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8 Easy Steps to Step Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Everyone knows that having an updated, edited LinkedIn page can be as important as an up-to-date resume, but actually doing anything about that? That’s where procrastination usually steps in.

Instead of putting it off again, follow these easy steps to clean up your LinkedIn without any heavy lifting.

1. Add or Update a Photo

People are visual creatures. Plus, some people are visual when they remember someone, so having a nice, recent photo can help when you send out connection requests to have someone accept you.

If you don’t have a photo to use, just ask someone to grab one for you in front of a neutral background the next time you are a little dressed up. A casual, recent photo is much better than that professional quality shoot from five years ago, seriously.

2. Add Recent Experience

A lot of the times, after you land the job you’re looking for it can seem needless to go update LinkedIn, but next time you want to use LinkedIn for another job you’ll have to trace back and update. Plus, any potential recruiters, who look for you on LinkedIn, won’t see your most recent experience.

Instead, stop now to add in that new job, school, or award that happened recently.

3. Edit for Consistency

LinkedIn is like a living, breathing resume. It’s constantly updating and changing, however, unlike a resume it’s not as common to track all the way back and edit. It’s often just “update, update, update,” but having unprofessional experience listings can hurt you.

Take time to pick a style for entering your job details. If you’re using full sentences and no bulleted lists in your recent job descriptions, then update your old ones to match. If you’re using bullet points, make sure they are all the same style point. Edit everything for consistency so that it’s all a matching document.

4. Invite New Connections

Much like updating experience, adding new connections on LinkedIn falls to the wayside until you remember that Becky from Calculus II mentioned she worked at that new media outlet you want an internship at, but if you wait until the moment realize this to add her and ask for a favor, it’s not so smooth.

Instead, periodically go through and invite new connections you know on LinkedIn. Every semester or so, go through and find classmates who you found were professional or connected that you’d like in your network. Add professors (as long as they wouldn’t have bad things to say about you). Add temporary workers in your office, bosses, and anyone you connect with professionally, because that network can give you a lot of connects later on.

5. Request Recommendations (and leave them!)

Recommendations are often not discussed when talking about LinkedIn, but they are a good way to support everything you write about yourself in the body of your page with an outside source.

However, asking a professor you had in class two years ago to write a recommendation isn’t going to yield a detailed rec for your page (unless you’ve done a good job staying connected). Instead, if there’s anyone you’ve connected with in the last six months who has a specific angle they could use to talk about you with, request a recommendation from them.

[For more tips on getting recommendations, watch for next week’s article!]

6. Add Work Examples

One of the most motivating things for employers is work examples—especially in positions like journalism or design where the work one produces speaks way louder than any resume notations.

So, before you lose them or forget, update work examples. If you produced something impressive for a course, add it to your education listing, but before you do document it professionally. If it’s design based, put it into a mock-up or photograph the physical object. Make that project look as professional as possible and add it. Those work examples will speak way louder than a notation that you took Design II.

7. Edit Anything Existing

One of the issues with the update and forget model for LinkedIn management is that if you made a typo once and never look at that entry again, then someone checking out your page is going to be the one that spots it.

So, while you’re updating everything else, just do a careful read of all the existing text to spy any old mistakes. If you’re feeling bold, ask a friend to look over it too!

8. Update Current Work Descriptions

If you’ve already added your current job, instinct might be to ignore it. It’s already there, right? But, you’ve done more work since adding it so update the description with any new specifics. Data and details sell. If you’re got tangible evidence or details, put them down.

For example, “Organized and planned a talkback event for 50+ attendees on the topic of mental health awareness” or “Increased social media engagement on Twitter by 32%.” Details can be the hardest thing to remember, but they are really what can spur conversations.

LinkedIn can seem like a chore, but if you update often and in little spurts, it can be stay in tip-top shape for when you need to shoot the link around to people. Not to mention save a lot of headache later. So, take a half hour and get everything tidied up!

Franki Hanke, or Francheska Crawford Hanke for long, is a student at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English with a Professional Rhetoric focus and Digital Media Arts. She writes weekly for The Oracle (as a senior reporter) and Hamline Lit Link (as managing staff). Her work has also appeared in Why We Ink (Wise Ink Publishing, 2015), Piper Realism, The Drabble (2017), Canvas (2017), Oakwood Literary Magazine (2017), and South Dakota Magazine.
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