By: Elias Cobb, Quantix Recruiting Manager
This will be a quick posting. It came about as I heard about a company doing some downsizing and I was thinking about all those people frantically updating their resumes and (hopefully) their LinkedIn profiles.
- Connect with your peers and managers VERY shortly after starting any new position. I’d say within the first week. One issue I’ve seen is when people switch jobs, either by their own volition or as a result of a downsizing, restructuring, or the like, is they lose track of their managers. The problem is, when you are suddenly let go, with little or no warning, it can be too late to connect with all the managers to whom you’ve reported. Now, when your next potential employer is asking for references, you may not have your last manager’s current contact information. If you’re connected, as they move companies (and you do as well) you can access their current contact information through LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great way to make sure you can contact former managers and peers to ask for references, if you need them. I don’t know too many people who go in and actively remove connections – it definitely happens, but if you had a good working relationship with someone, they’re likely to keep you as a connection.
- As you pick up new skills, and more importantly, finish big projects or receive accolades, add them to your LinkedIn profile. If you’re with a company more than a year or so, you’re likely to learn some new skills. Don’t wait until you’re on the way out to try and remember what they are and when you learned them. Get them on your profile. The same thing goes for big projects. If you’re laid off three years down the road, you may not remember the details of that big project you finished in your first year on the job. Those kinds of accomplishments are exactly the types of things managers love to see on a resume or LinkedIn profile.
In short, my recommendation is to treat your LinkedIn profile as a sort of “working resume,” something you update consistently and constantly as your managers, peers and job responsibilities change. It’s one less thing you will have to worry about if you are ever forced to look for a new job unexpectedly.