Someone once asked me if it was okay to update their profile. In their case, they were talking about their profile summary. I thought it was an odd question. After all, wouldn’t you want to update your CV or your resume? Upon further investigation, I realized they were asking a valid question. Basically, they were wondering if their older connections would react negatively to an updated profile. Here’s a short summary of what I told them.
“It all depends! But what choice do you have? If your profile needs updating, then that really means that you’ve either moved on, or you’ve changed focus in your professional life. You’ve done something like get a new job, or you’re planning on changing careers. Something like that. If you want LinkedIn to work for you in this new endeavor, then you really need to update your headline, your profile summary, and quite possibly other parts of your profile.”
Indeed, over the past few years as my business focus has changed, I’ve updated my own profile summary significantly about five times. We no longer live in the world of people working at the same job for thirty years and getting the gold watch at the end of that. Thank God! We live in a much more fluid world when it comes to career, employment, and skills. Look at it from a skills point of view. Used to be you had to have a college degree specializing you in some discipline or other before you could get a job doing whatever that was. Nowadays, you can take an online course and within three months or so, completely change careers! You won’t even be starting on the ground floor either!
With the flux that defines our business and professional lives, why wouldn’t you change your profile as you change? So what, if someone gets bent out of shape? One: it will never happen, and Two: who cares?