5 Tips for Updating Your LinkedIn Account

This is the second time I have taught the LinkedIn class at North Shore Community College. After the first class last June, I wrote about How to Make LinkedIn Work for You. This most recent class we talked more about LinkedIn as a living resume. LinkedIn is a powerful tool allowing you to include all the details that do not fit into a one sheet resume. Not only that, it allows you to connect with individuals you may not have the opportunity to encounter in everyday life.

LinkedIn isn’t just for job seekers, there is a little something for everyone. It’s always best to have your resume (and LinkedIn) ready to go. You never know when you are going to be looking for a job and it is better to have something to build off of than to start from scratch.

However, the truth is, your LinkedIn account will never be complete. There will always be something to add, someone to connect with, an article to share, a new feature to update or a group discussion to participate in. In a way LinkedIn is the hamster wheel; you keep running and running feeling like you are going nowhere, but in the end you will have a stronger (LinkedIn) physique and will stand out from the rest.

Here are 5 steps to optimize your profile and make it the best it can be.

Click on the image to view more slides from this LinkedIn course.

Click on the image to view more slides from this LinkedIn course.

1. Establish Your Presence – this is setting up your profile. Make sure you have the basics: your full name, a professional looking head shot, contact information, a keyword-enriched headline/summary and the latest position(s) and roles that you have held. There are many other features you can update – later. These should be established upon setup.

2. Attract Followers – Once you are comfortable with your profile, start connecting with others. By allowing LinkedIn to access your email contact list, the system will automatically match your contact emails to LinkedIn users. This is the easiest way to add your connections fast. Then seek out professionals you want to connect with. LinkedIn constantly suggests connections you should make. Add 5 or 10 each time you login.

3. Engage with Followers – What is the point of being on LinkedIn if you aren’t going to participate? It is like going to a coffee shop and not drinking coffee. Comment on articles, congratulate on new jobs, endorse individuals, recommend connections, join Groups and share articles. The Golden Rule applies here, treat others how you want to be treated – on LinkedIn. This may seem like a lot but there is much you can do one hour/week with this platform and you will reap the benefits in the long run.

4. Amplify Your Network
– Let others know that you have a LinkedIn account, post on other social media accounts, put it in the signature of your email, put the URL on your business card. Let others know that you are there and you want to connect.

5. Analyze and Refine – This is the “Rinse and Repeat” step. Once you start developing a presence you will see what works and what doesn’t work. Do people engage more with your blog posts than articles? Than write more! Are people looking at your profile that you don’t know? Good! Your keywords are doing their job! If not, further enhance your profile with different keywords and see if that attracts more followers. Have you taken on new responsibilities at work, met new people you would like to “link in” with, read an article you feel your network can benefit from? Add, connect and share! Eventually, your profile will build its muscles and stand on its own.

If you are interested in learning more about social media, join me every Thursday this fall at North Shore Community College. View the event calendar to see course dates, descriptions and registration information.