Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nine Ways To Use LinkedIn To Advance Your Career

Susan Adams

Since I first started writing about how to use LinkedIn as a job search tool, the professional social networking site has grown in reach and strength. According to spokeswoman Krista Canfield, LinkedIn now has more than 100 million users, with a new member joining every second. Its job postings have bulged to more than 62,000. When the company went public May 19, its shares surged above $100 before sliding below $70, but just today, a story in The New York Times reports that its lead underwriter, Morgan Stanley raised its price target to $88, saying LinkedIn could become a “standard utility for HR recruiters.”

I’m now convinced that an active LinkedIn profile is essential for almost anyone who wants to cultivate a career. Even if you are satisfied in your job, LinkedIn can bring you unexpected opportunities. Canfield herself says she was sending a LinkedIn message to an old public relations client, asking for advice about travel to London and Paris, when the contact responded with the tip that LinkedIn was hiring. Canfield wound up getting the job. That’s the way traditional networking operates, but since it’s digital and nearly instantaneous, LinkedIn can be startlingly efficient.

I’ve written two how-to stories on using LinkedIn, one about the basics of signing up, the other on advanced tips. Click here for the how-to slide show, and here for the slide show on advanced tips.

I had another conversation with Canfield this week, and with a career coach source, Robert Hellmann, whose book, Your Social Media Job Search, has a new edition coming out in August. Consider this story an all-levels tip list aimed at those who are still timid about taking the LinkedIn plunge, and others who might want to use more advanced tools and check out new features. I’ll start with basics and wind up with new features.

1. Include more than your current job
If you are setting up your profile quickly and only want to include the bare bones, be sure to list as many of your past positions as possible. If you’ve been in your job only a few months, and that’s all you include, you will look like you are just starting your career. Canfield says that recruiters routinely search according to years of experience.

2. Add a photo
Canfield says LinkedIn has found that profiles with photos are seven times more likely to be viewed. Also, if you’re reaching out to old contacts, they may be more likely to remember your face than your name. If you’ve married and changed your name, a photo can clear up the confusion.
3. Connect to at least 50 people
LinkedIn has settled on 50 as the “magic number” that will increase your networking chances. Career coach Hellmann recommends 70 connections.

4. Connect with people you know.
Career coach Hellmann advises a do-unto-others rule when deciding whether to connect with other LinkedIn users. “If they’re total strangers, they’re not going to help you and you’re not going to help them,” he observes. Would you be willing to correspond with this person, and/or send an email on the contact’s behalf? Then you should connect. One caveat: Some people use LinkedIn to promote products, in which case they want a sprawling network, including strangers. But if you’re using LinkedIn as a job search tool, make sure you know your contacts well enough to want to network with them.

5. Personalize your communications
This is a pet peeve of mine. When you send a request to connect with someone, always take a moment to alter the default message, even if just to say something like, “Hey Jack, Let’s connect.” Think of how you feel when you receive a form letter. I feel alienated, and less inclined to respond.

Tips 6 - 9 and complete Formes Article

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Who Owns Your LinkedIn Profile? It Might Not Be You

By Dave Johnson

There’s a new threat to personal privacy online. In the name of corporate compliance, tools are emerging that let companies monitor and manage social networking posts, including user account profiles. Including LinkedIn.

Last week, Distributed Marketing published a report that might worry anyone who uses LinkedIn as a way to network and job search within their industry. Specifically, they reported on a press release from compliance vendor Actiance, which announced social media monitoring software. Specifically, Actiance had this to say:
“Actiance today announced new capabilities within its Socialite solution to proactively allow organizations to approve content and changes made to employee LinkedIn profiles.”
The press release goes on to say that this capability is targeted at companies with compliance responsibilities, such as those in the financial industry, “which requires all static content to be pre-approved prior to publishing.”

What is disruptive about this announcement, of course, is that user account profiles — and LinkedIn in particular — feel different than simply tweeting or posting news to Facebook. LinkedIn is associated with individuals, not companies, and tends to follow people from job to job. It’s that very continuity that gives LinkedIn its power to help people manage their careers and stand apart from any particular company or role within a company. More importantly, perhaps, your profile is personal — like a biography — and giving a company the ability to intercept changes feels like a Draconian invasion of privacy.

Distributed Marketing collected a wide range of comments from industry experts, and their feedback is interesting and insightful. Here are a few to ponder — read the entire post for more.

Bill Tyson, CEO, Strategic Marketing Plus, LLC:
Similar to information security, it is now highly probable that clients, investors and insurers will one day insist that you not only adopt stricter policing and enforcement procedures but you prove it. This tool helps a compliance officer do that - and I am all for that type of loss control and mitigation of business risks.

From a practical standpoint, most compliance departments (except in rare cases like military and defense) would not approve of this level of intrusion into an employee’s private life activities (i.e. job searching). I would also imagine they would not want to ever be seen as hindering someone’s ability to get a job or to advance their career.

Donna Ballman, author, blogger, and employment attorney:
There’s some issue about who owns your social media once you leave your employment. If you were hired to be the company blogger, to create a Twitter account and tweet for the company, to develop the corporate media presence, the work you did while you were employed and those social media accounts you got for the company likely belong to the employer. An exception is probably LinkedIn. They don’t allow profiles for companies - only individuals. Your LinkedIn profile is probably yours, even if the company told you to create it while on the job. Just don’t run afoul of your nonsolicitation or noncompete agreement.

Read the complete bnet article for more information

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How Your Friends Can Help You Find Your Dream Job (A True Story)

Today’s post is written by CareerSparx adviser Hasalyn Harris.

After seven years as a producer/anchor in broadcast news, I decided it was time to say good-bye to news-hair and hello to a new career. My job search began in an ideal scenario — I was still employed (though my contract was winding down) and had just wrapped up my MFA (Master’s in Fine Arts).

Plus, I had a lot of unique experience to offer the right agency. I was convinced it was only a matter of time before I landed the new job of my dreams. Did I say time? I meant … days. Somewhere along the line, I got the idea that getting a job was easy if you already had a job — wrong!

The truth of the matter is: Finding a job (even if you have another job already) is a tough. It’s a full-time gig in its own right. It takes elbow grease (or finger grease from typing cover letters) and persistence.
Flashback a year: Glib Hasalyn (me) submits her Microsoft Word template resume (which, admittedly, could have used an extra set of eyes or two in the editing department) to every opportunity that shows an inkling of promise.

Months passed … with nary a call. Not even an email. Automated responses were my one glimmer of hope, although they clearly said “DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE.” Was I wrong in thinking I was hirable? Was I going to live out a life sentence in broadcast news?

After the initial shock that I might not be as amazing a hire as I thought I was when I started the job seeking process (or maybe just not amazing on paper … yet), I realized two things:
  1. In my seven years of comfortable employment, the way people are hired completely changed. I was using a spear in my search, when what I needed was a net.
  2. I wasn’t going to get anywhere if I couldn’t talk to a real person. I’m not saying there is no chance of getting hired if your resume is in among hundreds, but it sure helps to be the piece of pretty paper that is handed directly to the hiring manager.
So I got to work changing my approach.

PHASE I : I actually took time to make my Linkedin account unique and interesting (you DO have a LinkedIn account, don’t you?). I removed the stuffy language and used my words to show my personality.

I also poured over samples of good, creative resumes online — and modified mine accordingly. Once it was revised (and revised again … and again) I got it online — alongside my entire body of work. I figured prospective employers could stop looking if they wanted to, but I needed to put everything I had in a visible space.

After creating the foundation, I moved to PHASE II: Employing my friends with the task of helping me find my dream job. Using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn I threw out a wide net (in the form of a status update/tweet):

“Dear Friends in PR — I am looking to make a career change. If you have any insight/ deas on how to make this happen, message me.”
“Dear Hiring Managers: If you are looking for a dynamic, creative person to join your team, check out my resume. You won’t regret it. “

Maybe that sounds like airing dirty laundry to you, like job seeking is something to be ashamed of, but to me, there is nothing wrong with admitting you need help. And I didn’t just post it once, I posted several times a week – often with a link to my online resume/portfolio. And you know what? It worked.

Here’s the thing: Friends/Tweeps/people in general WANT to help YOU get a job. It makes them feel good. I know this to be true, otherwise, folks I hadn’t talked to in 15 years wouldn’t have handed off my resume to their hiring managers or hooked me up with informational interviews with their bosses. Every discussion/connection/interaction prepared me for the next opportunity.

When traffic from prospective employers slowed down, I did the unthinkable, I reached out again — this time emailing friends (in some cases for the second time) and sending messages on Facebook and LinkedIn to people who worked for companies I was interested in. If they didn’t get back to me, so what? I tried. I felt proactive. And when they did — it was so encouraging to talk to a real person who had insight about a company I liked.

I should tell you – I applied for literally hundreds of jobs, and the only interviews I landed were from internal references.

See how the story ends and more advice @CareerSparx

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Six Tips To Keep You From Feeling Like A Wallflower At Your Next Networking Event

I’ll confess up-front; I’m an introvert. I spend a lot of time on my own – and I find it tiring to be around lots of other people.

Being an introvert actually works out pretty well for me. I’m a writer, so a big part of my day involves sitting at my computer, working alone. When I do work with other people as a writing coach, it’s usually one-on-one (I can cope with one other person!)

Of course, I can’t spend the whole of my life alone or with just close friends and family. In both my professional and personal life, I get out there and meet people from time to time. And I’ve learned a few tricks along the way. If you’re an introvert – if you feel shy and awkward in a room full of strangers – then here’s how to make it easier for yourself:

#1: Get to Know People Beforehand

One of the many things I love about the internet is that it makes it incredibly easy for me, an introvert, to strike up a connection with total strangers. When I’ve been to networking events, I’ve found it incredibly helpful to have some established friends there already.

How do you find people who’ll be at the event? Try:
  • Forums or similar on the event’s website
  • Twitter – search for the name of the event
  • Blog posts – is anyone you know going?
  • Facebook – the event itself may have a page
  • LinkedIn – will any of your contacts (or their contacts) be attending?
Obviously, this one’s easier if you operate in a pretty geeky world (I hang out with a lot of bloggers and writers...) but more and more people are getting online, in all sorts of professions.

If you’re going to a very large event, like a multi-day conference, you may want to make specific plans to meet up. You could even arrive a bit early so you can get a meal with a friend or a small group of friends before the event itself starts.

#2: Go Prepared

If you’re attending a new event, you might have all sorts of worries about how to get there, what it will be like, who’ll be there, and so on.

I’m always less anxious when I feel well-prepared, and I expect the same will apply to you. That means:
Find out the dress code in advance. There might not be one – ask friends/colleagues who’ve attended before. Err on the side of over-dressing ... though if you’re in a suit and everyone else is wearing jeans, you may feel a bit awkward.

Take a pen and small notebook. As a writer, I carry these with me anyway – but they’re useful to have on hand in all sorts of situations.

Take business cards. You might have stock ones from work, but if you create your own cards, try to make them interesting. I use to create cards with several different designs – that way, my new contacts can pick whichever one they like best. It’s a great talking point and much more interesting than thrusting a boring black-and-white card at someone.

Carry breath mints, a comb, makeup, deodorant etc. Be prepared to make last-minute touch-ups to your appearance before you go into the event. You’ll know better than me what you’re likely to need!
Take a map (or know the exact address). Allow a bit of extra time to get there, too, if you’re going somewhere new for the first time.

#3: Start a Conversation Straight Away

Have you ever been standing around awkwardly, trying to get up the courage to go and speak to someone? The longer you wait, the harder it is! When I was a student, I made a point of speaking in the first ten minutes of any class – that way, I found I was much more confident about contributing as the class went on.

The same applies to networking. As soon as you arrive, find someone to chat to. It’s often easy to strike up a conversation in the registration queue, for instance. Questions like “Have you been to this before?” can be a great way to get someone else chatting.

#4: Look for Someone Else Who Seems Shy

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to Use LinkedIn Today to Find Popular Content

By Stephanie Sammons

These days we can get our daily news through a multitude of resources from across the web.
But LinkedIn Today is the new player in town for the professional community. Plus, it’s a great resource for putting your daily news in the context of your professional social network.
As LinkedIn describes it, LinkedIn Today allows you to discover what the world’s professionals are reading, sharing AND tweeting. Bottom line, it’s a professional social news source that you can utilize to grow your social influence.

The Top News From Your Industry Curated by the People

The power of LinkedIn Today is that the top articles are showcased based on how often they’ve been shared by the professionals within a variety of industries. There’s no editor. These articles are curated by LinkedIn members!
Not only will LinkedIn Today show you the top headlines that LinkedIn members are interested in by industry or news source, you can also see what some of those members have to say about the articles when they include comments. (I would highly recommend including your own comments on EVERYTHING you share.)
who shared this headline
You can see who shared each headline.
For each headline that appears, you can see how many times the article has been shared, and you can even filter the most recent shares by company, industry or location. It’s important to note that currently LinkedIn will only show you the most recent shares and this is updated frequently.

How does LinkedIn determine which articles get visibility on LinkedIn Today?

What makes LinkedIn Today so powerful is that the news articles displayed are those that have been shared, liked or commented on the most by LinkedIn members. Articles are sorted by industry and news source, based on the industry assigned to profiles of those who have shared them.
Most importantly, LinkedIn will give a higher preference to more recent articles if they’re being shared quickly by a broad base of members. LinkedIn Today will also show you top industry articles from StumbleUpon and even articles that your direct LinkedIn connections have shared.
discover more
LinkedIn Today pulls in popular articles by industry from StumbleUpon.
linkedin example
LinkedIn Today shows articles shared by your connections!

3 Steps for Using LinkedIn Today to Build Influence

There are many ways to build social relationships with your LinkedIn connections. One of the best ways to grow your social influence is to consistently curate and share timely, relevant content with your connections so you stay visible and valuable.
Remember, with all of the content now available online, people are overloaded with information but they’re thirsting for knowledge. Position yourself as someone who is “in the know” within the context of your industry to become an influencer.

#1: Customize LinkedIn Today - See #1 and the rest of the Social Media Examiner Article

About the Author, Stephanie Sammons
Stephanie Sammons is the voice behind Smart Social Pro, a resource for professional practitioners to help them understand how to leverage the power of social media and blogging in their practices.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Job Search - LinkedIn is Facebook for business people

By Randy Wooden

As a job hunter, you need to explore multiple avenues when looking for employment. These include traditional methods, such as networking, online job boards, staffing firms, newspapers, etc.

During the past 10 to 15 years, employers have largely shifted recruiting dollars to Web-based venues. Although websites come and go in terms of popularity, if I had to suggest one for job seekers, it would be LinkedIn.

I like to tell people LinkedIn is Facebook for business people. Although no site is perfect, LinkedIn offers numerous benefits.

Unlike traditional job boards that only display openings, LinkedIn allows you to network with people relevant to your goals and to view openings. It allows you to post what amounts to your résumé without necessarily admitting to the world you're looking for a job. So it's somewhat safe if you're employed and concerned your boss will see you on there.

Just be smart about it. Don't put "seeking new opportunity" on your profile. Employers and recruiters will find you by searching keywords and location and then contact you privately. If you're looking, don't allow people to see the groups you've joined. Membership in numerous job-seeking LinkedIn groups gives your game away.

Speaking of groups, consider joining ones that match with these four main areas: your desired industry, job function, location and alma mater. Once you've joined these groups, become active in their discussions. Be seen as a resource to others. This helps you establish familiarity and credibility without coming across as a desperate job hunter as so many others seem to do.

LinkedIn wants you to treat the site as if it's your personal Rolodex. Don't do that. Instead, look to connect and engage with people who, like you, are what's called "open networkers." In other words, they don't limit their connections to only those professionals whom they know well.

More Advice and Complete Article


Friday, June 3, 2011

LinkedIn to launch ‘Apply Now’ button

By: Molly McHugh

LinkedIn may take the final step in streamlining the job-seeking process by giving users the option to apply directly through the site.

Yesterday, GigaOm reported that LinkedIn will soon be launching a tool that will let users apply to job postings within the site. The “Apply With LinkedIn” tool will appear on employers’ profiles and allow job seekers to use their LinkedIn profiles and resumes as applications.

LinkedIn has been an innovator in professionalizing the social media market – a market that’s been extremely profitable. The site single-handedly dominates this space, and while a variety of networking sites are making it easier for you to digitally find and get jobs, LinkedIn remains the best all-around option. The site has been exploring ways to streamline its services and the single remaining step is letting users directly apply to listed jobs.

The feature would be hugely popular for users: The monotony and tediousness of e-mailing resume after resume would be just that much easier, and employers would have the option of including check-box questions for applicants (relocation, cover letter, etc). Considering the site recently hit 100 million members, the jobs section of Craigslist could take a serious hit.

Of course this isn’t exactly innovative. Monster and CareerBuilder both have an “Apply Now” option: What they don’t have is the reputation LinkedIn has built, or the sheer user numbers (Monster gets some 60 million visitors looking for jobs a month; CareerBuilder gets 22 million unique visitors a month). Neither have social networking down like LinkedIn has, nor have they been able to launch features that compete with LinkedIn’s.

Would the ability to apply directly within the site have any effect on companies’ HR and recruiting departments? It’s always possible that when a digital shortcut comes around, someone could lose some responsibilities. But this extension could simply mean that the amount of people applying to specific jobs skyrockets, giving the people in these positions more work to sort through. On the other hand, there are a lot of great candidates on LinkedIn, but every one of them can’t be a gem. The idea of an additional pile of applications may even steer some businesses away from the hassle, especially if they are getting ample amounts as is using the site purely to advertise open positions.

Complete Article And More Information

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why should you frequently visit your LinkedIn account?

By IB Times Staff Reporter

LinkedIn, recently connected to cookie scams and privacy breach, has lost a lot of users in the last month. The existing ones have reportedly lost all faith and interest in the website and left their accounts as a skeleton profile.

The ones who have lost interest in the business-related social networking site, founded by Reid Hoffman in 2002 and launched in 2003 in Santa Monica, California, may still have a little time left to reap full benefit from the once mighty website.

Digit magazine in its latest news section provided a few techniques which could still make your LinkedIn profile valuable and interesting and could even help taking your business to a higher ground.

Here are a few of tips from the list.

Update and fill up the profile:
Always remember to fill up all the information boxes in the profile which will let your clients approach you. An incomplete profile often gives the impression that you are not really committed to what you do and may keep them incomplete like you did with your profile. At least try and update the resume and recent achievement section which people are more concerned with. It may take some time in fully updating the profile but it is worth the pain.     

Remember to Connect with former colleagues:
Make full use of the professional address book. The site has the ability to update your contacts’ information in your address book which saves your time. Your former colleagues are a part of the already established contacts. Keeping in touch with them can really help you grow your connections elsewhere.

Synchronizing with Twitter:
Keep your LinkedIn account and Twitter account parallel to utilize maximum information. There is an option to connect Twitter account to your LinkedIn account in Edit Profile. Keeping the content on both the accounts is bound to help you and your business partners during negotiations.

More Tips and Complete IB Times Article

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 Things to Immediately Do on LinkedIn

John Heckers

LinkedIn is the premier business networking site for job-seekers at all levels and all ages. There are some things newbies need to know about LinkedIn, though, before it will be valuable as a job search tool. In fact, whatever you’re using LinkedIn for, you should follow these 10 tips.

1. Put up a photo. What do you think on LinkedIn if you see someone without a photo? Well, I think they have something to hide, or they just aren’t a very experienced LinkedIn user. Either way, there is nothing good about not having a photo. Women often get weird about this, citing stalkers, etc. But, realistically, no one has ever been stalked through LinkedIn. My wife, in fact, has her photo, e-mail address and company phone number on her profile (all good things to have), and has never had any problems at all. And, yes, she is much, much better looking than I am.

2. Join about 45 groups. You’re allowed up to 50 groups on LinkedIn. Join almost that many. By joining 45, you still have “room” for another interesting group. Groups are how you get things done on LinkedIn. I’m always amazed when someone just has one or two groups, or, even worse, no groups. By joining groups people can get to know you and your business.

By the way, please feel free to join my groups, “Getting Employed,” for job seekers anywhere at any level, and “Spirituality in Business” for those who value a business model that incorporates spirituality. Be aware I require photos on the profiles to join my groups.

3. Post discussions on groups. What’s the use of belonging to groups if you’re not out there as an influencer? None, really. Don’t be a vapid bystander. Participate! Post discussions on your groups on a regular basis.

But be careful. Make the discussion to be something of actual interest to the group. Posting a link to your website to sell something or, even worse, a sleazy video like one person did in a discussion I following, will just make people avoid you like the plague. Post articles (that aren’t self serving), announcements, real events (not promoting or selling your product or service), requests for real advice, and discussions about a topic relevant to the group. Again, no selling!

4. Participate in threads. If you’re just a poster and not a participant, it will become clear you are just in it to promote yourself, rather than be a fully participating member of the LinkedIn community. Participate in threads with useful remarks. Again, no selling! And no “trolling,” either! If you must make political comments, be polite. Don’t attack people. I’m not saying to weasel your words. I am saying to be civil. If you participate in threads, follow the same rules as above. Be useful, not self-promoting.

5. Let it be known you are an open networker. There are two philosophies on LinkedIn. One is more effective than the other. The first, and, in my opinion, completely lame philosophy is you only connect with people you know well. That is LinkedIn’s official philosophy, although they really speak with a forked tongue on this one. This will keep your connections pretty low, and will not build your network.
The other philosophy — the one to which I subscribe — is to accept all or almost all connection requests, at least from individuals. I don’t really like connecting with companies, and I am cautious about connecting with someone without a photo (because it could be a fake profile).

The second philosophy will build your network much more rapidly. Here’s the deal. You may have no interest in networking with the individual who invites you. But you might have an interest in someone in his or her network. Connecting gives you access to that network. The more connections, the more likely it is that someone you want to meet will be “in network.” This makes your life on LinkedIn much easier.
I see LinkedIn as a very large networking party. Now, at a networking party you don’t just go up to people you know and talk to them. Or, if you do, you’re a lousy networker. So why should I only talk to people I already know. LinkedIn has helped me meet some great new friends, business associates, and networking partners. I’ve gotten clients through LinkedIn. I’ve contacted hiring authorities for my clients through LinkedIn. And I’ve gotten an opportunity to meet very interesting and dynamic people through LinkedIn. All of this is because I’ve ignored the bovine effluvium that says I should only connect with people I know well! Connect and be an open networker.

Tips 6 - 10 and Complete CareerRealism Article

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LinkedIn: The Job Site for People Who (Wink, Wink) Aren’t Looking for Jobs

by Todd Raphael

LinkedIn’s a paradox. It’s a place for recruiting people who aren’t looking to be recruited. And it’s a place for finding jobs — especially if you’re not trying too hard to find a job.

I talk about these oddities in the 9 1/2-minute podcast below, with Coleen Byrne. She’s a sales director, most recently with Yahoo, and is the co-author of a new book for job-seekers called The Web 2.0 Job Finder. We also talk about the interesting advice people are getting with respect to creating a LinkedIn profile, as well as some mistakes job-seekers make when using LinkedIn.

Listen to the ERE Podcast

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Brand yourself, LinkedIn tells job hunters

CAREER networking site LinkedIn's record float this week may have had analysts using it as a litmus test of the value of social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
But for its Australian head of communications Tara Commerford the comparison is not one the company is keen to make.

The corporate message is that social networks are for play but at LinkedIn the networking is for serious business - one that is now valued at about $US10 billion ($9.4 billion).

Ms Commerford is the publicist on the ground for the US web juggernaut, spruiking to Australian and New Zealand companies, marketers, recruiters and ad agencies on how best to use the service, which allows users to meet and share their resumes with prospective employers online.

She says success today means marketing yourself effectively and surrounding yourself with people from a range of industries for support, right down to the individual.

"I've never secured a role in a conventional way," she says. "Never via a job board and always through networking, a recommendation or word of mouth.

"We call it 'Brand You' – every individual is now a brand so make sure you're sending out the right messages. Learn as much as you can, as fast as you can and keep up to date with changes in digital trends."

Ms Commerford said it was a practice LinkedIn made sure to use internally to provide opportunities for staff to excel at the company and for later if they move on.

But for all the faith in digital networks and communications there’s one technology that seems to trump them all – the jet plane - for getting to meetings at head office in Silicon Valley three to four times a year.

"It's invaluable to have that face to face time with my boss (VP Corporate Communications) and other members of the public relations and marketing teams," Ms Commerford says.

"We're all about connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale so the breadth of the opportunity is huge and the challenge is exciting.

LinkedIn last year opened an office in Australia, where it has more than one million users.

"We have a truly international office – I was the second Australian to join. Our MD is South African, we have an expat from our Mountain View headquarters heading Hiring Solutions, and a Brit heading our Marketing Solutions team," Ms Commerford says.

She said some days started at 4.30am with a conference call to the global team. She tries to answer emails early enough to catch the US operatives in the office and later on – whether through Skype or email – it's time to liaise with offices in the UK and India.

"I can be doing media outreach one day and organising event sponsorship the next," she says. "Every day is different, it's extremely rewarding."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Branding Yourself Through LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the leading social networking site for professionals and offers countless opportunities for both building your brand, as well as for advancing your career and career search.
Here are just some of the ways that you can leverage this network’s features to more effectively establish credibility and communicate your personal brand:


Complete Your Profile: Take the profile creation process seriously and follow LinkedIn’s suggested steps to complete your profile 100%. Add a professional picture/head shot and fill in key information and work and education history from your resume that strengthen your personal brand and desired reputation. The more complete and compelling your profile is, the more professional and credible you will appear to your profile visitors.

Subtitle: Depending on the reputation you would like to have and area of interest and/or expertise you are pursuing, choose professional, yet intriguing title(s) for yourself. Whether you have a different full-time job or not, list that you’re an author, a blogger, founder of an organization or community, an entrepreneur or any other appropriate and relevant designation. Also, include your unique one word or phrase personal brand and possibly any certifications or advanced degrees as these can increase your credibility.

Summary: While not everything that you would want to share to build your reputation can be included in your work history, your profile’s summary section is a great place to detail your personal brand, list your awards, press or media you have received, books you have written, organizations you have founded, blogs you write and manage, and anything else that sums up the unique value you have to offer others.

Customize Your Website Links: Use your external profile links to connect your profile viewers to your website, blog, company site, online resume or other networking profiles as this will help promote other platforms on which you are creating and contributing value.

Recommendations: Ask for brief recommendations from as many past supervisors, co-workers, classmates, customers etc. as possible, especially from people whose testimonials of your work would support your personal brand and reputation. Recommendations or testimonials for a blog itself from partners, readers, clients, community members, customers etc. also increase your credibility.


Join Groups: LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. There are groups for every industry, functional area, association, company, university, event and more. Groups allow you to engage with professionals beyond your profile. Joining groups also can help expand your visibility and messaging access to individuals as you begin to increase your network.

Contribute: There are numerous ways you can contribute value to the groups you join, including contributing high-value articles and commentary both as new discussion threads and as responses to others. The more value and insight you can contribute, the more credible and professional you will come across.

Start Groups: If there seems to be a niche area with no current group, don’t hesitate to start one up. It will take some work to grow it; however, it might be an opportunity for you to establish yourself as a community founder and leader while creating a community opportunity for your blog readers to join. If starting a group isn’t up your alley, consider helping moderate a group to get more involved. Send a message to one or more group owners and ask them if there are some ways you could contribute as part of the group administration.

More Advice and Complete Blogaristo Article

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5 Tips To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Today I want to cover how to optimize your LinkedIn profile so that people can find you.

Use Keywords In Your Headline
Your headline is the first thing people see when they go to your LinkedIn profile. Unless you change it, your headline will appear as your current or last position held.
Since this headline will appear in various places on LinkedIn, you want it to be more descriptive. The LinkedIn algorithm seems to put a lot of emphasis on the words used in the headline when ranking people, so make sure your headline includes your USP, benefits your company offers or your geographic location if you serve a specific area.

Include Keywords In Your Summary
After the headline, your summary is the first place that people will learn about you. Your summary is your elevator pitch. Make sure it looks clean and professional, while including the top keywords that you want to target.

Customize The Web Sites Option
So many people have this set to the default option (personal web site., company web site). LinkedIn allows you to make these more descriptive by using keywords as you can see below.

To do this, when adding your website select “other” from the drop-down menu and then manually key in your website title. Next paste your URL into the appropriate field and click “Save Changes.” You can do this with up to three (3) websites.

Tips 4 - 5 and Complete Article

Monday, May 23, 2011

10 Things I Know About... LinkedIn

By Susan LaPlante-Dube

The free, basic LinkedIn account is a great starting place. Maximize this level before paying for enhanced services.

9. It Is Networking
All the rules of traditional networking apply. You need to build relationships. You cannot barge into conversations, ask for recommendations from people who do not know you well, or link to strangers to build your connections.

Make the most of LinkedIn’s powerful search feature — use your keywords throughout your profile and company page. Include them in your summary, specialties, web links, company description and job title.

Click "Events" from the "More" menu to find events your connections are attending, to share events you’re attending or hosting and to search for relevant events.

Groups are a great way to listen to conversations and increase visibility. Choose three to five groups and add value with your input. Answer questions, share insights, support members, but no selling!

LinkedIn Answers lets you answer specific challenges and questions posed by members. Select "Answers" in the search drop down and enter a phrase related to your expertise.

Things 4 - 1 and Complete Article

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Making LinkedIn Work for You

By Sue Shellenbarger

Some Juggle commenters have asked for a post on the professional networking website LinkedIn. The site passed 100 million users in March and continues to grow by about one million members a week. Its public offering this week is drawing even more attention.
Non-users of LinkedIn may wonder, why bother? Posting a profile, keeping it updated, building and maintaining your network of connections, and responding to messages takes time.

Of course, LinkedIn can help you find a job and research prospective employers by contacting current and former employees. Recruiters use it heavily to find what they call “passive candidates” who are open to new opportunities but not actively looking.

But even if you aren’t looking for a job, LinkedIn is a tool for displaying your work and credentials to colleagues and potential clients, gathering intelligence about trends and competitors from others in your industry or profession, and keeping in touch with alumni and other groups that matter to you. Also, if you lose your job unexpectedly, having your LinkedIn network up-and-running is a big asset.

The first step is to sign up and create a profile. The profile should be briefer than your resume, but it should include current and past employers, education, a professional-looking head shot (no party or beach candids, recruiters say), and any relevant affiliations appropriate for listing on a resume. Try to include details that will set you apart. “We are searching through tens of millions of people on LinkedIn, so include the thing that makes you different and unique,” says Steven Raz, managing partner of Cornerstone Search Group, a search firm.

It is also OK to include a little personal information that would be suitable for your resume, such as being an avid runner, says J. P. Sniffen, a regional recruiting manager for the recruiting firm Orion International.

Keep your profile up-to-date, and don’t make the common mistake of failing to delete outdated versions. Recruiters sometimes call these up by mistake, thinking they are current. Another common error is failing to respond to messages, which can create a negative impression, says Corey Ackerman, a senior partner at Cornerstone.

Strengthening your LinkedIn network is worthwhile. The more contacts you have, the more likely you are to get job interviews. Also, employers are likely to review your contact list to see who you know at what levels and in what industries, a measure of your networking skills, says Don Kjelleren, director of career services at Middlebury College. Many LinkedIn users maintain dozens to hundreds of contacts.
LinkedIn poses a risk that your boss will notice your profile or activities, assume you are jobhunting and hold it against you. A vigilant boss may wonder why you are connecting with a human-resource manager at a competitor, for example. Or “a significant change in activity level, such as new recommendations or changes to your profile, it could look suspicious” to your boss, says Laura Poisson, a vice president at ClearRock, an executive coaching and outplacement firm.

Mr. Sniffen says “it happens all the time:” An unemployed jobseeker calls to say he is out of work because the boss discovered via LinkedIn that he was looking around.

Recruiters offer tips on reducing the risk. Consider making a pre-emptive strike: Tell your boss that you are active on LinkedIn for networking purposes, to share ideas and information, to get help solving work-related problems, or to stay in touch with alumni or professional groups, Mr. Sniffen says. Be consistent in updating your profile and contacts, so a sudden flurry of contacts from recruiters or prospective employers won’t be so conspicuous. And if you receive a LinkedIn job query, consider responding via your personal e-mail or phone. Some users post their personal e-mail addresses on their profiles, enabling prospective employers to contact them that way.

More Tips and Complete WSJ Article

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

4 Easy Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

By Mark Henricks

In the race to see who will own social media, LinkedIn can if nothing else claim to be the first to publicly sell out. But there’s more to business networking than an opportunity for Reid Hoffman to join the ranks of the über-rich. Savvy business people increasingly see LinkedIn as a critical place to find new employees, recognize existing ones, troll for sales prospects, and build their own digital brand. Here are some tricks you can tap to buff up your own LinkedIn profile:
  • Create a custom URL. This helps your profile rank more highly in Google and LinkedIn search results, according to LinkedIn spokesperson Erin O’Harra. “And it’ll be a lot prettier to put on a business card,” she adds. Click the “Edit” hyperlink at the bottom of your blue profile box next to “Public Profile” and your current URL. On the next page, click “Customize your public profile URL” and type in your preferred URL. Try “firstnamelastname” and if that doesn’t work, “lastnamefirstname.”

  • Strut your smarts (and tap other people’s) via Answers. This is under the “More” toolbar button. You can ask any question you want, or answer someone else’s. After a week, the questioner tags the best answer. If you give the best answer, you get a badge on your profile that calls attention to your expertise. O’Harra says participating in Answers is a way to clients, partners or others looking for a specific skill. “By answering a question, that may open the door to a new relationship,” she says.

Monday, May 16, 2011

10 Useful LinkedIn Tips & Tricks You Might Not Know

Linkedin is by far the biggest professional network in the world and a great place to forge B2B connections but far all it’s useful features it can feel a little restrictive at times so here is a list of useful features, hacks and tips that will help you get even more out of the social network. Given that you are probably on Linkedin to get business, find work or network it’s important that you do something different that helps you to stand out which is exactly what this list of tips will help you do. Make sure you pimp your Linkedin profile today with some of these great hacks and tips…

Find business people near you

The new iPhone Unsocial is now available for free on the app store and it integrates with your LinkedIn profile to let you find business professionals located near you, to connect with. Almost operating as a Foursquare for LinkedIn, this is all about location services for the professional and is being billed as a particularly useful app for people attending conferences. This process can often be a bit messy, where you meet someone once then remember to hook up on LinkedIn days later. Though you don’t have to use your LinkedIn profile for this to work, it’s a great way to find relevant searches for people near you and connect instantly :

Check your updates any time

If you’re a hardcore LinkedIn user, then you might find it a bit laborious to keep logging in to the site to find your latest updates. The Google Chrome LinkedIn toolbar does away with that and also has some nice extra features, such as the ability to share any article with your LinkedIn network right from within the toolbar. You can also comment on other people’s updates. This could help with one of LinkedIn’s biggest problems – that it’s easy to forget about until you get an invitation from someone to connect. This helps to make it a fluid experience across the web, easily integrating with content that you view to make the experience more social.

Build a beautiful resume

Often your latest work experience and history will be contained within your LinkedIn profile, but when it comes to looking for a job you have to go back to the dreaded word format, likely copying and pasting most of the information from your LinkedIn profile anyway. This handy app takes the job away from you, by turning your LinkedIn profile into a beautiful looking resume, instantly. Free to use and a great product from LinkedIn Labs, this is a little known tool that could save a lot of time for people :

Save your searches

A little known trick within LinkedIn is the ability to save up to 3 searches. This might not sound like much use at the start, but this trick allows you to save searches for people and get email notifications every time the results change. This is a great tool if you’re looking for potential employees, new network connections or possibly employers. To save your search, simply run your search for people in the bar along the top, then click on ‘save search’ along the top right. Think about the kind of searches you can run here that will return relevant and interesting results, to get practically instant industry updates from LinkedIn :

LinkedIn profiles in your email

Finding new connections on LinkedIn can be one of the most daunting tasks and you’ll often forget people that you contacted that you wanted to add but didn’t at the time. This handy plugin for Firefox allows you to bring up the LinkedIn profile of people you’re emailing instantly. This works across most web mail accounts, including Gmail. And a nice add-on to this is that if the person that you’re emailing doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, you can invite them to join LinkedIn from within the email.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Top 25 LinkedIn Groups ALL Job Seekers MUST Join

One feature you job seekers may not know about or have fully explored is LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are free to join, and you can choose to join up to 50 groups from a list of thousands of user-created groups for literally just about anything. Not only do these groups provide you access to connect with and contact fellow group members who could become future partners, employees, investors, customers etc., but the groups’ newly updated discussion board feature can provide more networking opportunities, answers to your questions and insightful advice, tips and support. You can also join the groups' subgroups and contribute answers, comments and your own expertise to the groups’ discussion boards to establish your own online personal brand on LinkedIn.

Last year, I published a list of the top 20 LinkedIn groups for job seekers which became a very popular resource on Career Rocketeer. It's been over a year since the list originally went out and some of the groups have changed and new groups have emerged. Therefore, I have updated the list and am pleased to present the Top 25 LinkedIn Groups ALL Job Seekers MUST Join to help you build your brands and launch your careers:

  • JobAngels - Non-profit job search network of professionals helping other professionals find job advice and opportunities.

  • Executive Suite - Community of over 100,000 US-based executive-level and recruiter members.

  • Star:Jobs Professional Career Center - Group working in tandem with Linked:HR, the largest Recruiters’ Group on LinkedIn, to help top candidates find jobs quickly and efficiently.

  • Career Rocketeer - Career Launch Network - Fastest-growing professional network for personal branding, career search and career management, bringing job seekers and employers, recruiters and career experts together for mutual success.

  • The Talent Buzz - Group for job seekers, recruiters and HR professionals interested in expanding their professional networks.

  • Helping Friends Career Network (LI2HF) - Business and career network where entrepreneurs, hiring managers, recruiters, and talented professionals worldwide can make meaningful win-win connections.

  • JobsDirectUSA - Official job search group on LinkedIn for

  • Career Change Central - Group linking job changers and professionals in career transition with recruiters, hiring managers and career coaches.

  • CareerLink Network - Community providing job seekers spiritual, physical, social, mental, economic and personal growth to meet their ever-evolving needs

  • Jobs Alert - Job search group for middle and senior-level managers worldwide. 

  • Groups 15 - 25 and Complete Original Article
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    55 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Business

    LinkedIn can be a fantastic tool for improving your business. In order to maximize the benefits from using LinkedIn, I have asked the contributor network of entrepreneurs and experts to give their best tips for using LinkedIn to grow and improve business. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

    You may notice some similar insights, but I kept the concepts separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

    1. Hello to Groups
    I use LinkedIn to post upcoming webinars, articles, columns, and events where I am either speaking, presenting, or I think would be of interest to all. Not only do I post this on my regular space, but I also send it to all of the groups to which I belong, which really gets the word out, helps create my credibility, and keeps my name in front of people I can't always get in front of. This truly is the paradigm shift of one to one to one to many in action.
    Thanks to: Rosanne Dausilio of Human Technologies Global Inc.

    2. Key to Business Support
    Let's keep this simple. LinkedIn is about creating a business community so that we can support each other. Community = Join Groups + Ask Questions.

    Summary: Get yourself in the crowd and get involved. The rest will just happen.
    Thanks to: Haleh Rabizadeh of Little Patient Big Doctor.

    3. LI Groups & Email Marketing
    Join LinkedIn Groups that target your audience. Then, submit links to press releases or articles featuring your company, along with short comments and summaries on the targeted groups. The groups send out email newsletters to members and will include your link & message. This is like free email marketing!
    Thanks to: Becky Boyd of MediaFirst PR.

    4. Dare to Expose Yourself
    Most LinkedIn profiles are boring and can put you to sleep in a few seconds! Make yours shine by sharing a bit about yourself personally in the summary section on your profile. Tell others why you are in the business you're in. Share with them about your passions or values or what makes you different from your competitors.

    By sharing some of your personality, it gives the reader a glimpse into who you are
    and you're likely to stand out and be viewed as a much more interesting prospect.
    Thanks to: Jane Morrison of Morrison Business Solutions.

    5. Announce Deals, Book Services
    Like other social media sites, a LinkedIn company page is a great place to announce deals, promotions and ongoing specials. You'll quickly generate a loyal and growing following of customers to market your products and services to. And many will visit often to see what's new with your business. If you're a service-based business with online scheduling, you can even include a link that allows them to book their services or reservations at the same time.
    Thanks to: Eric Richard of Appointment-Plus.

    6. Answer Random Questions
    If I look back at the years that I have been involved in Linkedin, I think that the ratio of questions I answer compared to those I ask has to be at least 50:1. Taking the time to look through my areas of interest and expertise, singling out the questions where I can provide value and then providing thought provoking answers has been a key to my success. As well, at the end of the post, I always put an offer to contact me for more help AND a LINK to my website. Amazing the HITS I get!
    Thanks to: Ben Baker of CMYK Solutions Inc.

    7. Don't Just Take -- Give!
    The best way to forge relationships and get your LinkedIn contacts actively seeking business to steer your way is to give more than you take. What can you give? Advice, leads, links to relevant articles, information, compassion, your time and more. Give those things that will help others know you are a knowledgeable and helpful person who cares about others. Your contacts will soon become friends and the relationship that emerges will be mutually beneficial.
    Thanks to: Susan Greene of Freelance Copywriter.

    8. Each One Reach One
    Use your LinkedIn connections to both give and take. Give your colleagues something to improve their lives--a tip, a website you've found, maybe even an ebook. In return, ask them to send it along to at least one of their own connections. Life and LinkedIn are all about growth and you can grow your followers by asking for help and making your helpers glad that you did.
    Thanks to: Marlene Caroselli of "Jesus, Jonas, and Janus".

    Read Ways 9 - 55 to Grow Your Business and Complete CarolRoth Article

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Confessions of a LinkedIn virgin

    Bill Bishop

    I’m certain that many entrepreneurs and business people don’t take an invitation to be added to one’s professional network very seriously.

    I confess. I didn’t. I simply clicked the “accept” button and that was the end of it.                   

    It’s a strange new world out there, however, and most people are only beginning to understand the potential power of the social media. Some have found no value at all while others have seen limited success. And then there are those who have actually built viable networks of revenue generating partners… and business is good.

    You probably don’t want to hear this, but the key to success in the social media is the same “secret” that must be applied anywhere else in business — hard work.

    Part of the problem, at least in my situation, was that I wasn’t serious about making the service work. Therefore, I didn’t offer any good or useful information about myself and consequently, I got nothing in return.

    When you give nothing, you get nothing! It’s that simple.

    LinkedIn may not be as sexy as Twitter or as popular as Facebook, but it could be the most important social network out there for businesses. So if you’re in business and your schedule is tight and you only have time to devote to one social platform, LinkedIn could be your best bet.

    Here are just a few tips for growing your network and your business using LinkedIn.

    Work on your profile
    First, make your profile irresistible. Start with a professional headshot. Don’t use a photo of yourself as a three-year old. Don’t crop your head out of a party picture or use a photo of your favorite pet.
    We live in the age of digital photography, which means you can have a current picture of your very own smiling face online in a matter of seconds.

    Next, complete your profile. Again, if you’re not serious about growing your business, you’ll leave this area blank, but completing the profile simply means including all your relevant jobs, both past and present, as well as where you went to school and boards you’ve sat on or positions of leadership you’ve held.

    You never know how people may connect with you, or what searches they may do.

    You’ll also want to write a compelling summary, which means more than just posting your resume. Instead, you’ll want to explain what you do, and why someone should reach out to you. Be persuasive.
    Leverage your keywords in order to improve your “findability.” Ideally, these should be repeated in various key areas of your profile including your headline, work experience and summary. A repetition of your keywords makes you significantly easier to find.

    Content is king!
    Want to really make an impact? Add a video. Content is king!

    If you are not creating content and uploading it to the social web then your company is invisible. And the most engaging content you can create is video.

    Video grabs attention and holds people's interest like no other marketing material. It's dramatic and exciting.

    Adding a video to your LinkedIn profile can be done rather easily by uploading a video to and enabling SlideShare on your profile page.
    Next you’ll want to begin building your network. An easy place to start is with your current contacts… the people you already know.

    There are two ways to do this — the short way or the long way.   


    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Building Solid Business Relationships Using LinkedIn

    There is a good chance that you have a LinkedIn account. You may have had it for a long time. As you know, having a complete profile is critical to using it successfully. Now, you need to leverage your connections.

    Leveraging your LinkedIn connections to their fullest potential
    Perhaps, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be doing much for your business. It is very possible that you have concentrated all of your efforts up to this point on increasing your online connections so that you strengthen your credibility and visibility. Believe it or not, building your lists of LinkedIn connections is not your greatest challenge. An even bigger challenge for you will be to take those connections that you have established and to deepen them to the point where those people will buy what you are selling.
    The success of social media (including LinkedIn, of course) depends on relationships. Meaningful interactions and face-to-face meetings are critical to the success of your business. So, what can you do to leverage those meaningful relationships so that they become even more significant for you and for your business?

    Event Leveraging
    You should be paying close attention to what your connections are doing and where they are going. Because you are connected to them online, the chances are great that they will be sharing information on which events they will be attending. If you see that those events are in your geographic area, you should plan on attending them also. If the events are live, you should consider them a wonderful opportunity to interact with your online connections face to face, even if they are not first-tier connections to you online.
    You should approach this by visiting the RSVP page of the event, identifying who among your connections is attending the event, and reaching out to a few of those people. You can communicate with them by sending them a message if they are a close connection or sending them a message through InMail if they are a more distant connection to you. Your message should indicate that you will be attending that particular event and that you look forward to the opportunity to interact with them in person. This approach is effective but unobtrusive at the same time.

    Timing is critical
    The optimal time to start to build a deeper relationship with your connections is when you are on their minds. Right after you have made a new connection, received an introduction, made an introduction, responded to a question or comment or received a response to a question that you have posed are all ideal times to reach out to build a more meaningful relationship. Online interactions can easily lead to phone calls, continued discussions and face-to-face meetings.
    Seek advice from others

    There is not a person around who doesn’t love to give his or her 2 cents. Everyone loves to feel valued. If you reach out to your connections and ask their opinions on something that is important to you, you will be surprised at the amount of valuable responses your will receive in return. You will also be strengthening your relationship with your connections. When you do reach out, make sure that you clearly communicate who you are, explain the common thread or threads between you, pay them a compliment and explain why you are seeking their advice. This will prove to be a wonderful approach for you.

    Coordinate geographic locations with travel - More Advice and Complete Article

    Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Four steps to make social media work for your business

    By Dream Local

    I often get questions from business owners wondering how social media can work for them. Many say they have no time at all to utilize social media, and I completely understand – but share they are missing a huge opportunity. Others will have questions that go straight into tactics: “I posted x, y, and z on Facebook, but I only have 25 fans”, or “I post things all the time but no one comments”. Even though it may seem counterproductive, before I start to answer these questions I make them take a step back and talk to them about their overall strategy and business needs. Because social media marketing can be largely free, many people jump in and start using the tools without first putting together a plan of how they want this marketing to work for them, or without understanding its strengths and weaknesses. This often leads to wasted effort and less than stellar results. Let’s walk through the four steps you need to take to make social media work for you and your business.

    1. First, it’s important to understand your existing business and what makes it tick. What kinds of customers add the most value? What products or services are the most profitable? What kinds of content and information do we have available that could be of interest – can we establish you as an expert or resource?

    2. Determine your marketing goals. Are you trying to get more business from your ideal customers? Do we need to strengthen and build upon word of mouth and referrals? Generate buzz and keep you top of mind? Improve your site’s performance on search engines? Sell more of a particular product or service?

    3. Third – it’s planning time! Many businesses approach marketing without a thoughtful plan. This can often lead to wasted resources. Since social media takes a considerable amount of time to do well, and you don’t want to waste your time. Consider the different ways that social media can enhance your overall marketing plan and help you achieve your goals, and develop content and posts to help support it.
    For example, if you determine that your ideal customer is a small business owner with ten or less employees, and you have a considerable amount of expertise that can be leveraged, your social media strategy will likely include a blog and using tools like VillageSoup, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to promote that content. Your plan would have a series of ideas and then posts on how to get small business owners interested in your content, and then convert them to leads. For each business, this is different. At Dream Local, while we follow a tried and true formula for creating marketing plans, they are customized to each business because their needs and goals are all unique.
    Questions to ask yourself when developing your plan:

    See The Questions + Step 4 + Complete Article

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile – Top Ten LinkedIn Tips

    LinkedIn is the largest professional network with over 100 million users worldwide. You can read more stats over on LinkedIn’s About Us page.
    So to help you get noticed, stand out among the large crowd, and get that dream job here are my top ten LinkedIn Tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
    1. Complete your profile 100%
    2. LinkedIn keeps good track of your profile completeness. It is in your best interest to complete your profile 100%. Include as much past and current work histories, a summary, skills you’ve learned, etc. LinkedIn will show you what you should fill out to get to 100%.
    3. Post a professional image of you in your profile
    4. A professional image is defined as a head and shoulders portrait of you. Two reasons for this: 1. Adds to your credibility 2. Makes your profile more professional
    5. Complete your current title and summary
    6. Your Title should be genuine – recruiters will check. Your summary should be a short, concise two or three paragraphs that should answer 3 basic questions: Who are you? What do you do? and Who do you do it for?Within your summary use keywords that will help you get found in LinkedIn search. For instance in my summary I listed out several keyword phrases such as internet marketing. It is a service my company provides but it is also a phrase users on LinkedIn would search.
    7. Complete your past experiences and specializations
    8. Specializations should answer this question. What makes you unique from everyone else in your line of work?
    9. Use all the Linkedin features offered (blogs, slideshare,Twitter feed, video, book recommendations, etc)
    10. LinkedIn provides several in house apps that connect to various services like Twitter and WordPress. If you have written an e-book list and recommend it using Amazon book list app. You can share a recent presentation through the slideshare app. 

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Klout looks to exert influence

    San Francisco-based startup identifies people whose opinions carry weight with others for social media marketing