Updating your Facebook, MySpace or Twitter profile clearly doesn’t compare with maintaining your LinkedIn profile. Amongst all the social media that you might be using, your behavior on LinkedIn should be significantly more formal, professional and appropriate than the rest. You may be excused for recommending a new beer brew to your senior colleague on Twitter or Facebook, but it’s a serious no-no on LinkedIn.
Remember, you have a make or break chance to get a new job, hire a talented individual, outsource services and create new partnerships through LinkedIn. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while updating your LinkedIn profile.
Update with a purpose
Do you see a tab on the right hand side of your LinkedIn profile showing ‘Jobs recommended for you"? LinkedIn mines that data from the inputs you give them from your profile. Every update about your skills, awards, hobbies, education, group memberships etc will allow LinkedIn to give you job recommendations accordingly.
Why not update your LinkedIn profile according to the search results that you want LinkedIn to throw up for you? Also, use group discussions and answering questions in LinkedIn forums as means to get your name out there on the web space and to get more familiarity in your network.
Avoid returning recommendations
Extremely active users LinkedIn must keep this point in mind while updating their LinkedIn profile because they tend to lose the focus between being a LinkedIn enthusiast and an effective LinkedIn user. Whether someone has recommended you or if you’ve sought a recommendation from an industry senior, make sure you don’t type out a recommendation for them in reply to show your gratefulness.
Exchanging recommendations can be easily spotted by potential employers and can make your profile silly and sold out. You may choose to write a separate thank you note to the people who have recommended you separately.
Use strategic wording
Embellished, ornamental and flowery resumes are a thing of the past. But that doesn’t mean you present yourself with unabashed simplicity without a sales pitch. While updating your LinkedIn profile, keep in mind that you are here to sell yourself with strategic language.
If you are currently unemployed and looking for a job, the phrase under your name should read ‘In transition’ or ‘Towards better opportunities’ instead of reading ‘Unemployed’ or ‘looking for jobs’!
This applies specifically for students and fresh graduates who don’t have much substance to put into their profile and are fishing for words. What will set you apart from the rest of the graduate market is the ability to present your personality in a snapshot by using words that sell your skills effectively.
Show that you have time for updates
Rule number one is to not assume that the whole world is on Facebook and Twitter. Many people who might have the potential to be your next boss may get thoroughly annoyed when they see that you haven’t given original updates on LinkedIn, but have simply used re-tweets and hash tags.
Although you are simply trying to save time by connecting your other social media accounts to LinkedIn, it can put off readers who may not have a Facebook or a Twitter account. If you want to keep your updates uniform across the board, make sure you manually copy-paste your updates instead of automating them.
Follow offline culture online
If you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing golf shorts in office on a Monday, why post your picture in the same on LinkedIn? While this was a just an example, you must apply this rule to everything that shows up on your LinkedIn profile.
Remember, you’re not only talking to your group members and the people in your network, but inadvertently reaching out to a whole community of professionals, job seekers, students, skilled workers, contractors, head-hunters and their likes.
Behave exactly the way you would in a physical offline office atmosphere. Announcing that you’re the Mayor of a restaurant or a SuperUser on FourSquare isn’t surely going to do you any good on your LinkedIn profile.