Linkedin 2021. Just Be Your (Professional) Self! Part 2

Let's dive a little deeper into Linkedin profile optimization and talk about ways to make sure you're not only capturing attention but making a VERY strong impression when you do!
Written by
Ali Williams
March 4, 2021
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In my last post, I talked about the basics of making your LinkedIn profile a reflection of you and your unique personality, and more than just a dry, boring cut-and-paste of your resumé. It was a great start, "but wait; there's more!" In this post, I will talk about further improving your profile by engaging others, getting involved, and making things happen!

Get Recommendations From This Decade FTW!

Okay, you've sparkled up your headline, about and experience sections. And because it's looking so amazing with all the keywords and great information you've added, you're attracting 'the right' people's interest! They scroll through your profile and get to your recommendations section to see what people are saying. No problem, you've already got yourself a handful of wondeful recommendations listed… from 2011. You are not alone. It's another symptom of us all getting jazzed and excited in the early days when LinkedIn was newer. We all got a bunch of people to write recommendations because it was a novelty. Back then, we were all "Oh, I'm going to ask everybody I know!". Then life got busy, we were content in our jobs, and we all got complacent. And now it's 2021, and you have three excellent recommendations from your junior role 10-11 years ago. Thankfully, you can easily remedy this by asking people you know who will say great things to provide you with more recent recommendations. That said, my advice is not to run out to ask 15 people at once because there are dates posted with each one, so it's evident that you went on a mad dash to get a ton of people to sing your praises all at once, and it just seems a bit contrived.

Additionally, it could cause an issue with your current employer. If anybody happens to be looking at your profile, their spidey senses might tingle thinking that you're in the market for something new. Instead, space out your recommendation requests, so they feel more organic. Maybe once or twice a month, approach a couple people from your past and ask them to write a recommendation. You can give them areas that you want them to focus on skills (think keywords, of course!) important to your continued career progression. And just like that, you're getting back in the game. Speaking of which–

Get in the Linkedin Game!

Do you prefer to live your Linkedin life on the outside peeking in? Do you take more of a scroll and look, and maybe, just maybe, if the stars align, you'll like something? Not good enough! If you are looking for new opportunities, there's a huge benefit to being more active within the network. And active means posting. Whether you're creating your own content or re-sharing somebody else's with your commentary, or you are commenting on others' posts and engaging in the conversation, it's a vital part of your Linkedin presence. Being active helps make you more visible to potential recruiters, hiring managers and others in the industry gives you a little, dare I say, cache darling! It's a no-brainer when you think about it. Your perfect career-focused audience is there waiting for you, so talk to them!

Some people might be like you, hanging out and watching from the sidelines, but many others will engage in what you're posting and sharing and participate in a conversation or a friendly debate with you. The more that happens, the more you show up in your contacts' timelines and timelines of people in their networks. So there's a genuine possibility that you can gain a lot of traction and engagement. Everything you post will be part of your profile in the "activity" section. It will become a record of everything you've been involved in and a showcase of your knowledge as it relates to what you do. Anyone checking out your profile will see the kind of content you've produced and what you've said about other's content. So get out there and let your voice be heard (read!)!

Linkedin Groups - Do it!

Another area you can focus on to increase your visibility and impact is through the groups you are a part of. This is an excellent idea for a couple of reasons.

You can (and should) make your groups visible on your profile, ensuring they align with your career and goals to reflect on you and your commitment and interest in your path. By being strategic about the groups you're a part of, you're furthering your career 'brand.'

On top of showing your commitment to what you do, industry groups within your area of expertise are an excellent place for you to showcase what a whiz you are. By regularly contributing to the conversation, posting relevant articles, and showcasing your knowledge, experience, and of course, your winning personality, you'll draw some attention. Not only will this raise your profile, but hey- you're bound to make some new connections in your field, and that just can't hurt you no matter what can it? NO is the answer!

Add Friends New and Old!

Did you know that you are more likely to show up in search results if you have more contacts? True story. So, don't be shy! Feel free to add people you've only met a handful of times and even people you don't know. You can search for industry keywords to find people in your industry, and the people with the top profiles will be at the top of the list. Those are the perfect people to form a connection with, so reach out to add them with a short note introducing yourself. They are the ones who likely post information that will be relevant, interesting and useful to you. And they are people who will probably be interested in what you have to say too!

Now Get Out There and Be Seen!

So there you have it. A bunch of things to do to optimize your profile and tips to stay active will ensure you're in the spotlight more often than not on Linkedin this year! Now it's over to you to make it happen.

Be sure to follow my directions and if you're reading this, of course, add me on Linkedin!

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