A candidate asked me a great question not long ago, “When should I update my LinkedIn profile?”
He had just decided it was time for him to move on and wanted to reinvigorate his job search. I asked him, “Is your boss on LinkedIn?”
To which he responded, “All the time.”
So then I had another question for him, “Well, what is he going to say when he sees that one of his staff members has suddenly put up a glossy new picture, upgraded his profile to All-Star status and has asked his peers to start giving him recommendations and endorsements?”
His response: “Ah, I hadn’t thought about that….”
This short engagement raised a critical career mistake that many accounting professionals are unwittingly making; alerting their entire network (including their manager) to the fact that they’re updating their LinkedIn profile and therefore potentially looking for a new job.
First, before we explore how to avoid the key LinkedIn mistake, this is why you should update your profile:
LinkedIn is a fantastic networking platform. When up-to-date, your old peers will be able to find and engage with you. It’s also filled with insightful industry experts who are often more than willing to lend a hand if you need guidance on a particular issue. Participating in group discussions will help build your reputation and network, and your profile can provide you with credibility. When properly utilised, LinkedIn can be one of the greatest resources in your current role.
Your LinkedIn profile is perfect for showcasing your experience. If your profile shows your involvement in certain areas, other users will reach out to you and ask for advice on similar problems. Being seen as a leader within your field will enhance your own professional brand, and if your employer is seen as having industry experts working for them then this could enhance their position in the market.
Recruiters and Hiring Managers use LinkedIn’s internal search algorithm to locate your profile. Having up-to-date and relevant information is key to being discovered. Whilst I could write an entire post on properly optimising your LinkedIn profile, the easiest way to achieve this is by researching your ideal job and those who already hold it. Note down the keywords that frequently appear throughout your search and include them in your profile.
With the world moving hastily towards an ever more digital landscape, proactively engaging with LinkedIn every few weeks is a great way to stay informed on the latest industry trends and news.
As highlighted at the beginning of this article, openly showing your Manager key signs that you’re looking for a new role is not a great career move. It’s even worse if you’re not actually looking and just updating your profile as they could make incorrect assumptions about your intentions.
Unless you make proactive changes to the settings on your LinkedIn account, every update will be shown to your connections (including your Manager) through their LinkedIn Home Feed. We’re not suggesting you go straight on and list yourself as “seeking a new position”, however, updating responsibilities, recommendations or joining groups is often just as much of a giveaway.
It’s generally not the best idea to remove your Manager from your LinkedIn Connections either, but there are two other options:
With this setting switched off, any changes you now make to your profile won’t be published to your network and therefore won’t show up in people’s feeds. Please note this won’t stop your Manager from looking at your LinkedIn profile but the likelihood that will happen is far less if they’re not being alerted to this.
Although the above solution may appear simple, there are so many accounting professionals who aren’t aware that this function exists. In this unprecedented time, it's good to get your LinkedIn profile updated. Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for all our latest articles.