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How Often Should You Update Your LinkedIn Profile?

14 Sep 2014

Digital has revolutioned recruitment and has changed how both employers look for candidates, and how job seekers search for role. This makes LinkedIn an important professional progression network.

With 11 million LinkedIn members across the UK, we recently ran a survey to discover how often LinkedIn members update their profile.

The results from the survey showed the majority of respondents updated their profiles on a quarterly or annual basis.

Marrying this information with LinkedIn's own data which shows 90% of people on the social network are happy to be contacted about relevant roles, it is important to understand the benefits to updating profiles more frequently.

LinkedIn will work best for you if you have an up to date, well constructed profile; informing your connections of completed projects and recent accomplishments. Don't let your profile go stale by only updating every time you change your job.

Even if you're not looking for a role, you should have a good, professional profile page that reflects your career. If your dream job becomes available, you want to make sure that recruiters can find you. 

The following methods can be used to keep your LinkedIn profile optimised and searchable to employers and new business contacts.

Have a Complete Profile

Your LinkedIn profile will enhance your online personal brand. Ensure your profile is 100% complete. LinkedIn provides a progress bar to show you how close you are to completing your profile. If it is less than 100%, LinkedIn alerts you to what sections you still need to complete.

Add a Photo

Looking to get headhunted? Have a photograph that is representative of what you do. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional network, so choose a clear headshot over a cropped image from a night out. Need some motivation to add a photo? LinkedIn profiles with a photo are viewed 7 times more than those without.

Get Keyword and SEO Savvy

LinkedIn provides a fantastic metric, “Who’s Viewed Your Profile”. If you aren’t getting a lot of profile views, then it is likely that your profile is not optimised for LinkedIn search. Think less about flowery language and more about keywords. If you’re a PHP developer, ensure you have this within the first paragraph of your description.

With technology at their fingertips, many employers will turn to Google to explore your online professional presence. Nine times out of ten, this is to discover your LinkedIn profile. If there’s a mismatch with your CV, they’ll immediately ask why. Make sure that these two professional tools work in harmony with one another; your LinkedIn profile should complement your CV.

Tweak the keywords in your profile at least once a month to appear in more searches. 

Showcase Your Accomplishments

Describe your role; inform the person who views your profile what you do for a living. Include two or three recent achievements along with a short paragraph of your responsibilities. Remember, the more keyword rich your profile is, the higher the chance it will appear on the first results page on Google. Make changes gradually. Changing too much at one time could have a negative impact on how your LinkedIn profile appears.

Add personality to your profile. Highlight key projects you’ve worked on and describe what the outcome was. Also consider adding presentations via Slideshare and links to your other social media accounts.

Add Endorsements and Recommendations

LinkedIn allows you to add specific skills to your profile that others can recommend you for. Whilst the jury is still out on the usefulness and credibility of these endorsements, it is still good to include your skills to appear in search results.

Request recommendations from your peers. There’s some debate over whether these should exclusively be previous clients rather than employees, however I would argue that anyone that you have worked with should be approached to give you a recommendation. If you had a positive impact on a team with a previous employer, their recommendation will certainly enhance your LinkedIn profile and impress potential employers.

Update and Engage

Once you’ve got your profile up to standard, start posting updates on a regular basis. Posting relevant professional news on a daily basis, you will expand your reach and open yourself up to connecting with other individuals for business purposes. Showing up on the news feed often will keep you noticed amongst the community.

Engage in group discussions. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups on their free package, so make use of this and join groups that are related to what you do. Aim to spend 20 minutes checking these every few days so you can take part in discussions and share your insight and opinions.

Conversations are crucial in social media and you’ve no doubt heard that “engagement” is paramount for success. If you’re a jobseeker that’s not yet on LinkedIn, what are you waiting for?

Here's a handy video tutorial from LinkedIn on how to optimise your LinkedIn profile for job search success.

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