A new survey by LinkedIn has found that 46% of professionals don't feel confident in describing their professional achievements.
"In fact, we're more likely to share health updates (25%) and political views (23%) on social media than news of a promotion (17%)."
The results come from LinkedIn's latest annual @Work study, which "explores generational, cultural, and industry-specific changes in the workplace". LinkedIn spoke to professionals from 18 nations, finding, in addition to the above notes, that:
- 52% of workers stated they would rather talk about a colleague's achievements than their own
- 40% of workers admit it's difficult to describe what it is they do for a living
- 65% of people agree the impression you make online is just as important as the one you make in person
And, that, of course, is where LinkedIn comes in.
Using the results of the survey as their impetus, LinkedIn's highlighted how professionals can make best use of their platform to overcome the issues uncovered by the data.
While it's pretty much common knowledge, LinkedIn notes that, as per their internal data, members with profiles photos garner 21x more profile views than those without. I mean, it goes without saying, right? It's the same as having an egg as a Twitter profile image or a silhouette on Facebook - if you want your social media presence to be taken seriously, if you're looking to use it to generate interest, then you need to have a profile photo.
While there's no statistical evidence to back this one up, making your LinkedIn profile more visually appealing can have significant benefits. As we've seen social media and technology evolve, so too has audience expectation - what started as a mainly text based medium became more visual as advances allowed, and we're now in the midst of the latest iteration of that with the rising popularity of video.
If people can get a better experience, that's what they'll seek - it's worth considering how you can appeal to those behavioral shifts and make your content, and profiles, stand out.
And given LinkedIn now has over 433 million members, you need to do whatever you can to get profile visitors to stick around and pay attention to what you have to say.
This is an interesting one, particularly given some people are more hesitant to reveal too much about regarding their personal information online.
LinkedIn's data shows that profiles with a current city listed come up in 23x more searches.
Of course, that makes sense - if people are searching within a specific geographic area, the search pool is significantly reduced, which pushes up your relevance. But it is definitely something worth taking note of - locality can be a key driver of LinkedIn presence.
Again, this is another LinkedIn search parameter. Listing skills on your profile - especially if people are endorsing you for those skills - will also up your rank in LinkedIn's search algorithm, thus leading more people to your profile.
Another one that kind of goes without saying - really, you should try and use up as much of your summary field as you can to ensure you're listing all the relevant keywords for which you want people to be able to find your profile, and that you're showcasing what you offer in an enticing and succinct way. But again, this is related to LinkedIn's search parameters and how they index profiles - if you have a summary of at least 40 characters, LinkedIn's system will rank you more highly than if your summary is either too short or non-existent.
And this final element is one which is regularly preached by LinkedIn experts - if you want to maintain your rank in LinkedIn search results, you need to keep your profile updated. There's likely a parameter within LinkedIn's algorithm which gives lesser authority to profiles that haven't been updated in a long time in order to ensure their search results are fresh and relevant.
If you haven't updated your profile in a while, it might be time to give it a review when you have a chance.
And there's one other significant factor which LinkedIn doesn't note specifically (though they have previously). This one takes into account all of the above points - LinkedIn notes that users with complete profiles are 40x more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.
That means there really is significant value in that LinkedIn profile strength meter, it's not just there for looks.
As noted, while much of this is considered basic LinkedIn knowledge, it's worth connecting these variables to actual metrics, and seeing how they relate to how workers currently view and position themselves. And when you also consider that 86% of recruitment decision makers agree that it's important for candidates to be able to clearly communicate their achievements, LinkedIn's research - and the platform's utility - is even more pressing.
Now, excuse me - I need to go update my LinkedIn details.