As a season, spring represents a welcome change from the often harsh (or at least mildly uncomfortable) winter that precedes it. It is a time of renewal, of returning to outdoor activities, and yes, of sprucing up your home and even cleaning out your remote workplace.
Bringing order out of chaos offers many benefits—keeping your own sanity in check not the least of them. While all of this physical and digital organizing of supplies, files, and other materials has a powerful, personal impact, it does not change how you’re viewed by others. (Unless you finally cleared out that cluttered bookshelf as seen on video calls, of course.)
You’ve got another virtual corner that might be collecting cobwebs: your online professional presence.
Yes, you’re incredibly busy and this sounds like the perfect project for a rainy day. But even the rainy days have deadlines, so you might as well prioritize it and knock it off your list now. And actually, in as little as 45 minutes you can freshen up your professional profiles on the web, including those that come immediately to mind, as well as those that prospective employers and clients may be perusing to discover more about you.
Whether you’re a recent grad or a seasoned professional, here’s a brief checklist to review and refresh your online professional presence:
- Your LinkedIn summary. With over 500 million users, LinkedIn profiles are the most ubiquitous online professional web presence. Yet many people simply write something the day they sign up for an account and forget about it. Worse, they often don’t proofread, and so what should be a compelling bio sounds like a job description, rife with typos. (Yikes.) Yours can easily stand out from the rest by including a few appropriate personal details that gel with the type of leader and employee you aspire to be. Keep it concise as well as jargon- and error-free, and you’ll already be ahead of the game.
- Your job seeker profiles. Whether your search for a new remote gig is active or on the down low, you’ll want to ensure that these profiles accurately reflect your current skills and experiences as well as what you’re seeking. Log back into your accounts on FlexJobs, AngelList, or other sites and see what details they may be lacking, or what information is now outdated. Dream jobs don’t just fall into the laps of those who wait. Search for keywords in your industry you can add that are relevant to your background, and polish this gem, pronto!
- Your social media accounts. Why am I lumping Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest (among others) all into a single category? It’s simple: each of these social media profiles contribute to your personal brand. They likely contain at least some biographical information about you, and unless you have privacy settings on lockdown or are using an untraceable pseudonym, your posts and tweets can come back to haunt you. Take a hard look at how you’re presenting yourself, and if it’s not “on brand” with how you’d like to be viewed professionally, it’s time to scrub the pages or request a new account name.
- Your personal or company website. Your personal or company website is your online billboard to the world. It’s a place others go to learn more about what makes you tick, and what excites you about your work. Yet so many people tend to ignore it after the laborious task of designing the site and writing copy. A website is never truly finished, just as the professional you are is constantly growing and changing. What credentials have you earned since you last updated your bio? Have you taken on any new clients or projects worth highlighting here? Investing the time to update your skills and experiences can pay dividends in the long term by attracting new clients and cultivating stronger connections.