It’s that time of the year again: the beginning of new opportunities. Maybe you have been considering expanding your role with a bigger position or have unfortunately been furloughed due to the pandemic. Whatever your professional goals + resolutions are for 2021, your LinkedIn profile should reflect the new you in the new year.
1. Give your profile a refresh.
2. Update your skills.
3. Review your experience.
4. Add any recent projects, accomplishments, or volunteer work.
5. Ask for recommendations and update your skills/endorsements.
To ensure that you are putting your most professional foot forward in the new year, give your LinkedIn profile a holistic tune-up. From your headshot photo down to your interests, take the time to scroll a fine-toothed comb through your profile to review your information and make sure it is all up to date, while setting yourself up to face your professional goals in the new year.
The skills section of LinkedIn is an oft-overlooked, yet increasingly pertinent area of your profile. By updating your skills to accurately reflect the skills you have acquired throughout your career you are communicating to potential hiring teams that you continue to progress in your career, and that you are always growing and evolving as an employee. Companies are always looking for qualified candidates, but they are also looking for well-rounded workers who are eager to learn. To show them that you are the person for the job, regularly update your skills section to reflect how you have progressed as an employee.
While updating your own skills page, don’t forget to endorse the skills of some of your connections. Having connections endorse your skills and endorsing theirs is a great way to show prospective employers that you are not an island, and instead you are a team player whose hard work is noticed by their coworkers.
Even if the experience section of your LinkedIn profile accurately reflects your job history, it is still worth reviewing to ensure it most accurately reflects your job experience. Has your job title changed since you last updated your profile? Did you recently cross a milestone that you want to share with your connections by writing a post? Did you take on any major new responsibilities this year? If so, zhush up the description of your current position to reflect what you have taken on and accomplished. Once you’re done reviewing your experience, click “update my industry” to help spread the word on all you've achieved this past year.
Your prospective employers will only know as much as you tell them, so don’t be afraid to be your own cheerleader on your LinkedIn profile. This is the place for you to give a shoutout to all you have achieved this past year. Which big projects did you recently hit out of the park? Did you and your team accomplish any major innovation this year that you've been waiting to share? Have you been spending your Sunday morning volunteering in your community? Whatever you have been up to, your LinkedIn connections want to know. Write an end of year wrapup post with all your greatest hits from 2020 to show your connections and prospective future employers how you made the most out of such a crazy year.
Bonus Tip: 2020 was the year the world went remote—how did transitioning to remote work help you grow as an employee? What new skills did you pick up while working from home? Add how you overcame any remote work related speedbumps to show just how flexible of an employee you are.
The new year is a great time to reach out to trusted colleagues, supervisors, and direct reports to ask for a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn makes it easy to reach out using the “Ask for a Recommendation” button that appears while editing your profile and guides you through your request.
On your profile page, you can also add new skills and endorse others which is a great way to encourage someone to endorse you. You can also take multiple choice quizzes from LinkedIn to prove your skills and earn a skill badge on your profile. Choose from skill quizzes like Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, SEO, and more.
Once you have fine-tuned all of the written areas of your LinkedIn profile, it is time to update the most visual section—your profile picture and background image. Remember, your profile photo should convey professionalism, but still reflect what makes you uniquely you. During this safely distanced and remote time, it may be difficult for you to make an appointment to get new professional headshots taken. Most current smartphones can provide a high quality photo, so try snapping a new shot with a plain background and a lot of natural light. Then, use one of these background photos to give your new profile picture a boost of personality and show your motivation.
Are you still shopping for some of the remote workers on your gift list for the holidays or New Year’s gift? For some inspiration, here is our 2020 Remote Gift Guide.