Staying Current Isn’t As Spooky As It SeemsOct 26, 2021
Spring cleaning, your quarterly oil change, annual checkups—most areas of your life need a little extra TLC from time to time. Your LinkedIn profile is no exception. Whether you’ve held the same job for more than a decade or you just got promoted, chances are, some areas of your profile could use a refresh.
Don’t wait until your LinkedIn profile is so out of date that a total makeover is in order. (If you’re in that boat, The Profile Transformer™ might be just what you need.) Keeping your digital presence up-to-date is a whole lot easier when you have a regular checklist to return to once (or even better, twice) a year.
While I’m in my LinkedIn profile quite a bit, I still set aside regular, dedicated time to skim through my profile and dust off the cobwebs, so to speak. Here’s my simple, go-to checklist to keep my profile current, without all the stress.
1. Profile Picture
For better or for worse, people change. What you looked like a decade ago is not quite the same as what you look like now. Part of staying current is making sure your prospective clients and customers could actually recognize you in a room from your LinkedIn profile picture. Best practice is to update your profile photo at least once every 18 months, but I often recommend swapping it out for a current shot once per year.
It’s easy to “set it and forget it” when it comes to your account password. For optimal account security, however, most digital platforms recommend updating your password at least once per year. If keeping up with your latest password is a challenge for you, try a secure password manager. I like LastPass, but there are dozens out there that will help you keep your accounts secure.
From featured work and rich media to publications and websites, there are lots of places in your LinkedIn profile where you might include URLs. As you skim through your profile, go ahead and click on every link. You may find that your links redirect to the wrong sources or are broken, usually at no fault of your own. Archiving or reorganizing on those sites might relocate the page you’re trying to link. Try to find an updated, correct URL if you can, or simply remove the link entirely.
4. Features & Settings
LinkedIn steadily adds new features and updates the look and feel of the interface. If you’re not regularly on LinkedIn, chances are, you’ve missed a feature or two. In the past year alone, you would have missed the gender pronouns, name pronunciation audio recordings, creator mode, the hiring banner, the open to work banner, and profile videos, among other features. To avoid the shock factor of new usability and to take advantage of all the latest tools, I recommend skimming through all the buttons and settings options in your profile at least once per year. Also, familiarize yourself with all the sections you can add to your profile. Even if it’s not relevant for you today, you’ll know there’s a spot for it on your LinkedIn profile.
5. Personal Updates
While you’re here in your profile, go ahead and update anything that has changed in the last year. Did you join a new volunteer organization? Add it to the volunteer section. Did you start a new job? End your former position and swap in your new one in your experience section. It’s always a good idea to skim through your profile from top to bottom and check to see that everything there represents you well and that nothing important is missing.
In case you didn’t already know, LinkedIn does not spellcheck your content. I always recommend drafting your content in a word document with a built-in grammar capability to avoid typos on your professional profile. More times than you would believe, I’ve encountered clients who had no idea there was a misspelled word or missing word lurking somewhere in their LinkedIn profiles. A clean, carefully edited profile makes the best impression.
Staying current on LinkedIn doesn’t need to be a big, stressful ordeal. In fact, it may even be fun. Straightening up always gives me a great feeling of satisfaction. To keep up your annual (or more frequent) rhythm of sweeping through your profile, try associating the process with something else you do at about the same cadence. Maybe you add your LinkedIn profile review as an item within your quarterly financial to-do list. Or perhaps, you incorporate it into a “new year, new you” routine every January. Whatever works for you!