When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Many of us change, rearrange, and update our Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and various other personal profiles at least on a weekly basis, but let our LinkedIn profiles, where up-to-date information is essential for professional networking, stay put.
Up-to-date information is very important for business owners, who are trying to build their presence online. Potential clients, customers and partners will spend less time on profiles filled with old information. There are three things business owners should be aware of when updating their profile:
Your profile picture should bring out your best professional side and a face photo is a great way to bring out your best face. Like outdated information, outdated photos should also be avoided. While you may look a little younger, or a few pounds thinner, looking “better” can backfire. If a potential client expects the person they see in your profile photo, but sees someone else on your first meeting, it can make them wonder what else you’re lying about the truth is.
You don’t need glamorous shots, and they don’t need to be expensive. All you need is a decent camera (or a friend who has one) and a blank wall. Wear what suits your business, if your signature outfit is a t-shirt and jeans, the photo can represent as much as possible, as long as the t-shirt is stored properly and doesn’t feature anything a potential client could find offensive.
And, while you may have a great photo of your child, spouse, or pet, potential customers may not want to see it.
Avoid Random Recommendations
While Twitter is all about the number of followers you have, LinkedIn is not. You want to make good, solid, real connections. Don’t collect recommendations from random acquaintances just for the sake of getting more from them. Real recommendations from people who really know you and your expertise, who can speak honestly about them is key. Exaggerating, or outright lying, is just bad form and will backfire.
Lining up your resume, saying you have years of experience doing a particular job when it’s only a few months, should be avoided. Potential clients and customers will scrutinize you to make sure you are who you are and what you say you are. If they don’t know about it before doing business with you, their inexperience will show when you can’t provide the service they ask for and bad reviews spread like wildfire.
Avoid adding information that completely clutters your message. If you’re trying to promote, and grow the business you have now, you want to present relevant information about it; no need to give out a laundry list of every job you’ve had since high school. If it has nothing to do with your current business, you probably don’t need it.
Don’t overuse keywords trying to land in every search result. Use keywords that are meaningful to your field, so the results that show up are the most important ones, because they’re looking for you.
Finally, avoid filling your profile with fancy words or technical jargon known only to your industry. The excessive use of fantastic vocabulary does not always impress the masses. Sometimes what you leave off your profile is just as important as what you put in.