The Ugly Consequences of an Outdated LinkedIn Profile

header_linkedinThe email message comes every week from LinkedIn: people are looking at your profile. For a while now, I’ve just been deleting these notices, seeing them as no more than a promotion to entice a premium subscription so I can see who they are. The fact is, whether I know who they are or not, people are looking at my profile—and yours.

Your LinkedIn profile serves as your first impression. Leave it incomplete or outdated at your own risk.

Here’s a checklist of items to make sure you are communicating the right message to people who are getting to know you by checking out your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Is your profile content current? I get notices all the time of work anniversaries for jobs that I know my connections have left months, if not years, ago. Keep your work history and other details up-to-date.
  2. Is your profile photo the right image for your professional self?
  3. Are you posting updates that are consistent with your business image? While social media are all connected, Facebook is the place for things related to your off-hours self. LinkedIn posts should be related to your professional self.
  4. Make connections with others. We are judged by the company we keep. Make connections in your industry: thought leaders, clients, coworkers, etc. Be sure to comment on content that is relevant to your expertise.
  5. Monitor new features and use them. LinkedIn adds new features all the time, which means that even if you don’t think your profile information has changed, you probably need to update your profile. All users can now make long-form posts. Write some. You can also post documents related to key projects. Make time to do it.

Set yourself a reminder to check your profile at least once a month. You might be surprised how often you need to update or change the profile you thought was complete.

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