Earlier today, I was scrolling through LinkedIn and started reading comments on a thread about gaining a following online. As I’m seeing that people are looking for a job in x, or not understanding why they’re struggling with y, I stopped and thought:

‘Why do they not have an optimized profile if they are actively job hunting or looking to build a following online?’

This initial thought led me down a rabbit-hole of ideas to discuss. I took that jumble of thoughts and then turned it into a more concise, understandable breakdown of 5 tips that are simply genius (simple being the key word) when you don’t have hours to dedicate to your branding efforts. Think of it as a quick way to flip your “Do Not Disturb” settings off so that people reach out to you.

1. Upload a profile picture. 

It’s so easy, but occasionally gets pushed off due to time constraints, not having a proper headshot, etc. Even if you don’t have the professionally photographed headshot, use the best (and recent!) close-up you have. Your confidence will shine!


  • Take advantage of having professional headshots taken when possible. 
  • Dress more formally. You don’t need to go all out, but avoid wrinkled clothing or very casual attire. 


  • Upload a selfie-style photo. This quickly detracts from your professional vibe.
  • Wear sunglasses, a hat or anything else that covers your face.

A profile picture is the very first impression you get to make. It creates a level of trust and lets people know they are engaging with a real account. 

2. Populate an accurate headline.

Whether you’re looking to start your career, build a following, or just have a fully filled out profile, this is not a step to skip. The headline gives people the opportunity to quickly understand a little bit about you. 

Avoid making the headline too lengthy so that it doesn’t get cut off.

3. Fill out any relevant profile sections. 

The last thing you want when building your personal brand is to leave the story with plot holes. As you’re navigating your profile, update each section that’s relevant to your experience. Try not to get too content-heavy while still portraying important information about yourself. 

Sell yourself! This is all about your accomplishments and your expertise — don’t leave it to others to guess what you’ve achieved.

4. Engage. 

Join groups that are of interest to you, follow public figures you admire or subjects you’d like to stay current on so that yo can ‘like’ and comment on posts. Don’t blast filler comments that aren’t sincere — focus on finding content that is riveting and join the conversation. 

Did you find it really intriguing? Are you passionate about the topic? Give it a share so that your connections can engage as well.

Always remember that anyone visiting your profile can see your activity. Start or engage in meaningful conversations that fit your passions while being appropriate and professional.

5. Update old information. 

So you spent an hour filling out your profile a few years ago and haven’t touched it since? Now is the time to get back into editing mode and take a little time to update attached media, experience, certifications, etc. Don’t leave your profile dated. 

These five things are so simple but can easily get passed over with how busy our days get. But, next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media, take that time to tackle your LinkedIn account and build your presence. It’s time to turn off your personal “Do Not Disturb” setting.