Make New Year’s Resolution to Update Your Linkedin Profile for Better Networking and Career Building in 2017
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI EXTENSION
SOUTHWEST REGION NEWS SERVICE
Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – One New Year’s or holiday resolution to consider that could impact your career and networking ability is to create or update your LinkedIn.com profile according to David Burton, civic communication specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
“The best thing you can to is to use your LinkedIn presence to showcase who you are versus what you do,” said Burton. “That makes this a great time of year to update your profile. Add awards or recognition you have received along with new topics or abilities related to your work.”
Burton also recommends adding links to online content that demonstrates your value or knowledge. Link to blog posts, news articles or contributed articles or videos that include you or your organization.
“I recently read one recommendation that I’m going to try myself this year which is to make sure your LinkedIn profile doesn’t read like a resume,” said Burton. “Instead, speak in first person so people can relate to you and trust you. The other recommendation was to use your profile to tell your story by weaving it into a listing of your skills and thought leadership you want to showcase.”
Burton adds that it is also important to use words in your profile that make it easy for people to find you. Think of words that people would use to search for someone like you and include those key words in your headline, your summary and throughout your profile.
“Be sure to complete the volunteer portion as well,” said Burton. “LinkedIn places a lot of weight with search in this section.”
It would also be good to resolve to keep your information current during this coming year and treat LinkedIn as an opportunity instead of a chore.
“Incomplete profiles, not updating your jobs or summaries, not giving details about each role or including photos that may be inappropriate for LinkedIn are all common mistakes,” said Burton.
Then take the time to request recommendations from current and former colleagues and customers. These testimonials send a powerful message about your work or organization.
LINKEDIN FOR BUSINESS
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for savvy small business owners according to Kathy Macomber, a community development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
“Basically, the site combines the functions of a resume and Rolodex,” said Macomber.
LinkedIn allows a person to import their Outlook contact list and then use those contacts to populate LinkedIn.
“You always have the ability to edit your information, and the privacy settings allow you to choose which information is publicly displayed,” said Macomber.
There are multiple groups with Linkedin that are formed around interests and trade and professional associations. Inside groups, you have the ability both to post questions of others, and to share (and market) your professional expertise by answering questions.
If your business interacts with certain positions (i.e. facilities manager or vice president of I.T., etc.), you can use the search feature on LinkedIn to identify those titles within a specific geographic area. The next step is to see whether you have any connections to those individuals.
“The approach to using LinkedIn is to think of finding the contacts you need to know, in addition to the ones you already do know,” said Macomber. “The professional image you project may provide one more reason for vendors and customers to reach out to you.”
Both Burton and Macomber are part of the Missouri Training Institute team in southwest Missouri. The Missouri Training Institute, in partnership with University of Missouri Extension, offers top-notch leadership and customized training for employees in all types of businesses and organizations.
For more information about MTI leadership, supervisory and customized training options contact any of these MU Extension specialists working in southwest Missouri: Amy Patillo in Christian County, (417) 581-3558; Kathy Macomber in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; David Burton in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; Janice Emery in Texas County, 417-967-4545; Sarah Kenyon in Howell County, 417-256-2391; Nellie Lamers in Taney County, 417-546-4431; Ted Probert in Wright County, 417-547-7545.