Four Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile When You Want to Ask for a Promotion, Change Jobs


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Already Leonard is a Calgary-based freelance writer and journalist.

Jes Thompson was browsing LinkedIn about a month ago when she came across the profile of Lissa Appiah, Founder and Senior Career Strategist at WeApply Canada.

Ms Thompson, who had been trying to redirect her career for many years, felt exhausted and knew she needed support.

“After spending about 10 years in higher education…I didn’t know how to market myself or speak confidently about my talents outside of the field,” she said.

Ms. Thompson contacted Ms. Appiah and booked a consultative conversation.

As the New Year approaches, many Canadians will be thinking about changing careers or asking for a promotion.

According to Ms. Appiah, updating your LinkedIn could help in both cases.

“LinkedIn allows you to be found by a global audience,” she said. “This is an opportunity for you to connect with people in your industry and other like-minded professionals who can help you with your career advancement and development.”

Over the past year, LinkedIn has been busier than ever with “record engagement” as conversations grew 43%, according to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, owner of LinkedIn. Additionally, employers were spending 60% more to market jobs on the platform.

Over the past month, Ms. Appiah has been working with Ms. Thompson to update her LinkedIn, revamp her CV and support her in other career decisions.

Here are four tips Ms. Appiah shares with her clients when updating their profile:

  1. Update your profile picture: It’s easy to keep the same photo for years, but consider updating your photo – and if you don’t have one, add one. Your photo should look professional and show you from the shoulders up. It doesn’t have to be taken by a professional, but “it shouldn’t be like a selfie or something you post on other social media platforms.”
  2. Have a clear goal or objective: Know what type of industry, employer and role you are targeting. “Having a clear direction will allow you to speak directly to this audience,” she says. Once you have a clear goal, it will affect the updates you make in tips three and four.
  3. Optimize your profile: Recruiters and potential employers use LinkedIn like they would use Google. This means that if you want to appear in searches, you must “make sure the necessary keywords related to your purpose are in your profile”. You can find these keywords by looking at relevant job postings and getting inspiration from other profiles in the industry you are interested in.
  4. Update your title: Your title is the section right under your name. By default, it displays your current job title and the company you work for. However, this may not be optimized, and Ms. Appiah suggests updating your title to use all 240 characters to better showcase what you have to offer. “It’s one of the first things people see, to know what you do and to get a sense of the value you have to offer them.”

Ms. Thompson, who is currently looking for her next opportunity, says her LinkedIn update has been helpful so far.

Beyond seeing a small increase in profile views, “I feel a lot more confident because I feel like my worth and who I am is coming through more clearly now. So I think the confidence is huge,” she says.

What I read on the web

  • What is the opposite of an exit interview? A stay interview. This CNBC article predicts that we will see an increase in the number of managers conducting residency interviews in response to “the big resignation”. Keep reading to see how these interviews help reveal what motivates employees to stay with a company.
  • If you’ve ever had a desire to pick someone else’s brain on any topic, you’ll love the concept of the human library. Now active in 80 countries, the Human Library lets you find and meet subject matter experts, or someone with some lived experience, virtually or in person.
  • You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s lonely at the top,” and it rings even truer for CEOs who are hired from outside a company. Take a look at this interesting analysis of what makes external CEOs successful – or not. Spoiler: It doesn’t have much to do with their qualifications or background.
  • Remote work has its pros and cons; especially when it comes to loyalty. This Financial Post article looks at the issue, showing how the isolation of remote work can reduce loyalty to current employers, while reviving meetings or in-person interviews can bring workers closer to new employers.

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