You have a solid LinkedIn profile, and you are making connections. But remember, the purpose of LinkedIn is to help manage your career. Having a well-crafted and informative profile, and having a lot of influential connections, are only parts of the equation. The other necessary component is to promote yourself as a subject-matter expert.
LinkedIn makes it easy by allowing Status Updates.
Status Updates are important because when you log into LinkedIn, the Home page shows updates from your connections. You want to be on that page so that your connections log in, they see something about you. Otherwise, you risk “out of sight, out of mind.”
LinkedIn does some of the work for you by posting an update when you have a new connection, or when you revise your profile to who a promotion or a new job, or have a work anniversary or birthday. But these are rather passive. You want to show your connections that you are engaged in your profession and have something substantive to say.
LinkedIn is not Facebook, so do not post about your meal (unless, possibly, you are a chef or a food critic) or about how angry you are over the finale of “Lost” (I mean, seriously, what was up with that?).
And LinkedIn is not Twitter, so you do not need to make multiple posts per day.
You should set a goal of one solid update per day, or several times per week and at different times during the work day. Appropriate topics might be:
The workshop you are attending, or want to attend
That you just finished a major project, or landed a new account (CAUTION: Be aware of your company’s rules, if any, on confidentiality and social media use)
An interesting article that you think your professional peers might enjoy or could benefit from
Your own professional blog update
Note that LinkedIn, and LinkedIn users, frown on overt sales pitches. But posting a Status Update (if your company’s rules on social media use allows) about your company’s sponsorship of an event might be very appropriate.
Self-promotion – talking about our achievements – is much easier for some than for others. But doing so is essential for effective job search, and long-term career management. And over time, it gets easier.
How do you use the Update Status section on LinkedIn? Please share in the comments below.
Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.