Work life tends to ease up a little at the beginning of summer, making this the perfect time to tackle small projects like LinkedIn profile updates. Refreshing your LinkedIn profile can increase your pool of network connections and will improve your marketability, whether or not you’re actively seeking employment. We’ve put together a broad sketch of what your profile should include, and how to improve it in five easy steps. To keep from feeling like a kid in summer school, do a little at a time by simply completing each update on every day of the work week. You’ll be done in no time, and will feel a sense of accomplishment whenever you check in with LinkedIn to get the latest business buzz.
Monday: Spruce up your summary
Your summary is the dating profile of your professional life. People often skim this section even when they don’t pay much attention to anything else on your profile. Your summary should reflect your passions, talents, and career plan. It’s also a great place to include multiple ways to contact you, such as a work email address and a secondary personal email address as a backup. Finish up by talking about what types of problems you solve. Still not sure what to put? Scope out the summaries of coworkers or past colleagues whose professionalism you truly admire, and you may find your LinkedIn muse.
Tuesday: Update profile content and work history
If you’ve only been with your firm a for a short while and have yet to add their information, now is the time to do so. But if you are a temporary hire, wait until you've earned permanent employee status to add your firm as your current employer. Connect with current coworkers in your department in case you want to collaborate on a new work initiative together. Finally, add any recent projects in the form of media attachments, as long as you own the work or are authorized to post it online.
Wednesday: Choose great photos
Update your headshot with a crisp, new photo in which you are professionally dressed. It’s best to avoid selfies and Facebook profile pictures since they can seem flippant or unprofessional. Pick a day when your hairstyle and/or makeup came out just the way you wanted (finally), and your photo will reflect that inner confidence that only a good hair day can deliver! Simply have a coworker take a quick iPhone picture and send it to you. As for your cover photo, snapshots from office team events or fundraisers are a great choice, or upload a simple image that reflects the city or state where you work.
Thursday: Stay engaged
Check in often to create new contacts. Share content or articles relevant to your industry, along with interesting business-related current events. Taking a vested interest in your own career development will not only show that you’re a professional, but it will reinvigorate your sense of enthusiasm for your current job. We all need our work energy restored once in a while, especially in the dog days of summer!
Friday: Almost done! Now, help your connections grow their networks too...
After all, LinkedIn is all about helping professionals grow their connections and find new ways to succeed. Have you recently completed a course or mastered a new skill? Add any skills you have, and be sure endorse your connections’ skills as well. Despite the competitive nature of the business world, it never hurts to make small gestures of help and support for your favorite colleagues or past work cohorts.