As the end of the year closes in and we’ve been busy planning for the upcoming year, have you thought about why you should update your LinkedIn profile for 2017?
Profiles get out of date and need refreshing from time to time. Be interesting and people will be interested in you!
Your LinkedIn profile is not a resume, rather think of it as your personal brand platform. Your brand may not change but the components of your brand hopefully are growing and evolving and that’s why you want to refresh your profile.
I update key sections of my profile about every quarter. If you haven’t updated your profile all year, now is a good time. If you are engaged on LinkedIn then you probably have your content strategy set for 2017, when people visit your profile you want to be stand out and have your visitors want to connect and build relationship with you.
1. Make a list of anything that has changed in the past year
We often don’t think much about things changing if we haven’t changed jobs or done anything different with the services in our business. You might go back through your calendar for the year and review your appointments or people you met with that might remind you of something that is new. It is a great idea to refresh your LinkedIn profile with new language and details even when you think nothing has changed.
As an example, due to client responses, you decided to add a new service which changes the scope of work you provide. I always suggest within your profile you highlight what you do and who you serve, with that said, you would want to amend your services to include anything new or different.
If you work for an employer, add some key accomplishments or role changes you had during the past year particularly important If you want to be considered for a promotion.
2. What accomplishments have you made in the past year
Now is time to pat yourself on the back because I’m sure you have some professional accomplishments that you are proud of. I encourage you to take a few minutes and bullet point the highlights. WHY? People we want to influence let’s say at your current job or those you want to do business with will focus on people’s accomplishments. Although it may sound harsh, we care less about someone’s responsibilities than we do about the results they get.
I suggest you add a few bullet pointed results oriented accomplishments under your current position. If your accomplishments dramatically add to your credibility such as you hit the New York Times best seller list, you saved your company a million dollars or you gained national recognition for something then you may want to highlight these within your headline and/or summary section.
3. Update your headline
I suggest including the key words of your title along with a few words that describe the value you bring and/or something that is compelling about you. So, although your keywords may not change, you could update a statement following your title. Remember your headline is the first impression you make when someone visits your profile so you want to make it count.
Here are some examples that may spark an idea for you.
• EVP, Executive Vice President, Operational Leader with Multi-Million Dollar Impact
• Marketing Director, Driving Breakthrough Results
• Senior Global Marketing & Sales Leader – I lead innovation and solve complex business challenges
4. Revamp your summary
Next to your headline, the summary is where viewers will go next so you want to make the biggest impact here. Always write your summary in the first person and for the audience you most want to attract. You have 2000 characters and I recommend this section include:
– What you do and what is your brand
– What makes you credible? Maybe it is your experience, so highlight that.
– What makes you unique or different than your competitors – think about what will set you apart
– Who you serve
– Name some key accomplishments
Remember LinkedIn is truly a branding platform, be sure your profile summary is unique to you.
5. Update your recommendations
How we do business has changed. As consumer’s we put weight on the opinions of others to make a buying decision. When was the last time you were on Amazon? Did you read the reviews before making a purchase? How about restaurant reviews – haven’t you checked them out before trying a new restaurant? People do make decisions both negatively and positively based on what others have said. Whether you are looking for a job, a promotion or a new client you want your recommendations to be current and relevant to what you most want to be known for.
When you request a recommendation be specific in your request. Use language that you want the person recommending you to use and always focus on the results you provide. (See example below)
Recently a woman told me she was hired for a position based on the credible recommendations she had in her profile.
Last word of advice – if you haven’t changed your employment and you think the recommendations you have on your profile from five years ago, should suffice – think again. You don’t want anyone to wonder what you’ve been up to for the past five years!
“JoAnne presented Are you Invisible or In Charge?-Get Your LinkedIn Profile Noticed by Recruiters & Hiring Managers at IFMA’s World Workplace 2016 Conference. JoAnne’s presentation received overwhelming rave reviews and we will certainly bring her back to speak at our future conferences.”
– Monica Grinage-Prince, CMP, CMM -Strategic, Global, Inventive, Certified Meeting & Events Professional
6. Add new media including your header image
Images and video make your profile stand out. The large header image is like a billboard where you can utilize that real estate to brand yourself. Currently, the image size is 1400 x 425. When the new desktop redesign rolls out, which you can expect anytime the image size will be changing to 1536 x 768.
Video is driving social media engagement across all social platforms. You can upload a video to your profile such as a company video and you can post videos in your status updates.
7. Update your skills section
Your skills change as do industry terms. If you have added skills in the form of key words throughout your profile you will want to keep those updated in addition to the skills & endorsements section. I encourage you to scan your profile for overused words and focus on skills that can get you hired or get you a lead.
LinkedIn has a list of the top skills that can get you hired in 2017.
The 2016 list of most overused words has not been published by LinkedIn as of this writing, but to give you an example the most overused words for 2015 were:
– Extensive Experience
– Track Record
Job seekers along with anyone looking to be promoted or recognized for a skill will want to stay on top of this section of their profile. With that said, anyone using LinkedIn’s recruiter software can search by skills versus other versions of LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn profile represents your professional brand. It is highly searchable on Google and is a key tool in maintaining your online professional reputation. Don’t leave it to chance and remember, be interesting and people will be interested in you!