Quick Fixes to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

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When you first joined LinkedIn, it made sense to fill out quick facts to get the profile up and running, just to start connecting with others.
However, if it’s been a few months and you still have a bare-bones profile, the less likely it will generate any results for your job search, and even if it does attract visitors, they’ll quickly leave to find someone more interesting.
The reality about LinkedIn is this: it’s an amazing job search tool that brings you new leads, impresses your network, and entices recruiters to call—but only if you use it in a way that promotes your professional image.
Look at these types of problems to see if you recognize yours – and take action to improve your LinkedIn profile before it brings your job search to a halt:

Problem #1: The Minimal-Effort Profile

Here it is—your name, college education, and current job. Wait – where’s the rest?
If you haven’t added specifics (such as your full work history for the last 10 years, certifications, or skills), your hit rate among competing candidates will drop substantially. This is because your profile, just like a website, is findable based on the keywords sprinkled throughout the text.
Employers and recruiters scouring LinkedIn for talent also look for context that demonstrates your ability to perform at a particular career level. To satisfy them, you’ll need to add competencies, success stories, and metrics, with detail that resembles (but doesn’t replace) your full resume.
Even in the tight space allowed on the site, readers will then be able to identify your likely next career target and suitability for promotion – which not only improves your LinkedIn profile, but encourages others to network with you.

Problem #2: The Default Headline – Read the rest of the Careerealism article to see the problems and solutions

Social Media Drives Small Biz Growth

Small businesses are increasingly using social media channels to connect with customers and grow their businesses, according to a Citibank survey.

Sixty-five percent of the 749 small business owners surveyed nationwide cited increasing marketing activities as a key step in growing their business. While the overwhelming majority (70%) used their company Web site as a marketing channel, 41% said they have used social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, in the last year.
Notably, 62% have not used email for marketing purposes — a figure that remains the same from when Citibank first surveyed small business leaders about social media and online marketing in April 2010. However, 38% report planning to use email marketing tactics to drive awareness and sales of products and services.

As small business owners are moving online, and relying more heavily on their company Web site, online channels represent an emerging opportunity to help grow their businesses. In fact, many small businesses plan to use digital and social media tools in the coming year.
Forty percent intend to use social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for marketing or expanding their business — up 10 points from 2010 – and 60% plan to increase activity on their Web site for marketing purposes.

“Although small business owners have been slower to adopt online marketing channels, they are clearly warming up to using these tools to target customers,” said Maria Veltre, managing director, small business marketing & customer experience at Citi, in a release. “They are seeing that social media platforms can be an efficient and cost effective means to increase awareness of their business, engage with customers and, ultimately, to drive growth.”

The use of social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, is up six percentage points since 2010. The survey also revealed that nearly three-quarters of small business owners who have a Web site find it very or somewhat effective in generating more business for their company. 

The demographics of the business owner influence their interest in using digital and social media, with small business owners under the age of 45 more likely to use those technologies to address their marketing needs. In the past 12 months, 54% of small business executives under the age of 45 used social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, compared to only 36% of their peers ages 45 and over. 

Younger small business owners were also more likely to use a company Web site (72% versus 68% of older respondents) and search engine optimization (44% versus 33%).  


Read the rest of the article: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/170821/social-media-drives-small-biz-growth.html#ixzz1qKSftuwj

Stop Lying! And The Nine Other Mistakes You’re Making On LinkedIn

Meghan Casserly, Forbes Staff
I cover the juggle of work, life and play for smart, ambitious women.

You know the truth. You’re simply not yourself online. As TV journalist Lisa Ling said recently, “Facebook is the life that we want people to believe we lead.”
On social networks we commonly present ourselves to the world with our best faces forward, whether it’s through photos of ourselves smiling atop Machu Pichu on Facebook or being endlessly clever on Twitter. And since we all know we’re guilty ourselves, we commonly cut each other some slack when someone’s vocabulary, say, isn’t as extensive in real life as it is online.
But all social networks are not created equal. There is one where misrepresentation is a far greater sin, where the smallest fib might cost you your career. Yep. LinkedIn. With over 150 million people leveraging the site for job hunting, networking and business connections, it’s the one place online where honesty really is the best policy, from your photo to your college to your sorority affiliation.
With that in mind I set out to look for the biggest mistakes job-seekers are making on the world’s most successful social business network. I tapped Krista Canfield for the inside scoop; corporate communications manager at LinkedIn, she spends hours finding tips and tricks to share with the media, and has found some big mistakes along the way. NextI got Joshua Waldman on the phone. While researching his book Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies, the social media expert spent five years toying with the site, experimenting with his own profile and those of his clients in an attempt to game the system. Last up, Nicole Williams, author ofGirl on Top and, more recently, the Connection Director for LinkedIn. Together, they schooled me on  the 10 biggest LinkedIn mistakes, and how they just might cost you your (next) job.
1. No photo
LinkedIn profiles with photos are viewed seven times more often than profiles with a blank box, meaning the decision to add a photo should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, many people still chose to keep their faces off the social graph. This, agree all three experts, is a really bad call. “When there isn’t a picture, there’s an immediate element of mistrust,” says Waldman, and Williams agrees. “It’s a lot like when you’re selling a house,” she says. “If there’s no photo, it’s like ‘there must be something wrong with this property.’” Even though recruiters would never admit to hiring based on looks, she says that when they see nothing at all, they fear the worst.
2. An old photo or a glamour shot
While having a photo is important, having the wrong photo is a much more common mistake. “I see it especially in women,” says Williams. “It’s easy to choose a photo of ourselves at our best so it makes sense that a woman might use a photo of herself ten years younger.” You look great, and it might get you an interview, but when you walk in the door it can appear to employers like a deceptive bait-and-switch. Even if you’re not looking for a new job, Waldman says, it’s disconcerting to meet someone in real life that looks vastly different from their online gravatar—think of a Match.com blind date gone way wrong. Bottom line: if you’re bald in real life, you should also be bald in LinkedIn.
This isn’t a common one, the experts agree, but it can definitely be problematic. If you bluff on your education information on LinkedIn, be prepared to be outed. You have no way of knowing whether your interviewer’s little sister just to happened to graduate Gettysburg in 2004. If you lied, he will ask and she will know about it. Rule of thumb in professional social networking: it may seem like a vast network of strangers, but the world is truly much smaller than you think.

12 Most Little Known Tricks to Use On LinkedIn

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To know me is to know that I love — love — LinkedIn. At 150 million members and growing, LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking tool, and it’s not just for those who are job seeking. Frankly, if you’re in the professional world and not using LinkedIn, I’m not sure what you’re thinking. Our team at V3 uses it for new business development, competitive research and analysis, participating in groups and discussions and engaging with and learning from peers — and, of course, it’s the go-to site for savvy job seekers everywhere.
One of the cool things about LinkedIn is there’s always something new to learn. Sure, the first step is to sign up and create your profile. But once you’ve got the basics covered, there are a number of ways you can customize your experience in order to not only achieve your professional goals, but also to get more personally out of LinkedIn. I do a lot of corporate LinkedIn training and these are some of my favorite tricks and tips. Let’s get started.

1. How to remove a connection

Wanna ditch a connection? Sometimes you need to give someone the boot. Maybe it’s a colleague, a competitor, an ex or just someone you don’t want to be associated with. Getting rid of them is easy as pie. Even better, they won’t know you’ve given them the heave-ho. How to wield this magic? When you’re logged into LinkedIn, Select Contacts in the main navigation bar. At the far right, you’ll see two options: Add connections and Remove connections. Click Remove connections, check the box next to the contact’s name and click OK.

2. Hide your status updates

Sometimes it makes sense to operate in stealth mode. If you’re connecting with new business prospects or making changes to your profile in preparation for job seeking, you may not want to broadcast that activity to your network. Click the drop-down menu under your name in the top right corner of the page, then select Settings. In the profile section, click Turn on/off your activity broadcasts under Privacy Controls. Uncheck the box that appears in the pop-up window and click Save Settings. Easy as can be and now you’re flying below the radar. One tip: remember to turn this setting back on as soon as you’re done, otherwise, you’ll be invisible on LinkedIn and that kind of negates the whole point!

3. Privacy matter to you? Opt out of ads

There was a big brouhaha about LinkedIn and privacy a few months back when it was discovered that a default setting called “social sharing” allows LinkedIn to pair an advertiser’s message with the social content from a LinkedIn user’s network. This allows them to tailor ads more closely to the audience. Bottom line, if you don’t want your info showing up in random ads, opt out. Click Settings under your name, then click Account. Under Privacy Controls, select Manage Advertising Preferences. If you don’t want to see ads, uncheck the box that appears in the pop-up window and click Save Settings. You can also read more about each type of advertising, if you want to learn more.

4. Get a custom URL

It’s much easier to publicize your LinkedIn profile with a customized URL, rather than the clunky combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up. Plus, if you use a consistent name across all of your social networks (and you should), this is a great way to boost your own “brand awareness.” Laugh if you will, but it’s an important part of networking. And when it comes to networking, do you really want anything less than a custom URL on your business card? We think not. How to get your own custom URL? Log in click Profile > Edit Profile in the main nav bar. At the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.