, hot topics, and your own voice to increase interest in your profile and tell a compelling story.
Image is Everything
LinkedIn has moved profile photos to appear at the left of your profile rather than in the center of your cover photo. Use a cover photo to set a tone, tell who you are, or place you in your environment: If you’re a public speaker, show an audience in your cover photo. If you need to, revise the layout of your cover image and headshot so all words and images are visible and tell an effective story. It should go without saying that your current co-workers should be able to recognize you from your profile photo. You need a current professional headshot that reflects who you are now.
Check Your Contact Information
With recent changes to LinkedIn, your contact information is more prominent on your profile than it once was. While our electronic addresses remain relatively constant today, our geographic location does change. Make sure you’ve updated your address so nearby opportunities find their way to you.
LinkedIn Jazzed Things Up: You Should, Too
Looking for more ideas? Check out Add Punch to Your LinkedIn Profile Using These Examples as Inspiration. With the capability to add seemingly endless media links at the bottom of your summary page, jazz up your profile—and increase your visibility—by adding any or all of these:
- Company videos
- Blogs and LinkedIn articles you’ve posted
- White papers and case studies
- Podcasts, reviews, or news stories you’re quoted in
- Photos or samples of your work
Post About Your Updated Profile If You Want It Seen
While you may assume changes to your profile will be seen by your network, that isn’t necessarily the case. Here are edits that will spark a notification to your network:
- Adding a new position
- Editing an existing position
- Celebrating a work anniversary
So, if you upload a new profile picture, change your headline, intro summary, or contact information, those updates don’t generate a notification to your contacts. And, if you edit or add education, volunteer experience, publications, certifications, organizations, etc.—those are something you need to make a point to announce to your connections.
For example, if you want to leverage a recently completed project management certificate to find a new job, update your profile and then announce it with a LinkedIn post. In your post, you have an opportunity to tell your story. A photo with your certificate and a few words about what prompted you to take the course, how it impacted you, and what you intend to do with it could lead to your next big opportunity.
Create a New Habit This Year: Engage with LinkedIn
While you’re out there updating your profile and posting about what you’ve changed or added, get in the mode of creating posts. LinkedIn changed its format to highlight its newsfeed capabilities, and users have reacted accordingly, with engagement up more than ever. Join the conversation, and you’ll find yourself sharing—and gaining—new contacts, ideas, and information. Why not make it a habit for the new year?