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How to Fine-Tune Your LinkedIn Profile

Let’s start this article with what is for some—an unpleasant truth. If you’re a professional in 2017 and you don’t have an active LinkedIn profile, or only one with minimal information and effort put into it, you are missing opportunities to grow your career. It’s true. You may very well have got along fine without a well-curated presence on the social media site, or you might have convinced yourself that it wasn’t important; but it’s likely that you are still missing out on some percentage of modern business networking.

So why would you not take a fraction of the time most people spend texting, emailing or using other social media channels, to improve your visibility to future employers and contacts? For a lot of people, the task of creating a well-presented profile just seems too daunting and confusing, but if you’ve created a resume for yourself, you probably already know what’s important to include.

Still, let’s go over some basic tips for LinkedIn success.

Keep it simple, stupid

This adage has served managers and high school essay writers well for years, and now you can apply it to your profile. Don’t include more information than is absolutely necessary; sometimes less is more.

“I worked at the Southside Ice Creamery for a few months on and off, doing two days, then three days every second week. I was in charge of making single and double cones, but sometimes did banana splits when Sally was off sick.”

This sort of thing can easily be cut back to the career-pertinent points: “Worked part-time at Southside Ice Creamery 2011-2012.” In other words, consider what isn’t necessary to keep.

Keep it strictly professional

Akin to the above point, you should always keep in mind that LinkedIn is a business tool. Much like when compiling your resume, your personality and casual interests should take up a very small percentage of space on the profile, if any at all.

“I got my job at Southside after I entered their all-you-can-eat sundae challenge. I came in second, but my good humour and winning smile got me an interview on the spot.”

You might feel as though cutting this would be depriving employers of information on your awesome people skills, but that sort of thing really only comes across in person. Leave it off your profile.

Keep it real

No, I’m not advocating you tell the world about your taste in 90s hip hop. This is the far more fundamental, yet somehow still ignored, lesson that the internet has nowhere for liars to hide. Everything you publish online can be found, as can the facts which will prove or disprove it. Business contacts will take any information you put your profile as an assertion of truth. You had best believe that they will check all of it.

Keep it up-to-date

The final and most important tip is simple. It’s not worth creating a proper profile on LinkedIn unless you’re prepared to continue updating that profile as your career advances. It’s not a tough ask. Unlike other social media, you really should only update your LinkedIn profile when you undertake some professional development or find a new career opportunity. These sorts of developments don’t benefit you if nobody knows about them. Similarly, you should remain diligent in removing old, irrelevant experiences and expired qualifications from your page; employers will read their presence as abject laziness at the very least.

 

Maintaining a LinkedIn profile might seem like one more tax on your busy time. However, you don’t need to become a power-user of the site in order to reap the benefits of its huge scale and power as a directory of professionals. By simply putting in a few minutes of thought and care, you can carve yourself out a space which will leave the best possible impression. It can lead to greater success for you over time – a sound investment no matter your career path.

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