iContract is a dedicated networking space for the contracting community, but LinkedIn is still an important place to connect with other professionals in your sector.
Just as you update your CV with each new job, you should update your online professional profile on LinkedIn. There are two reasons for doing regular spring-cleans of your LinkedIn profile. The first is that most employers hit Google before they hire anyone (and actually, usually before they even interview them), and your LinkedIn profile is likely to be one of the first search results. You’ll need to make sure that you are consistent about how you promote yourself across all platforms. If your cover letter says you are available to take on contracts, but your LinkedIn profile says you are still employed full-time, alarm bells may sound.
LinkedIn is also an important way of keeping up-to-date with the latest news and developments in your sector. As a contractor, you are marketing yourself as an expert in your field, so you need to make sure you are ahead of the game should a prospective employer quiz you on your opinion of the latest industry discussion point. If you are already writing articles or blog posts related to the industry, make sure you share them with your LinkedIn audience. On your LinkedIn home page, you can easily “Write an article” and publish to your connections and followers.
Make sure you are connected to the news of leading companies and professionals in your sector so that their announcements and any articles they publish or share appear in your newsfeed.