Conduct a 60-second audit of your recent activity to ensure your LinkedIn interactions tell others what you wish them to know about you. Are you hungry for news and information to drive results in your job and your career? Do you engage in thoughtful dialog about the trends in your industry? Do you demonstrate your mastery of today's social communications tools and strategies?
Much can be told from your LinkedIn activities. Are you professional or not? Assertive or passive? Positive or negative? Self-interested or oriented to others? A leader or a follower? Focused on a set of key topics or scattered across many? Present and active or absent and disinterested?
As brands craft their social media presence, they fret over every post, comment and like, making sure each interaction reflects their brand and commitment to customers. But as you engage on LinkedIn, you may give little thought to the story you are creating with each click of the "like" button.
Your profile is important--it contains the keyword and meta information that recruiters and others use to search for and find professionals--but your activity history is important, too. Your profile may look impeccable, conveying a capable, smart and successful professional history, but do your likes, comments, and shares tell the same story?
Viewed in this manner, what do your LinkedIn activities say about you? Do they tell the story you would want to convey to bosses, peers, clients, employees and others? Do your activities match your profile and accurately communicate your professional interests? Do people engage with your content and comments or are you ignored?
Also, put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter or hiring manager. Think of the next best job in your career and ask if you would hire the person you see reflected in your recent activity. Look at the ratio of topics in the last ten or fifteen posts (which is as much as a recruiter is likely to review in the few seconds they will have to evaluate you); are a majority of your posts related to professional news, trends, white papers, studies and events, or are most of your recent likes for selfies, puzzles, jokes, and inspirational quotes?
Another exercise is to think of a couple of people you admire on LinkedIn--professionals who seem to post the most interesting and pertinent thought leadership in your industry or discipline--and look at their recent activity. To do so, visit their profile, click the down arrow next to "Send a Message," and select "View Recent Activity." What does their activity say about them? How is it different than yours? What is it they do that helps them to encourage the admiration you feel for them?
Your sterling professional history may get you noticed, but is your LinkedIn activity sealing the deal or scaring people away? If your recent activity doesn't promote the personal brand you want, how will your LinkedIn habits change?
Actions speak louder than words; what do your LinkedIn actions say about you? (Hint: Sharing this article will definitely tell people you care about your brand and want others to better succeed at managing theirs.)