Every so often I write about updating your LinkedIn profile. It’s something that should be done occasionally, even if you aren’t actively job searching. When you take into consideration the impact that LinkedIn can have on your personal brand, it might be just the push you need to dust off your profile. Not only should you keep your profile up-to-date, but you should also spend at least 20 minutes per week on LinkedIn, engaging with and sharing other people’s content. With the recent changes to LinkedIn’s interface, now is as good a time as ever to familiarize yourself with the new layout and remind your network that you’re here!
Here are 3 ways you can continue to evolve and improve your personal brand using LinkedIn:
Refresh Your Summary & Skills
When was the last time you took a look at the summary section of your profile? As you develop in your professional career, you are constantly (hopefully) learning, growing and changing. If you’ve included tenure, a job title or skills in your summary, you should review this section every 6 months to keep it current. I’d even suggest setting a calendar alert every 6 months to remind you, it can’t hurt!
With the new LinkedIn layout, your summary is located directly under your photo and headline, making it more “front and center.” I don’t love the fact that a user can only see about 200 characters of the summary without clicking the “See More” button. My recommendation here would be to make your first 2 lines of text count! Include keywords, skills, a catchy intro… and write it in the first person, pretty please.
Be an “Engager”
Being a passive observer on LinkedIn will only get you so far (not very far at all actually). If you’re looking to create a brand for yourself and stay top of mind with your network, you have to be active. Start by setting aside 20 minutes every week to see what your connections are posting and engage with that content. I encourage you to selectively engage with the content, meaning that you shouldn’t go through your feed and like every post you see.
As LinkedIn evolves as a social network, people have a tendency to treat it more like Facebook. Don’t fall into that trap. Look for information being shared that is related to your industry and only engage with the best of the best. Chose articles that are written by reputable sources. Share well-written content from your peers that has been published on LinkedIn. If you’re actively job searching, engage with the content of people you may want to reconnect with. Doing so makes you more visible to this population, resulting in a warmer reception to your next InMail message.
Become a Content Publisher
A few years ago, LinkedIn opened up the platform for all users to publish their own unique content. If you’re not an avid writer, this might be intimidating to you, instead of exciting. However, if you truly want to work on developing your personal brand, LinkedIn’s publisher platform is a perfect stage to do this.
Most writers utilizing the publisher tool are using it in one of two ways; they are either creating thought leadership content or they’re syndicating an already existing blog. Both approaches have the potential to cultivate an individual’s personal brand and make them more appealing to their target audience. Creating too much content or content that isn’t professional or relevant can also be detrimental to your personal brand so be thoughtful and deliberate.
Click here for more guidance on what to publish on LinkedIn.