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Do you know how to make LinkedIn work for you?

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Whatever the controversy about the LinkedIn features or how they monetize it by changing upgrades or what other social media applications are in development, the prime issue is whether it is working for you or not.

Despite multiple posts from career industry experts like this recent one from Career Sherpa, Hannah Morgan, “Top 10 LinkedIn Pet Peeves” which closely parallels my own post, “Getting in the door using LinkedIn,” I constantly see people who have missed the boat. Melissa Cooley, TheJobQuest recently was featured on Tim Tyrell-Smith, Tim’s Strategy’s blog with the post, “Should Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile be Carbon Copies?”

Tim Tyrell-Smith gives more of his own LinkedIn tips in posts on his site, including “10 Tips: Asking for Recommendations on LinkedIn”

Many of these people are professionals who would do well to get Jason Alba’s LinkedIn for Jobseeker’s DVD or read his book, “I’m on LinkedIn, Now What?” or read his blog devoted to all things LinkedIn.

  • No valuable information in your profile. Lack of content under a job?  How do I know what you’ve done? ~ Hannah Morgan‘s post, #9
  • “I’m up there but I don’t know who to connect with.” Put their profile up and did a reasonably good job creating an interesting profile but then they left it alone. Visualize yourself as standing in a room full of people but not talking or engaging with any of them.~ my post, #3
  • Should your resume and LinkedIn profile be carbon copies? In a word – no. ~ Melissa Cooley
  • Request specifics. I made this mistake early on.  If you don’t ask for specifics, you will get a vague and generalized recommendation that no one will want to read.  Like “Tim played a key role and helped drive the company to new heights . . .”.  Here’s an idea.  What if each of your recommendations for a position reflected back on a key accomplishment statement on your resume?  That way you can integrate your messaging . . ~ Tim Tyrell-Smith
  • First, whether it is 90 million or 9 million or 900,000, there are professionals there that can help you with your goals. ~ Jason Alba
  • I was poking around LinkedIn last night and reviewing profiles. As Hannah said, there are so many profiles that have no meat.

    1. Just like your resume, your LinkedIn profile has to differentiate you, provide value, and tell the reader something.
    2. But it shouldn’t be a clone as Melissa wisely points out. Put value into your LinkedIn profile that makes people understand your worth. You can say things different ways in LinkedIn. Pinpoint different success stories than on your resume.
    3. Get recommendations but make sure they add value. Tim recommends getting a minimum of 10 recommendations as your goal.
    4. Don’t ignore the help you can find on LinkedIn. As Jason says, there are professionals to help you.
    5. But you have to have your profile complete, optimized, and searchable.
    6. Claim your name! If your name on the link has a bunch of numbers at the end, you didn’t claim your name.
    7. Let people know who you are. You visit their profile and you have your settings set to anonymity. You are there to network, not to hide.

    How much can using LinkedIn help? Check out my popular post, “The Secret to getting calls and offers from employers!” My client featured in that post started her new job on March 1 and is loving her new role as Quality Assurance Manager.



    15 Responses to Do you know how to make LinkedIn work for you?

    1. Hi Julie — Yikes! I need to update my Linkedin profile. I’ve had a presence there for a while, but I really haven’t leveraged it like I know it can be.

      Thanks for these tips – what I’m getting is be thoughtful and thorough when developing your profile page. So, that is precisely what I’m going to do.

      Thanks for these great tips Julie!

    2. Julie, great content, as usual. I somehow missed both Hannah’s and Tim’s blogs last week, so thank you also for linking theirs as well.

      One of my pet peeves: the headline! Don’t make it “[job function/industry] professional”! You’re far more than that, because that’s what everyone else in [job function/industry] is also saying.

    3. A lot of great resources here, Julie! (And thank you for including my post.)

      I like point #6 a lot. If you are networking, how are you going to be able to remember your LinkedIn URL? Or if you have business cards, having a LinkedIn address with a bunch of numbers at the end won’t look good.

      And I think #7 is a mistake that is made by newbies or those who don’t use LinkedIn frequently. There’s a fear of being “discovered” by a boss, but the reality is that being on LinkedIn and using it well is just a good way to stay relevant in your field.

      • Yes, and if you are in sales, you definitely should get out there and be on LinkedIn. Or if you have critical business development role with the company. Hiding is never helpful in social media.

        You’re welcome! I tweeted your post the other day on Tim’s blog but I thought many of my readers might not have gotten the message.

    4. Kudos. Once I started using, that became my static resume (which I need to update) and LinkedIn became something I tweaked verbiage every few weeks. You can see the latest by visiting my website and clicking the linkedin flag at the top.