Career Advice

Job vanishing? Get Your LinkedIn Profile Ready for Your Next Step
Carl Friesen posted on April 06, 2016 |
Are you concerned that your job may be ending soon? Or are you thinking of striking out into other opportunities, such as a business of your own?

There are some actions you can take right now to position yourself well for your next step and one of the most important is getting your
LinkedIn profile into tip-top form so it’s an asset for your job hunt, not a liability.

Why does LinkedIn matter? If someone has heard about you or met you and thinks you might be a good fit, they’ll do what anyone does these days before making a decision – they’ll go online to learn more about you. Almost certainly, because of the search engine credibility LinkedIn has, your first footprint that they’ll find on the Web will be your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is always adding new features and so there may be ways that you can add credibility to your profile that perhaps weren’t available last time you checked.

First, Get Stealthy

You may be worried that if you make a lot of changes to your LinkedIn profile, you’ll raise concerns from your current employer that you’re planning a career move. So get stealthy in two different ways.

Turn off notifications: Normally, each time you make a change to your profile, LinkedIn will helpfully update all of your connections. To prevent those notifications, go into “edit” mode on your profile, find the green button on the right-hand side that says “Notify your network?” and click on that circle and it will turn red. This indicates that notifications about changes to your profile won’t be broadcast. You can change it back once you’re done with the big updates.

Make yourself anonymous: If you look at someone’s profile under normal settings, LinkedIn will tell them that you visited. If you’d prefer that didn’t happen, click on the small image of your portrait in the top right-hand corner, go to Privacy & Settings and make the changes you want.

 

Bring Your LinkedIn Profile Up to Date

Maybe your LinkedIn profile hasn’t had much attention from you since the last time you looked for work. You may need to go into it and clean
it up.

Make sure your current job title and description are up-to-date and drop really old jobs off your profile.

You should also take a look at your picture – does it show you in a good light? A professional portrait doesn’t need to cost a lot and it will really boost your profile’s appearance.

To be blunt, this is particularly important if you happen to be on the north side of 50 and you will need all the help a professional photographer can provide. Age discrimination is alive and well in today’s job marketplace.

Add Evidence of Your Skills and Experience

LinkedIn has developed some really great capabilities that enable you to showcase what you have to offer an employer, such as being able to upload samples of your work.

This is easiest if your documents are in PDF form. Make sure you’re in “edit” mode and then click on the little gray rectangle with a plus sign beside your job title and LinkedIn will prompt you through the steps to add the work sample.

Remember to ensure that you’re not publicizing any information that should stay confidential. You should also indicate the role you played in each project, which is particularly important if you did the work as part of a team.

Publish Posts on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has evolved into a publishing platform – a place for you to showcase your ideas and abilities and stand out as offering something
extra.

It’s called “Posts” and many business professionals find it a great way to publish content so it will be seen by anyone who views your profile. Better yet, your Posts appear in the news feed of all of your connections.

You can reach the wider world too. If you pick the right “tags” or keywords at the bottom of your Post (LinkedIn allows you to choose four), your Post has a better chance of being seen by people interested in those topics.

What should you write about? It’s simple. Think of the kind of person you want to reach and think of the problems that they may be facing. Then, write your post around that topic, showing that you have insights and practical ideas to offer.

Say, for example, you want to get into renewable energy – specifically wind power. One of the biggest issues facing that sector has to do with getting regulatory and stakeholder approval for these projects. If you have ideas to offer on that topic, publish them as LinkedIn Posts and potential employers will be impressed with your employability.

To learn more about effectiveness with LinkedIn Posts, check out my blog post on this exact topic.

Build Your Relationships on LinkedIn

It’s called LinkedIn for a reason namely, the relationships you can build and develop with this social media network. Three aspects of your profile are particularly important:

Connections: These are an important aspect of building your network. You need to get strategic about this. Think of the kinds of people you want to get to know – maybe VPs of product development or managing partners of engineering firms. Then, see which of your existing connections have their own connections with those people and reach out to build those relationships.

Recommendations: If you don’t have people saying good things about you, that silence can speak louder than words. Reach out to people who can recommend you by recommending them. If they accept your recommendation, they’ll get a little notification from LinkedIn: “And do you want to recommend this person back again?” That way, you build your recommendations.

Groups: Some groups on LinkedIn are vibrant, active communities. Others are just places where people post their blog posts and run with no interaction. Other groups are dead, or mostly so. You want to find and join active groups, either related to your own profession or occupation (which is where you learn) or to the industry you want to serve (which is where potential clients get to know you).

To learn more about how you can build your profile as a thought leader, enroll in the free weekly resource of Thought Leadership Resources, delivered by email each Friday – click here.

About the Author

Carl Friesen has a background in Journalism, an MBA in Marketing, and experience in sales and business development. For the past 15

years, he has helped his business professional clients publish content that demonstrates their expertise in niche markets.


He is founder of Thought Leadership Resources, which provides educational materials to help professionals such as engineers, lawyers, consultants and architects learn how to get noticed and stand out as thought-leaders. To learn more, visit www.ThoughtLeadershipResources.com. To enroll in a free weekly resource offering insights into demonstrating thought leadership, click here.


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