Mary Abraham, woman of many hats including author and well-known KM blogger, spoke at ILTA 2014 on Tuesday afternoon about leveraging LinkedIn, or as she called it, “Pimping Your Profile.”

LinkedIn allows you to show the world what you can do, according to Abraham. “If you want to manage your reputation online, you need to be on LinkedIn,” she said.

Abraham talked about another benefit of LinkedIn: we used to rely on a rolodex (and eventually an electronic rolodex) to keep track of our contacts. Now, if someone switches jobs, it’s easy to just go to LinkedIn to find their new contact information.

She then talked about how to improve your LinkedIn profile in different time increments (15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes).

If you have 15 minutes:

  • Make sure you have a professional photo. Emphasis on “professional.”
  • Talk about your current position in detail. Don’t just list the name and time in the role.

If you have 30 minutes:

  • In addition to the tasks above, work on your personal tagline. This is the text that shows up right by your photo and often it’s just your title. Since this is hugely searchable, you want it to be accurate and closely-associated with your picture. It’s how people will remember you. Think of five words that describe what you do. Then cross out the words that are generic (“results-oriented”) and add in new words. An example that Abraham shared was “strategic applications engineer, document management expert, knowledge management, universal search.”

If you have 45 minutes:

  • Add less detail to your former positions.
  • Work on the “Summary of Career” section. Explain the logic and direction you want to take in your career, but make it short and punchy to accommodate short attention spans.
  • Include your volunteer roles. It shows your broader interests. Just don’t include 17 volunteer roles over the same period of time, which could make a potential employer wonder when you had time to actually work.

If you have 60 minutes:

  • Include awards you’ve won.
  • Manage your contact views. Even if you aren’t looking for a job, this lets people know you are open to being contacted.
  • Use the endorsements. When you get an endorsement, it’s a reminder of the person who endorsed you. Sure, you can ignore it, but you could also reach out and say thanks, possibly reconnecting with a colleague you haven’t talked with in a while.

And don’t forget to occasionally make sure your profile is up-to-date. Abraham provided some great insights and tips. I’m off to work on my LinkedIn profile!

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