When is the last time you hopped on LinkedIn? If you're like most of the more than half billion users, you haven't spent time on the professional networking site in the last month. But you should. If you don't care about your career, who else will?
I tend to my LinkedIn profile daily and tell my clients they should, too. It's easy to keep your LinkedIn fresh if you spend just a few minutes a day on it, say over your morning coffee or afternoon break. With monthly active users hovering around 20 percent, trust me when I say if you invest the time, you will shine. Here are eight things you can do to improve our LinkedIn presence -- each one in the time it takes to caffeinate.
1. Find a cover photo.
You don't want LinkedIn's standard background -- blue with geometric shapes. You are trying to stand out, not blend in. You could use a shot of your city's skyline or cover art that matches your logo. Or, head over to Pixabay.com or Unsplash.com and search through hundreds of royalty-free photos.
2. Add a missing section.
Maybe you never completed the section on education. Maybe you now serve on a non-profit board or regularly help out at a school or food pantry, but you forgot to add a volunteer section. Add sections that will complete your profile. And, of course, up date existing sections, too.
3. Like, comment on and share others' posts.
Help other people feel noticed and validated. All it takes is one little click or a few words to say, "Hey, I thought that was interesting, too" or "Thanks for sharing," or "Kudos."
4. Share stories or post a status update.
Likewise, share articles -- about your industry, corporate culture, innovations or careers in general -- that made you think or provided a fresh perspective. Even better, write your own articles.
And now and then, write a status update to let those in your network now what you're up to. If it's feels too braggy, there's always #humblebrag.
5. Post media.
Post links to your website, company videos, a blog post you are proud of or a story that featured you or your company. You can post these as status updates. But if you want them to stay on your page, link them to your summary story or within your experience section. That why they're always there -- like a pinned tweet on Twitter.
6. Ask for referrals.
It's great when colleagues, managers and clients have nice things to say about you and your work. Ask to get that in writing -- in a LinkedIn referral. Let those you're asking know which areas you'd like for them to highlight. And offer to write them referrals, as well.
7. Respond to invites.
When people reach out to connect with you, respond. Maybe send a note to say you hope they are doing well and tell them what you are up to at work. If you don't know the sender, take a few minutes to write something like "I don't believe we've officially met before. I'd like to set up a time to chat by phone so that we can get to know each other."
8. Endorse people for their skills.
This takes seconds. You could make dozens of endorsements in just one minute. And, don't be surprised if you see endorsements crop up on your profile.
Bottom line: Remember, it's a social networking site for professionals, so you really do need to engage now and then with other professionals.