Are you keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date?
When it comes to business, a LinkedIn profile can help you succeed or hold you back. You should take the time to review and update your LinkedIn profile to ensure that you are presenting your best face to the world. It has become common practice to review an individual’s LinkedIn profile before doing business with them, hiring them, or using their services. During a recent review of my LinkedIn contacts, I uncovered some interesting findings.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been combining my LinkedIn contacts with my email contacts to create one set of contacts. To do this, I exported my LinkedIn contacts and imported them into my Google contacts. By creating one list of contacts, I can:
- Communicate with many people at the same time.
- Create connection opportunities around key milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, and other events.
- Identify individuals who lived in a specific area so that I could visit with them as I traveled through the area.
After importing my contacts into Google, I then added the following information to my contact listing:
- LinkedIn URL
- Physical address
- Phone numbers
- Job titles
- Other key information
During this updating process, I learned quite a bit about my LinkedIn connections. Here are areas that individuals should consider addressing to strengthen their LinkedIn profiles:
No Profile Pictures
One of the first things I noticed was that not all my LinkedIn connections had a profile picture. Out of the 684 connections, 115 connections or roughly 17% did not have a profile picture.
This is one of the first chances you have, as a business owner, to make a positive first impression. These articles explain why you need a profile picture.
If you do not have a profile picture, I recommend that you get one. Here are some articles with tips on taking the best profile picture possible:
- Best LinkedIn Profile Picture Tips
- The 7 Factors That Increase The Psychological Impact of Your LinkedIn Profile Photo
No Cover Photos
Many of the profiles also did not take advantage of the cover photo. The cover photo is the large photo that sits at the top of the page behind your profile picture. This is a great place to show off your business or highlight something about you as an individual. Here are some tips for creating a LinkedIn cover photo:
No Physical Address or the Address is not Current
If you have a LinkedIn profile, I can only assume that you want individuals to connect with you. Leaving off this information you miss a chance to create a connection with someone who wants to work with you. Many of the profiles that I saw excluded this information.
I recommend you include is a way that individuals can contact you. Different ways individuals can connect with you are:
- Physical address for your business
- Telephone numbers
- Social media
Here are some articles highlighting why you should add connection information.
- The Biggest Mistake You’re Probably Making On LinkedIn
- Two Places to Feature Contact Info on Your LinkedIn Profile
- Are You Optimizing Your LinkedIn Contact Information?
Email Addresses not Current
Besides connection information not being present or not being current, I also noticed some email addresses were not current. Some individuals have left their jobs but they have not updated their email address.
I recommend you have a permanent personal email address listed in your LinkedIn profile. One that never changes across your lifetime. You can list this as a primary address or secondary address in LinkedIn. With a permanent email address listed, you will then be able to access your LinkedIn account even though you may have changed change jobs or career paths.
Listing all your email addresses also increases the likelihood that somebody will be able to connect with you. LinkedIn also advises having many accounts so that you do not lock yourself out of LinkedIn.
While reviewing my LinkedIn connections, I noticed that 17 individuals had duplicate LinkedIn profiles. I suspect this occurred because they did not have or could not access the email address that they used to set up the LinkedIn profile. As a result, they abandoned these accounts.
In some cases, individuals created duplicate accounts to manage their many identities. In some cases, they were using one profile for their professional image and another one for their nonprofit image. In actuality, individuals with more than one account are running afoul of LinkedIn’s policies. These articles provide compelling reasons why you should have only one account.
The best thing you can do is merge the different accounts into one account. This is not an easy process. You will have to do it manually and then delete the unused account. This article provides some steps on how to it:
Out of Date Websites
As I was updating my Google contacts, I was also checking website URLs listed on LinkedIn. Many links no longer worked or did not reflect links for current employment. For many cases, individuals abandoned the domains or websites. Yet, they were still connected to LinkedIn profiles.
I don’t know about you but broken links are a fact of life on the web but are frustrating none the less. As a business owner, you want to make sure that you are providing the best image possible. Broken links on your LinkedIn profile detract from that image.
Out of Date Jobs
Some of the profiles did not list their current job. They had moved on and were doing new exciting things. Yet, their LinkedIn profile did not reflect the change in career.
By adding a new job listing in LinkedIn, you can then enjoy new connection opportunities. Almost immediately after you add a new job site, you will start getting connection recommendations. You should take advantage of these new opportunities.
Update your LinkedIn profile
I encourage you to take a moment to review your profile from top to bottom. Make a list of things you need to improve and take the time to update your profile.
Things that you want to consider updating as you review your profile:
- Updating or adding a profile image
- Updating or adding a Cover Image
- Adding and updating connection information such as:
- Physical address
- telephone numbers
- email addresses
- Social media sites
- Updating your summary
- Reflecting your current employment
- Updating your skills
- Reviewing the groups that you’re connected with
- Giving and soliciting recommendations
Your LinkedIn profile is a reflection of you and your brand. Often, you are your brand. Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated is a key part of brand management.
If you are a connection and want me to take a look at your profile to give you recommendations for improving it, feel free to contact me.