If you’re even an occasional LinkedIn user, you’ve surely noticed that, upon logging into the site, there are numerous Updates listed on your Home page. Here, new connections, blog posts, polls, quotes, and other bits of information scroll past during each view of the page.
While you might not pay close attention to these Updates until something catches your eye, there’s a reason to join in the conversation.
LinkedIn Updates, when used correctly, can become a fantastic brand building-block for both your short- and long-term career management and job search.
As free, simple advertising for your personal brand (over and above your LinkedIn resume), Updates can quickly become hallmarks of your professional activity and career direction, and can be easily found by any LinkedIn user.
The benefit of using Updates? A constant reminder to your audience of why you’re using the site, plus a dash of personality and career-strengthening data on your professional activities.
Best of all, Updates keep on working for you long after you post them, requiring minimal effort on your part.
Issuing a LinkedIn Update is simple: use the “Share an update” text box on your Home Page to tell the world what you’re doing professionally. This note will be added to the All Updates list (below it), and will also stay in place on your Profile (as a scrolling list).
Now, on to the reasons why you’d want to use this feature and how it can help your job search:
1 – Updates keep you on the recruiter and employer radar.
After you connect with a business associate or colleague on LinkedIn, you might find that the relationship sort of falls flat—unless, of course, your Updates are crossing their Home page on a regular basis.
Even just a short weekly note with advice for others in your industry or a pithy Twitter quote will help others remember what you do and reveal your level of expertise.
Short, but frequent notices of training events that you’re attending or even comments on others’ professional activities can be used as Updates. Each item will serve in turn to reinforce your value proposition and maintain your visibility.
2 – Updates offer a glimpse of your professional interests and expertise.
Just like any other flow of information, your Update strategy is an integral part of your brand message—and it’s one that can strengthen your reputation as an expert in your field (and promote your credentials as a candidate).
Think about it: if you’re reading someone’s Profile (and admit it, you do), consider the impact of that Update at the top (the one that mentions how they’re finding a renowned industry book to be relevant in their work). You’ll easily be able to perceive this connection as staying on top of his or her field.
Of course, like any other social media marketing, the Updates you issue should be fully related to your goals. For example, if you plan to target a CIO role, you might consider adding a link to that great article on cloud computing strategy.
Similarly, an Operations Director who is seeking a new opportunity could issue an update on the latest advances in Six Sigma.
3 – Updates allow you to advertise your skills.
Say you’re starting a new project at work that you’ve realized will add sought-after skills to your resume. Even if you add an Update about this project just once, your note will still keep colleagues (and recruiters!) informed of your new skill set for months to come.
You can also issue Updates that reflect your professional assessment of new methodologies or tools in your field—giving employers a heads-up on your areas of competency and another reason to reach out to you as a potential candidate.
In summary, you’ll find that both the content and consistency of the information you publish on LinkedIn can be a valuable part of your brand message… quickly and simply allowing you to promote your expertise and catch the eye of employers.
(Originally published by Laura Smith-Proulx on www.job-hunt.org)
Executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx is a leadership resume expert and former recruiter who partners with CTO, CIO, CEO, CFO, COO, SVP, and Director-level candidates to win interviews through targeted personal branding techniques. The Executive Director of An Expert Resume, her work has won honors for 19 global resume industry awards, with publication in 8 career bestsellers. She blogs frequently on the subject of resume writing, LinkedIn Profiles, and job search techniques at Executive Resume Expert.