In job-searching, making connections with business acquaintances, and following the steps industry leaders take to grow their brands, I’ve found myself spending more and more time on LinkedIn. Users on the site seem to fall into one of two clear categories: professionals who have created accounts on LinkedIn and professionals who actually use the accounts they have created – and you don’t want to be the former. Here are 5 LinkedIn changes you need to make to your profile today to show that you are active, ambitious, and have the skills and experience to back up that ambition.
1. Add a personal touch to your profile summary.
The first of the LinkedIn changes you need to make is to your profile summary. This is the section that appears right below your name, photograph, and job title. First impressions are tough, and, functioning as an opportunity to introduce oneself to potential recruiters or business partners, the majority of LinkedIn profile summaries are not taking full advantage of this opportunity. To put it frankly, most of these descriptions are flat, redundant, and boring.
This is your opportunity to present yourself professionally, while also giving profile viewers something to comment on when reaching out to you. It’s important that you do include details on your professional experience, but make sure that you add a personal touch, as well. If you love to travel, include a line about the last place you visited. If you’re into Game of Thrones, throw in a reference. As an example: I’m a big reader, so my profile summary covers my business experience, business interests, and then a look at what I’m currently reading (right now, that’s Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis).
2. Actively add new business connections.
There are two ways to poorly manage connections on LinkedIn: 1) Add too many connections (the users who add, add, add… without knowing who most of the people are), and 2) fail to add enough people (the users who barely add anyone after opening their accounts). Your list of LinkedIn connections should be a list of people you know would be ready to work with you in some capacity when the time is right. Make sure to add colleagues as soon as, or soon after, meeting them, as the longer you wait, the less likely you are to add them (and the more awkward it gets).
3. Share updates.
Similar to other social platforms, if you want to stay relevant, you need to keep posting. This is especially important on LinkedIn because due to the way profiles are currently organized, any posts you have made or shared are difficult to discover on the profile page. If you want to be noticed by connections and mutual connections, you need to be actively sharing new content. This could be anything from sharing a post from another user that you found to be valuable, to writing an update on your current position or a project you are working on. Constantly sharing is one of the easiest ways to set yourself apart on LinkedIn.
4. Engage with posts from your connections.
As noted in tip #3, sharing content on LinkedIn is vital if your goal is to stand out from the crowd. However, LinkedIn is also about fostering a community of people who want to work with and support one another. You want to make it clear to people that you are interested in and supportive of their work – and this doesn’t have to be ingenuine (in fact, it shouldn’t be). If you are connected with the right people, then most of the content they share should be content you find value in. This could be articles, news updates, or job opportunities. When a LinkedIn connection posts something you find useful, let them know through a ‘like’ and/or a comment.
Another perk to this is that your comment will appear in the comment section of their post, familiarizing all of their connections with your name and face.
5. Download the app.
No, this isn’t a paid endorsement – but downloading the LinkedIn app will entirely change the way you interact with the platform. It’s old news that the majority of people online are spending more time on their mobile devices than on desktops. This means that just by keeping the LinkedIn app on your phone’s home screen, the likeliness you will use the app skyrockets. When you’re waiting in line for coffee, awaiting an Uber pickup, or laying in bed (delaying sleep), you can open the app and scroll through the content shared by people in your network. The more you use LinkedIn, the better you will become at utilizing the platform to grow and strengthen your professional network.
After implementing the LinkedIn changes you need to make, check out the LA Startups LinkedIn page to be some of the first to know when we share new content!