I’m asked this question several times each week. I always answer I don’t know, which usually comes as a surprise to them – and probably to you as well.
Your LinkedIn Profile Update… is Yours
What I really mean is I can’t answer that confidently until I understand what someone plans to accomplish on LinkedIn. If you’re unsure about whether you should put something on your profile, I suggest you start by asking yourself three questions:
Would putting this on my profile:
- help people find me?
- improve their perception of me and my brand?
- help them understand what I do and how I can help them?
Is your answer to any of these questions is “Yes“? Then I suggest you put it on your profile.
Before we begin to perform a LinkedIn profile update, let’s look at these three questions more closely.
Help People Find Me
Trust me on this one. Connections are the gas in the tank on LinkedIn, especially if the connections are strategic (people at organizations where you want to work or potential freelance customers, for example). After all, you want people to find and connect with you.
For example, on my profile, I list my first job out of college, Arthur Andersen & Co. This entry helps people from the “good old days” find me – and they just might need some LinkedIn training or consulting at their company.
Improve Perception of My Brand
People are using LinkedIn to size you up. So entries that display your expertise, emphasize your integrity, and show your creativity cause people to like and trust you. Hopefully, this leads to more connections and more business.
The Arthur Andersen entry also applies here. Why? Because most experienced business people around my part of the country recognize that if AA&Co. hired you right out of college, then you are probably a really smart person.
So, even though I didn’t have a 3.9+ GPA, like most students they hired, people assume I’m in that group, and it gives me positive branding kudos. (FYI, I had a 3.4, but I could interview with the best of them!)
Help Them Understand What I Do
After all, if your profile doesn’t get this done, why are you on LinkedIn anyway?
Professionally, I do LinkedIn speaking, consulting and training. So how do I help people who hire speakers understand how I can work with their specific audiences? Rather than lumping my speaking topics all together into one current job entry, I have three different current job entries. Each addresses a different type of audience, so I appeal to a larger number of event planners.
Personally, I am involved with some awesome nonprofit groups. Including them in my LinkedIn profile helps me spread the word about the great things they’re doing. Of course, those LinkedIn entries also tell a reader not only what I do, but why I do it. Bonus: By including links to their websites, I am encouraging others to get involved, too.
I hope you’re now equipped and motivated to beef up your LinkedIn profile. Get started… with a little time on your hands, this the perfect time!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula!
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and also the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.