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How to tidy up your LinkedIn presence for 2016

DUE TO THE POPULARITY OF THIS POST IN 2015, I HAVE UPDATED IT FOR 2016

It's that time of year when I like to refresh and update my LinkedIn presence - over the course of the last 12 months, you may have found yourself connecting with people you don't know, adding sections to your profile that are no longer relevant, as well as a whole multitude of other LinkedIn activities which you have no recollection of doing! So here is my New Year checklist for tidying up your LinkedIn presence:

Your Profile 

·         Is your photo up-to-date? LinkedIn isn't a dating site so your photo reallyshould be a reflection of you!

·         Check that your contact information and website links are still current - click on Edit Profile then Edit Contact Info.

·         Is your professional summary, work experience and other sections a reflection of your day-to-day activities. Remember, if you have attended one of my workshops you will understand the importance of telling the reader 'what's in it for them' - LinkedIn is not just an online CV. Why would the reader want to engage with you?

·         Tidy up your Skills & Endorsements - this is one of those sections that really can get out of hand very quickly. Remove any skills that are no longer relevant, add any new ones, and remove any endorsements from people you don't know!

·         Scroll down to the very bottom of your profile where you will find a list of all the LinkedIn Groups you are a member of, as well as all of the Companies and Influencers you are following. I'm a big fan of keeping these lists to around 5-10 of each, otherwise I simply can't keep up-to-date with everything that is happening on my LinkedIn newsfeed. Untick those Companies and Influencers you no longer want to follow, and leave any Groups that are no longer relevant.

Your Connections 

I like to have an annual cleanse of my connections, otherwise the number can get out of hand. You have probably connected over the last 12 months with people you don't know or have never met, so it is worth going through all of your connections and removing those that are no longer relevant (or have annoyed you!) - remember, they won't get told that you have removed them. To do this, go to Connections, then Keep in Touch, and when you scroll down the page you will see a list of all your Connections. To remove someone, just hover over their name, click on More, then Remove Connection.

Your Settings 

In this era of data protection and online privacy, it is important to check that the visibility of your data is set to a level you are comfortable with. I won't go through all of the various Settings here, but the ones to pay particular attention to are:

·         See where you're logged in (all of the locations where you are logged in to LinkedIn)

·         Set the frequency of e-mails (this will tidy up your Inbox)

·         View your applications (a list of all third-party sites that have access to your LinkedIn account)

·         Select who can see your connections

All of these can be found by hovering over your photo in the top right-hand corner, then click on Privacy & Settings.

If you think I may have missed something, please add it to the Comments box below. Happy tidying up!

Don't be lazy - personalise your LinkedIn invites!

LinkedIn are in the process of rolling out (to all members, not just Premium) a new messaging system, which is essentially a refreshed version of the current features, as well as the ability to send short, snappier messages to your contacts to replicate a 'real-time' conversation, similar to WhatsApp.

Over the summer I received dozens of invitations to connect from people I don't know, the vast majority of whom didn't take the time to personalise their message to me. In light of the changes which LinkedIn are making to their messaging features, I want to stress the importance of tailoring your outbound invitations to connect - it only takes an extra 10-20 seconds to write a short note explaining why you wish to connect with the individual. Even something as simple as 'I see we have a number of mutual contacts in common' is better than the standard wording. The non-personalisation of messages by people I don't know is one of my pet peeves on LinkedIn - if I just connect with everyone who sends me an invitation then all I am doing is collecting names. What is the point in that? I really like helping people but if you don't tell me why we are connecting then I'm not going to connect with you!

  • On the desktop version of LinkedIn, personalisation is very straight-forward. Simply click on the person's profile, click Connect, select a reason how you know the person, then write a short personalised message. Note that in the People You May Know section on the Home Page, if you hit Connect you don't get the option to personalise the invite, so make sure you go onto the person's profile first.
  • On the LinkedIn app, again select the individual's profile but then click on the 3 dots in the top-right hand corner. You then have the option to customize the invite. It's that simple!

Please feel free to like/comment/share this article so as many people as possible get the message!

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