How Linked is Your LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social media platform that goes beyond posting pictures and mindlessly updating your friends about day to day life–when done right, your LinkedIn can showcase all the hardwork you’ve done at your job, the impact you’ve made in your field, and shows your progression as a professional.  But when done poorly, it doesn’t do much of anything.  If your LinkedIn profile is still a Beginner or Intermediate, here are a few steps you can take right now to boost your profile, increase visibility, and develop your professional network.  If you are missing any of these things, I highly suggest going straight to your LinkedIn and updating it accordingly.

  • If you don’t have a photo, get one.  It doesn’t have to be a professional head shot, but a flattering photo that shows you from the chest up, wearing business casual (or more formal) clothing immediately makes your profile more interesting.  Note of advice–if the picture you’re using is more than 5 years old, or you have undergone a major physical change since it was taken, I suggest updating.  This isn’t a dating site.
  • Add descriptions to your job positions.  Just listing your job title and the company name doesn’t truly showcase all the good you did, and it doesn’t do anything to promote how valuable you are.  If you were at a networking event and someone asked you what you did at X company, what would you say to them?  That’s exactly what you should be adding to your experience section.
  • Don’t forget to put in your interests.  You don’t just go to work(hopefully)!  If you’re interested in photography, working out, PC gaming, or vintage cars, add it to your LinkedIn profile.  You never know what might resonate with someone.  Of course, try to limit yourself to work appropriate activities.  If you enjoy illegal drag racing, this isn’t really the place to share that.
  • Finally, write a summary.  If you only had a paragraph to get someone interested in you as a professional, what would that paragraph say?  Sit down, figure that out, and write it.  Adding a summary will make your profile more personable and immediately interesting.

Follow these tips and you’re profile will be on its way to all-star status!

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