Are you on LinkedIn? If you are, are you making the best use of it?

LinkedIn has over 630 million members. With over 35,000 skills listed, the platform has over 20 million jobs open on LinkedIn Jobs.

If you’re employed, you may be interested in knowing that there’s a lot of mentorship happening in the platform. There are over 120,000 education-related groups and millions of mentors and mentees signed up for giving and receiving career advice.

If you are a business owner, the below numbers are worth noting.

  • 79% of marketers see LinkedIn as a good source of leads.
  • Professional content on the site is considered trustworthy by 7 out of 10 professionals.
  • 80% of B2B marketers get their social media leads from LinkedIn.
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Source: Social Pilot

We all know that Facebook is the biggest social media platform.

But if you’re after the “professional” niche, there’s nowhere else to look other than LinkedIn.

But knowing where to look is just half the story. For you to benefit you have to stay active. It has been reported that the monthly active users are 303 million. This means that over half of the registered users are not very active.

Inactivity is definitely the reason some of the benefits will not be enjoyed by many.

Whichever group you’re in, it’s time to make some changes. Either start being active or improve on your activity.

It’s important to know that being active is not merely checking what others have posted. You have to be proactive and do some posting of your own.

But you can’t start posting if your own profile isn’t welcoming or attractive enough.

If you post great content but your profile doesn’t reflect the content you posted, you won’t be taken seriously. It may as well be assumed that you copied someone’s content.

So the starting point is your own profile.

How does your profile look like?

Are you aware that you need to keep your profile updated with the latest information? And that you should deliberately make this information relevant to your target audience?

In this article, we seek to encourage you to do this one thing. It is what holds the key to more profile views and more connections.

WHY YOU SHOULD UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE REGULARLY

Given the number of opportunities for jobs and business on LinkedIn, ignoring your profile is tragic.

And if the stats mentioned above are anything to go by, then some work on your profile is worthwhile.

In case those numbers haven’t convinced you, or you didn’t see their relevance, here are reasons which will help.

These will help you see the need to make frequent changes on LinkedIn.

As long as you have changes in your career life, they should be reflected on your profile.

It’s Your Online Professional Identity

Your LinkedIn profile is more than a social account.

Yes, LinkedIn is part of social media but there’s a big difference between it and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. It is primarily for professional networking.

While you can connect with all sorts of people and say all sorts of things on Facebook, LinkedIn can’t be the place for that.

It’s all career and business—of course, still being social. Even networking and socializing is on the basis of that. It’s about forging the right connections for business or career growth.

First of all, there are over 155 million US workers with LinkedIn profiles. Also, the US sees over 3 million jobs posted on LinkedIn every month.

Moreover, over 20,000 US companies use the platform to recruit.

This means that your career growth is most likely determined by your presence and activity on LinkedIn.

You will send out an application for a job and the recruiter will check out your LinkedIn profile. What happens when she sees information contradicting your resume?

Your LinkedIn profile contains the information in your resume and even more. It tells the recruiter whether you’re worth considering.

Remember that recruiters and hiring managers try their best to use the least amount of time in the hiring process.

Therefore, if checking out your profile raises more questions instead of providing answers, you may lose the opportunity.

The inconsistencies will take too much time and effort to reconcile.

What’s the recruiter to do in such a case? Move to the next candidate.

Improves Your Personal Brand

Just as businesses do brand marketing, so should you—in case you haven’t.

But just because you haven’t branded yourself, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a brand. You get branded by people every day.

However, it’s best to take charge and build your own brand.

Your brand is what people think and say about you.

What is your character? How do you do the things you do? What do you believe in? What are your goals?

Whether you answered these questions in the past or not, people have made conclusions based on what they see of you.

What happens if their conclusions are wrong?

Well, who is to blame if you haven’t explicitly given them the information they need for the right conclusions?

Your life is not constant.

You’re furthering your education, changing jobs, getting promoted etc.

If the last your network knew about you is your first job, then they might assume you’re still there.

Maybe you haven’t moved up for the last 10 years. Is this what you would like a recruiter to conclude?

Updating your LinkedIn profile regularly ensures that you provide the latest information about your accomplishments. And you don’t need to have finished big projects for you to have accomplishments.

You can even turn your resume duties into accomplishments.

This says a lot about you. Add the new skills you acquired from the last project you undertook and you become more valuable. That is how you build your personal brand.

If you don’t put in the effort, then you stand to lose.

Also, when you really need a job change, you’ll have a hard time remembering all the skills you acquired so as to include them.

The best thing to do is to add them as soon as you acquire them. That means regular updates.

Your Profile Shows Up on Google Searches

Have you ever “Googled” yourself? What did you see?

In case you’ve never done so, this is a good time to do it. You may be surprised by what you see.

Google is the biggest search engine. LinkedIn is also a search engine, though of a different kind. Google recognizes and respects LinkedIn because it’s a big source of information about people.

Drawing its power from the information it has about people, LinkedIn is definitely a powerful company.

Since Google cannot afford to lack search results or give irrelevant information, it has to crawl LinkedIn for information about people.

And being the first search engine which comes to anyone’s mind, recruiters will likely use Google to check out who you are.

If all they find are your Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts but nothing professional, they’ll have little reason to be interested in you. This can happen if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile.

It can also happen if you have a profile which is too outdated that your Facebook pictures and posts beat it to the first page of search results.

To stay safe, keep your profile updated and stay active on the platform.

Increases Relevance to Your Prospects

Updates are more than just information pieces for the biggest search engine. Searches also take place outside Google, especially on LinkedIn. You already know that recruiters come here to find talent.

If these recruiters look around and find your profile lacking the information they’re looking for, will the look again?

No.

And you can’t blame them. Trying to go after them later can be a difficult task to undertake. It’s one thing to pursue prospective employers and it’s something else to be pursued by one.

If you’re the one being pursued, you have an advantage. This will come in handy during pay and benefits negotiations.

In this case, you have very little work required of you to prove that you’re good enough for the job.

But if you didn’t make the cut, the recruiter or hiring manager will source for herself the best she can find. If these are her personal choice, can you stand against them?

Updating your profile has tremendous effects on increasing your relevance to prospects. Anyone seeking to connect with you will easily know that you’re good for certain positions or projects.

For instance, a prospective employer might be looking for a bank branch manager.

Searching the platform for the skills he wants, he is likely to settle on you if your latest accomplishments as a bank manager are on your profile.

This makes you relevant to him and he’s able to hire faster. His business avoids losses while you get career growth, hopefully with increased pay.

Helps Achieve High Rankings in Search Results

And just as Google’s search engine results matter, so do LinkedIn search results.

But it’s not just about appearing on the search results.

The bigger question is, on what page do you appear?

Does a prospective employer or connection need to go through 10 pages to find your profile? Can you guarantee that he will patiently go through them all searching for you?

If your profile rarely gets updated, it will be relegated to the last pages. The lack of activity on your end could as well mean that your account is almost becoming inactive.

Who wants to connect with inactive accounts? Do they really represent anyone? Does the person still exist?

Achieving higher rankings in the searches on LinkedIn is critical. It may be the difference between being considered for a position and being passed for someone else.

When making regular updates to your profile, you’re essentially saying that you’re progressing in your career. You are acquiring new skills and getting new and relevant work experience.

And the more skills you have on your profile, the better.

Your skills alone could greatly contribute to your ranking in the search results.

Since people search using keywords, your skills will likely contain some of those.

This will raise your rankings significantly.

If you didn’t have that particular skill, you would not have featured in the search results.

Similarly, if you have three of the skills being searched for, your chances to rank higher increase some more.

Increases Visibility

With the updates increasing your rankings on the search results page, the visibility of your whole profile is increased.

This is great marketing for you. The more your profile is viewed, the more popular you become.

The more popular you are, the more influential you can become.

Though gaining popularity on LinkedIn requires more than updating your profile, you can put in the effort and be on your way there.

The connection between profile updates and popularity comes from the increased visibility you get from more views. The views are themselves brought about by the things you type on your profile.

If you don’t make any updates, then there will be no profile to be viewed on the first pages of search results.

Camouflages Your Job Search Activities

One very interesting reason you should consider for regularly updating your profile is here. It helps you camouflage job search activities.

Many people are afraid of making changes to their profiles lest their bosses notice it and suspect an intention to leave.

In view of this very valid fear, many career coaches and advisors advice such people to turn off profile editing notifications.

This prevents LinkedIn from sending your network notifications about your profile having been changed.

But do you know there’s an easier way to go about it? And it’s fun too?

If you make it a habit to be editing your profile often with your most recent accomplishments, everyone will assume that it’s just your norm.

There will be nothing for them to suspect.

But if you’re never active then suddenly you make changes, everyone will conclude that you’re up to something.

Make it a habit and no-one will question it.

If your boss asks about it, casually and confidently tell him that you’re seeking to reflect your achievements and what your company is doing. It is obvious—or at least it should be—that your achievements are not independent.

For instance, if you have become a data warehouse manager, then it means that your company has grown to have such a position.

That means that your company is able to take advantage of the available data and use it to make better decisions.

If you have improved your customer care skills, it means that the company is (or is seeking to be) good with customer care.

So, it’s easy to deflect the attention from you and onto the company.

This will in fact make people start appreciating the power of LinkedIn and use it more often.

As for you, when that day comes and you’re really job hunting, it will all be under the radar.

Helps You Stay Ahead of the Competition

Now, if you understand that LinkedIn is a business tool, here’s a reason for you to keep your profile updated. After reading this reason, you’ll also understand that you need to do more than just updating it.

Some of the reasons above might have gotten you thinking. If not, then this will.

Frequent updates to your profile have a direct connection with the number of views you have.

The updates also determine whether your profile is relevant to your industry and the recruiters or not. If it is, and you get some views, you could be on your way towards popularity.

The more popular you are on LinkedIn, the better your chances to influence others. This is called thought leadership. This is especially for you if you’re in B2B.

If you’re an employee in a company, you will be seen as a proactive employee capable of taking a company in the right direction.

But still, there’s a way in which you can top the competition. Once at the top, you can also gently shake them off with some more effort.

How?

You may have heard about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is the tweaking of your website or blog so that relevant searches bring it on top of the competition.

The good news is that you can also do this on LinkedIn.

Since you want to appear on the first page, maybe at the very top, you need to do some work.

This involves strategic thinking and crafting your profile for that particular purpose.

This involves two steps:

1. Search for relevant keywords – in the website and blogging world, keywords are a key ingredient to SEO. Beside them, you also need other things touching on the design of the blog and the kind of content you publish. However, keywords are quite central.

If you deal with women’s fashion for example, you may have keywords like women, ladies, fashion etc. If your site is well designed for SEO and your content is well written, you’ll rank highly in search results.

While logged in to your profile, search for the keywords which represent your industry. Analyze the number and see which one is being searched for most. This one, or maybe several of these, are what you should use to improve your profile’s standing.

2. Tune your profile to align with these keywords – take those keywords and insert them in the right places. These are the words LinkedIn looks for before deciding who to rank where.

While doing this, be careful not to make things worse. On the internet, those who took the path of just filling their posts with keywords got the opposite of what they expected.

With their posts making little sense to humans (as the AI-driven Google crawlers realized), they eventually lost their ranks.

Don’t make the same mistake on LinkedIn. Your profile is supposed to make sense to humans. So write sentences which make sense.

Instead of stuffing keywords into the summary section, write something that flows and makes sense. The readers should be able to identify with it.

After making the changes, give the system some time then search for your services and see whether your ranking has improved. If you’re on the first page, congratulations. If you make it to the top of that page, then you really nailed it.

Just as the title of this article says, these are steps which should be taken regularly. Don’t do this once then sit back. Your competitors are also working to get that ranking which you’re after.

CONCLUSION

Your LinkedIn profile is not something you should neglect. Make it a point to update it even when you’re employed. Don’t wait to do it when job searching.

And if there isn’t much change in your career or business at the moment, then challenge the competition for the number 1 spot.

The new customers or connection you get might result in big career or business changes worth writing about.

Here’s Why You Should Update Your LinkedIn Profile Regularly

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