What should you post on LinkedIn?

When a recruiter checks out your profile, they're looking for more than just your work experience. They want to see who you've interacted with, which articles you read, and what type of wisdom you share. They want to see what kind of LinkedIn citizen you are. Don't let them find a deserted island!

If you haven't posted yet, your LinkedIn activity looks like a deserted island.

If you haven't posted yet, your LinkedIn activity looks like a deserted island.

Have you thought about posting on LinkedIn?

When I begin working with clients, I usually try to set realistic goals that really are achievable. One goal I often encourage them to strive for is to begin posting on LinkedIn each week. Initially, some react negatively. "I don't want to be the person who puts a photo of every meal I eat online," said one person I worked with. Another confessed, "I've tried putting images with inspirational quotes up on LinkedIn every once in a while but got no response, so I stopped."

The first key to sharing on LinkedIn: authenticity

Photos of your pasta primavera and inspirational quotes aren't authentic. They don't speak to who you are, what you are passionate about, and where you are headed in your career.

Focus on your industry, your specialty, and your particular niche. In your post, address a current issue that people in your industry grapple with. Sharing content on LinkedIn can also be a great way to fill out the gaps that might exist in your profile, by demonstrating that you have an interest in an area that may be outside the scope of your current role.

The second key to sharing on LinkedIn: generosity

Many of my clients are reluctant to post, primarily because they say it feels inauthentic. One client said it felt grandiose or self-serving to post about his own success. I suggested that he post about someone else's success instead, and he warmed to that idea quickly. Posts are also a wonderful way to show appreciation to others in your network. If you approach posting as an conscious act of generosity, you see the possible ripple effects entirely differently.

Here are some examples of what you can post on LinkedIn, show appreciation to your network, and start building your own online reputation--while still being true to yourself. Notice that each of these ideas includes both authenticity and generosity!

Congratulate others in your network. If you check out the LinkedIn posts of career services staff this time of year, they are a solid stream of kudos! The students they have worked with for years are graduating and entering the workforce, and the best sendoff that a career advisor can give is a LinkedIn post of congratulations that mentions (or "tags") their star student!

Share an event related to your field. If you learn about an event coming up that is related to the work you do or the field you hope to enter, share it! Even if no one in your network is able to attend, they will appreciate the generosity you demonstrated.

Thank someone who helped in your career. Whether you want to express gratitude for a coworker, mentor, or boss, kind words are always appreciated. If the person might be reluctant to be in the spotlight in this way check with them first, but most folks truly don't mind an occasional shout out.

Recommend a book you enjoyed. If you've read a book that was helpful in your career or informative in an aspect of your work, share it! You may even look the author up on LinkedIn and if they have a profile, try to mention them in your post so they get a notification.

Share job openings you come across. If you see an opening that is in your industry or a related field, post a link to it! That way someone else in your network may return the favor and share a job announcement that is perfect for YOU someday.

I hope these ideas resonate and serve as a springboard for you! If you have other suggestions for what LinkedIn users might post that would be both authentic and generous, let me know in the comments!

Pretty simple, huh? If you found this post helpful, why don't you sign up for my email list so you'll know when I share another LinkedIn tip? If you're not already connected with me on LinkedIn and following me on Twitter, you're invited to do that as well. Drop me a quick note or leave a comment below and share YOUR ideas!

LinkedIn is a powerful tool.

Check out my online course and learn to Leverage LinkedIn.

The course includes 8 easy-to-digest videos totaling more than 30 minutes. Videos are captioned and have accompanying transcripts. Also included are 3 tip sheets that cover the basics of LinkedIn, 4 articles that dive deeper to focus on particular aspects of the platform, and a slide deck to walk you through the strategy I share with clients when they want to learn how to make the most of LinkedIn.

It's more than a "how-to" course.

It's a way of looking at networking strategically.

It's a different way of looking at how and why you value your professional relationships.