Three Reasons You Should Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Up To Date
While LinkedIn has become the database of record for our careers, it is so much more than that. It is the one place on the Internet where we make our professional declaration of who we are and what we do. As such, it is extremely useful in building and maintaining a rich network of professional relationships. A current and complete profile makes it easy for friends and network connections to remember where you’ve been and what you’re working on.
But, you ask, “If I update my LinkedIn profile, won’t my boss think I am looking for a job?”
Possibly. Tell your boss that linkedIn is much more than a place to attract job inquiries. It is networking central, useful for both creating and freshening links in your network. These network connections are as valuable to your company as they are to your career.
Here are a few of the many uses I find for LinkedIn.
Make (Better) Introductions
Introducing people to each other is the at the core of great networking. In the early days I would make these introductions using the “brute force method.” I would decide if and when two people should connect. I would copy each of them on an email with an introduction and an explanation of why they needed to meet and then step out of the picture. I would leave it to them to complete the circuit and make the connection.
The problem with this “brute force method” is timing and readiness.
People have often (generously) made introductions for me that were premature. What I was working on needed a few more weeks or months before the introduction would be truly, mutually beneficial. Further, as a person who has a preference for introversion, I relish the time in advance to prepare my thoughts.
Now I take a different approach to introductions — an approach that relies heavily on LinkedIn.
When I discover two people in my network who should met, I send each of them a link to the other person’s profile with an introduction explaining the synergy that I believe exists. Then I add, If and when you would like an introduction, I will be glad to make it happen.
And then I leave it in their hands. I find that the connections are ultimately richer this way—but this only works if both people keep their LinkedIn profile up-to-date. So please keep your LinkedIn profile current and complete so I can introduce you to others in my network.
Keep Links Fresh: Let LinkedIn Refresh My Memory
Good introductions require knowing what each of the parties are working on, so that you can point out why the meeting would be mutually beneficial. I try to keep up with all the people in my network. However, it’s a monumental task. I can’t always remember where you went to school, what you studied, where you’ve lived, or your current job.
I turn to LinkedIn to refresh my memory.
If I’m lucky, LinkedIn will notify you that I have peaked at your profile, letting you know that I am thinking about you. Please keep your LinkedIn profile current and complete so I remember the important things in your career.
Use LinkedIn for Better Meetings
As an introvert it is important for me to prepare and collect my thoughts before I meet with people — especially people I do not know well.
LinkedIn is a great tool for reconnaissance in advance of meeting with people.
These are just three of the eight ways I advocate leveraging LinkedIn in my book on networking and careers. Check out the rest in chapter 15 of Helpful: A Guide to Life, Careers, and the Art of Networking.
In the meantime, please keep your LinkedIn profile current and complete so I can get a better picture of who you are. This will enable us to engage in much deeper, more productive conversations much more quickly.
When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Take some time now to look over your currently profile and set aside time over the holidays to refresh it.
Then see my follow-up article on “How To Create A Stronger LinkedIn Profile” for my ‘3-Pass’ method of updating your profile (or resume) with useful and meaningful content in each entry of your job history.
Originally published December 17, 2013. Revised and updated June 29, 2019.
Heather Hollick has been helping others become better leaders and craft more meaningful careers for more than 25 years. Her experience spans both business and technology, operations and organizational development. Oh, and she was born in Canada, so she can't help but be helpful. 😉