I was speaking to a colleague last night. We discussed the fact that every professional needs to have a Linked In profile, it is a business reality. On the other hand, this colleague does not have a Facebook account (he’s a smart guy who values his time).

In 2016, I’ll write some blog posts related to personal branding. To start, I’ll provide here some simple tips to refresh and improve your Linked In profile, including some best (and worst) practices, and a couple of Linked In secrets.

Stay Active: Make regular posts (1-2 times per week), with topics not only you find interesting, but your network will enjoy. Company news, industry insights and new products and services are good general posting categories. Keep it professional – posting your commentary on the recent Republican presidential debate is not a good idea for a Linked In post.

…but don’t over post. Save your posts for when you have something reasonably interesting to share. Over-posting may cause people to gloss over your entries.

LinkedIn-Profile-Photo-FAIL-1-dog

No pictures with your pets – make your dog get his own Linked In profile.

Maximize Your Profile: Your Linked In profile is basically an online CV. Ensure it is accurate and up to date.

• Use a high quality, professional headshot photo
• Present detail on your current job role
• Provide detail on your career history, with accomplishments
• Include appropriate personal pursuits (volunteering, hobbies)

If you are currently in the job market, make sure any print/digital resumes you are circulating match up with your Linked In profile.

How does your Linked In profile match up with Linked In CEO Jeff Weiner? Check out the visual below. Do you see opportunities to improve your own profile? Invest 30 minutes of time and ensure you are effectively communicating your personal brand story.

Here are two Linked In secrets to consider.

Be A One Month Premium Person. Linked In premium is expensive. The Business Plus version is $ 59.99 per month; however, Linked In does offer one month for free, with a cancel anytime option. Sign up for one month, network like crazy, then cancel before your free month trial ends.

Update in Stealth Mode:  As you make the enhancements to your Liked In profile, you may not want to broadcast all these changes to your entire network. Before you make updates, click on your tiny photo in the top right, Select ‘Privacy & Settings’ – Manage,’ go to the ‘Privacy Controls’ and then select ‘Choose Whether or Not to Share Your Profile Edits.’ Un-click the box, and no one will be notified about your profile changes. Of course, if there is a key addition or accomplishment you do want to broadcast, simply re-click the share box.

I hope you find these Linked In tips useful. If you would like to share any ideas about Linked In or personal branding, please email or call!