Archive for LinkedIn

LinkedIn: The Number One Social Media Platform For Business

LinkedIn may seem intimidating or even a little confusing. As a business owner, you are wondering if you really need it or any other platform for that matter. With LinkedIn you are able to connect with customers, business associates, and other important people all in one place.

The True Benefits Of LinkedIn

Unlike sites like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is meant for people to connect in a professional setting. They make it easy to find and communicate with the people that matter to you most.

On the flip side of things, your customers are able to connect with you too. They can discover who you are and what the message of your business is. They can even learn about you personally and your background. This is fantastic, as it humanizes your business and makes your customers more comfortable.

It also gives you the opportunity to explore your competition. Never before have you been able to research an entire industry and see who is really dominating. You have the ability to go in and see what companies are doing right and what companies are doing wrong. Then you can make adjustments in your own business. It’s a brand new and affordable form of competitor analysis.

Creative Commons image courtesy of Shekhar_Sahu

How To Get The Most Out Of LinkedIn

It’s clear that LinkedIn is a powerful tool. But you may be wondering how exactly to get all these benefits. Luckily, LinkedIn is very user friendly. By following these few simple things you can use LinkedIn to its fullest potential.

The first thing to do after creating an account is to do some searches. It’s important to make these searches as specific as possible. Make sure you specify the location, industry, skills, and other pertinent information. This will be the easiest way to find both your customers and your competition.

After identifying potential customers and business associates, you are going to want to connect with them. The number one factor to use LinkedIn effectively is to stay active. Send out messages, join groups, and participate in conversations. Stay engaged and keep your conversations flowing. By staying active you are connecting with countless people in your industry and building a great deal of awareness. There is also a section on LinkedIn under the “More” tab called “Questions” which allows you to answer other peoples questions. Everyone wants to dominate their industry and by answering these questions, you are doing just that.

Find the people you are looking for whether they are your competition or your customers. Keep engaging and keep talking. Build and nurture relationships. Use LinkedIn as your go-to social media platform and conquer your industry one connection at a time.

Guest author Kevin Greene works for a company that helps clients with their PS3 problems (this site has more information).  Because they have such a narrow, unique niche, they’ve had to find creative ways to reach potential clients.

New LinkedIn Profile In Beta

I got an invite this morning to request to join the new LinkedIn profile the social network is launching shortly. Well, actually what I received was a request for me to request an invite for the new LinkedIn profile. Sounded better the first way. Anyways, this is a walk-through of what the new LinkedIn profile will look like in upcoming weeks.

New LinkedIn Profile Walk-Through

New LinkedIn Profile In Beta

From what I saw here were the three biggest changes to the new LinkedIn profile:

1. They are stepping up the activity section of the profile by making it more prominent. LinkedIn has been moving in that direction for a few months now, and this looks like the next step in a social network determined to be more than a social networking resume.

2. Added stats will help users understand how they have grown their network in the past. Analyzing where their new connections find them will help everyone understand how to create duplicate connections in the future.

3. Connect with your social network is easier than ever on LinkedIn. They added what reminds me of a Facebook Fan Page list of faces to peruse. You can scroll over the faces to connect with different people in your social network.

Also, while this was not a change in the new LinkedIn profile I really like how people can vote on your skills and expertise. This feature was installed about a month ago. A good move, because it is easier to do versus recommendation letters, so more people vote yes on someone’s skill set.

I think the new changes are pretty good from what they showed in the preview. The changes are also, not life-altering in what they added. A few tweaks here and there to pretty the site up for users. What do you think of the new LinkedIn profile?

Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great social media site for business professionals and entrepreneurs. When used correctly, it allows you to market yourself or your company. However, many fail to use it in this way; instead, they turn it into another online resume. Below is a list of do’s and don’ts for LinkedIn users.

The Do’s

  1. 1.       Reevaluate your goals

Since this isn’t necessarily a resume, what you’ve done isn’t as essential as what you plan to do. When keeping track of your goals on the site, be sure to insert field-specific keywords. This is how companies find you. Be both general and specific. You want to be easy to find, but you also want to stand out.

  1. 2.       Blend in keywords

Headlines are important when it comes to search results, so make sure your most relevant keyword is in the headline. This shouldn’t necessarily be the most searched keyword; again, you want it to be specific to you. Scan the body of your profile and replace vague descriptions with keywords.

  1. 3.       Get Rid of Excess

Like many people, you probably changed jobs or even occupations several times throughout the years. If it’s not relevant, you shouldn’t be talking about it. Perhaps you were a teacher ten years ago but are currently in public relations; you don’t need to share teaching details if they aren’t relevant now.  Include the basics in your work history and leave it at that.

  1. 4.       Find Recommendations

A comment on your personality and work ethic means a lot more coming from a former employer than it does from you. Find recommendations from reliable sources and use them to flesh out your profile.

The Don’ts

  1. 1.       Post an Unprofessional Photo

A common error is using a blurry, cell phone picture, but this isn’t the worst offense. Too much skin, group photos, and shiny bald heads make the list as well. If you don’t have a professional looking profile picture, hire a photographer to take publicity photos.

  1. 2.       Use Saccharine Sweet Recommendations

Don’t use a recommendation from your grandmother or anyone that sounds like her. You want to include recommendations that detail specific responsibilities and actions you took to improve work quality.

  1. 3.       Link to a Personal Page

Your LinkedIn page showcases your professional goals. It should never include any personal information or link to a website where someone can find this information. Blogs and Facebook pages are taboo, unless they are business pages.

  1. 4.       Include Misspellings

It’s hard to trust someone’s credibility or work ethic when they can’t be bothered to proofread their work. Read over your profile several times, and have a friend or colleague proofread it.

Your LinkedIn profile should display your professionalism and your career aspirations. It shouldn’t read as a list of accomplishments or a generic resume.

Guest author Michael Conners works for Subtle Network, a Clearwater printer.  He regularly uses LinkedIn to find potential employees; Michael has a lot of experience with both good and bad LinkedIn profiles.

photo credit: LinkedIn Chocolates by Nan Palmero

How to Use LinkedIn to Help Land a Job

The economy has no doubt made it tough to find work for recent graduates as well as well-qualified candidates. Although there always seem to be quite a few job openings on career websites, those almost always seem to be bombarded with thousands of candidates. As a recent graduate myself, I can attest to the fact that it can be tough to feel like you’re being heard when applying for a job. You feel as LinkedIn jobthough your resume is just going into a huge pile of over-qualified candidates affected by the economy—and in many cases, this is exactly what happens.

For this reason, it is important to take other avenues to help find a job. The jobs are out there for many professions, it is just a matter of finding the jobs and then making your resume one of only a few, not thousands. One of the best ways to make this happen is by utilizing LinkedIn.

Although many think of LinkedIn as simply a place to house an electronic resume, there are actually quite a few opportunities to find jobs through this networking site. Not only are jobs sometimes posted, but there are many different groups that help to break up where the jobs can be found. This allows a candidate and an employer to work with a smaller, more manageable group of people.

Tips and Tricks to Using LinkedIn for Employment Opportunities

Simply having a LinkedIn profile could potentially aid in getting recruited for a job, but there are also other ways that someone can increase his/her chances. Consider some of these different options below:

  • Connections – The more valuable connections that you accrue the better. If an employer was to visit your LinkedIn page, he/she would likely be more interested in you as a candidate if you had mutual connections. This will help employers slim down the list of applicants. Therefore, you should always make sure that you are connected via LinkedIn with all coworkers, friends, and certainly past employers.
  • Recommendations – There are a few different ways that a LinkedIn user can get involved in the site. Probably the biggest thing you can do for your account is seek our recommendations. According to the LinkedIn Learning Center, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities. Help complete your profile by giving recommendations to your coworkers and bosses and then ask for some in return.
  • Groups – I feel that this is the number one way to really find good quality jobs and have a chance of landing an interview. Not only are groups a great way to make the network much smaller, but employers post jobs onto the walls of these groups. In many cases, employers are looking to find someone via this medium. For example, I am part of a group for Alumni at Illinois State University. Employers who are also ISU alums are constantly posting jobs to this group, and these jobs are only visible to members of the group.
  • Features – There are other miscellaneous features that you can utilize to help you find a job. On the side of your profile you can see how many people have viewed your profile in the last few days. If it’s low, consider joining more groups and becoming more active. You can share articles you’ve written via LinkedIn and even use the Portfolio Display option to showcase your work.

The great thing about LinkedIn is that it can work for any type of job in any industry. While networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook work better for those interested in communications and marketing, LinkedIn is useful for all.

Photo Credit: thevirtualcooler.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to phone systems. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including document software to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.

 

5 “Hidden” Features of LinkedIn Guest Post

Most professionals take advantage of LinkedIn, creating a profile to make connections and find references for new opportunities.  However, the popular professional networking site has a variety of features that most users are not aware of. The following are “hidden” tips and tricks that can help users get more out of their LinkedIn experience:

  1. Applications

LinkedIn allows users to connect their account with a number of applications, enabling them to further optimize their profiles. Users can choose from a list of well-known applications, including WordPress, SlideShare and Amazon. These applications can be used in a variety of ways, whether to help the individual create more connections or to further personalize their profile.

2.  Resume Generator

LinkedIn Labs offers users the ability to create a resume out of their LinkedIn profile, using information such as experience, education and skills. Users are able to choose from a variety of resume templates and layouts, each with their own unique style. After populating and editing the content, users are able to save their generated resumes and send them to prospective employers2.

3. Connect With Classmates

This feature allows you to see alumni members from your college, giving users the ability to directly connect with past graduates. In addition, the alumni database can be segmented by industry, location, and company, giving the user a direct idea of where graduates end up. To access this feature, users can click on the link to their college, or follow the link above.

4. Introductions

Introductions allow users to connect to others through a mutual contact, who serves as a point of reference between the two. If the user wants to contact someone that is separated by several degrees, they can ask a mutual connection to introduce them. Upon receiving the request, the mutual contact is able to choose whether to fulfill the request or not. Introductions are a great way to reliably connect to others and expand the user’s network.

5. LinkedIn Answers

LinkedIn Answers is a feature that allows users to ask questions on a variety of different topics. Other users are able to browse questions and submit answers, with their name tagged next to their responses. One of the benefits of LinkedIn Answers is that when an individual answers a significant number of questions, he or she is placed on the list of Experts.

Note Andy Nathan 4/15/13: LinkedIn Answers was unfortunately shelved last year by LinkedIn.

Rachel Hyun Kim is a writer for Resource Nation, an online resource that gives advice on topics including telemarketing services for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

 

 

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LinkedIn Recommendations

The power of LinkedIn Recommendations has been hotly debated over the past few years. Some people look to LinkedIn recommendations to validate their thoughts about how they feel about connecting or doing business with certain people. Others look at LinkedIn recommendations as more of a nuisance to complete their profile.

Whatever your thoughts are on LinkedIn recommendations I have decided to create a great recommendation for someone that I know and work with to show you the possibilities of what can be with your LinkedIn recommendations.

LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn Recommendations Review

In the end, I believe that LinkedIn recommendations have more to do with finding the right connection to recommend than the system itself. When you give someone that you respect and admire a recommendation that truly shines through versus the got have it done to complete my quota approach.

5 Things I Got From Reading About LinkedIn Groups

On a magical journey through the LinkedIn blog, the blog was discussing LinkedIn groups yesterday.  They were discussing how to engineer LinkedIn Groups, so you can accurately measure how popular a post is, and use that calculation to determine which posts to show more frequently.

It is an interesting look into how a social network ranks different posts and discussion threads. This is something that I have been interested to find out more about on other forums, such as Warrior Forum and also on Facebook’s newsfeed. Warrior Forum seems to have different calculations for different forums. Facebook bases the popular newsfeed on people that you have spoken with lately. It seems to slightly mirror my action on the site.

With that being said, let’s talk about LinkedIn Groups and how to work with their discussion boards for ultimate effect.

5 Things I Got From Reading About LinkedIn Groups

  1. I am no mathematician. In fact, I used to want to be an astronomer as a child until I found out that you needed to know math. It was a game changer as I entered 5th grade.
  2. This process while singular to LinkedIn groups has applications throughout social networking. It delves into the social proof idea that a post really isn’t measurable unless there is some type of interaction. That is what this post measures: Interaction. 
  3. From my understanding, LinkedIn does not decay old posts. For example, Google gives sites additional search strength when they have recent posts. Why? Because that means the site is not decaying and void of current information. Think of using a history textbook in school today that was written in 1935. Imagine what the students would miss. This is one of the reasons why blogging has taken off over the past few years. New content. LinkedIn is stating that they do not care if a post is one year or one month. The fact is whenever someone comments on the discussion it adds to the score and makes it more relevant.
  4. However, you can not just keep adding, because then you will never see new content and also the new content even if it is better will never have a chance to catch up. So, you have to limit that older discussion. I will be honest this is the point where the mathematical equations had my head doing loops.  Also, if a topic becomes hot really quickly and dies it will not be around forever. For example, when Osama bin Laden was killed it was a top story that died out after a few weeks. Two years from now, that is not a ground breaking story that needs to be in first place.
  5. They are only counting likes and comments to determine how popular a post is. That means if 500 people look at a post A and do nothing they will ignore the post, but if 100 people look at post B and 10 people comment on it then it will gain more traction

So, what does this mean for you? If you are out there on LinkedIn or other social networks do not just go for the views and think life is great. Encourage dialogue, because if you want a post to last longer you actually have to have it become social.

Let me give you a great recent example from Facebook. I will generally post my blog everyday there. I get a few comments and likes on different topics. However, I post one pic of my cat lying on it’s back and I had 10 comments in one hour along with 5 likes. Which post do you think Facebook is more likely to show to my friends. The picture of the cat or the blog post?

Either way, this post should help you get an understanding of the power of social networking in LinkedIn groups and throughout social networking sites.

 

LinkedIn 101: Straighten Up This Is A Professional Network!

Let’s continue with Social Networking 101 week, we will now cover LinkedIn 101.

I have said this before, and will say it again, I always feel like wearing a suit when going on LinkedIn. Maybe that is why I wanted to really go over the basics of LinkedIn this morning. So, I can wear a suit as I work from home. Eh, maybe not? Maybe I just wanted to  to go through LinkedIn 101 and help you understand how to set up a LinkedIn profile that will engage your target market.

That is it! By Golly!

That sounds and feels a lot better than the first answer, so let us begin, so you can engage your LinkedIn audience!

LinkedIn 101

LinkedIn 101 Review

As you can tell from the review, I place a lot of importance in LinkedIn 101 on the LinkedIn profile. The reason is that this is the place where prospects and potential employers will decide whether they want to keep or axe you. Therefore, you need to give them compelling reasons to keep you.

Therefore, I want to know what you will be doing to keep people interested in your LinkedIn profile. Share your updates with us in the comment section below, so I know that you have graduated LinkedIn 101.