It can be easy to get caught up in the various features and activities that LinkedIn offers, from private chats to content-sharing, whilst forgetting to keep on top of your main asset on the site: namely your personal profile. This is the place where your new connections will go to see what you’re all about and it is your chance to ’sell yourself’ on LinkedIn. Even if you created a cutting-edge profile in the past, things inevitably move on – you switch positions, for example, or new developments in your particular industry change the landscape completely. A profile that was fresh and exciting five years ago could easily seem stale and out of date today.
Ask yourself, when did you last update your personal profile…and was it too long ago?
If so don’t worry! You probably don’t need to overhaul the entire thing. Just a few targeted and well thought-out changes can give it a new lease of life and will show existing connections that you are still active and serious about your professional image as well.
With that being said, if you have recently – or not so recently! – switched roles or industry, or made any other major changes in your professional life you absolutely need to let your connections know about it!
In this case, it’s easy to know what you have to do: simply update your personal profile and highlight your recent changes! Even if you have an extensive list of previous jobs and current connections you should try to approach this as if you were creating a profile for the very first time. Try to really show off your skills and accomplishments and demonstrate that you are enthusiastic and proud about your new career change or role.
But what if you haven’t got any recent professional developments to highlight?
In today’s climate it is understandable that many people have found their professional life to have somewhat ground to a halt. Nonetheless it is important to keep your LinkedIn profile updated and to demonstrate to your network that you are still serious about your industry and your network. There are a variety of ways to do this even if you haven’t experienced any recent professional changes.
Put your Best Face Forward
To start with why not take a look at your profile picture. Does this still resonate with who you are? If not, perhaps take the time to take a better shot and upload it to the site or even hire a professional in order to ensure that your profile picture best represents the image you want to convey to your professional network.
Keep them Content with Content
Maybe you have been posting regular content to LinkedIn (top marks if you have!) If so, you can let your connections know about your recent pieces by highlighting them in the ‘Featured’ section of your LinkedIn profile. It is worth switching this content up, every month or so, in order to provide your network with fresh and engaging content.
Although LinkedIn is mostly targeted at professionals, there is nothing wrong with sharing appropriate milestones from your personal life on the platform as well. If there haven’t been any major developments in your career recently, why not use the Experience section of your profile to highlight some non-professional achievements as well. These could be fitness goals you have achieved or updates about personal hobbies and interests – if you have a hobby or interest that is related to your professional career all the better! This will help demonstrate your credibility to connections in your field.
All About You
You might feel that you cannot include personal details in the ‘About’ section of your profile. However this section should not be just a dry summary of your previous roles and accumulated skills but it should also be a place for you to tell your network about who you are as a person and what sets you apart from the rest. Why not use this as an opportunity to hone your messaging here, making it more representative of who you are and what you are about. You could also add some non-work related accomplishments here as well to further round-out the image you are creating of yourself.
It can be hard to know how to keep your LinkedIn profile fresh and updated when not much is happening in your professional life – and, with the current global pandemic this is probably true for more people than ever! However, this shouldn’t mean that you leave your profile to stagnate. If you are having difficulty knowing how to go about this, why not try implementing some of the suggestions above and see what reaction you get from your network!