It’s the end of the year.
Christmas is over. You’ve watched and rewatched everything National Lampoon. You technically have a couple more days off, but vegging no longer feels right.
You start thinking you should do something professional, but you don’t want to change out of pajama pants.
Good news – updating your LinkedIn profile can help your career development in the new year, and it won’t require a wardrobe change.
If you’re hoping to build a personal brand, enter the running for a promotion, grow your business clientele, or just develop a stronger network, LinkedIn can help. A professional-only platform has over 500 million users and 10 million job listings, LinkedIn has become a true one-stop-shop for everything work-related. Maintaining an active and updated presence on LinkedIn can open up so many professional doors for talent in all career stages.
With over 500 million users and 10 million job listings, LinkedIn has become a true one-stop-shop for everything work-related. Click To Tweet
Here are three must-do annual updates to boost your LinkedIn profile and professional opportunities:
Customize your LinkedIn headline.
Your profile headline is one of the first things LinkedIn users see, as it’s the showcased area set below your name and profile picture. LinkedIn sets your most current job title and employer as your profile headline by default. If you’re CEO of a Fortune 500, this designation can be great. If you’re slogging through entry-level, less-than-dream-job positions that don’t showcase your professional capabilities, consider customizing your LinkedIn headline.
Couple rules of thumb for customized headlines:
- Inventory your strengths. What are you good at? What are you known for? Think beyond your current job description here.
- Keep industry keywords in mind. Research other professionals in your industry. Read through their profiles – what buzzwords are they using?
- Consider a multi-faceted headline can be displayed with available punctuation marks. Tip: No emojis.
- Think about the job you want in one, two, three years. Craft your headline as something that would be fitting for your future professional aspirations.
Add media to your profile.
Have you noticed the relatively-new features below each listed job position that let you upload media files? Including an engaging media collection of your key positions can be a great way to showcase your capabilities and portfolio. LinkedIn current accepts a variety of media files, from pdfs to videos.
Not sure if you have any relevant media files to include? Here are some ideas:
- Articles or news releases that you are included in.
- Copies of any awards or certificates you have received.
- Links to your company’s website or employee profile.
- Links to your personal blog or website.
- PowerPoint Presentations you’ve given.
- Project portfolio links or work samples.
- Videos footage of you in a professional setting (news clips, presentations, etc.).
Adding media helps your LinkedIn profile “pop”, demonstrating to recruiters and prospective clients that you go the extra mile and prioritize your career development. Media file additions really help your profile stand out in a sea of mediocre online resumes.
Develop a LinkedIn engagement game plan.
You got your profile updated. Great.
Now, if you want to really maximize your LinkedIn presence in 2018, consider developing some sort of app engagement game plan. LinkedIn is not a platform to just casually browse when sitting in the doctor’s waiting room; instead, scheduled and strategic activity is where it’s at.
The best times to post on LinkedIn are currently Tuesday and Thursdays between 7 and 9 AM (local time). If that’s not a good time for you to post on LinkedIn (fellow commuter here), consider using a post scheduling app like Buffer or Hootsuite to post your content during these optimal times. Just to give you an idea of the impact LinkedIn posting can offer: 20 LinkedIn posts a month averages a reach of 60 percent of your followers.
Another great way to increase engagement on LinkedIn is to join groups and contribute as an active member. Search LinkedIn for groups relevant to your industry, alma mater, and region. One of my favorite LinkedIn groups is Military Spouse Employment Partnership–MSEP Spouse Group . It’s a great place to discuss career challenges and business ideas. Surveys indicate that active LinkedIn group members receive 5 times the profile views than non-active users.
Update your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis.
Don’t just update your LinkedIn profile on New Years. Every time you join a board, volunteer with a nonprofit organization, complete a CE certification, or master a new skill, update your profile! LinkedIn users that update their profiles regularly receive more job offers than those that don’t. So, set your phone calendar every month or quarter to update your LinkedIn profile. Add some media files, update industry keywords, and dole out some colleague endorsements.