This will likely be my last work related type post for awhile; I’ve still yet to pack my speedo’s and bronzing oil. Expect posts more related to dolphins, whales, breathtaking views, sand between my toes, fantastic crashing waterfalls and swinging hammocks in the sun – it’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it!
I’m raising my level to mild panic, still lots to do and the clock is ticking, as long as I’ve got my passport, money and don’t miss my flights I’ll be fine – that’s what I keep telling myself, now where did I leave that passport.. whoops!
Right, down to business, lets see if we can spruce up your LinkedIn profile some more and start to build up your network, we want to be as LinkedIn as possible – the bigger your network, the bigger your potential audience.
You want to write a headline that draws people in, this is shown throughout LinkedIn, make it about you, what you can do, who you are and not your job title – your headline and summary are the two most important things about your profile, that and a photo with a smile (mine is more of a grimace or wind).
A trick is that you can copy and paste from word, so you can add symbols and characters to make it a bit more interesting. In mine you can see I’ve added Accept Invites, this is to do with LIONs and I’ll cover this later on, if I don’t loose you, still with me?
I’m sure you’ve all heard of search engine optimisation? Oh you’ve not? Where have you been living, the North Pole? Ok just for you, it’s all about the use of keywords on your profile, honestly it’s pretty simple – don’t fret, when people are searching, you want to be found on certain terms.
So, you want to list all your key skills and professions, ensure all the important one’s are in the summary and specialties and make sure they make sense, don’t forget it’s an actual human being reading your profile and they don’t want to be faced with aload of jargon or a massive wall of text, they’ll go cross eyed and move on to someone else. Ensure you put all other lesser important keywords/skills in your job experiences, rule of thumb is the important keywords should be up top.
Now, when someone searches for words or phrases used in your LinkedIn profile, you’re much more likely to be found.
Houston, We Have Lift Off
I won’t get too extensive here, but arm you with enough knowledge to have your network take off.
- Add contacts you know by name and email address
- Add all your places of employment to your profile, now go to Contacts > Add Connections > Colleagues. You can now browse and add people from all previous places of employment you might know
- Add anybody you deal with, clients, suppliers
- Include a link in your email footer
- Join relevant groups and participate
- Create your own group
If you want to become a LION (see below about LIONs)
- Add your e-mail address in your profile
- Include LION in your profile
These are the terms other open networkers use to add more connections and they’ll need your email address in order to be able to add you easily.
Now I don’t mean the cute and fluffy kind that if you went to pet them, they’d sooner rip your arm off, LION stands for LinkedIn Open Networker. I won’t go into this too much here (it might deserve a post of it’s own, if I’ve time), basically it means connecting with anyone and everyone even if you don’t know them, after all LinkedIn is about networking and the bigger your network, the more possibilities you have of connecting with the right people for that ideal job.
If you want to read more, you can go here: http://windmillnetworking.com/2008/07/11/what-is-a-linkedin-lion and if your thinking of becoming a LION it’s worth looking at and joining http://www.toplinked.com.
Search Google for ‘LinkedIn LION’ and you’ll find tons of information, I’ll give my own opinion later about whether to become a LION or not.
IDK’s – I Don’t Knows
Unless you start inviting every man and his dog you shouldn’t need to know about these, but it’s worth mentioning, especially if you decide to become an Open Networker.
When you invite someone, they have the opportunity to say “I don’t know you”. Now, if you get five of these you’ll get a slap on the wrists and put on LinkedIn’s blacklist. This now means you have to use someone’s email address in order to invite them instead of being able to use their name – which will become a right pain to increase your network.
You can fix this, send an apology to LinkedIn’s customer service at and they will let you off with your offence once and your IDK’s will be reset, after that you’ll remain a naughty boy/girl/alien.
I found this on another site, personally I’ve had no IDK’s, so can’t vouch if this will work or not.
To find out who said IDK to your invitation, go to your Inbox > Sent > Invitations > Sort by Status > Now look for status “Doesn’t Know”
If you get them to invite you, LinkedIn supposedly removes them from your IDK count.
Again, I can’t vouch for this, but it’s worth noting – phew, this became a big section for something just worth mentioning. Be courteous, if someone invites you that you don’t know or don’t want to network with, just archive the mail.
Maybe you’d like to go make a drink before continuing, mines a tea with one sugar.
Other Tips & Tricks
Get recommendations early for previous positions and work. Sometimes these will carry weight, sometimes not; my stance is they can’t hurt – but you’ll never know when you might need them. Here’s a link I posted in my previous article of what makes a good recommendation http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-LinkedIn-Recommendation.
You can change these to other and make them more appealing, search engine friendly and attention grabbing text for your links, be more descriptive i.e. Weblusion Ltd (Instead of My Company or I could of put www.weblusion.co.uk), Mark Lockitt Blog’s (Instead of My Blog).
Public Profile and Custom URL
Don’t forget to make your public profile full view and customise your URL (option under settings) so it’s easy to share, mine for example is http://uk.linkedin.com/in/marklockitt, but you could include keywords also i.e. http://uk.linkedin.com/in/marklockitt-seo.
Last Name, Keywords
You can include keywords on the end of your last name, i.e. mine could be Lockitt, SEO or Lockitt, LION
How LinkedIn Are You?
If you go to Contacts > Network Statistics you can see just how LinkedIn you are.
Network Status Updates
Use your network update box to advertise yourself “What are you working on?” you can set this visible to everyone. Make yourself more visible to your contacts, update this regularly and make it a pitch, an event or something you’re working on.
LinkedIn is all about networking, the bigger your network, the bigger your pool of opportunity. Personally I choose to exhaust all other avenues of network connections first before thinking of actively becoming a LION. Connecting with people you know, friends of friends, other professionals, group members etc.
Once I’ve exhausted all networking possibilities I will take serious consideration in becoming an active LION – but this isn’t needed at present with me travelling, so I’ll build a tight quality network of connections than quantity. I do advertise my email address and have LION in my profile and will accept any genuine requests.
If you’re looking for work, I’d suggest going to the search facility (top right) click Advanced, use the keyword “LION”, click the industry “Staffing and Recruiting”, now select your location or use your postcode and Search. This will allow you to quickly find and connect with recruiters, which will open up your network potential.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, you can send your cheque to…. Ok, I joke, I only take cash! But if it helped then feel free to add me on LinkedIn – http://uk.linkedin.com/in/marklockitt, email address is . For more information you can contact through my company’s website on weblusion.co.uk.
Right, best go, friend has arrived and it’s time for much needed beer, mmm beer!
I’ll probably be back to revise, add and edit this post in the next few days as there’s a lot to cover.
Take care and good luck networking, Mark.