The LinkedIn Status Update

If LinkedIn is your new online resume, then I hope you are taking full advantage of the status update box. Think of it as your chance to practice, and update, a professional answer to “what’s new?”

Remembering that anything you change in your LinkedIn profile will be transmitted to your connections, you might think of it as running into any of those people and exchanging chitchat about what is new in your life.  To your colleagues, you might mention a conference you’re planning to attend, an article you just read, a new website, or a professional challenge in your life.

The beauty of LinkedIn is that you can change this box easily, as often as you have something new to say.  If you are going to  a trade show, you can mention it, adding (space permitting!) that you are looking forward to seeing friends there.  If you are taking a course, it would be interesting to see what kind of response you might get by mentioning it.  If you are reading a book in yuor subject area, you might mention it in addition to listing it in the book section of the profile.  If you are considering a career change, you can find a way to showcase your exploration, being mindful that your boss may be reading this (discretion advised!).  Please note that if your status update includes a specific event, you absolutely must change the status update by the next day at the latest.

Status updates that will not enhance your professional reputation are those items about parties, vacations, pets, kids, and your favorite tv shows.  They are fun, but perhaps better suited to another web site.

I always read the status updates of my colleagues.  It’s a great way to stay in touch, and also a path to further communication if it is appropriate.  At this point, I must go an update my status update – I’ve just written a blog post about it!

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