Dust off your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is the “go-to” social channel for professionals. Whether you are seeking a job or you are happily employed, you should be on LinkedIn. You can do a lot with the free version, and even more with the paid version. (This post covers the free version only.)

If you’re still on the fence, consider this:

  • Right now, LinkedIn is one of the few social media channels that turns a profit. If you have your doubts about Facebook or Google+, you can rest easy when it comes to LinkedIn. It has established itself as a driving force in social media and a foundation of modern HR operations.
  • LinkedIn allows you to connect your other social channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. Connections are the driver behind social media: the more you make, the better you position yourself in the new frontier of the digital workplace.
  • LinkedIn purchased SlideShare a few months ago. SlideShare allows you to share all sorts of presentations–the kind you might already have created in PowerPoint, Open Office, or Keynote. It’s the “go-to” social channel for presentations.

So it’s time to get your profile up to speed. If you’ve already created a LinkedIn account, log in, click Profile, and then Edit Profile.

Check your LinkedIn settings. Before you begin the transformation of your LinkedIn world, check settings to be sure you like what you see. After each adjustment, be sure to click Save Changes.

  • Look for the Activity Feed module (mine was on the right side of the page, about halfway down.) This works much like Facebook activity feeds. It’s likely you’ll see lots of (mildly interesting) things that you have been doing on LinkedIn.
  • Click Edit and choose who can see your feed. Options range from Everyone to Only  you. Set this to Everyone. That’s the best way to connect with others (and to publicize your Slideshare activity, which we’ll cover in just a bit.)
  • Here’s why it’s OK to let everyone see your feed–there’s a way to turn off the most incriminating activities. Look for the Privacy Controls section. Click Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.This option presents a simple checkbox: “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies.” Deselect this box if you are actively searching for a job and don’t want to broadcast that fact to your co-workers or boss.
  • There are many more settings you can adjust. Keep going, or simply move on to the next task: your profile.
Update your LinkedIn profile. Assuming you don’t scrupulously maintain your profile (who among us does?), take time to freshen it up. Recent updates to the interface allow you to rearrange sections, add areas of expertise, and more.
  • Is your photo crisp and professional? If not, pick out a better one and upload it.
  • Like all social media, LinkedIn search works best with good, specific keywords. For any area you CAN edit, be sure you are using industry words that an employer or colleague would search.
  • Take time to view and adjust your public profile. Years ago I made the mistake of neglecting my profile, and I believe that it cost me a chance at a very appealing job. Learn from my mistakes…
Add apps to your LinkedIn profile. Under Groups, Companies & Applications, look for Applications and click Add Applications. You’ll see an impressive list of apps. Choose one or two (hey, there’s SlideShare!) and follow the directions. You’ll be asked to connect to other accounts and to choose whether or not the app’s activity shows up on your profile.


What are your favorite LinkedIn tips? Add them to the comments below.

UPDATE: LinkedIn Applications are being replaced with a new feature that lets you add media links to images, presentations, videos, and documents. This is only available if you have the new LinkedIn profile and previously had LinkedIn Applications installed on your LinkedIn account. More details from LinkedIn.


4 Comments on “Dust off your LinkedIn profile”

  1. Barbara Alexander says:

    Great advice. Thanks!


  2. This is Fantastic information!! I am working at a long-distance moving company and have been working on our sales team to get on LinkedIn as it is the “go-to” social channel for professionals as you put it!! I must agree with that!! I believe that social networking is imperative when it come to promoting your business.
    I really hope you don’t mind if I share your article with my coworkers and friends as I think it will be of great benefit to them and draw much traffic to your post!!
    Thanks again this will really help me in convincing them to get on board!!


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