Tips on how to give your LinkedIn profile a Spring clean

When was the last time you read through your LinkedIn profile? For many of us I suspect some time! Often neglected, a profile can quickly be out of date and not reflect recent accomplishments. When not actively looking for another job it is not always at the forefront of our minds. However it is important to remember that through a google search, anyone could happen upon a link to your LinkedIn profile. First impressions count and it is therefore imporant that you present yourself in the best possible light.

Over recent years I have received invitations to speak internationally, collaborate in projects and write publications through LinkedIn connections and people visiting my profile as it appeared in a google search. It is well worth the investment in time to give your profile a sproing clean and some tender loving care. Below are some points to consider.

Photo

Is your photo professional (no selfies)? Ideally this should be a headshot with your face looking taking up approx 70%-80% of the space available and looking straight forward. If you don’t have a professional photo, ask someone to take a photo of you against a plain backdrop (white or pale coloured wall).

Headline

Does your headline include the things you want to be known for? For example your job title, company, specialisms/expertise, or as a student or recent graduate the name of your degree, looking for placements in… or graduate looking for work in…

Contact

Have you changed your vanity URL to be LinkedIn/in/yourname? If your name has been taken, be creative and add a dash or relevant keyword.

Along with your contact information (email address and optional telephone number) have you included links to your blog, website and Twitter handle (if you have one)?

Summary

Think of this as your elevator pitch. Do the first two sentences entice you to want to read on? Is the tone authentic (consistent with who you really are) and aspirational (positioning you for what’s next)?

Consider including some personal information to convey your interests, values, and life experiences.

Decide on a writing style (first or third person).  Ask someone to proofread your whole profile to check spellings and that it is grammtically correct. Use white space to break up the paragraphs so the text is not bunched together.

Experience

Do you have an entry for each experience element of your career – including a description with relevant keywords in each entry? Think of the search terms others would use if they were looking for someone with your experience and skills, and add these throughout your profile.

Education

Add all relevant qualifications. For your degree, select your university from the LinkedIn list so the logo appears in your profile.

Skills

Add skills to your profile. Are the top three skills in your skill/endorsements section the ones for which you want to be known?

Groups

Do you belong to relevant groups in these areas: specialist interests relevant to your career, thought-leadership, alumni, charities?

Publications and projects

Have you included your publications (journal articles, books, whitepapers) and/or projects you have (c0)worked on?

 

About Sue Beckingham

A National Teaching Fellow, Educational Developer and Principal Lecturer in Computing with a research interest in the use of social media in higher education.
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