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OK, so you have a LinkedIn profile, and its…OK. You don’t update it very often but it does the job.
But having an out of date LinkedIn profile is worse than not even having one. It can mean great things for your networking and your career so take the time to take yours to the next level.
Write a killer headline
Your headline is a key way to get people to notice you. Rather than letting LinkedIn set your default to your current position and job role, write your own.
If you were one of those people who joined LinkedIn in a flurry of activity and joined every single semi-relevant group you could find, it’s time for a cull.
Find your list of groups and leave those that are inactive, irrelevant or you haven’t participated in recently.
Or if you haven’t joined any, find a few that are relevant to your industry and interests and devote some time to get involved in conversations. Don’t join too many at once, or you’ll never be able to keep up. If a group isn’t very active, or you aren’t getting anything from it, don’t be afraid to leave the group.
Groups are a great way to network with others and alongside your digital business cards can get your name out there in your field.
Update your current position
If you’ve not updated your profile in a while, your current description is more than likely out of date or even an old job. Rewrite your current responsibilities as it’s your current job that people will most likely look at first.
If relevant, add examples of your work and multimedia pieces to your profile too.
Create a customized URL
By creating a customized URL that incorporates your name, you can make the link to your profile a lot more memorable and professional. If you have a common name, you may have to get a little more creative, but don’t be tempted to put nicknames or something that you might regret later.
Reach out for recommendations
A good LinkedIn profile should include a few glowing recommendations from employers, colleagues and other people who can vouch for the quality of your work and professionalism.
Potential recruiters and headhunters will also be able to see it. Many job sites are now allowing you to apply automatically with your LinkedIn profile, rather than having to submit a separate application.
Use a good photo
The photo you use on LinkedIn should be of good quality. There is some debate about how professional it should be. Some people use standard corporate headshots, others use something a little more personal. Whichever you choose, ensure that it gives the impression of you that you would want other people to have.
Try and stay away from selfies or photos where you’ve clearly cropped yourself from a larger group of people.
A good LinkedIn profile can really open career doors for you. But rather than neglecting it for long periods of time, followed by a sudden flurry of activity when you start looking to move a job isn’t an effective use of the platform. It’s also a huge giveaway to your current employer that you’re looking to move.