LinkedIn is an impactful way to build your professional brand and expand your network. While it may seem like people spend hours on end using the platform, there is a lot you can do in ten minutes or less to improve your profile or to stay active on this essential professional social media platform.
1. Update your headline
Your LinkedIn headline defaults to current role at current company. Your current role is just a small part of who you are as a professional. You have 120 characters in this line where you can elaborate and share more about yourself. Consider changing your headline to a keyword list, a sentence or sentence fragment. For example: ‘Helping small businesses recruit and retain top talent’ or ‘HR Advisor | Recruitment | Employee Engagement | Diversity & Inclusion.’ This will give people a better idea of the work you do and why they might be interested in connecting.
2. Consider SEO
When someone is searching for you on LinkedIn, what are the keywords they would search? These are the important words to incorporate into your headline and summary sections. Make sure your qualifications and keywords are at the forefront. You may fold these into your summary in paragraph form or leave them as a ‘key skills’ word bank at the bottom of your summary. Do you know a code language, have a certification or a particular subject matter expertise? Make sure to share those items to be included in recruiter searches by highlighting them in your summary or headline.
3. Get active
You’ll get the most out of LinkedIn if you are using LinkedIn, so get in there and post, like, comment or share. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can contribute to a conversation that is already happening or share an article that you found particularly helpful. Simple actions will ensure that your profile is shared and you are top of mind. This can be done in just a few minutes and reach hundreds of people.
4. Change to first person
Unlike your resume, LinkedIn profiles are typically written in first person using ‘I.’ This style will help the reader more easily engage with your message and allow you to use your voice and style more than in our resume where impersonal sentence fragments are still the norm. LinkedIn is where your professional personality can come through, so share your story in your voice.
Write a personalized message in your connection requests to start the relationship on the right foot and increase the possibility of them accepting the request. This small step really matters and is particularly impactful if you are requesting to connect with those you don’t know, including potential hiring managers or industry leaders. You can share a bit about why you’d like to connect and, if you already know the person, just mention that you’d like to say in touch on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn doesn’t need to be complicated and these steps can be used whether you’re just starting out or you have an established voice as an industry leader. After all, engaging on LinkedIn is one of the most important steps to growing and managing your professional network.
A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.