The weather is warming up…it’s not too warm and it’s not too cold either. Flowers are starting to bloom and the trees are starting to wake up from their winter slumber. You know what this means, right? It’s time to clean up—the backyard, your closet of last season’s clothes, and your online profiles.

Your LinkedIn and social media profiles.

Spring is the season of new beginnings, so it’s just right to take advantage of this time to start a new (and better) chapter in your career.

You might post status updates on your LinkedIn or Facebook profiles regularly, I’ll give you that. But when was the last time you took the time to focus on cleaning up your profile? Check your LinkedIn, Facebook and other account’s profile info. Go ahead and check it. I’ll wait.

Did you check it? Good.

You probably found one or two things a tad outdated, such as:

• Current employer and job title
• Profile picture
• Work projects
• Skills
• Email address
• Phone and other contact information

Here’s How to Spit Shine Your Profiles

Vacuum and Polish the Floors… Buff Your Profile Headlines
Your profile’s headline plays a huge role in determining whether your profile shows up in search results. So don’t waste this space with fancy job titles and clever quotes—use keywords relevant to your work.

But don’t fill your headlines mindlessly with a bunch of keywords either, it has to make sense otherwise no one will read it even if it’s at the top of search results. Combine keywords with your job title and a short elevator speech on what you do.

Out with the Old Clothes… In with the New Job Description
Delete work history from your college and high school days. It’s the same with resumes; long ones aren’t necessarily more effective than short ones.

If you’re afraid your profile will look thin, fear not. The next step is to add new developments in your career in the past 12 months—or whenever you last updated your profile. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking achievements; new skills learned, new tasks added to your current job descriptions, a change of job title or even moving to a new company will do. The objective here is to make sure your career doesn’t look stagnant online.

Now is not the time to be shy because if you’re not going to talk about your accomplishments, no one will. Besides, updates to your profile will show up in your connections’ news feed, which means more eyeballs for your profile.

Throw Useless Trinkets… Delete common skills
Remove ordinary skills everybody is an “expert” at, like MS Word. Almost everyone knows how to use a word processor, so this claim is just waste of valuable online real estate. Replace it with more valuable and in demand skills instead.

Trim the Garden… Spruce Up Your Network and Contact Info
Pull out the weeds before they spread and take over your garden. In the same sense, delete old contacts and people you don’t know or add any value to your network. This is important for two reasons:

1) Social networks have a limit on the number of connections you can have
2) Old contacts and spammy connections don’t add value to your network

Most people won’t admit this, but you are judged based on your inner circle. Think about this, if you see a doctor’s profile on LinkedIn but you can’t find other medical professionals in his network, what would your first impression be?

Finally, don’t forget to check your contact info. Delete old emails, phone numbers and websites you no longer use. And please, if you’re still using a cutesy username for email, CHANGE IT. It might have been cool when you were in school, but I doubt it will help your career.

Your Turn…

Check your LinkedIn and other social media profiles. Did you find anything outdated or irrelevant? Update it now with the help of these tips. If you’re at a loss what to do, just hit reply so I can help you.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle A. Riklan, ACRW, CPRW, CEIC Résumés that land on the top of the pile! Coaching that puts you ahead of the competition. Training that ensures career advancement. We want you to reach your top potential!