When I work with clients on their job search, one the first things I ask is, “do you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile?” I’m amazed at the number of excuses I hear as to why there is only one connection or the profile is literally growing cobwebs on it. And that’s a problem, because an old profile with few connections gives the wrong impression: no one likes you enough to connect with you, and if you don’t care enough about your own career, how will you take care of a company?

Here’s three of the common excuses I hear:

“I don’t want my boss to know I’m looking.”
Being on Linkedin does not signify that you’re looking for a job. It says you want to stay in touch with your best customers, colleagues, and former co-workers. There’s a lot of business to be had out there. LinkedIn is a super networking tool.

“I don’t want to be found”
Since more than 80% of recruiters are surfing Linkedin looking for passive candidates, it’s a sure bet you won’t be considered for that new great gig unless you’re on there.

“It’s a site that reveals who got fired.”
I had a client tell me this. He says that whenever someone starts padding their LI profile and asking for recommendations, something’s up. That’s not always true. In fact, it shouldn’t be true at all. We should be tending to our LinkedIn profiles much the way we tend to a garden. Planting a garden when you’re hungry is too late. Seeding and weeding is a constant and necessary task to survive.

Before the New Year hits us, take time now to update your LinkedIn Profile. When the flood of new jobs hits, you’ll be armed and ready and have one less thing to worry about. Your garden will be ready for harvest.