When is the right time to update your LinkedIn profile?

As far as social networking goes, I’d say my update frequency is above average. I’m active on the big three (twitter, facebook and google+) and dip my toes into all the others from time to time to see what’s new. I tend to sign up for everything, as soon as I hear about it (mainly so I can secure the dragondrop username.)

LinkedIn though – the corporate, professional, suit and tie version of social networking is different. It scares me somewhat. In the land of work and career, that’s the one that counts. That’s the one that you’re more likely to be seen by a current or prospective employer. I found my new job on there, for instance. It’s common for the higher echelons of the corporate arena to be active on LinkedIn, only. It’s wholly based around the working word, the professional world.

Each social network has it’s place and whilst I do care a lot about my online persona on each, LinkedIn is the one that (in my mind) you’re more likely to get spotted on by colleagues and clients, so therefore I’m ultra careful of how I make myself appear on there.

Does LinkedIn spring cleaning mean someone is job hunting?

Out of all of my networks, LinkedIn is the one that I’m tentative about updating. It shouldn’t be the case, but it’s true that a lot of people only tinker with their LinkedIn, when they’re looking for a job. Being as it is, like an online CV, you obviously want prospective employers to see you in your best light, but you don’t necessarily want current employers to see “Such and such has updated his profile”. LinkedIn is a bit of a monkey for that.

I recently edited my job title – an administrative task if you like, from something like Web Development Team Manager to Web Design Team Manger (as I’d had it on ‘paper’, that that was the case), thinking nothing of it. The next think I knew, I had several messages from people congratulating me on my new job. Another time I noted (with horror) that when I was checking out people’s profiles at companies I liked the look of, it let them know that Such and such a person had looked at their profile. I even had a certain company contact my exiting company, saying “we noted that you have recently expressed an interest in our company…” (what a heart in mouth moment that was).

So when is the best time? I’ve kept it fairly current and now it doesn’t matter so much because I’m leaving my current job soon anyway, but I guess keeping it current is key and updating it whenever you have a career milestone. I’ve recently sent out scores of invitations in LinkedIn to extend my network – I particularly want to connect with all the good folk at my current gig, as I think now is the time to do that. When I start my new job, I’ll update it with my new company and details.

I recently noted the ‘add a project’ side of LinkedIn. I might have to go back and fill in a bunch of projects. The good thing about that is you can add people you worked on specific projects with, not just specific companies.

Recently, LinkedIn has tried to go a bit ‘social’ and allow you to update it (like you can with other networks) with content – stories, and photos, etc. I’m not so sure I think LinkedIn is the right place for that, but it may be for some types of content and I guess for some types of people. The most active people on there seem to be recruiters, fishing for people, or for smaller services companies and individuals fishing for clients. It make sense for them to stand on a box and have a bit of a shout every day.

I think I’ll keep it at arms length but keep it tidy. It’s not a place for having fun, unlike some of the other networks, and at times as buggy as one of those 4 wheeled vehicles you get on a golf course, but it is a good place for connection with workies. If you’ve not signed up for LinkedIn – do so! It’s a network like no other, that’s for sure.

Article written by

Blogger. Photogger. Walker. Talker. Experience designer based in Dubai. Co-founder of 4 kids.

2 Responses

  1. Ben Osmond (@benosmond5)
    Ben Osmond (@benosmond5) at |

    Great post Matt. I am enjoying LinkedIn so far, you are totally right though, on the social network side of things it is a bit like your professional facing one and therefore requires more care and thought!

  2. benjemima skinner
    benjemima skinner at |

    I think the general rule is update your profile when you move or get promoted or your experience changes, and then just use the ‘invite to connect’ functions to connect with people. Linkedin is (in my opinion as a recruiter) mainly a recruiting tool. They charge recruiter very large recruiting license fees to get access to all profiles and have unlimited message facilities (ie being able to inmail non contacts). Groups add a further dimension. Once you join a group you become a 2nd level contact with all members of that group so they show up in your searches and you can contact them easier, starting a group gives you outright access to its members. I genuinely think it is a networking site in name, yet an amazing idea to build the biggest and most comprehensive recruitment site which will eventually be ‘charge to use’ and the only site recruiters anywhere use (if it doesnt put recruiters out of business). Oh, and dont use the ‘i dont know’ function when someone wants to connect with you…. its bad form. 5 IDK’s for the connector and they get their privileges reduced…. just use ‘ignore’ if you dont want to connect to them!!! 🙂

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