New Hacks for Building LinkedIn Profile 2019
Many people join LinkedIn because a friend or colleague invited them. You can join just as easily without receiving an invitation. Everyone joins at the basic level, which is free. (You can opt for different levels of paid membership).
Most importantly, the basic level still gives users the ability to take advantage of the most powerful tools that LinkedIn offers. In this blog, we have to explain the 100 Tips and new hacks for Building LinkedIn Profile.
Joining with an invitation
When a friend or colleague invites you to join, you receive an email invitation. The email clearly identifies the sender and usually has the Invitation to connect on LinkedIn as its subject line. (There’s a chance, though, that the sender came up with a custom header.)
When you open the message, you see an invitation to join LinkedIn, such as the message. There might be some extra text if the person inviting you personalized the message. You also see a button or link that takes you back to LinkedIn to create your account, Invitation button
When you’re ready to join LinkedIn with an invitation, you’ll start with these two steps:
Click the button or link from your invitation email. A new window appears that goes to the LinkedIn website
Enter your correct first name and last name, and create a new password for your account.
Click the Join Name Network button
You are taken to the next part of the sign-up process, where you provide basic information that LinkedIn will use to create your account. I cover the remainder of the sign-up process in “Completing the sign-up process
Joining without an invitation
If you haven’t received an invitation to join LinkedIn, don’t let that turn you into a wallflower. You can join LinkedIn directly, without an invitation from an existing user. Open your web browser and go to https://www.linkedin.com. You see the initial LinkedIn home page.
When you’re ready to join LinkedIn, simply provide your first name, last name, and email address, and enter a password in the boxes provided. Then click the Join Now button. After you click the button, you advance to the next part of the sign-up process, where LinkedIn collects some basic information to create your account.
Completing the sign-up process
Whether you’ve been invited to join LinkedIn or created an account directly from its homepage, LinkedIn requires some basic information beyond your name and email address to finish creating the basic account. When you’re ready to complete the sign-up process, follow these steps:
1. In the First, Let’s Make Sure You’re a Recognizable window, select the country where you reside.
2. Provide your zip code or postal code, and then click the Next button.
You’re taken to the next step, where LinkedIn starts to build your professional profile by asking about your current employment status and whether you are a student.
3. Complete the fields regarding your student status current employment. Specifically, you need to provide the following information:
Are You a Student?: Select the appropriate radio button to indicate Yes or No.
Job Title: If you’re not a student, indicate your current job title, whether you’re employed, unemployed (a.k.a. “a job seeker”), or self-employed.
Company: LinkedIn asks for a company name and prompts you by showing existing companies in its database as you type in the name of your company. After you provide the company name, LinkedIn adds the Industry field. Use the drop-down list to identify which industry you feel you belong to
4. Choose the option that best represents your goal for using LinkedIn by clicking on that line.
LinkedIn will tailor your remaining account creation prompts based on your choice here, but you’ll still have access to fully customize your profile regardless of your choice. Can you also skip this step by clicking the Not Sure Yet? I’m Open! option.
5. Confirm the email address for your account.
LinkedIn emails you a confirmation with a verification code to help verify the email account you’re using, especially if you joined LinkedIn without an invitation.
Open your email program and look for an email from LinkedIn Email Confirmation with the subject line Please confirm your email address. Open that email, and note the verification code. Go back to LinkedIn and enter the verification code in the box provided. Click the Verify button to proceed.
7. If you’re asked to log in to your account, simply provide your email address and password with a verification code.
8. Start building your network.
LinkedIn offers to import your contacts from your email program. You are walked through the steps of importing your address book and can also connect with existing members of LinkedIn. You can also do these tasks after you create your account by clicking Skip.
9. Start using the site based on your goals for using LinkedIn.
Suppose that you chose Finding a Job as the reason why you’re setting up a LinkedIn account (in Step 5). You would be taken to the web page, where LinkedIn offers to set up a job alert so you’re notified of jobs that might interest you.
In this example, you can alter the title and location of the jobs you’re searching for, and the frequency of the alert emails. After you make your choices, click the Create Alert button and LinkedIn will notify you that your job alert is saved. Or you can click Skip to go to the next step.
10. Upload a profile photo.
One of the most important elements of your LinkedIn profile is the profile photo you use to represent yourself.
Your profile photo should indicate that you’re a professional and responsible person. (In other words, this is not the social networking site to show off your party animal skills.). I talk about tips and tricks for choosing the perfect photo, but for now, locate a respectable photo of your face.
Click the pencil icon, and follow the prompts to select a photo from your computer.
Rotate or crop your photo, if necessary, to capture your face (and the top of your shoulders if available).
Click Save to upload the photo.
Click Continue to assign it to your profile.
LinkedIn prompts you to receive a link to download its mobile app.
11. Provide your mobile number in the text box provided to receive the download link, and then click the Send an SMS button.
Your LinkedIn home page appears. You can also click the Apple Store or Google Play button to go directly to their app repositories, or click Next and install the app later.
12. Follow the prompts to guide you through the rest of the creation process.
You see pop-up messages offering you more information on aspects of LinkedIn, such as updating your background photo and sections you can add.
13. Follow the long series of prompts to increase your profile strength.
The Profile Strength box appears below the main box that contains your name and profile photo. Scroll down to that section of your LinkedIn profile page and click the blue button to provide the requested information to help complete your profile.
You’ll see prompts for areas such as work dates, your skills, educational background, past employers, and current job details. Fill in information for each prompt and click the Save button to advance in the process. You can always click Skip to save a task for later.
After you complete the series of prompts, your profile page appears. From here, you can decide what to update next. For example, if you click the drop-down arrow next to the Add New Profile section, you’ll see a list of sections you can update.
Starting to Build Your Network
You’re ready to look at how to build your network, with tools and forms provided by LinkedIn. Your first step is to decide whom you want to invite to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Be sure to completely fill out your profile before you start inviting people to connect. Having a complete profile makes it easier to find former colleagues and classmates.
After all, if you invite someone to connect whom you haven’t spoken to recently, he’ll probably take a quick look at your profile before responding. If he doesn’t see a part of your professional history where he knows you, he will most likely ignore your invitation.
Your best bet now is to start using LinkedIn with some thought and planning.
Here are some common pitfalls after signing up:
You feel compelled to start inviting friends and colleagues to connect with you right away, before working on your profile.
You get nervous and decide not to invite anybody beyond one or two close friends or family members.
You wonder about the value of LinkedIn (or get busy with your career and daily activities) and leave your account alone for a long period of time with no activity
I’ve seen all three scenarios occur with various people who have joined LinkedIn, so don’t feel bad if one of these is your natural reaction.
When you want to start using LinkedIn, begin by navigating to the home page and clicking Sign In. You’re asked for your email address and LinkedIn password, which you provided when you joined the site. After you are logged in, you can access any of the functions from the top navigation bar.
Next, start thinking about whom you’d like to invite to join your network. LinkedIn provides some neat tools to help you identify, in your existing networks, people you know and trust well enough to feel confident about inviting them and expecting that they will accept.
You can add connections by syncing your email account with LinkedIn. Start by clicking My Network at the top of any LinkedIn page, and then click the More Options link below the Connect button in the bottom-left section of the My Network page. This section incorporates some basic options to identify and grow your network:
Check the address book for your web-based email systems, such as Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, and AOL. Check your address book for contacts to invite by importing your desktop email contacts with the link provided. Upload contact files from other applications.
LinkedIn will never rent or sell your personally identifiable information to third parties for marketing purposes.
LinkedIn will never share your contact information with another user without your consent.
Any sensitive information that you provide will be secured with all industry standard protocols and technology.
Completing Your Profile
Adding a Summary and Basic Information
Your LinkedIn profile Summary section, which appears in the top third of your profile, should give any reader a quick idea of who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and most importantly, what you’re looking for on LinkedIn.
Some people think of their summary as their elevator pitch, a 30-second introduction of themselves that they tell any new contact. Other people think of their summary as simply their resume summary, a high-level overview of their experience and job goals.
Each summary is as individual as the person writing it, but there are right ways and wrong ways to prepare and update your summary. Always keep in mind your professional or career goals, and what kind of image, or brand, you want to portray in support of those goals. Those goals should give you direction on how to write your summary.
Your professional experience and goals: This part contains a one-paragraph summary of your current and past accomplishments and future goals. See the next section, “Writing your summary first,” for more on how to construct the right paragraph for this part.
Your specialties in your industry of expertise:
This part is a list of specific skills and talents. Include specific job skills (for example, contract negotiation or writing HTML software code) as opposed to your daily responsibilities or accomplishments, which you list in the professional experience and goals paragraph.
This part not only gives readers a precise understanding of your skill set but also gives search engines a keyword-rich list to associate with you, and it’s at the top of your profile.
Other core elements of your LinkedIn profile are stored in the Basic Information section. Be sure to polish these elements so they reflect well on you:
Your name: Believe it or not, defining your name properly can positively or negatively affect your LinkedIn activity. Because people are searching for you to connect to you, it’s important that LinkedIn knows variations, nicknames, maiden names, or former names that you may have held, so be sure you correctly fill in your First, Last, and Former/Maiden name fields.
Also, LinkedIn allows you to choose a display name of your first name and last initial, in case you want to keep your name private from the larger LinkedIn community outside of your connections.
You can also include your middle name in the First Name field. I highly recommend you do so if you have a common name (for example, John Smith); in this way, people can find the “right you” when searching.
Your professional headline: Think of this as your value proposition, or “why am I different from other job seekers?” You are limited to 120 characters.
The headline is displayed below your name on LinkedIn, in search results, in connections lists, and in your profile, so you want a headline that grabs people’s attention. Some people put their job titles; other people add some colorful adjectives and include two or three different professions.
Your primary location and industry of experience: As location becomes a more important element when networking online, LinkedIn wants to know your main location (in other words, where you hang your hat . . . if you wear a hat) so it can help identify connections close to you. Then LinkedIn provides a list of industries you can choose from to indicate your main industry affiliation.
Writing your summary first
Before you update your summary on LinkedIn, I advise writing it using a program such as Microsoft Word. This allows you to organize your thoughts, decide the right order of your statements, and choose the most important statements to put in your summary. Then simply copy and paste the text to LinkedIn.
The goals of your summary should be the same as your goals for using LinkedIn. After all, your summary is the starting point for most people when they read your profile. As you write your summary, keep these points in mind:
Be concise. Remember, this is a summary, not a 300-page memoir. Most summaries are one paragraph long, with a separate paragraph to list your skills and specialties. Give the highlights of what you’ve accomplished and are planning to do. Save the detailed information for when you add your individual employment positions to your profile.
Choose three to five of your most important accomplishments. Your profile can have lots of detail regarding your jobs, skill sets, education, and honors, but your summary needs to reflect the three to five items throughout your career that you most want people to know.
Think of it this way: If someone were introducing you to another person, what would you want this new person to know about you right away?
Organize your summary in a who, what, goals format. Typically, the first sentence of your summary should be a statement of who you are currently, meaning your current profession or status;
For example, “Software project manager with extensive experience in Fortune 500 firms.” The next few sentences should focus on what you’ve accomplished so far in your career, and the end of your summary should focus on your goals.
Use the right keywords. Keywords are especially important if you’re looking for a new job or hoping to pick up some consulting work. Although you should use a few keywords in your professional experience paragraph, you should use all the appropriate keywords for skills you’ve acquired when you write the Specialties section of your summary.
Potential employers scan that section first, looking for the right qualifications, before making any contact. If you’re unsure what keywords are the most important, scan the profiles of people in your industry, see what articles they’re posting, or look at job opportunity postings in your field to see what employers want when they hire personnel with your title.
Be honest with your skills, but don’t be shy. Some people stuff their Summary section with the buzz-worthy skills for their industry (even if the person doesn’t know those skills at all) in hopes of catching a potential employer’s eye. Typically, a prospective employer can detect this resume skill padding during the interview phase, which wastes everybody’s time.
Conversely, some people don’t include a skill in their Summary unless they feel they’re an expert. You should list any skill or specialty that you believe puts you above the level of a novice or pure beginner.
Updating the Summary and basic information sections
When you have an idea of what you want to put in your profile’s Summary and basic information sections, it’s time to plug that data into the correct fields. When you’re ready, follow these steps:
1.Log into LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/secure/login
2. Click the Me icon in the top navigation bar. And then click View Profile from the drop-down list
3. To update your basic information. Click the pencil icon next to your name.
4. In the First Name and Last Name text boxes:
Double-check your name.
If you want to add a middle name (or middle initial), type it in the First Name text box.
If you want to add a maiden name or former name to your account, click the Add Former Name link and enter the name in the Former Name text box. Then click the Visible link and choose whether your connections or your network (anyone within three degrees of connection to you) will see this former name.
5. In the Headline text box, enter your professional headline (main job title). You can put any job title here, but make sure it conveys your main role as you want others to see it.
6.Enter your current position and education:
Scroll down to the Current Position box and, if you have more than one current position defined in your LinkedIn profile, click the drop-down arrow and choose which defined current job will be assigned as your Current Position.
Scroll down to the Education box, click the drop-down arrow, and select the most recent education entry as your main Education entry.
7. Enter your country, zip code, and location:
a. Scroll down to the Country box and click the drop-down arrow to select your current country in the list.
b. After your country is selected, fill in the zip code or postal code box that appears.
c. Click the drop-down arrow next to the Location box to update your location on LinkedIn.
8. Click the drop-down arrow next to the Industry field. And select the industry you most associate with your career.
You can choose from more than 140 designations, so take a few moments to scan the list. Note that some of the industries listed are more specific than others.
Choose the best match possible. For example, if you create custom graphics for websites, you could select the Internet as your industry, but an even better choice would be Online Media.
9. Scroll down to the Summary text box, and enter a paragraph or two that sums you up professionally
In the same box, you can enter your skills and specialties in a separate list or paragraph. You’re limited to 2,000 characters; keep your text concise and focused.
10. (Optional) To add media:
a. To attach a document, photo, video, or presentation to your profile, scroll down to the Media section and click the Upload button.
b. Browse to find and select the file to upload, and then click Upload. The Edit Media screen appears.
c. Add a title and description of the media item in the Title text box and Description text box, respectively.
d. Click Apply.
11. To add a website URL (as an example of your work) to your profile:
Type the URL in the text box that appears below the Link button, and then click Add Link. LinkedIn goes to that URL to make sure the link is valid.
Add a title and description of the media item (such as a video file) referenced in your link in the Title text box and Description text box, respectively.
Click Apply. You return to the Experience window.
12. To save your changes, click the Save button.
The Edit Intro box disappears, and you’re taken back to your profile page. Next, you need to update the Contact Info and Additional Information sections of your LinkedIn profile.
You’ve now covered the core of your LinkedIn profile. In the next sections, you find out about the other essential elements to include in your profile, namely contact information, additional information, and your current and past experience and education.
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Completing Contact and Personal Info
Whenever you meet someone, the most common questions you ask are, “So, what do you do?” and “Where did you go to school?” However, there’s more to you than your jobs and education, and LinkedIn has the Contact Info section to tie your LinkedIn profile to your real-life identity. This section enables you to provide lots of information in the following areas:
Twitter: Link your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts so that your Twitter updates show up in your LinkedIn profile and your LinkedIn network activity can be tweeted to your Twitter followers automatically.
Instant Messenger: As LinkedIn increases its global membership, it has added integration with WeChat, which is the world’s fastest-growing social app, integrating various messaging, gaming, and social features.
When you link your WeChat account with LinkedIn, you’ll be able to see which of your LinkedIn connections are currently on WeChat.
Websites: LinkedIn allows you to add up to three website links, which point from your LinkedIn profile to whatever website(s) you designate, such as your personal website, your company website, a blog, an RSS feed, or any other promotional mechanisms you use online.
Adding a link from your LinkedIn profile to your other websites helps boost search engine rankings for those pages. Those rankings are partially determined by the quantity and quality of web pages that link to them, and LinkedIn is a high-quality site as far as the search engines are concerned.
When you’re ready to update the rest of the information in your profile, follow these steps:
1. Click the Me icon in the top navigation bar. Then click View Profile from the drop-down list that appears. Your profile page appears.
2.Scroll down to and complete the Contact and Personal Info section:
Click the pencil icon at the top right of the section. The Edit Contact Information box appears, where you can update your websites and contact information, including email, phone, IM, and physical address.
Use each labeled text box to add the appropriate information.
3. If you want to update your Twitter setting:
Exit this process, click the Me icon from the top navigation bar, and then click Settings & Privacy. The Settings page appears.
Scroll down the Account settings until you see the Twitter settings header, and click the Change link next to that header.
Click the Add Your Twitter Account link.
Click Authorize App.
To return to the Contact Info section, click the back icon on your web browser or repeat Steps 1 and 2.
4. To add a website URL:
Click the Add website link.
In the Website URL box, type the URL; you don’t need to add the HTTP:// part.
Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the website URL text box, and add a description. You can choose from the predefined list of descriptions (Personal, Company, Blog, RSS feed, My Website, and so on).
Or choose Other, in the Type (Other) box that appears, type a brief custom description for your website link (such as My E-Commerce Site or the name of your activity).
This description will appear in parenthesis next to the URL in your profile. Search engines look at the text in these links when calculating rankings.
So if you want to include certain keywords that will rank your site higher, add them in the link text. For example, you might want to say “Springfield Toastmasters” rather than “My Toastmasters Club.”
Repeat these steps to add up to three website URLs.
5. Scroll down and add, if necessary, your phone number, address, and birthday in the boxes provided.
6. If you want to add an Instant Messenger account to your LinkedIn profile:
Click the Add Instant Messenger link.
Type your IM account name in the box provided.
Select the service from the drop-down list to the right of the Instant Messenger text box.
7. Click the Save button.
This step updates your Contact and Personal Info section in your profile.
Adding a Position
One of the most important aspects of your LinkedIn profile is the list of positions you’ve held over the years, including your current job. This list is especially important if you’re using LinkedIn to find a new or different career or to reconnect with past colleagues.
Hiring managers want to see your complete history to know what skills you offer, and past colleagues can’t find you as easily through LinkedIn if the job they knew you from isn’t in your profile.
Therefore, it’s critical to make sure you have all the positions posted in your profile with the correct information, as long as doing so fits with the brand or image you want to portray to the professional world.
For a company in LinkedIn’s directory, you need to fill in the following fields:
Company name (and display name, if your company goes by more than one name)
Your job title while working for the company
The time period you worked for the company
Description of your job duties
If your company is not listed in LinkedIn’s directory, you need to fill in the industry and website for the company when you’re adding your position to your profile.
1. Click the Me icon in the top navigation bar. Then click View Profile from the drop-down list that appears. Your profile page appears.
2.Scroll down your profile until you see the Experience section
3. Click the + button to the right of the Experience header. Depending on your web browser, the button may not be visible until you hover your cursor over the Experience header.
4. In the text boxes provided, enter the information about your position, including title, company, location, time period, and job description.
5 Upload or link any media that was part of this job.
For example, you might upload or link a document, photo, presentation, or video. Click the Save button. The newly entered position is added to your profile, and you’re taken back to your profile page.
6.Repeat Steps 2–5 for any additional position you want to enter To edit a position you already listed, click the pencil icon next to that record in the Experience section instead of clicking the Add Position button.
In addition, to rearrange a job’s position in the list, hover your cursor over the job in your Experience section, click and hold down the four-lines icon, and move the cursor to the new position.
Reporting Your Education
After you document your past and current jobs, it’s time to move on to the next part of your profile: education. Aside from your job, where else do you meet and stay in touch with so many people?
At school, of course! Your Education section says a lot about you, especially to potential employers and to former schoolmates looking to reconnect with you.
When you signed up with LinkedIn, you might have been asked to provide your basic education information. Maybe you have more than one school to list, or perhaps you didn’t create a full listing for the schools you put down upon registration.
In either case, you can go back to make sure that your profile is up to date and lists all your education.
Some people ask how much education to list in their profiles. Although you could theoretically go all the way back to preschool or kindergarten, most people start with high school or undergraduate college.
Keep in mind that the more items you list, the greater the opportunity that your past schoolmates can locate and contact you. When you’re ready to update or add your education information, follow these steps:
1. Click the Me icon in the top navigation bar.
then click View Profile from the drop-down list that appears.
2. Scroll down your profile until you see the Education header, and click its + link.
In the School box, start entering the school name you want to add to your profile
3. Look through the alphabetized list to find your school and select it.
If your school name doesn’t appear, just finish typing the name.
4. Complete the degree information about your education.
This includes filling in your degree type, fields of study (if applicable), and the grade you received (optional). For your degree type, you can either provide an abbreviation (BS, BA, and so on) or write the entire degree name (Masters of Science, Doctorate, and so on).
The Field of Study box is optional, but if you had a specific major or emphasis, this is where to put that information.
Finally, for dates attended, if you’re still attending this institution, simply fill in your expected graduation date. If you’re an older worker and concerned about age discrimination, you can leave the dates of attendance blank; this is optional information.
5. Scroll down to the Activities and Societies text box and fill it in.
Enter any extracurricular activities you participated in while attending this school. Also list any clubs or organizations you belonged to (including any officer positions you held in those clubs) and any societies you joined or were given membership to, such as honor societies, fraternities, or sororities. Be sure to separate each activity with a comma.
6. Scroll down to the Time Period listing.
In the drop-down boxes, choose the years you attended this institution.
7. In the Description box, and enter any additional information about your education experience.
Enter any awards or honors received from this school, as well as any special events or experiences that didn’t fit in the Activities and Societies box, such as studying abroad, events you organized, or committees that you served on at this school. You can separate each item with a period if you want.
8. Scroll down to the Media section.
Click Upload to add a document, photo, presentation or video to your Education entry, or click Link to provide a URL to link to a media file associated with your Education.
If you have a media file that will demonstrate skills you picked up while getting an education — perhaps a graduate or undergraduate thesis, a final project document for one of your classes, or a video of a lecture you gave while pursuing this education — click the Upload or Link button to add this content to your LinkedIn profile. You can add multiple media files to any Education entry.
9. When you have finished entering information, click the Save button.
The education listing is added to your profile, and you return to your profile page.
Setting Your Profile URL and Public View
After you fully update your LinkedIn profile, your next goal is probably to share it with the entire world, not just your LinkedIn network. The best way to accomplish this is to set up your profile so that your full profile is available for public viewing.
Setting your profile to full public view gives you several advantages:
Anyone looking for you has a better chance of finding you because of the increased information tied to your name.
When you make your profile public, it gets indexed in both the Google and Yahoo! search databases. This makes your online identity accessible and controlled by your access to LinkedIn.
You give increased exposure to any companies, projects, or initiatives that you’re working on by having that credit published on your LinkedIn profile.
When you’re ready to set your profile to Public, follow these steps:
1. Click the Me icon in the top navigation bar, and then click View Profile.
2. To the right of your photo, click Edit Public Profile & URL.
3.To change your public profile URL:
Click the pencil icon next to your LinkedIn URL. Your LinkedIn URL is in the Edit Public Profile URL section. A text box appears so you can edit your URL.
Replace the text that appears after www.linkedin.com/in/ with your new text. You can type 5 to 30 numbers or letters; spaces, symbols, and special characters are not allowed.
Click Save. It’s much easier to point people to, say, www.linkedin.com/XYZ than to www.linkedin.com/in/5asddvdbssb/.
4. Scroll down to the Customize Your Public Profile section. choose the parts of your LinkedIn profile
To reveal a section on your public profile, simply select the checkbox next to that section. Your basic information is already selected by default, but you can decide whether to add your education, positions, groups, or any other indicated section. As you add sections, the profile preview on the left side of the page is updated.
5. Scroll down and click the Save button to save your changes.
After clicking the Save button, you will still be on the Public Profile page.
6. Click the Back to LinkedIn.com link
LinkedIn Profile Do and Don’ts
Do Keep Your Profile Complete and Current
Even though LinkedIn has many features, your profile is still one of the most compelling reasons to use the website, which is why LinkedIn is one of the best searchable databases of businesspeople available. And if you want other people to find you, you need to make sure that your data is complete and current. Here are a few ways to do that:
List all your former employers and schools. Several features help users find and connect with former colleagues and classmates. Including your complete work and educational background in your profile can help you reconnect.
If you’ve had a lengthy career, you don’t necessarily need to include details about positions early in your career — just the companies and titles will suffice. A good guideline is to include details on just the past 7 to 10 years. Additionally, consider including only those positions relevant to your current work.
For example, I seriously doubt that my first job at a McDonald’s is relevant to my current work as an author (unless I want to write the sequel to Fast Food Nation).
I’ve also grouped a lot of my contract work under one experience heading with my own consulting company name because many of the consulting jobs were similar in nature. It’s up to you how you want to present your experience to the LinkedIn community.
Take advantage of the rich sections you can add to your profile. In the early versions of LinkedIn, you could highlight your work experience and education and a few other elements of your identity.
Today, LinkedIn allows you to add many sections that could apply to your overall work experiences, such as presentations or publications you wrote, courses you’ve taken, patents you’ve earned, or projects you’re working on.
In addition, you can add documents, videos, photos, web links, and presentations to any job you list in your Experience section. One of the most popular elements that people add to their profiles is video, which is now hosted natively on LinkedIn’s site.
Update your profile (and headline) any time you achieve a new position, complete a major side project, or receive a special award or recognition. Your direct connections will be notified of the change (assuming they haven’t turned off the feature). This is a subtle, unobtrusive way to notify your network of your career changes.
And you never know when someone is going to be looking for what you have to offer. Make sure that if you have a new position, you update your email address so people can still reach and invite you.
You should also provide status updates that go out to your network. Many people share their status update but forget to go back and update their profile, so be sure to do both tasks regularly basis.
Don’t Use Canned Invitations
When you send someone an invitation to join your network, don’t use a LinkedIn default invitation text message. Nothing says “You’re not really worth a few extra seconds of my time” quite like the all-too-familiar “I’d like to add you to my professional network” message.
That doesn’t mean every invitation has to be a lengthy personal epistle. Here are a few tips for keeping invitations efficient but personal:
Keep it short when you can.
With people you know well and have been in recent contact with, canned messages are too long. The message can be as simple as “Great to see you last night, Jerry — let’s connect.”
Make sure to mention how you know the person, especially for contacts you haven’t spoken to recently.
Although you may remember the person you’re hoping to connect with, that person may not have the same recollection. If you haven’t spoken to the contact in a while, start the invitation with an indirect reminder or reference of the last time you two interacted.
For example, “Hey, I know it’s been 10 years since we went to UCLA and had Computer Science classes together, but I thought we could stay connected via LinkedIn.”
If the contact isn’t already a member of LinkedIn, offer to help with the registration process.
You can try to explain the benefits of joining LinkedIn in an email, but no matter what you do, it’s going to come across as a sales pitch or at least a bit evangelistic.
The best way to persuade people is to offer to spend a few minutes on the phone explaining LinkedIn and how you’re using it. That also turns the invitation into an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with that person by offering your time to bring something of value.
You can still personalize a batch of invitations.
You can give an invitation to a personal touch even if you’re sending it to multiple people. For example, you can send the same invitation to all the people you met or ran into at an event. Or you can send one invitation to everyone in your chamber of commerce. Just remember to write it as if it were going to one person, not the entire group.
Don’t Expect Everyone to Network as You Do
Setting rigid networking expectations can be a source of needless frustration and can prevent you from building relationships with some great people. Here are some of the common issues that arise:
Different people have different standards for connecting.
Some people use LinkedIn to connect only with people they know well or with whom they share common points of interest. Others connect with anybody. None of these approaches is wrong. If some people don’t have the same standard for a connection that you do, don’t take it personally and don’t judge them — they’re doing what’s right for them.
People might have good reasons to not allow other people to browse their connections list.
Don’t hold anything against people who don’t enable connections browsing. People may be concerned about client confidentiality and be required to keep their connections private. Or they may be connected to a competitor and not want their bosses and co-workers to know about it.
Or they may just be concerned about their time commitments and not want to handle the potential growing number of requests to meet other people in their network if all their friends see their long list of connections.
However, even if a person has disabled connections browsing, you can still ask for introductions to people that person knows. Frankly, if you’re just browsing other people’s networks, maybe you should think about a more focused approach.
Not everyone responds in a timely manner.
If your message doesn’t get a reply or you haven’t received a reply to your InMail after a few weeks, don’t take it personally. It doesn’t mean that you’re unimportant; perhaps the people you’re trying to contact with are busy or infrequent LinkedIn users.
If your request is urgent, pick up the phone or consider sending another email acknowledging that the other person is likely very busy but you were checking in one more time to see whether he or she would be willing to set up a time to talk or converse online. Don’t underestimate the power that a friendly and understanding note can have on the other party.
Some people are bad with names.
Just because you remember somebody’s name doesn’t mean that she remembers yours. Unless you’re 100 percent certain that she will recognize your invitation, contact her via email, phone, or a LinkedIn message before sending a connection request. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if she declines your invitation or clicks the I Don’t Know This Person link.
Relationships aren’t always reciprocal.
For example, if you were someone’s client, you might be able to provide a great recommendation for him. That doesn’t mean he can do the same for you, so don’t expect it.
Not everyone networks just to network.
Some people are extremely busy and not receptive to “I’d just like to meet you” requests. It’s nothing personal, and it doesn’t mean they’re bad networkers. It just means that the demands on their time exceed the supply.
Do Your Homework
People provide you with all kinds of guidance, both direct and implicit, regard ing what to contact them about and how. If you’re the one initiating the communication, it’s your responsibility to communicate on their terms. And showing that you took the time to do your homework about them demonstrates a certain level of commitment to the relationship from the outset. The most basic rule of good conversation is to listen.
In the context of LinkedIn, that rule means simply this: Pay attention to what’s in a person’s profile. Any time you contact somebody, review his or her profile. When you send an introduction request message or an invitation to someone you don’t know very well, don’t put the burden on her to figure out what your common areas of interest or potential opportunities.
You took the time to read her profile and determine that it’s a worthwhile connection. Save her the trouble of figuring out what you already know and put your common areas of interest in your introduction request or invitation.
Do Give LinkedIn Messages Equal Importance
Many people have a tendency to treat LinkedIn communications as less important or less time-sensitive than an official email or phone call.
Nothing could be further from the truth. People get jobs, hire employees, gain clients, and make deals as a result of LinkedIn-based communications.
They are as much a part of your essential business correspondence as the rest of your email. (If they’re not, you’re connecting with the wrong people!) Here are some tips for managing your LinkedIn communications:
Don’t turn off email notifications.
Missing time-sensitive communications is one of the worst things you can do. If the volume of email seems overwhelming, you can use email rules to move LinkedIn requests into a separate folder, but as a general productivity practice, you want as few different inboxes as possible.
To make sure your email notifications are set up correctly, log in to your LinkedIn account and either visit the Communications section of the Settings page or go to www.linkedin.com/settings/email-frequency.
By clicking the Details link for each category, such as Messages (from Other LinkedIn Members) you can set up what you receive in an individual email and in a weekly digest email as well as set a recommend frequency that shows only messages you might have missed.
Check your LinkedIn inbox every day.
Or check it at least every few days. You wouldn’t go a week without checking your email at work, so don’t treat LinkedIn messages any differently.
Use the automated responses to reply more quickly.
LinkedIn now offers canned responses to incoming messages, so you can click a button and add replies such as “Thanks,” “I’ll get back to you,” or the ever-popular thumbs-up emoji instead of banging out a response. This feature is handy when you use your mobile device to communicate with others via LinkedIn.
One person’s networking is another person’s spam. Better to err on the side of caution. You can use LinkedIn productively in plenty of ways without getting a bad rep as a spammer. Here are some basic rules of etiquette:
Don’t post marketing messages or connection-seeking messages as your status updates.
All of these will get your message flagged and removed fairly quickly. A fine line exists between the market or product research that calls attention to your company and an advertisement.
Don’t automatically subscribe your connections to your newsletter.
This is admittedly a gray area. Connecting with someone indicates a certain level of receptivity to receiving communication from that person, and it’s reasonable to assume that should include something more than just LinkedIn messages.
After all, he’s supposed to be someone you know and trust, right? Well, that’s not necessarily the same thing as signing up for a regular bulk newsletter.
Don’t send connection requests to people you don’t know.
Unless they’ve given some kind of explicit indication that they’re open to receiving invitations (for example, announcing it in a LinkedIn group, stating it in their profiles, or being a member of an open networking group), you have to assume that most people don’t want to receive connection invitations from strangers. Such rampant inviting behavior will get you suspended soon enough.
Again, the solution is simple: Ask for permission first. Send a message to get introduced through a common connection, or contact the person via email or his or her website, and ask whether it would be okay for you to send a connection invitation.
Do Make New Connections
You’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you set up a profile, connect with a few of your contacts, and then expect business to come your way. That’s not to say that it can’t happen, but being proactive goes a long way:
Search for people who can help you with your goals.
If you want to meet people in a particular city, industry, or target market, search for them and send messages to start a conversation. Some people are receptive to corresponding or talking just for networking purposes, but you’ll get a better response if you have a specific need or opportunity as the basis of your contact.
Introduce people to each other.
LinkedIn’s basic introduction paradigm is reactive. For example, an introduction is made when person A wants to connect with person C via person B. But an essential practice of a good networker is identifying possible connections between people in your network and introducing them to each other. You can do this by sharing one person’s profile with the other and copying the first person.
Or you can send a LinkedIn message to both connections introducing them and telling them why you think they should get to know each other. That said, you should give each party a heads-up first, so they know what to expect.
The Groups section is the main form of public group interaction on LinkedIn. You can come together with other people to talk about a shared interest, or alumni of a school or university, or as former or current employees of a given company.
After you join a group, you have access to the other group members just as you do a first-degree connection or second-degree network member. Group involvement is a great way to expand your network and further your education.
Your LinkedIn profile is just one web page of your total web presence. It should connect people to your other points of presence, and you probably want to direct people to your LinkedIn profile from other venues as well. Here are some good cross-promotion practices:
Customize your LinkedIn profile links.
you can create up to three links in your profile that you can use to lead people to, for example, your business site, personal site, blog, book, or event.
Include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your email signature.
You can use the link both in your email signature and also on discussion forums. If you don’t have a centralized personal professional website, your LinkedIn profile is a good alternative.
Link to your LinkedIn profile in your blog’s About page.
Why rehash your entire bio? Include a few paragraphs that are relevant to the blog and then refer people to your LinkedIn profile for more details.
Install the LinkedIn app for your smartphone or tablet or both.
LinkedIn has added a lot of functionality to its mobile app, which is available for the iOS or Android operating system. Using the various LinkedIn mobile apps will allow you to access the site when you’re out and about, networking in person
Put your LinkedIn URL on your business card.
More and more people are starting to do this because your LinkedIn profile is a good homepage for business contacts. You can put contact information, your experience history, and many other vital details on your LinkedIn profile.
When someone connects with you via LinkedIn, that person will always be able to reach you. Whereas phone numbers and email addresses can change, your LinkedIn connection will never change unless you want to remove someone as a connection.
Do Add Value to the Process
LinkedIn is based on the idea that existing relationships add value to the process of people meeting each other. If you are just passing the introduction “bucket” down the virtual bucket brigade, you’re getting in the way of communication, not adding value. To add value, you have to give those request messages for an introduction some thought. Is it an appropriate fit for the recipient? Is the timing good?
Don’t Confuse Quantity with Quality
Just because you’re doing a lot of something doesn’t mean you’re doing something well. And when you think about it, is more networking activity what you really want? Or do you really want more results with less activity?
If you want to track your progress using LinkedIn, don’t measure it by meaning-less metrics such as the number of connections, endorsements, or questions answered. Use metrics that you know directly tie to business results, such as these:
Joint venture or strategic partner prospects generated
Qualified job candidates contacted
Potential employers successfully contacted
Speaking opportunities garnered
Publicity opportunities created
These do’s and don’ts are a basic list for you to keep in mind as you use LinkedIn. The best rule to consider is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Be open, accommodating, honest, and respectful, and the power of LinkedIn should become more evident every day you use it.
Ten LinkedIn Resources
Years ago, Mario Sundar, previously a LinkedIn evangelist who promoted the company on his own blog, was hired by LinkedIn to start its official company blog.
Today, various LinkedIn employees put up fun, informative, and timely blog posts about new functions or changes to the site as well as success stories, case studies, and practical information to make your LinkedIn experience that much more rewarding.
Although LinkedIn maintains an active Facebook and Twitter account, its Instagram page is an up-and-coming way for LinkedIn to share visual data with its ever-growing audience.
LinkedIn uses the Instagram account to share lots of information, including its new “Top Voices” initiative, where leading writers from different industries come together to inspire people with new ideas in hopes of sparking conversations about core skills.
LinkedIn also shares fun and timely content through photos, videos, and infographics, whether it’s “Do’s and Don't,” a company event such as “Bring Your Parents to Work” day, or a recent poll that applies to its target audience.
When you click each tile on LinkedIn’s Instagram page, you’ll be able to read more comments attached to that item, click Like, or add your own comment to it. When you follow LinkedIn’s Instagram page, you can stay up to date on all its new postings.
In 2012, LinkedIn acquired a company called SlideShare, which allowed people to store, display, and collaborate on their presentations using the SlideShare website. LinkedIn then incorporated SlideShare into its overall business, allowing people to display SlideShare presentations from their LinkedIn profile.
The Marketing Solutions team has created a hub of fascinating presentations on the SlideShare website, grouping together actual presentations they give at industry conferences, case studies of companies and people who use LinkedIn and their various marketing elements, and insights and infographics that LinkedIn has generated.
The result is the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions hub on SlideShare, which has, as of this writing, hundreds of presentations and thousands of followers. You can follow this account to be notified of the newest uploads, and watch videos and download presentations in a number of areas.
The explosion of video clips available on the Internet is best signified by looking at one of the most popular websites on the Internet — YouTube. Today, people use YouTube as a search engine, looking for a video clip that can answer their question instead of a text result from a search engine such as Google.
Because of this, companies such as LinkedIn have their own channels, or collections of videos about their subject matter, that are organized and cataloged for quick viewing.
LinkedIn’s YouTube channel offers a wealth of information, from the informational videos about products such as LinkedIn Mobile or Company pages to LinkedIn influencers who share their knowledge with the worldwide community, to a LinkedIn Speaker Series that shares knowledge catered to working professionals who use LinkedIn.
You can subscribe to this channel to be informed of any new additions to the channel, as new content is always being added.
Today, LinkedIn now has specialized YouTube channels focusing on the following:
LinkedIn marketing solutions
LinkedIn talent solutions
LinkedIn sales solutions
When LinkedIn was growing in size and popularity during its early days, blogger Scott Allen put together the Linked Intelligence site to cover LinkedIn and its many uses. Over the years, he built up a healthy amount of blog posts, links, and valuable information from himself and other bloggers regarding LinkedIn and how to use it.
One of his more ambitious projects is simply dubbed 100+ Ways to Use LinkedIn. Allen had bloggers compete to provide valuable information and tips across all of LinkedIn’s functions, and he created a table of contents of the best entries on his blog site. You can still find this handy resource at www.linkedintelligence.com/smart-ways-to-use-linkedin.
The large repository of links and information can be helpful to new, intermediate, or power users of the site. Today, Linked Intelligence has its own LinkedIn summits, webinars, and numerous topics of information.
The staggering popularity of the Apple iPod gave rise to a new way of broadcasting audio information to eager listeners — the podcast. Think of the podcast as a recorded audio broadcast that you can download to your iPod, smartphone, iPad, computer, MP3 player, or another device.
You can subscribe to engaging and unique podcasts, regardless of where in the world they’re recorded and played.
With the LinkedIn Speaker Series, LinkedIn employees use their connections to attract different speakers to come to talk about their specialties and to help users become more productive and, therefore, more successful.
This podcast series also has a wealth of archived shows available for download, so you can listen to success stories and get all sorts of inspiring ideas and advice from influential professionals. You can subscribe to this podcast series and hear great interviews, tips, and stories.
Social Media Examiner, which started in 2009, provides all sorts of articles, guides, podcasts, interviews, and information about top social media sites, including LinkedIn.
It recommends different ways to market yourself on all these sites and provides targeted analysis on different features as LinkedIn rolls them out. It offers an email subscription of daily articles, and different industry reports that you can download and use for yourself or your business.
If you’re like many people who collect business cards at a networking event or conference but never get around to cataloging or responding to these new contacts, Evernote is for you.
Evernote’s mobile smartphone app allows you to scan a business card and then directly connect with that person on LinkedIn. You will see the profile photo, job title, and company information of the new contact’s LinkedIn profile in the Notes section of Evernote where you scanned in the business card.
If you’re active on LinkedIn and other social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others), you probably hop from site to site to provide up-to-the-minute information about what you’re doing and what you want others to know.
Well, instead of site hopping, you can use one function to update your status across all your social networking pages and microblogs: Buffer.
It works like this: You log in to the site and enter your message in the dashboard. You then select the sites you want to update with your new status message and choose the day(s) and time you want the updates to be posted. Buffer does the rest, reaching out to your various pages to add your new status message.
It’s a great centralized way to keep all your various profiles as up to date as possible, and it’s designed to update your LinkedIn status by answering the question, “What are you working on?” As of this writing, Buffer offers a free plan that allows you to schedule up to 10 posts at one time.