10 May 2016

LinkedIn is more than just an online version of your resume or a digital Rolodex, it’s actually a powerful marketing tool for your business and your personal brand! That is, if you actually use it.

Assess for a refresh

Before diving in head first, let’s take a step back for a moment to do a quick audit of your current LinkedIn profile. Do you remember the last time you updated it? If a little dust has settled on your digital presence, not to worry – now is the perfect time to give it a facelift. Here’s a helpful checklist to walk you through your assessment:

  1. Review your professional history – Take a moment to skim through all of the positions you have listed. Did you recently start a new job, take on a new responsibility or earn a promotion? These are all worthy of being included in your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Update your profile image – Did you know that profiles that include a photo are viewed 11 times more? No need to hire a photographer but make sure that your photo is high quality and professional looking.
  3. Add a summary – Think of your profile summary as your LinkedIn “elevator pitch.” This brief synopsis can contain information about your professional experience, specialties and expertise, and any additional information that will serve as your “hook” for future connections.
  4. Be found with keywords – As you review and revise your profile content, be sure to add strong keywords to help boost your profile in search results. LinkedIn gives more weight to the Title and Summary sections of your profile so those are the two places to focus your efforts.

Everything is up to date, now what?

Now it’s time to expand from maintaining your profile to building an active presence online. Here are a few ideas to help you incorporate LinkedIn into your regular routine:

  • Share or “Like” updates – Similar Facebook, LinkedIn has a newsfeed where you can share articles, photos and other content with your connections. Did you recently read an article that left an impact on you or a colleague might find valuable? Share it!
  • Join in the conversation Visit groups that you have joined (or check out new ones to consider) and browse the latest discussion topics. Group conversations are happening all of the time and if you have something of value to add, hop in and share!
  • Build your network – LinkedIn makes this easy with its “People You May Know” feature. Each time you log in, LinkedIn’s algorithms crawl recent posts you’ve liked or shared, current connections and email addresses you’ve been in contact with and uses that information to find other common connections. You never know who may pop up!

Having a strong profile and an active presence is key to your success on LinkedIn. Keep in mind that as your career evolves, your profile should evolve with it.  Your LinkedIn profile is often your “first impression” in the digital world and a first point of contact for potential clients and customers, the media and the business world at large.