So, you’ve worked hard and you think you’re ready for a promotion. Does your LinkedIn profile align with the position you want? Now, it’s time to make updates to your profile and skill set and add those to your LinkedIn profile to reflect your worthiness for that promotion.
The first step in building up your LinkedIn profile involves the basics of checking the accuracy of your account. Update your contact information as well as your education, title, and duties. Upload a new photo if yours is outdated. While you’re there, link to other people in your company, including colleagues in your department and in others.
Make a plan to regularly update your profile with new skills and projects. Log in to LinkedIn every month to check for messages and connection requests as well as add any other skills or projects. Get in the practice of regularly logging in—add it to your calendar. This can help you enhance your profile a little bit at a time. Additionally, it ensures that your contact information stays current. By staying current on LinkedIn, you can also easily update your resume as needed instead of struggling to remember the good work you’ve done in the past months and years.
Build Your LinkedIn Profile
Next, take a look at how you can enhance your profile. In the LinkedIn Help section, find Build Your Profile. Here, you can learn more about how to add and remove skills, sections, and much more. If you have skills, projects, and relevant volunteer work to add, don’t hesitate to make those additions to your LinkedIn profile.
You are required to add a Headline above your Current Position—a good place to state what you do best. Stumped for a Good Headline? Try one of the numerous LinkedIn headline generators available online to get you started.
One area of LinkedIn to beef up when seeking a promotion includes the Featured Project section. This section allows you to display images, websites, files, and text about projects you have led or participated in. You can also share posts that you see on LinkedIn or the web that relate to the department you are in—or the one you’re interested in.
Last but not least, consider asking coworkers and clients to provide Endorsements for skills or Recommendations. You can do this in person or through LinkedIn messaging.
Add to Your Skill Set
Now that you’ve made the first pass through your LinkedIn profile, take time to think about how you can add to your skillset. Managers looking to promote employees have a keen interest in people who have a well-rounded background. Be sure to pay attention to your performance review feedback, which can give you some ideas for improvement. Another great way to expand your skillset is by asking your boss what skills you could learn that would help the company succeed.
Soft skills in particular rank high on the list of desirable attributes for managerial candidates. Soft skills include non-technical skills, such as communication and teamwork. There are many online classes and webinars that can help you build soft skills. Popular topics to seek out include conflict resolution and time management. Everyone needs to be good at business writing and communication, so consider improving your skills in that area. Attend and participate in the classes so you can apply them in your day-to-day work—and add the classes and skills to your LinkedIn Profile.
Add Projects that Show Leadership & Initiative
To build up an impressive LinkedIn profile, you have to take action with your actual work, too. Managers seeking to promote an employee want to see positive attitudes and initiative in their potential managers and supervisors. For starters, be sure to demonstrate these attributes in meetings and communications with team members and clients.
Next, find projects that can help you demonstrate your leadership skills. Listen closely to what the company needs in order to succeed in these turbulent times. You can also ask your manager what the company needs and how you might be able to help meet those needs. This could mean you participate in or lead a project, and that means it’s your time to shine! Make your best effort to make positive, measurable contributions to the project and company in everything you do.
Keep in mind that many HR decisions rely on data to back up their promotion choice. Consider how you can develop a strong record of success or improvement in your work and department. How were your sales figures? Did you and your team meet your deadlines and quotas? If you don’t know how the company measures success, ask your boss to define those parameters so you can develop a strong track record. Document it and make it part of your LinkedIn profile.
Clean Up Your Social Media
Social media sure is fun, but have you let your public profiles get a little too personal? Now is a good time to review your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms. What can the public see, and how does that reflect on you as an employee applying for a promotion? Clean up any posts that might be unflattering in terms of language use, partying, polarizing viewpoints, work complaints, and so on. Google yourself and see what comes up. You might even ask a friend to help you find inappropriate or unprofessional posts.
Ponder Your Career Path
If you want a promotion, you might also want to think about long-term career goals and your overall career path. Talk about it with friends and family. Write down what you want to achieve, and think about how you will get there. If you want to go all the way to the top, how can you get there? Consider asking an individual who holds the position you want to become your mentor. This could simply mean connecting over the phone, videoconferencing, or lunch a few times a year to discuss how they reached their goals and landed their position. Thinking, planning, and dreaming can go a long way to your overall job satisfaction, even if you don’t end up exactly where you envisioned.
Keep working on your LinkedIn profile as you set career goals and apply for promotions, but also remember the basics of any job search. Read our other blog post, Separating Yourself in the Hiring Process, for some great reminders of what to do throughout the application process.
Other research you can do to learn how managers and HR decide who to promote: