When LinkedIn was first growing years ago, I created a quick profile and forgot about it. Then I became a pretty well known blogger, decided the profile sucked, went self-employed, and decided to delete myself. But after about 3 years of successfully avoiding this haven for humanity’s working class, I was drawn back in. Surprisingly enough, by my grandpa…I mean if an 86 year old dude can figure it out and request to connect, I had to jump back in. Darn computer-savvy grandparents.
Why You May Want to be LinkedIn
For me, LinkedIn wasn’t very useful when I wasn’t motivated or growing a career. But now I am self-employed and it pays to have your name out there wherever you can. Networking is always a good idea when your livelihood depends on your reputation and ability to make others money. So I jumped in.
If you are trying to grow in the career you have or want to start looking for something different, LinkedIn may be a good place for you to at least start. It’s not a Facebook or Twitter account – so don’t share what you had for lunch or your feelings about each day. But do make sure to highlight your best job-related assets and experiences.
The Key Aspects of a LinkedIn Profile
I’ve been a LinkedIn balla’ (HAHAHA!) for less than a week, and even I have noticed there are key aspects of a good LinkedIn account:
- Either have a professional profile picture or none at all. Bad pictures or inappropriate poses make an awful first impression. I am going to get actual headshots done soon since I don’t even like my current profile picture on LinkedIn or here on BFS, though it is at least professional looking on LinkedIn.
- Treat it like a resumé. Business contacts probably don’t care about the touchy-feely stuff unless you are in a touchy-feely business. So you may not want to list your hobbies that really do not have anything to do with jobs that you may be interested in.
- Edit yourself. I suck at this. I was long-winded and will be getting a few people to look at my profile this coming weekend to help me tighten it up a little without losing the impressive stuff.
- Recommend and endorse people you trust. Some of your contacts will do the same for you and I can tell you, it is a HUGE ego boost. I felt like a dork for not even knowing that I could do that for others…
Remember, Time Flies
I think the last thing to mention is that time goes by way more quickly than it should. So make a note in your calendar to update your LinkedIn profile every 6 months at least. Who knows what could have changed? If you want it to draw it future job opportunities, you’ll have to keep your info current. I know my life seems to change completely every few years…my last LinkedIn profile was laughable and made when I had a different life.
Are you on LinkedIn? What suggestions would you add?