New Year, New (LinkedIn) You



New Year, New (LinkedIn) YouNearly two years ago, I attended a professional development program focused on how to optimize LinkedIn to strengthen your personal profile, support your company’s brand and generate leads. Little did I know a pandemic would engulf the world and force us to pivot every aspect of our lives. From education to the workplace, we were thrust into a new, virtual world. We had to learn to grow, communicate, and collaborate without meeting face-to-face. The timing of this LinkedIn program couldn’t have been more opportune.


As we break into 2022, taking the time to reevaluate your digital presence provides an opportunity to strengthen your connections and virtual relationships. With nearly 800 million members at the end of 2021, LinkedIn yielded one of the largest professional social platforms in the world. Now is a great time to update your personal and business LinkedIn information, trainings, certifications, experiences, skills and recommendations. Since many businesses have shifted away from traditional face-to-face meetings and physical offices, optimizing your LinkedIn profile is an effective way to virtually establish your expertise and demonstrate your personality. As a reminder, LinkedIn is a professional platform, and political, religious and controversial topics aren’t best discussed or debated here.


Let’s start with some basic housekeeping. Start with your personal profile and verify your information is current, even your picture. People like to see who they are connecting with. Is your hair grey? Have you lost your hair? Do you now have a work from home beard? Whatever the case, make sure the VIRTUAL you matches the REAL you. Don’t share a Glamour Shot portrait from the 80s. Trust and relationships are built through communication and honesty. Portraying an image of yourself from another time isn’t necessarily wrong, but it does tell others that you prefer a different version of yourself. It’s also recommended that you update this profile picture twice a year.

Next, be sure that your headline is consistent with the audience that you are appealing to. Think about the message you’re sending and who might read it. After you verify your contact information, review your experiences, skills and recommendations. Your contact information is simple to confirm since it is what it is. Reviewing your experiences, skills, and recommendations will take a little more time as you’ll want to put forth the effort to maximize the ‘pop’ of these attributes and show others that you’re always working on you. While you can list up to 50 skills, only the top 3 are visible so put your best foot forward. One of the Laws of Ethical Influence that we discuss in The Center’s Supervisor Skills class is that people will repay acts of kindness. In other words, if you want recommendations, give recommendations.

Lastly, think before you post. As I mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a professional network where you are not only representing yourself but your company. Think about the message you’re sending, who’s reading it, and how could it be seen or shared. Posts are vital to personal, professional and industry growth. So much can be shared and learned through this platform. If you have something that you believe could benefit others, don’t just share your thoughts, share the source or a link where others can get more information if they desire. We should never stop learning. This is what the platform was created to do. We just need to use it to its fullest capabilities. Keep in mind, maintaining a current LinkedIn profile is not a once-a-year activity. Your profile should be seen as a living document that is always growing - just as we are as professionals. Investing time on LinkedIn should be a top priority for you in 2022 since you never know who will share valuable perspectives, offer advice or open doors. In a release from LinkedIn, statistics from the first week of the new year showed a 25% increase in people changing jobs, one person gets hired every 15 seconds, remote job openings nearly doubled since 2020, and finally, 99 people in my personal network have changed jobs. LinkedIn is a powerful tool. But like all tools, it must be used appropriately to maximize its usefulness.

MEET OUR EXPERT: John Spillson, Lean Business Advisor
John Spillson, Lean Business Advisor
Since joining The Center in 2014, John Spillson has worked to mentor manufacturers on Lean and Leadership strategies as well as provide expert support to food processors. His experience in operating his own business has given him knowledge in production, sales, food safety, marketing, warehousing and logistics. As a Lean Business Advisor, John uses Lean tools such as Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Kaizen events, Standard Work and Problem Solving to help manufacturers of all types effectively reduce waste, improve efficiency, manage risk and improve corporate culture. John also provides a variety of Leadership training to manufacturing clients, including Supervisor Skills and Manufacturing Skills Development, and assists with conducting The Center’s Technology Opportunity Assessments.


Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

Categories: growth, Sales & Marketing, workforce