How to make sure LinkedIn is bringing you value

I get the LinkedIn Updates in my e-mail and check out the changes of my connections. My clients are often connected to me and sometimes it is the way I find out about their new positions if they didn’t send me an e-mail.

Savvy career management-focused clients will make sure that their LinkedIn profile gets updated regularly. I’m not suggesting that you update the profile the first day on a new job but don’t leave it sit with old information for two or three years.

As with any web content, it gets indexed by Google with updated content so updating your profile will move it forward if someone searches for your  name.

You want your LinkedIn profile to be filled with value-filled information just like your resume.

When should you update or change your LinkedIn Profile?

  • When you change positions, not only to a new company but to a new role with your company.

TIP: Since LinkedIn doesn’t have a way of tiering or stacking positions within a company, I often will list the newest position as the title and reference the other ones. Otherwise you end up with a long list of positions and if the reader doesn’t read carefully, it looks like job hopping.

See the snippet with the tiered positions.  It is an extreme example. We listed the multiple positions for this client because he had continuously assumed more challenging positions. I stack positions on resumes because if you listed them all independently, it would look like job hopping. This client ended up landing another Assistant VP position with a bank.

Same thing on your profile only LinkedIn will not let you stack them so you might want to create your own stack within one position for LinkedIn.

  • When you have added education or completed a degree. You want readers to understand that you are working to improve yourself.
  • When you achieve new certifications that are significant to your field.

What about the LinkedIn photo?

  • When you have changed your appearance and need a new photo.

Don’t miss the opportunity to update your photo when you have changed hair color or cut or just in general need an updated photo. Experts say you don’t have to get the photo professionally done for LinkedIn. I say, it is up to you. I do better with a professional photographer who understands lighting and can make me smile naturally.

What else could prompt you to update your LinkedIn profile?

  • When you are published or featured in media.
  • When you receive a significant honor or award.
  • When your e-mail or phone number changes.

TIP: Did you know the sections in LinkedIn are movable? I move mine around according to my priorities.

  • When you as a business professional are offering a new service or product.

The list of the reasons you may want to update your LinkedIn profile are endless but if you leave a stale profile up there that makes you look like your last job was in 2009, you may be losing opportunities.

Stuck in your job search or just ready to move on or up from your existing position? Julie Walraven, a Wausau, Wisconsin-based professional resume writer and career marketing strategist, can help you get ready for your next role! To find out how, Click here!

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  1. Mark on February 13, 2012 at 10:07 am

    These are some great tips, thanks for sharing them Julie : )

    • Julie Walraven on February 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

      You are totally welcome, Mark. I find so many undervalued LinkedIn profiles that I am on a mission to educate!

  2. Stephen Van Vreede on February 13, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Hi Julie,
    Great post! With so many companies and recruiters now sourcing candidates directly through LinkedIn, having an updated profile that is well written and consistently branded (with their resume and with the type of job they are going for) is very important. There are folks out there (myself included) that are certified to help job seekers write and optimize their LinkedIn Profile, positioning them as an expert or leader in their field.

    Stephen (

    • Julie Walraven on February 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Yes, Steve, thanks for stopping by! As a fellow certified professional resume writer with many years of experience in the field, I agree job search has changed. Many of my clients have found jobs when we recrafted or created their LinkedIn profiles and taught them correct job search strategies using social media networking. It is definitely one of the areas that I include in my services.

  3. Daly @ HypoallergenicDogFood on February 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Sometimes, I think I should pay much more attention to social networking then I currently do. Ways of communicating have changed a lot, and so has the job searching. We have to keep up to date!

    • Julie Walraven on February 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      You are not alone, Daly. There are many people who are either new to social media, not sure how to use it, or are using it incorrectly. For those people, I usually advise finding someone who is a good role model and copying how they use it.

      You don’t have to find power players. There are plenty of down-to-earth good people who have mastered either one or many social media sites and most are willing to give pointers.

      The most important thing is to build relationships. Commenting on blogs was one of the ways I started. I found good bloggers and was surprised at how they were willing to talk to me. Since then many are either friends or people I have hired or people who have hired me or sometimes all three!

  4. Toni on May 17, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Thanks Julie. Of course, the same great tips apply to small businesses trying to cultivate new leads.

    As an employer, I concur: Be personable; status updates should be relevant and regular and tell us about your experiences, not just your employment / education history.


    • Julie Walraven on May 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Toni! and yes, everything I write about LinkedIn works for business as well as job seekers. Good tips!

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