How often should you update your social media profiles?  I just did a walk through our offices and reminded all the employees that they need to go to LinkedIn and update their profiles.  Several looked at me blankly, one even said to me, “Am I supposed to have a profile?”  I nodded patiently and said in my normal, playfully acerbic tone, “Yes, you need to have a LinkedIn profile.”  She looked at the others around the room as if I had chopped her head off.


It is easy for me to forget that not everyone has had a profile for five years.  Not everyone thinks regular updates and profile maintenance are necessary.  I do and my co-workers know that I do.  In a busy, growing company, LinkedIn and other professional networks have served as a great help in my efforts to recruit for or promote my company and understand everyone’s position and how I can help them, how they can help me.


LinkedIn is the ultimate professional networking tool, even with its constant updates and changes.  I also have a profile on Plaxo – which I like to describe as a cross-breed of Facebook and LinkedIn with some pretty cool tools built in – like their birthday calendar.  I love sending eCards to professional connections; it is a great way to let someone know you are thinking of them and another way to maintain inactive or passive relationships.  You never know when an inactive relationship will blossom into a full-blown active one. 


And there are other online networking profiles floating around out there.  My personal social media philosophy has always been:  There are an awful lot of details available about you on the internet- take control of your online persona and have what YOU control be the dominating sources, the highest ranked listings in a Google search about you.  I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing what is out there about you.  Go to, type your name into the search bar and see what comes up about you.  The listings of personal information are all available on line.  Next go to Google and type in your name in the search bar, but search in "images."  Other surprises await you.  Information you put out about yourself online is all cached somewhere and is retrievable. 


Be careful and be in control. 


Anyone who knows me, knows that I have always been a huge proponent of having an open Facebook.  I use it for business and professional networking, so I want people to be able to find me and feel free to contact me.  But I also like feeling secure and until recently, I have always felt secure online.  That was no longer true after a few harassing emails and messages through Facebook and other networks.  I changed my privacy settings on Facebook and now avidly block followers on Twitter.  I have also closed my Facebook chat function.   Why?  Because I want to continue to use social media in my work and just like any other tool, there are evolving rules regarding its use. 


I choose to evolve with the rules. 


by rayannethorn

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I'm not so sure why you need to encourage happy employees to update their Linkedin profile.  Can you explain why you would want to promote, say, a developer or admin to keep their online resume up to date?


Please don't tell me it's for the group discussions and networking stuff.  Linkedin is (mostly) a resume database.

I see.  Though I disagree - I understand what you are trying to communicate here.  Personally I don't see the point in it.......

Jerry .. I have to disagree with you ... LinkedIn, as per how you "use it" is a Resume Database.  LinkedIn was never intended to be a resume database if you you read the definition of  why LinkedIn was created - and really it a place where Professionals Profile their backgrounds  not so much to be looking for a Job.  


If you contact a profile that happens to be interested in your pitch on a new role then that profile becomes a candidate  if they pass over their resume to you only after that point - LinkedIn in this case has just satisfied one of its " best uses"... But to describe Linkedin as a Resume Database I think is somewhat inaccurate ...   


If LinkedIN recognizes an Opportunity to morph itself to satisfy the Employment Market and the Recruiters who thrive in it great they have just created a revenue stream to support Employers and Recruiters - but linkedIn has other very useful business networking purposes which makes way more Powerful than a Resume database.


My 2 cents...  



If you do a survey you will find the general perception of Linkedin is that of being a resume database.  I personally don't really care what it "technically" is - or what their charter was.  No biggie though.  I really don't much care.  Just have to say I somewhat disagree with encouraging every employee in every company to update their "profile" aka "resume.


Ok cool so we agree to disagree ... I have seen profiles that are totally different from resumes.  Candidates that call themselves IT Security specialist on profile you get the resume and they are Super Users ...  A LinkedIn profile is a marketing tool for some to impress Clients, a marketing Positioning tool,  or a traffic re-director back to your blog or Corporate webpage - or position  yourself in a Search on Google or LinkedIn for a specific industry or skill set  and to let your colleagues know where you are in the Corporate ladder ...  

I think this tool is one of the most Powerful Business Social Media Networking tools to hit the Net in years ... 

I am hearing many companies requiring their employees to remove their Linkedin profiles at this point due to people giving too much detail about what they do that crosses over into proprietary information.  Some are requiring that if they do insist on a Linkedin profile they require that the give company name only and not position.  Hide their connections and put the notification that they are not open to receiving contact requests or inmail.

One of the comments i just heard was an HR manager who said, "We go to great pains not to let every person on the street have our employee roster with contact information."  "We are not about to have everybody put their resume and their picture online with all kinds of company information"  "If they want a personal page on Facebook we ask them to leave off where they work and anything about the details of their job."   "The way we regard it is if they have a full  open profile on linkedin they are looking for a new job."

Yes Sandra very true ... All you really know is that an Employee works at the firm .... The question is if you were say VP of Hr at a Company like Apple or Rim would you want your top Engineers on LinkedIn?
Paul - can you clarify what you mean by "all you really know is that an employee works at a firm..."?  When I am looking at a Linkedin profile I find much more than that.

@ Jerry ..  I was backing up what Sandra was saying... For really hard to find candidates if you are using Linkedin Let use Capital Markets the area I am engrossed with  right now ... A lot of the folks in the space will not get into any detail on their profiles.  So you really have no ideas if the profile fits what you are looking for and I am finding this more frequently...   Example:


 Tom Brown  Big 4 Company or Bank 

Project Manager - Capital Markets with some basic info  ( That's it ) 


I don't know what tools what instruments (Hedge, Commodities  Trading apps etc... ) nothing  so now I have to gather all of the folks with no real info as to whether or not they even qualify for  a role ...    If Tom's Hr Mgmt  sees this Profile  they are pleased not enough info to cause any fuss ...  As per what Sandra is talking about....

My father used to use a screwdriver as a hammer.

My brother used a screwdriver to punch holes in Tupperware boxes.

I used a screwdriver to jam open the garage door once. Then used one to fix it.

I had a friend who used a screwdriver to blind his wife and stab her lover in the bottom - both at the same time.

I saw a video of an emergency tracheotomy performed with a pen knife, the screwdriver blade to be exact.

I have it on good authority the majority of people use screw drivers to screw and/or unscrew screws. That doesn't diminish it's use as as a hammer, insect incubator ventilator, a door-jam or, in the right hands, a deadly weapon or life-saving medical instrument.

That said, a multipurpose tool is of no use unless you have a use for it. I think Linkedin falls into that category, a screwdriver if you will.
@ Amitai .. Love the analogy I have to agree with you...
Ami - mind if I ask how that relates to encouraging every employee in your company to keep an active resume, oh, excuse me, "profile" on Linkedin?

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