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In the game of life, you play to win. You do whatever it takes to be successful. But when it comes to your career, there might be one area you’re neglecting - and you could lose some great opportunities if you continue to ignore it. Related: 10 Places To Promote Your LinkedIn Profile A bad (or lazy) LinkedIn strategy could hurt your personal brand, which can hurt your overall career success. Without knowing it, you could be scaring away valuable connections. (Trust me, you don’t want to be like THIS guy…) Want to win an interview? Don't risk losing out to another job candidate because of a bad profile. Here are five tips for upping your LinkedIn game:

1. Give your profile a facelift.

Kick the dust off of your old, stale LinkedIn profile and give it an update. How old is that photo? When was the last time you updated your accomplishments?

2. Search for professionals working in your field/at your target company.

I’m constantly on the look out for people who work in my field or work at companies I admire. Many times, they’re just sitting in my “People You May Know” list. So, I try to casually browse through it at least once a week. Another way you can do this is to search the company or industry you’re interested in. LinkedIn has a great search function that allows you to see find people, companies, groups, and more.

3. Connect with people - the RIGHT way!

Nothing bothers me more about LinkedIn than when someone tries to connect with me using that generic, vague message, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” (Or my least favorite, most creepy invitation, “Since you're a person I trust, I'd like to add you to my LinkedIn network.”) C’mon guys. If you really want to connect with someone, don’t be lazy - it shows. Be specific. Tell him or her WHO you are and WHY you want to connect with them. You will have a better chance of getting accepted and building a valuable connection that way. Tip: You may have noticed that sometimes it doesn’t give you the opportunity to write a personalized LinkedIn invitation when you try to connect with people. Not sure why this happens, but if you want to avoid it, make sure you go directly to the person’s profile page and connect with them there. Otherwise, it will just send a generic invitation.

4. Nurture your connections.

Don’t just connect with people and forget about them. What’s the point in that? Check in with them once and a while. Share relevant articles with them. Endorse them. Give them a recommendation. Doing these things will help you stay relevant to your connections and increases the chance that they’ll think of you when an opportunity presents itself.

5. Keep a ‘fit’ LinkedIn presence.

Stay active. Share articles in your Feed. Write a blog post on LinkedIn’s platform once and awhile. Update your profile on a regular basis - whether that’s every week, two weeks, or month. Just stay on top of things! It will be easier to keep up with that way.

Want to become a savvy job seeker? Here’s how...

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