The last article I wrote on the LinkedIn series discussed the (work) experience section. Prior articles talked about the summary and branding headline. Something that’s not discussed enough is the importance of posting updates on LinkedIn to better network with your connections.
This feature allows you to inform them about matters such as which events and seminars you’ve been attending, share information and advice that pertain to your industry, talk about training courses you’re taking, plus much more.
Share an Update from your homepage or Post an Update from your profile page are two places where you can share any news you find worth mentioning. There are some things to keep in mind when updating.
Do it often: I advise my jobseekers to update at least once a day. This may be too infrequent to effectively network, however. Your network should hear from you at least four times a day. You may not have news about seminars you’re attending, or training courses you’re taking; but this doesn’t mean your input is invaluable. Become a source of information by posting blogs written by industry pundits; even post your own blogs. Simply “liking” a statement someone posted is keeping your presence alive.
Keep it professional: For jobseekers and professionals alike, it’s important to keep your updates professional. An update that would not be appropriate on LinkedIn is, “I just had an interview that didn’t go too well. Oh well, I’ll try it again.” This is more like it, “I had an exciting interview at a great company. Time to write thank you notes.” You could write an inspirational quote, if you’d like. “Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.” Hamilton Holt
Attach a URL to a blog article: Part of networking is sharing information, so what better way than suggesting an article you found informative and pertinent to your network? If you blog yourself, it’s always great suggesting other bloggers’ articles as a way to network. Click the link “Attach” and copy and paste the article’s URL; LinkedIn will compress the lengthy address like tinyurl.com does.
Give tips: Here are some examples of tips you might update to your network. “Your résumé should sell you and prompt employers to invite you in for an interview.” “A great job search book is What Color is Your Parachute.” “I ran across a great webinar series on the job search, ‘How to Brand Yourself in a Down Market.’ Check it out.” Remember to keep them pertinent to your network’s interests.
Make enhancements to your profile: Your networking efforts can be as simple as making improvements to your LinkedIn summary, experience, or education sections; and writing or receiving recommendations. Be sure your settings for activity broadcasts are on. However, you may want to turn off your activity broadcasts when you are in the process of building your profile.
Participate in group discussions: Every time you comment on a topic in your group/s, the news is delivered to your network. You may not blog or answer and ask LinkedIn questions, so joining group discussions shows others that you’re willing to share information and give advice, both of which are essential aspects of networking.
This topic came to mind when an article I wrote on being on LinkedIn and making use of your time was discussed in one my group’s discussions page. The respondent commented that one should update often to better make use of LinkedIn, to better network. I was remiss in not mentioning sharing updates in that article. Clearly this is one feature of LinkedIn that deserves more attention.