Five important reasons you should be working LinkedIn harder

I'm glad to see that I've been getting a lot of LinkedIn requests in the past few weeks. The downside is that it is probably an economic indicator. The upside is that it confirms my suspicions that I am surrounded by smart motivated people who like to take their futures into their own hands. If you are looking for work, looking for business, or think you may need to be looking for either in the near future, having your LinkedIn profile up to date is always a smart move.

  1. Updating your LinkedIn profile will get you thinking about your identity

    If you've been comfortable in what you're doing, chances are you've not been thinking a lot about what your personal brand represents.  Forget about all the hype people attach to personal brand and replace it with the following thought. A clear message about what you do allows others to comfortably slot you in their memory banks. They like that. Giving other a clear picture of who you are, how you might be able to help them, and generally how you fit in the world is a gift to them. You are aming their lives easier.  More importantly you become easier to remember. Ask yourself this, how would your professional contacts describe you at a dinner party?

  2. LinkedIn is a ready and active marketplace for professionals and professional services

    The network at LinkedIn is framed differently than other social networks.  They don't ask you your favorite color, movie, or Spice Girl.  They ask Where did you go to school?  What companies and teams have you worked with? What did you accomplish during your work there?  This keeps the discussion at LinkedIn wrapped work and accomplishments.  If you are looking for work, of whatever type, then why not jump into conversations that are focused on work.

  3. LinkedIn lets you easily display the recommendations your work has earned

    Once you've got your profile together on LinkedIn, the next step is to reach out to the previous employers, bosses, team members, and customers you have delighted and ask them if they could say a few kind words about you using the LinkedIn recommendation system.  There is no endorsement in the world more powerful for Brand You than the words of those who have used your services in the past.  Ask nicely and people will help. Get great recommendations and they are displayed for the world to see. What could be nicer than that?

  4. LinkedIn allows you to give away free samples of your expertise 

    The Answers section of LinkedIn allows you to browse for questions that are within your domain and then answer them. If your answer is the best of the lot, it is flagged by the person asking the question which further demonstrates your expertise to those searching LinkedIn. A few Best Answers in your chosen field and you are now seen as an expert in the LinkedIn marketplace. Being seen as an expert in a field of experts is a very powerful endorsement. Get all you can.

  5. LinkedIn is where the best recruiters go looking for the best candidates

    A few months ago, a corporate retention officer for a fortune 100 company told me that she hated LinkedIn. She said, our people have great skill sets and are in high demand.  She said high powered recruiters are scanning them on LinkedIn, reaching out, and offering better packages than we are in a position to match.  What makes LinkedIn bad for her is great for you.  A complete profile with positions, skills, accomplishments, and recommendation not just enumerated, but celebrated is a powerful year round, 24 hour a day marketing tool that makes sure all of the best opportunities for your skills come to you.
As I said in the opening.  I am glad my friends and co-workers are reaching out on LinkedIn. My work allows me to hang around some extremely talented people.  I hope they and you are taking advantage of what I think may be the most powerful networking tool on the net.  If you are looking for work for you or your company, getting your LinkedIn profile up to date is great exercise.

ps: If you and I have had a real world relationship, I'd probably be happy to connect on LinkedIn .  If we have not connected in real life, I'd suggest inviting me out for a cup of coffee or lunch and we can compare notes, remedy our disconnect and see if we can help one another.

About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.