James Mayes

My favourite LinkedIn tips

In LinkedIn, Personal Development, Recruitment, Social Media on October 28, 2010 at 10:00 am

One of the topics I post on regularly is emerging new tools which have caught my eye.   I pondered this recently and thought it might be worth revisiting a well-established platform and updating my thoughts.  I’m talking LinkedIn – and rather than the search side, I’d like to offer some thoughts on profiles. There are so many I see, especially professional recruiters, where the profiles are badly done. This should be one of your biggest shop-windows, so spend a little time on it.

  1. Settings > Privacy Settings > Profile views.  This affects what people see after you stop by their profile.  I’m sure you’ve noticed in the past the little front page box telling you how many people have checked out your profile – and when you click for the detail, it’s mostly anonymous.  That’s the default setting. Change it. If I stop by someone’s profile, it’s because I’m interested in them, or their company. They should be flattered by this and more often than not, I’d like that interest to be reciprocal. By making this setting public, you increase your visibility.
  2. Profile > Edit Profile > Websites > Edit. In a standard profile, you can set three websites in that primary box at the top of your profile – and by default, each is described as “My Website”. Make it more personal. When you click Edit, you get to choose what type of site you’re listing. At the very least, choose something that’s appropriate to the site you’re linking to. Better still though, choose “Other”. This allows you to enter your own text description of the link – so you can really appeal to your target audience.
  3. Recommendations. Gather them as you go, not just when you’re looking to change jobs. It keeps your profile fresh, it’ll get your existing connections to notice you again whenever a new one goes up, and recommendations are ALWAYS easier to gather at the time – not two years later.  Go for a mix if you can – maybe some happy customers, a senior manager you impressed on that last project, a more junior team member you’ve supported. Remember you don’t have to use them all.  Hide some of them away and change the visibility according to your current project. If you’re job-hunting, comments from senior managers or happy customers might be best. On the other hand, if you’re recruiting for your own team and prospective candidates are checking you out, you might want them to see how you’ve supported your people in the past.
  4. If you’re representing a company in any external capacity (Hiring? Selling? Advising customers?) make use of a third-party application.  Again, think of LinkedIn as a shop window. People WILL check you out here, so use something like SlideShare or Box to host something appropriate.
  5. I’m gonna steal this last one from @Mr_LinkedIn – aka Mark Williams.  LinkedIn have recently changed the visibility of surnames to 3rd line connections and group associates, reducing the visibility to drive the take-up of commercial accounts.  Click Edit Profile, then click “Edit” right next to your name at the top. Edit your headline. If it used to say “ERP Recruiter”, change to “James Mayes – ERP Recruiter”. Otherwise, many people will only be seeing your name as James M – which kinda undermines point 1.

LinkedIn remains one of the first places where people will check you out in advance of any commercial/professional engagement.  Be your own best friend and maximise the opportunity.

Feel free to add more in the comments section – I’m always eager to learn. If you want to connect, you’ll find me on Twitter and LinkedIn – I’ll happily listen to your critique of  my own profile.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Rudd, James Mayes. James Mayes said: My favourite LinkedIn tips http://bit.ly/d4xPWn […]

  2. Excellent stuff James, very very useful and so often the things we overlook. Thanks for sharing

  3. Good post. I can only add about how to get around the point no. 5 if you are looking for someone and it only shows their first name. Take the names of the last few employers of the person, add a keyword “linkedin”, and google it, through search results they show the full name.

    • Thx for the comment Dalia. My post here was aimed at people looking to improve the visibility of their own profile, rather than searching for others – but your work-round is spot-on! X-Ray searches are a fascinating subject in their own right, but I recognise the limitations of my knowledge on that topic, hence I doubt it’s something I’ll blog extensively about. That said, I’ve been playing around with an interesting combination of x-ray search and RSS feeds recently. Might blog that one soon, it’s turning out to be really very handy indeed!

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