By Hailley Griffis

According to PewResearch, in 2013 22% of adults were using LinkedIn, are you one of them?

Aside from being an amazing professional network for connecting and one of the top links to show up when you Google someones name, LinkedIn is an excellent source of content as well. Check out the LinkedIn home page for the latest industry news and follow your favourite company CEOs and influencers to read their advice.

Given that LinkedIn is so wonderful – you should be taking full advantage.

For many of us, LinkedIn is only updated when we start job hunting. Rather than update it in blasts like that, aim to update it more regularly when you have professional accomplishments.

Here are 12 easy improvements you can make to your LinkedIn profile today.

 12 Easy Improvements to your LinkedIn

1. Update your current experience

Is your current job up to date? Is it blank or have you filled in your role at the company? When people first connect with you on LinkedIn your current job is what they are most interested in. Make sure it is saying something!

2. Add 3 accomplishments

I love adding accomplishments to resumes and on LinkedIn. Right after you talk about your role, rather than listing responsibilities on bullet points, list actions that you took and what resulted from it. For example, Designed a plan for X which increased X by X%. Numbers make it look even better!

3. Add skills that are relevant to your industry

The skills section is often overlooked or filled with skills along the lines of “Microsoft Office” and “Teamwork”. Try to add more unique skills that are industry related to your profile. For example, I added “Social Media Marketing” and “Public Relations”.

4. Endorse your connections (honestly!)

LinkedIn will pop up and ask you if you want to endorse people for the skills they have listed. While this endorsement looks really good on your profile, you want to make sure you are endorsing people honestly and not for skills you haven’t seen in action.

5. Add what you are currently looking for to your summary

Your summary is the first box on your LinkedIn profile, use it to tell people what you are currently looking for professionally. Are you interested in networking in a specific sector? Looking for new opportunities in your field? Available for pro bono work or looking for not for profits to volunteer with? Make it crystal clear in your summary so that the right people can email you when they come across your profile.

6. Add links to your portfolio, about page, company page, blog, etc?

Have you noticed that you can add links to your experience? In my opinion it looks really great. It draws a lot of attention to your profile, especially when the links are relevant. Add things like a blog that you have, your website or page, a portfolio if you have one, or any articles or news pieces that mention you or your company.

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7. Make sure you have your Custom URL

Did you know you can create a custom LinkedIn URL? Rather than having a super long one with a bunch of numbers, you can make it your first and last name (if you grab it fast enough!). This looks much more professional and put together, especially since many employers are currently asking for LinkedIn profiles when you apply for a job.

8. Get a professional photo!

I am not talking, hire a photographer, I am talking, put on a dress shirt, find good lighting and a decent background and either grab a friend with a iPhone (even better if your friend has a better camera) or use your own phone, prop it up on some books and stool and set the timer. A professional photo goes a long way in making your profile look excellent – don’t skip this step!

9. Add your courses

Under the education section on LinkedIn you can also add the courses that you have taken. Assuming you studied something related to your current field, the courses you took in university are excellent examples of your expertise in your industry. You can also add courses you take online through free online course websites like Coursera.

10. Sign up for buffer and buffer some interesting content

LinkedIn is awesome. Be present! Research from LinkedIn – the guideline for LinkedIn sharing, claims that posting 20 times a month, roughly once a day every weekday, connects you with 60% of your audience. Using a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite you can sit down once a week and schedule your content to go out once a day on LinkedIn. This is easy and reminds your connections about you, don’t let your profile go stale!

11. Join Relevant groups

Groups on LinkedIn can be amazing, or they can be slow. Pick a couple of relevant ones in your industry and jump in on the conversations every now and again. This helps spread your name out there and you could even connect with some amazing people while you’re at it.

12. Now that that is all done – Import your contact book and add some connections

Your profile looks better when you are active. Get in the habit of adding people on LinkedIn after you’ve met them at the networking conference or any other professional event. It is honestly the best way to keep in touch with all of your contacts.

There is lots more that you can do with your profile – connect with me if you want to chat about your LinkedIn profile, or if you just want to keep in touch!

Hailley Griffis loves helping people and brands be social. To see her work and get in touch connect with her on LinkedIn. Keep up with her current location in the world in 140 characters or less on Twitter as @hailleymari

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