5 LinkedIn Profile Updates For 2014

The concept for this year is holistic authenticity. You should portray yourself as the total person that you are, rather than chopping out a part of yourself and presenting it as your professional profile.

Yes, you should do this even if you aren't looking for a job.

1. Profile picture: Should be up-close, preferably outdoors and you are smiling. Arms folded in front is good. Black and white is interesting. No angles. No blurriness. No weird colors or Photoshopping.

2. Headline: Unusual, unique, personal, honest, high-level and in a sentence. It is not what you do! It is your evolving personal brand. So drill down to the essence - and think about how you contribute the most value at work. (Your opinion, not theirs.)

3. Achievements: List 5 things in bullets. These are outcomes, not activities and they should emphasize areas where you enhanced productivity of saved money. Don't offer fake-sounding figures like "saved $1m." Don't take credit for things you didn't do.

4. Recommendations: Reach out and ask for them. Don't be shy. Reciprocate.

5. Bio: This is the first thing people see after your profile picture and headline. Take the time to write it well. I like the idea of leading with who you are as a person, your priorities not just the typical "visionary thought leader" stuff.

* All opinions my own.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, www.AllThingsBrand.com and www.DannielleBlumenthal.com, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.