The birds are chirping outside of my window, we will reach a high of 72 degrees today, and in Baltimore, the cherry blossoms are blooming. That can only mean one thing – Spring is upon us my friends! As we all rub the sleep out of our eyes and come alive again this Spring, I can imagine there will be lots of Spring cleaning activities; closet clean-out, donating clothing and housewares to a local charity or thrift store, moving and vacuuming under the furniture, cleaning windows…there can be something oddly satisfying about cleaning house, taking inventory and creating a fresh start.
The same can be said for your LinkedIn profile. Have you read through your profile recently? Is it completely up to date and accurate? My bet is that at least half of you are saying, “Not really…” right about now. And that’s okay! It happens. Life, work, skills and networks are constantly changing and evolving. So, maybe it’s time to take stock and do some updating.
I asked the team at Intero about what’s on their Spring cleaning list:
“Spring cleaning is always refreshing and reminds us to appreciate our surroundings and belongings. Checking in on your LinkedIn network is similar. You want to surround yourself with people who are using LinkedIn and are active, interesting and even potentially willing to intentionally network with you. Appreciate your connections by creating introductions for them, sharing their content and staying in touch.”
“I am just a few (seemingly long) weeks away from moving to a new home that my husband and I have been renovating since September. With any move comes lots of purging. I am going out with the old and bringing in the new…
That is, new LinkedIn connections. I spoke at a conference earlier this month where I met many impressive professionals with whom I would love to do business. Unless they got to me first, I sent out dozens of LinkedIn invitations to bring them into my network. Now that most of them have accepted my invitation, my next step is to engage my new connections in conversation to follow up. Having connections for the sake of it typically does not yield new business opportunities. It is up to me to thank them for accepting my invitation and reignite the great conversations we started at the conference.
So, while I am cleaning out my old things in preparation for my move, I am also bringing in new connections and engaging them.”
“My LinkedIn spring cleaning goal is to be intentional with my LinkedIn connections. No longer are the days where I accept connection requests of those I don’t know in order to build a network. Intentional seems to be the motto for this spring…
At home, my spring cleaning goal is to stop buying clothes that I’ll never wear just because they are cute! Once I donate the clothes I no longer wear, only intentional (yet still cute) pieces will find themselves in my closet!”
There is lots of activity around connections among the Intero group this Spring. What a great time to evaluate your own network, scale down or grow where needed, and find new ways of engaging!
For me, I’ll be focused on a number of large household projects this Spring including a total reorganization and purge of the items in my basement. In LinkedIn however, my Spring cleaning is actually about adding to my current collection. Of skills, that is. It’s been over a year since I’ve updated my Experience and Skills sections. I’ve acquired lots of new experience and skills as the Talent Finder for Intero that should be highlighted in my profile. So, I’ll be taking some time to put that experience into words and incorporate it in my Headline, Summary, Experience and Skills sections.
These are all just ideas to get you started. The truth is that there are so many opportunities within LinkedIn to update, expand, refresh and take things to the next level. I have compiled a list below of some other LinkedIn Spring cleaning ideas to consider.
Spring Cleaning ideas:
- Update your profile picture and/or background picture – LinkedIn’s research shows that just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others.
- Add a project or two – The projects section is one of the most underutilized sections on LinkedIn. If you have recently participated in a project at work, consider writing a description/explanation regarding your contribution and adding it to your profile.
- Do you have a patent? – If so, add it to LinkedIn! Did you know that LinkedIn offers a patent section? This section is particularly useful for engineers and those in the science or technology fields.
- Add newly acquired skills to your Skills section
- Have you written a Recommendation for anyone recently? – Have a look at our blog post on writing LinkedIn Recommendations. Someone may just return the favor and write a Recommendation for you!
- LinkedIn Groups – What Groups do you currently belong to on LinkedIn? Are you active in these Groups. If not, it may be time to either switch things up or put together a plan for how to increase your Group activity.
- Certifications and Education – Take a look at your education and certification sections. What courses have you taken this year? Any new certifications? Make sure they’re included. LinkedIn makes it easy for you to add certifications to your Profile.
- Volunteer and Organizations – What information can you share with your network about what you do outside of work? This information can be a great conversation starter. And it helps to present you to others as a well-rounded individual.
- Connections, export list and review – As we mentioned above, there is a lot of maintenance to consider on your Connections list. You may want to export your list of Connections to a spreadsheet format and review in order to implement some of the suggestions that my teammates shared.
And don’t forget to take advantage of the beautiful Spring weather as you begin to implement your strategy. Take your laptop out to a picnic table and soak up some sun while you optimize your profile! (We do not recommend performing any of these tasks on a phone or tablet device).
I am interested to hear your ideas and plans for LinkedIn Spring cleaning, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section. Happy Spring!