Sure, you know you need to update your LinkedIn profile, it’s just that it takes so much effort to do it. And honestly, who has that kind of extra time just sitting around these days?
Surprise! You do!
We’ve grabbed nine bite-sized pieces of advice that you can use right now to boost your profile that all take less than 10 minutes each. So, next time you find yourself losing focus at work, pick one of these easy tasks to complete. Do one a week, and you’ll have a shiny new profile by the time fall rolls around.
1. Curate Your Groups
When you first signed up for LinkedIn, you probably bypassed the whole group section. Or, maybe you went crazy and joined every one possible (no judgment here)—and then never thought about it again. Take a few moments to browse through your list and delete any that aren’t helpful. Then, find two to three that look like they’re interesting enough to participate in—or at least interesting enough to read every so often. When searching for ones to join, think about your (desired) industry, location, and job titles.
Join your university’s alumni network to make sure you stay in the loop with what’s going on with other alum. You never know when a career opportunity might pop up and you can use your school ties to get an in.
2. Update Your Current Responsibilities
Have you just switched jobs and been so busy getting adjusted that you forgot to update your profile? Or, maybe you took on a few new tasks that your contacts should know about. Either way, make sure your current position is up-to-date with your title, location, and responsibilities. After all, that’s one of the first things people look at on your profile.
Add multimedia components to visually show off your work. This not only provides an actual portfolio piece a recruiter can grab, but it boosts the overall appearance of your profile. Score!
3. Filter Through Your Skills and Endorsements
Remember when you clicked “add” to every endorsement someone sent you because you were so excited people thought you were awesome at, well, anything? As great as that may have been for you, some skills and endorsements just shouldn’t make the cut. Think of this as your time to guard the gate.
Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, or any other universally known programs usually shouldn’t make it, at least not at the top of your list.
4. Customize Your LinkedIn URL
Just like any other social network, you’re given a very long (and impersonal) URL link when you first join. While it doesn’t hurt you to keep that one, it also doesn’t help. After all, what’s more appealing: Kaitlyn0121912 or KaitlynRussell? So, change your current URL to best reflect your professional, branded self.
Here’s how to do it in three steps:
- Click on profile
- Click edit profile
- Click edit right under your photo
For the most professional URL, try: http://linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname. If that isn’t available, add your middle initial or industry (e.g., KaitlynRussellWriter). Then, try to make sure all of your platforms and emails are consistent for one professional brand.
5. Ask for a Recommendation
If you’re interviewing, you’re bound to get to that point in the process where you’ve made it past a couple rounds: Would you mind sending over some references? LinkedIn’s recommendations are the perfect shortcut for this because you’ll already know who thinks you’re talented, and which of your skills they value the most. Better yet? People who are scrolling through your profile will see that you’re an awesome worker who people want to endorse publicly. So, take a few minutes and ask a previous supervisor, a co-worker, or your current employer to spend a few minutes writing you one.
When you’re reaching out for that rec, make sure to keep the request personal and include why you think you this person would be a great to write it for you. If you need help, we’ve got you covered here. Just don’t forget to offer to write one in return.
6. Update Your Photo
You know the importance of your LinkedIn photo. It needs to show that you’re confident, successful, and trustworthy—you know the drill. So, as hard as it may be, now is the time to delete that half-cropped photo of you at a party, or the selfie (yes, even if you look great) and get professional.
Ever wonder just what your photo says about you or your worth ethic? Check out this article to see how to choose the perfect photo.
7. Follow the Right People
Believe it or not, LinkedIn goes way beyond your personal network. It allows you to keep up with people in your industry as well as successful people who inspire you. By following key leaders and influencers, your newsfeed will fill up with advice that’s relevant to you.
If you’re at a loss as to where to start, we have a guide that tells you who you should be following regardless of your industry or experience level. Browse it here.
8. Rewrite Your Headline
Here’s a well-known fact: Your headline is one of the first thing people when they view your profile. Here’s a not-so-well-known fact: Every time you change your current position or company, LinkedIn defaults your headline to your updated title. As you might guess, that’s not the best way to attract recruiters. Instead, you want a compelling and unique headline to make you stand out from every other user on the site.
We’ve made a 90-second video that shows you how to change your headline and finally attract recruiters (or anyone) to your profile. Check it out here.
9. Connect With Your Team Members
This might be the easiest thing you do today. Seeing that its a professional network, it’s important that you use it to your advantage and keep up with everyone in your office. Depending on your company size, you can connect with just your department, or extend it to other people as well.
If you’re feeling ambitious, connect with people at your company who you don’t know very well. Use this as an opportunity to say hi and invite the person to grab a coffee.
Photo of woman on tablet courtesy of Shutterstock.
A UNC-Wilmington grad born and raised in North Carolina, Kaitlyn always knew she would end up in NYC to pursue writing. As a summer editorial intern, she contributes career advice to The Muse. In addition, she also writes for other publications, such as USA TODAY College, Her Campus, and The Huffington Post. You can find her searching the city for the best eats, binge-watching Netflix, or catching up with friends at dinner. Say hi on Twitter @KaitlynRussell_More from this Author