Updating Our LinkedIn Profile

By Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraigLinkedIn Elizabeth Spann Craig

LinkedIn has always been one of the easier social media platforms for me to be a part of.  They make it easy to set it up and then forget about it.

From time to time I’d check the site, realize I had lots of invitations and messages (I had turned off notifications a while back when they  became annoying) and busily go through the mail.  But I hadn’t done much actual updating.

I’m trying, this year, to incrementally keep up with the sometimes overwhelming demands of keeping up with different platforms.  I figured maybe some of you were in the same boat and would like to follow along. I mentioned Goodreads last time, and the updates I’d made there. 

When I checked in on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, I realized that there were plenty of areas that needed updating.  Here are some of the things I did (mostly general housekeeping):

I uploaded a background image.  I hadn’t realized that LinkedIn even offered backgrounds.  Although it can seem daunting, I just used the free cloud-based Canva, which is my go-to for all basic design projects.  LinkedIn wants the image to beFile type JPG, GIF or PNG, no larger than 4MB, pixel dimensions between 1000 X 425 and 4000 X 4000.”

I updated my bio and profile picture.  I’m now using a more general bio for some of these sites so that they don’t get so quickly outdated. For instance, I don’t mention my most recent release in my bio now.

I updated my publications, basically my book list.

I learned that you can upload blog posts to LinkedIn and it serves as a part of your overall portfolio there.  From what I was able to find out online, a best practice is to only update one a week at the most. Still, considering that my LinkedIn contacts (mostly editors, illustrators, cover designers, and other book people) frequently aren’t people I network with on other platforms, I’m reaching new readers with posts I upload there.  Here are LinkedIn’s tips for blogging there.  Some of them don’t apply to me because… well, I’m not trying to get a job.  :)   It seems to me that they’re recommending that our posts be less on specific topics there and more on the overall craft of writing or generalizations on the business, etc.

Other things to update are contact information, writing-related organizations we belong to, any honors or awards related to our writing, etc.

What do you do if you have a day job and also want to connect with the book world?  This is a good question and I’m curious what some of you are doing.  I do think, if you’re trying to network or build contacts with writers and other publishing professionals, it’s a good idea to at least mention your writing somewhere prominently in your profile. I know I’ve ignored a lot of invites from CPAs and realtors because I couldn’t tell if they were writers and I’m mostly connected with people in the industry (a few friends and family thrown in there, too).

For a long time, I wasn’t sure how LinkedIn really fit into my platform.  Now I realize that there are people there who aren’t on social media any other place…this is the one way I reach them.  Not only that, LinkedIn has served to increase my platform locally, something that I haven’t traditionally focused on.

Are you on LinkedIn?  Have you updated your information there lately?

Areas to update on our LinkedIn profile: Click To Tweet
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16 thoughts on “Updating Our LinkedIn Profile

  1. I’m so glad you posted about Linked In, Elizabeth. It is a really useful site, and as you say, it’s not difficult to use. I have my blog feed there automatically, and that keeps my profile updated. Plus, as you say, it’s important to update one’s ‘photo, jobs and the like. It’s especially useful for people like me who have a ‘day job’ as well as my writing.

    1. Margot–I like how you have ‘novelist’ as part of your job description in addition to your day job. I’ve got so many invites right now where I can’t figure out if the person is a writer/publisher from their profile.

  2. I’m on LinkedIn but don’t use it much. My profile is for my science research job, and reflects that of course. But some people find it odd that under Interest, I have listed skiing, Russian literature, reading and writing. Maybe I should remove it to look more serious >:)

  3. I’m on Linkedin, though I don’t find it particularly useful. I keep my day-job and my writing as separate as possible, so my Linkedin profile doesn’t refer to my day-job at all.

    1. Paul–It might end up leading you in some different directions. I’m not sure it’s a good place to connect with readers, but it seems to be useful for networking in the industry and possibly landing speaking gigs.

  4. Hi Elizabeth,

    I have a LinkedIn account under my real name, but I haven’t established one for my pen name… or maybe that’s not even allowed?? My day job is academic editing, and my fiction genre is steamy romance – which don’t mix very well – so I’ve simply added “I also write fiction.”

    Are readers on LinkedIn? My feeling is that the site is more like a public CV than a real networking platform unless you’re actively looking for a job.

    Your public platform is both as a writer and as an expert in the field of writing, so I understand where LinkedIn’s connections within the industry might benefit you. But what about a writer who just writes fiction?

    1. Rebecca–I think you have it covered with your day job and novelist listed on your LinkedIn. My understanding is that we can put up a profile under our pen name, but the information has got to be genuine (i.e., no fake profiles). But then that can make life complicated (at least, opening up profiles under *my* pen name was complicated. It still makes trouble for me now, actually.)

      I don’t think LinkedIn is the place to connect with readers. What I feel like it’s done most for me is to establish me as a Charlotte, NC-area writer and an NC writer. I rarely bring up my writing to acquaintances and other connections and this has been a passive way to introduce my writing locally (and led to some speaking gigs around here, too. Which can be a nice sideline).

  5. Elizabeth, thanks for a very informative piece on LinkedIn. I don’t know where I stand with this platform. I use it for professional reasons only, though a lot of people treat it like another Fb. You can leverage LinkedIn if you know exactly what you want out of it. Otherwise, it’s just another login-password! I occasionally post news and contribute articles for the Pulse section, now open to all; the latter I share from my other non-books blog. I’m going to have to increase networking through LinkedIn.

    1. Prashant–Since your day job also involves writing, I think you could go all out with your profile there (include your excellent and thoughtful book blog, etc.) After all, it’s all writing samples and may provide a more personal glimpse of you to potential business contacts.

      But I’m with you–how thin can we spread ourselves, time-wise. It takes time to log-in and update. I’m thinking I may update once every few months there and may try to check in once a week (maybe if I also push through a blog post/article at the same time weekly).

      1. You are right about the profile, Elizabeth. I don’t attach much importance to my bio, although I know it is very important. After all, if I don’t “sell” myself, who will! I will update my profile, especially now that I’m involved in writing reports, content for PR clients, reviews, and general interest articles. I’m also working on a handful of short stories, a precursor to the long form, eventually.

        Thanks for your kind words.

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