A co-worker recently asked me to review his LinkedIn profile and offer improvement suggestions. He’s in leadership and wanted to present an appropriate image. I was glad to do it, and I benefited from looking over his account. My teammates LinkedIn profile was good, but I appreciated that he wanted it to be better than good. I offered him a few suggestions. Is it time for a LinkedIn profile tune-up on your account?
The other side of the coin is this exercise inspired me to review my LinkedIn account as if I was on the outside looking in. I found more than one area that needed to be updated or improved on my profile. Regardless of how professional your headshot is or how thorough your job history, profiles need tune-ups, if for no other reason than to keep them current. Here are the area’s I reviewed on my co-workers account as well as my own for a quick LinkedIn profile tune-up. Is it time to take a close look at your LinkedIn profile?
A Basic LinkedIn Profile Tune-up
What’s the first thing you look at when you open a LinkedIn account? If you’re like most, it’s the profile photo. A lot can go wrong with the photo beginning with the lack of one. Unprofessional, inappropriate, and poorly shot photos can cause a visitor to bounce out before they read one word of your content.
Another reason to check your image is they have an expiration date. “A few years ago, before giving a presentation, an audience member approached me and said, “You don’t look anything like your headshot.” I politely laughed. He said, “It’s not funny.” He was right. I updated my headshot (Yes, I used a pro). If your professional portrait is past its prime, regardless of how much you like it, consider what people think when they meet you face-to-face. Whether it’s for a job interview or a sales call, an old photo that poorly represents you isn’t a good place to start.” — The Top Ten Reasons You Need a New Headshot
Listing too many jobs might hurt your chances of landing a position more than help you. Sharing multiple positions might seem as if you aren’t a long-term player. That you’re someone who switches organizations one after another, a job hopper. Don’t misunderstand me; you should list all of your positions—to a point. If you’ve held twenty jobs in the last twenty years – don’t go back twenty years, stop at ten or five.
My teammate had posted positions he had held at the same company as separate listings. I advised him to use his final title and list the organization once. This might not always be the best case, for example, if listing a previous position is critical to sharing your experience and qualifications, then of course list it.
Another reason not to list jobs too far back is age discrimination. Believe me, it’s real, and I for one don’t want a Human Resources manager to eliminate me due to age without reviewing my profile or talking with me. I want to get my foot in the door. TMI on my job history could slam the door on my foot.
“It is commonly recognized in this industry that it’s best to leave age references off of one’s resume. Career advocates emphasize that employers are mainly interested in current experience, regardless of the age of the candidate. Experience older than 20 years is generally not considered relevant. “It is commonly recognized in this industry that it’s best to leave age references off of one’s resume. Career advocates emphasize that employers are mainly interested in current experience, regardless of the age of the candidate. Experience older than 20 years is generally not considered relevant.” — NPR.org Older workers find discrimination built into job search websites.
Recommendations and Endorsements
My friends LinkedIn profile had two glowing recommendations. I was surprised there were only two, because I’ve heard many folks sing this man’s praises. Teammates and customers have enthusiastically complimented his work. I suggested he reach out to those who thanked him for his help or complimented his work and ask them for a review. A variety of reviews looks better than ten from the same category, for example, customers, vendors, bosses, and direct reports share different perspectives and positive perspectives help.
What’s the difference between a recommendation and an endorsement? “Recommendations are written by other LinkedIn members as a way to recognize or applaud a business partner or colleague. Meanwhile, endorsements are less specific. These are more vague virtual thumbs-ups that your connections can give you to supposedly authenticate your experiences. Surely you have logged into LinkedIn and received popup notices asking you about a connection’s skills set, such as: “Does Bill Faeth know about financial management?”– 5 best practices for requesting a LinkedIn recommendation.
The Little, Not So Little Things
On my co-worker’s profile, only one of the six or seven previous jobs listed shared the organization’s logo. This might seem like a small thing, but it takes the entire page down a notch in appearance and professionalism. Go to your profile, click on the pen icon, and you’ll find a place to add the company logo.
I learned my teammate had been published in trade periodicals but had not linked to any – I suggested he do so.
I also learned he facilitated training classes but had never recorded a class he conducted, and recommended he tape a session, seek professional editing help, and then share it on his profile.
When I reviewed my page, I realized I had put my first published book on the page in 2015 but not the two books after. I added the two additional books immediately. It was past time for LinkedIn profile tune-up.
My co-worker had more than 250 followers. I suggested he strive for 500, that mysterious realm where LinkedIn stops counting. However, I recommended he be subtle about it. I told him to go to his LinkedIn network, scroll down to people you may know, and then if you do have a connection with any of the people, reach out to connect. Joining groups is another way to add followers without being pushy.
Is It Time for a LinkedIn Profile Tune-up?
Is it time for a LinkedIn profile tine-up? Does your profile play out of tune? If your LinkedIn profile is playing sour notes, it might be time for a LinkedIn profile tune-up. Review your headshot, job, history, recommendations, and don’t overlook the little things. Sometimes the little things are more significant than we know. LinkedIn is known as the professional social media. It’s the network for businesses. An incomplete or outdated profile on LinkedIn is unprofessional. If you’re in a leadership position the last thing, you want to do is look like second-rate. Leaders should act, talk, and yes, look like leaders. Does your profile look like that of a leader?
Photo credit: The Digital Artist ID: bb4833c99b26474b5e Provider: Pixabay