USAA Tips: Give your LinkedIn profile an end-of-year refresh

Content provided courtesy of USAA | By Chad Storlie

LinkedIn is the primary professional social networking and professional social media business application. LinkedIn is used as a resume, a way to network and connect, and a team building application. Finish the new year strong by updating and revising your LinkedIn skill sets.

Here are 5 ways to update your LinkedIn profile:

Refresh Your Photo.

A new, professional photo with professional dress and an inviting smile is one of the best, high impact, and immediate things that you can do for your career. If you are a transitioning military member, then focus on civilian dress and not a dress uniform or a deployment photograph. If in doubt, err on the side of traditional, professional dress and appearance. Your LinkedIn photograph should be how you look and appear everyday: professional, happy, and engaged.

Quantify Your Accomplishments.

For hiring managers and peers, one of the hardest items to determine is how to evaluate the quality of your achievements. Use metrics and data that clearly and easily reflect that impact in terms of people promoted, dollars saved, a percentage a process improved, or new ideas and processes innovated. A common mistake for military members is to list their responsibilities instead of their accomplishments. People want to know what you accomplished – make it easy for them to understand through the clear use of data in simple sentence formats.

Update Your Keywords, Skills & Publications.

Every industry has keywords in terms of developments, technology, innovation, and key software. Find and revise your resume with the top keywords that are trending in your industry, company, and metro area. This will help significantly when recruiters search for key terms to help discover new talent for their organizations. If you have published an article or been in the news, then update the publication section within LinkedIn.

Update Your News Feeds.

Using LinkedIn as a news source for key trends in your industry is a great way to use LinkedIn’s power for your career. Update who you follow, find key hashtags to track, and use key groups to participate in discussions. In addition, be very judicious with how many people you track and follow to create a news feed that benefits you LinkedIn can become cluttered with “non-work” material so use the follow and unfollow functions to personalize your news feed.

Send an Update to Key Contacts.

Sending an end of the year message to key contacts is another great way to stay in touch and find ways to help others. A short 2-3 paragraph message on your accomplishments, professional aspirations, and plans for the next year helps keep contacts updated on your activities.

LinkedIn is a great tool that must be consistently updated to power your career and career aspirations to the next level.