How-To

Ways to Use LinkedIn More Effectively in 2021 and Grow Professionally

Now is the time to rethink your LinkedIn profile and take advantage of professional tools.

The beginning of a new year is a terrific time to take stock of your online presence. For professionals, this means cleaning up your LinkedIn profile and consider using some of the site’s terrific tools you might have overlooked. To use LinkedIn more effectively in 2021, consider these tips.

Use LinkedIn More Effectively by Improving Your LinkedIn Profile

Maintaining a LinkedIn profile has many benefits. First, it gives you an active forum to summarize your career milestones and accomplishments for everyone to see. It’s also a great way to maintain contact with business associates for networking purposes. The most successful LinkedIn profiles go deeper. Here are some tried and true simple ways to make your LinkedIn profile better.

Add a Photo

It’s important to use the right profile picture for your LinkedIn account. This image should be current, in color, and mostly focus on your face, which should be smiling! Please don’t include a long-distance shot and keep your dress professional.

Re-Introduce Yourself

Each LinkedIn profile begins with a headline. Although many may use this headline as a job title, it’s not necessarily the only way to go. Instead, you can use this box to highlight your greatest business strengths (“great with numbers”) or work ethic (“self-starter.”). For inspiration, look at how other LinkedIn members are using the headline and adjust yours accordingly.

You should also carefully craft the About section on your LinkedIn profile. Sometimes called the LinkedIn summary, this section is where you can show off your professional talents, big and small, in your own words. Two things to avoid here are job titles and overly marketed buzzwords.

If you have a current LinkedIn summary and don’t remember when it was last changed, do it now. No one likes a stale introduction!

Review Your Job Status

Like your CV, always keep your job history active on LinkedIn. This means keeping education and experience up-to-date. Under your experience, keep the description current, and add media (such as documents, photos, sites, videos, and presentations) often. Even if your job history hasn’t changed in the past 12 months, use this time to give it a tweak by highlighting new experiences and achievements.

Add to Your Skills and Endorsements

No doubt, adding your job history is an important step in maintaining an active LinkedIn profile. However, don’t overlook the Skills section. You should keep a running list of the skills that are relevant to you. By doing so, you’re adding context to what you’ve already added in the Headline and About section.

Focus on your core skills only, which tend to change over time. Otherwise, the section will become bloated and less appealing to visitors.

The Skills section isn’t just about adding your relevant skills. It’s also where your LinkedIn contacts can make skill endorsements. By doing so, these skills stand out even more for would-be job hirers to see. The best way to jump-start this process is by going through your network and endorse others. Typically when this happens, they’ll do the same. You should also reach out directly to other members who you seek endorsements. Yes, sometimes the best course of action is to ask!

Regardless of how skills get active, be sure to choose which to show and which ones to hide. No longer relevant skills should be removed from the list, as should older endorsement.

Use LinkedIn More Effectively in 2021 by Using More Tools

Beyond improving your LinkedIn profile, celebrate the new year by taking advantage of LinkedIn resources, including the following.

Continue to Learn

LinkedIn offers over 16,000 free and paid courses online. These take many forms and are arranged based on your top picks and top trends. Some courses take less than 30 minutes to complete.  You’ll receive online certificates as each course is completed, which you can add to your LinkedIn profile for everyone to see.

LinkedIn Learning Courses features a combination of bite-sized videos or in-depth content, with some available through audio-only and offline viewing. Each LinkedIn user can check out the courses free for 30 days. Membership begins at $20 per month.

Share Content and Grow Your Contacts

Another way to keep your LinkedIn profile active is to share professional content — and often. By doing so, your contacts will see you front-and-center, making them more likely to interact. For your part, comment often on content those same contacts share with you. The give-and-take makes the community stronger and more informed.

It’s also important to add to your list of LinkedIn contacts regularly. Check out the People Also Viewed and People You May Know section for suggested people to follow. You can also use the LinkedIn search tool.

Summary

By maximizing your LinkedIn presence and taking advantage of the service’s many tools, you can take your career in a new direction in 2021. Following the tips above to get started today.

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