The GREAT JOB SOONER Blog

Is Your LinkedIn Profile “Open” for Recruiters? Use this New Feature!

I’ve often had the experience of optimizing a LinkedIn profile for someone and then getting an email like this: “I’m hearing from recruiters who found me on LinkedIn, and some of the openings are really interesting!”

I have a lot of tips for attracting recruiters. Here’s one you can easily implement on your own in just a few minutes.

Turn on LinkedIn’s new “Open Candidate” feature, which instantly makes you more findable by users of LinkedIn’s Recruiter subscription – while cleverly hiding you from your own company’s recruiters.

Here’s how to set up LinkedIn Open Candidate:

  1. Click the Jobs icon in the navigation bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. In the Jobs you may be interested in section, click Update preferences. Enter your preferences about workplace location, position level, industry and company size.
  3. If your job search is “under the radar”: In the Let recruiters know you’re open section, look for the little shield symbol and read the warning about how LinkedIn will – probably – protect you from having your own company’s recruiters see you as an Open Candidate. Click for more information and make sure you’re comfortable with the level of risk involved.
  4. Click (don’t drag) the toggle button to turn on Open Candidate.
  5. Once you’ve done that, a new set of questions appear. Answer those. See my tips below about how to make best use of the 300-character Introduction.
  6. Optionally, click the Share your profile toggle button. (You don’t have to do this in order to make use of Open Candidate, but it’s probably helpful.)
  7. Click Done.

What can you write in the Introduction box to grab recruiters’ attention? Focus this on one or more of your key selling points. If you’re not sure what those are, read the first chapter of my new book, Get That Job! The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview. Don’t have the book? Get Chapter 1 FREE when you subscribe to this blog.

Now, ready to hear from those recruiters?

Tell LinkedIn What You Want Changed! It’s Easy.

Are you annoyed, enraged or thrilled or just puzzled about LinkedIn’s new desktop layout? There are a lot of strong feelings about what’s been added – and removed! – in the new interface.

If you’re puzzled, read my post from last week about making the new layout work for you.

If you don’t entirely like the new look, then why not…

Let LinkedIn know what you want changed!

Here’s how.

  1. On your home page, just click the “More” link in the are to the right of the news feed. (See image.)
  2. Then click “Send Feedback” in the 3rd column from the left in the view that appears.
  3. From there, it’s self-explanatory – and very quick.

Of course there’s no guarantee you’ll get what you ask for – but you’ve got even less chance if you don’t ask!

LinkedIn’s New Look – 5 Steps to Make It Work for You

LinkedIn’s new desktop layout provides a more seamless experience across mobile and home – but will it make you look good?

Here’s what you need to do to ensure your profile is branding you the way you want it to – starting from the top and working our way down.

One: Brand Yourself with that Summary “Teaser.”

One of the first things someone viewing your profile will see, in the top box (often called the Snapshot), is the beginning of your Summary – the first 92 characters on mobile, 220 on desktop – along with a “See more” link. Not everyone will click to see more, so make sure those first words contribute to a relevant, positive first impression that supports your professional brand.

The truncation process eliminates line spaces, so you may find that those first 92/220 characters include words or sentences jammed together with no space in between, like this:

CATHY L. CURTISSustainability Consultant – Corporate Social Responsibility – Communicationscathylcurtis@gmail.com

To prevent that, use dashes or symbols (from the “Symbols” font on your computer) to separate the words, like this:

▒ CATHY L. CURTIS ▒ Sustainability Consultant – Corporate Social Responsibility – Communications –  cathylcurtis@gmail.com

Two: Pay Attention to Your “Articles and Activity.”

Since your recent posts and post “likes” now show up at the top of your profile, they’re much more noticeable. So make sure your posts support your professional brand. If you wouldn’t talk about a certain topic in a large meeting at work, don’t post it on LinkedIn. And if the last time you posted was a long, long time ago, it’s time to share some news or an interesting work-related article.

Three: With Job Descriptions Hidden, Make Sure Your Titles Speak for Themselves.

Your job descriptions are now hidden until the reader clicks for more. If there’s something super-important in the description – like the fact that “Analyst III” actually means you built websites – add some description to the job title field, in parentheses like this: “Analyst III (Web Development & Design)”.

That’s actually been a good idea all along, since job titles are a very important field to load with key words if you want your profile to come up high in searches for people with those skills.

Four: Claim Your Accomplishments.

Several sections that once were separate are now grouped under the heading “Accomplishments”:  Certifications, Courses, Honors / Awards, Languages, Patents, Projects, Publications, Test Scores and Organizations. You don’t need all of these things, of course. But by labeling them “Accomplishments,” LinkedIn has made them more important. Enough said.

Five: Be Aware of Other Changes.  

You no longer have a choice about the order of the sections. If previously you had Education or Certifications near the top of your profile to emphasize it, that’s no longer an option. Instead, use your Summary (especially those first 92/220 characters) to draw attention to what’s important.

Groups have not disappeared, but it’s less obvious how to find and interact with your Groups. Click the magnifying glass next to the search field at the top and then click the “Groups” tab that appears. Or scroll down to “Following” near the bottom of your profile and “See more.” Various changes have been made to how your Groups function, mostly to make it less spammy. Here’s more on that.

Advanced Search is still there, you just have to click the magnifying glass first.

The new Notifications page makes it easier to engage with post activity.

LinkedIn Posts is now called Articles and works differently in various ways. The bad news is that your articles are no longer shared with all your Connections. Here’s more info on changes in this area.   

Exporting your LinkedIn connections is now done under Account>Basics.

There’s a new messaging feature similar to Facebook Messenger with a chatbot for scheduling meetings with Google Calendar.

Tagging of contacts is no longer available, but you can do that and more with add-ons like Dux Soup.

Capitalize on the Power of LinkedIn to Build Your Brand

Despite Facebook’s recent entry into the job posting world, LinkedIn remains the preeminent professional networking site. Use it to your advantage!

Want Job Interviews? Be Online!

Want to Be Interviewed? Be Seen Online!Did you know this? A third of employers are less likely to interview you if they can’t find information about you online.

In a Harris Poll survey of 2,000 hiring and human resources managers nationwide, across industries and company sizes, 35% expressed this view. A solid 52% stated that they use social networking sites to research job candidates.

The numbers may actually be higher now; this poll was taken in 2015.

These employers aren’t necessarily looking for negatives like compromising photos or negative comments about the boss. Most of them are looking for evidence that supports your qualifications: a professional persona that demonstrates good judgment and networking skills. And they’re looking for “social proof”: LinkedIn recommendations and other positive comments about you.

It’s time to get on LinkedIn at the very least, whether or not you’re looking for a job right now. A good profile takes time: to get it written, to develop a good-sized network of connections and to obtain those so-important recommendations. Build it before you need it.

If you’re concerned about privacy or identity theft, learn how to be online safely rather than shying away automatically. Here are just a few tips: Don’t include your high school, mention your pet by name, or – god forbid! – post your full birth date, since financial institutions often ask for these facts to confirm identities. You may want to post a more general “metro area” location name, rather than your specific city. Consider carefully before posting your email address or phone number. And of course, use a very strong password that you don’t use for anything else.

After LinkedIn, you might consider other options that might fit your interests, occupation and needs: maybe an online portfolio, professional blog or personal (but professional!) website. Consider professional networking platforms beyond LinkedIn.

As for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the like, although these aren’t conceived as professional networking arenas, they can be useful if carefully curated to support your professional brand. If skillfully done (and that’s a big “if”), a blending of personal and professional interests on social media can help employers feel that they know and trust you.

And don’t be overwhelmed by all the possibilities. Start with one platform. For most people, LinkedIn is by far the most important place to be seen online. Create an excellent profile and gain the benefits of a professional online presence – attention from recruiters, job interviews, offers, and advancement of your career.

7 Ways to Use LinkedIn Recommendations to Impress Employers

6 Ways to Use LinkedIn Recommendations to Impress EmployersCan LinkedIn recommendations help you get a better job?

Absolutely. These powerful online testimonials are often seen very early in the hiring process, when they can contribute to first impressions – and even influence the decision to bring you in for an interview.

Look at it this way: what carries more weight to a prospective employer – your opinion about yourself (as expressed in your profile, resume, etc.), or what your past managers and customers say about you?

If you don’t have recommendations, request some (and give some, while you’re at it!).

Here are six smart ways to use LinkedIn recommendations to enhance your online presence and credibility:

1. Quote from them in your resume or cover letter.

Use very short, glowing excerpts – maybe 1-3 lines each. Insert one quote in a summary section near the top and/or another at the end of the resume. Or include a few within the experience, skills or education sections. Don’t overdo it.

2. Refer to them in interviews.

Use them to add a memorable sound bite: “You may have noticed the LinkedIn recommendation from my boss saying that I’m a miracle worker with Excel.”

Or to back up your own claim: “I really care about my clients – in fact, just last month, my client Tom Smith said those very words about me on LinkedIn.”

3. Quote a brief excerpt in your LinkedIn Summary.

This not only makes the summary more powerful, it also encourages the reader to scroll down and read the rest of that recommendation, and the others too.

“I’m honored that VP of Marketing Brenda Brown calls me ‘an endless innovator and incredibly fun to work with’ (see “Recommendations” below).”

4. Use them to “prove” your key selling points.

Let’s say the top three things you want employers to notice are (1) your track record of measurable results, (2) your advanced degree, and (3) your exceptional interpersonal skills.

Selling points (1) and (2) are verifiable facts. Point (3), however, is hard to prove to someone who has never met you. Get someone to vouch for those interpersonal skills in a recommendation.

5. Use them to counteract a possible negative in your profile.

For example, if you’re currently unemployed or have a gap in your work history, a positive recommendation from the boss can reassure prospective employers that your departure wasn’t due to poor performance.

6. Go beyond “what you did” to “how well you did it.”

It’s easy to describe your job duties, but harder to show what was special about the way you did your job. People who have worked with you can vouch for that, right there online for all to see.

7. Make sure your awesome testimonials will have plenty of chances to be seen by the right people.

Optimize your profile to be found by recruiters who are looking for an excellent candidate like you!

Used effectively, LinkedIn recommendations can be a powerful tool to enhance your credibility and get a new job.

Messaging via LinkedIn: Be a Pal, Not a PITA!

Messaging via LinkedIn: Be a Pal, Not a PITA!Have you ever wanted to send a message to a LinkedIn member you don’t know?

The ways to do this – and there are several – aren’t immediately obvious. That may be a good thing, perhaps limiting how often we hear from Strangers with Potentially Annoying Messages (SPAM).

(No, that’s not *really* the origin of the word “spam.”)

Who is this LinkedIn member you don’t know, but want to know? If you’re looking for a new job, he may be someone who is highly knowledgeable about your field and/or the companies in it. If you’re looking for new clients/customers, he may be a prospect, or someone with whom you could have a mutual referral relationship.

Rather than call this person your “target” – because we don’t want to be aggressive here – I’m going to call him your Prospective Professional Acquaintance through LinkedIn (PPAL).

Be a pal, not a PITA (Pain In The Anatomy). Be courteous. Make it clear what you have in common  and why they might find it interesting to be in contact with you.

Here are four methods.

Message the person through a group.

If your PPAL belongs to any groups you belong to you can message them through that group unless they have switched this capability off in their Settings. If you’re not a member of the group, why not join? You can always leave the group later if it doesn’t suit you.

Here’s how to message a fellow group member:

  • Click Interests at the top of your home page and select Groups.
  • Click the group’s name.
  • Click the Members tab.
  • Use the group’s Search box to find the person’s name in the list.
  • Click the Send Message link.
  • Write your message and click Send Message.

Send an InMail.

Little-known fact: You don’t need to upgrade your membership to send an InMail! You can simply send a single InMail message for $10.

  • Go to Privacy and Settings (by clicking your little thumbnail photo in the upper right corner of the screen).
  • In the “Inmails” box (top row, near center), click Purchase.

Invite her to join your network.

Go to the PPAL’s profile and click Connect. You can include a very brief message in your invitation. Of course, if she accepts, you can then message her freely.

In the form that opens next, you’ll be asked how you know her. The options are:

Colleague

Classmate

We’ve done business together

Friend

Groups

Other

I don’t know (name)

(The “Groups” option will not appear if you have no groups in common with her.)

Remember: Your PPAL is not your Friend (at least, not yet)! If you click “Friend” and you’re actually a stranger, this is likely to annoy her. If she rejects your request by clicking “I don’t know this person,” you may be restricted by LinkedIn, which is not a pleasant experience.

Ask to be introduced.

This method involves asking someone for a favor. Use your judgment in determining whether it’s appropriate.

Do you see a “2nd” or “3rd” icon near the target person’s name? (Look for it in the upper right corner of the “snapshot” portion of the person’s profile, which is the white box where their name and photo appears.) If so, you can proceed as follows.

  • Click the drop-down arrow next to the Send InMail button in the snapshot.
  • Select Get Introduced.
  • Follow the instructions. Read carefully, for example where it states “may get forwarded to (name of PPAL).” You are potentially writing to both people at once here!

A note about requesting introductions through a third-degree connection – somebody who knows somebody else, who in turn knows your PPAL: Obviously you have less chance of success here, and a not-insignificant chance of being perceived as a PITA. Use this feature with great care – or not at all!

For screenshots related to some of the above techniques, here’s a useful post on the Tech for Luddites blog.

Symbols to Liven Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Symbols to Use on Your LinkedIn ProfilePeople sometimes ask me where they can get the cool checkmarks (✔)  I use as bullets in my LinkedIn headline:

Job Interview Coach ✔ Job Search Strategist  ✔ Resume Writer ✔ LinkedIn Profiles ✔ www.TheaKelley.com

Unlike the thumbs-up stamp at left, the checkmark is not a graphic but a font character. It comes from the Symbol font, so you can type or paste it into any text field in LinkedIn.

Given that LinkedIn still doesn’t support boldface type, italics, or various other staples of the printed word, symbols can be handy for creating a little…

✫✫✫ EMPHASIS ✫✫✫

…where you need it.

(You’ll also notice that CAPITAL LETTERS are fairly common on LinkedIn, and may be appropriate given the limited options.)

In case you’d like to see all the possibilities of the Symbol font without having to type every character on your keyboard, I’ve included it below. (I found this list on the website of Social Sales Link, where you can actually copy the ones you want. You can also email me for a copy in Word.)

Now, are all of these symbols appropriate for your LinkedIn profile? Of course not, as I’m sure the SSL folks realize. For example, the symbols in the “Religious” and “Political” lists don’t belong in most people’s profiles. Smileys might seem a bit fluffy, and it’s hard to imagine why you would want the scissors icon in an online profile. But rather than censor this, I’m simply showing you the full list!

Symbols:

Smileys: ☹ ☺ ☻ ت ヅ ツ ッ シ Ü ϡ ﭢ

Love: ♥ ۵ 웃 유 ღ ♂ ♀

Phone: ✆ ✉ ☎ ☏

Scissors: ✁ ✂ ✃ ✄

Music: ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭ ♮ ♯ ° ø

Write: ✐ ✎ ✏ ✑ ✒ ✍ ✉ ⌨

Religious: ✡† ☨ ✞ ✝ ☥ ☦ ☓ ☩ ☯ ☧ ☬ ☸  ♁ ✙ ♆

Political: Ⓐ ☭ ✯ ☪ ☫ ✡ ☮ ✌

Question: ❢ ❣ ⁇ ‼ ‽ ⁈ ¿ ¡ ⁉ ؟

Chess: ♔ ♕ ♖ ♗ ♘ ♙ ♚ ♛ ♜ ♝ ♞ ♟

Cards: ♤ ♧ ♡ ♢ ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

Stars: ⋆ ✢ ✣ ✤ ✥ ❋ ✦ ✧ ✩ ╰☆╮ ✪ ✫ ✬ ✭ ✮ ✯ ✰ ✡ ★ ✱ ✲ ✳ ✴ ❂ ✵ ✶ ✷ ✸ ✹ ✺ ✻ ✼ ❄ ❅ ❆ ❇ ❈ ❉ ❊

Money: € £ Ұ ₴ $ ₰ ¢ ₤ ¥ ₳ ₲ ₪ ₵ 元 ₣ ₱ ฿ ¤ ₡ ₮ ₭ ₩ ރ 円 ₢ ₥ ₫ ₦ z ł ﷼ ₠ ₧ ₯ ₨ K č र

Hand: ☜ ☞☝ ☚ ☛ ☟ ✍ ✌

Copyrights: ™ ℠ © ® ℗

Yes: ☑ ✓ ✔ √

No: ☐ ☒ ✇ ✖ ✗ ✘ ✕ ☓

Weather :☼ ☀ ☁ ☂ ☃ ☄ ☾ ☽ ❄ ☇ ☈ ⊙ ☉ ℃ ℉ ° ❅ ✺ ϟ

Flower: ✽ ✾ ✿ ❁ ❃ ❋ ❀

Triangles: ▲ ▼ ◄ ► ◀ ◣ ◢ ◥ ▼ ◤ ◥ ▴ ▾ ◂ ▸ △ ▽ ◁ ▷ ⊿ ▻ ◅ ▵ ▹ ◃ ▿

Ratios :⅟ ½ ⅓ ⅕ ⅙ ⅛ ⅔ ⅖ ⅚ ⅜ ¾ ⅗ ⅝ ⅞ ⅘

Compare: ≂ ≃ ≄ ≅ ≆ ≇ ≈ ≉ ≊ ≋ ≌ ≍ ≎ ≏ ≐ ≑ ≒ ≓ ≔ ≕ ≖ ≗ ≘ ≙ ≚ ≛ ≜ ≝ ≞ ≟ ≠ ≡ ≢ ≣ ≤ ≥ ≦ ≧ ≨ ≩ ⊰ ⊱ ⋛ ⋚

Roman: Ⅰ Ⅱ Ⅲ Ⅳ Ⅴ Ⅵ Ⅶ Ⅷ Ⅸ Ⅹ Ⅺ Ⅻ Ⅼ Ⅽ Ⅾ Ⅿ ⅰ ⅱ ⅲ ⅳ ⅴ ⅵ ⅶ ⅷ ⅸ ⅹ ⅺ ⅻ ⅼ ⅽ ⅾ ⅿ

Circled: ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄ ➅ ➆ ➇ ➈ ➉ ➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐ ➑ ➒ ➓ Ⓐ Ⓑ Ⓒ Ⓓ Ⓔ Ⓕ Ⓖ Ⓗ Ⓘ Ⓙ Ⓚ Ⓛ Ⓜ Ⓝ Ⓞ Ⓟ Ⓠ Ⓡ Ⓢ Ⓣ Ⓤ Ⓥ Ⓦ Ⓧ Ⓨ Ⓩ ⓐ ⓑ ⓒ ⓓ ⓔ ⓕ ⓖ ⓗ ⓘ ⓙ ⓚ ⓛ ⓜ ⓝ ⓞ ⓟ ⓠ ⓡ ⓢ ⓣ ⓤ ⓥ ⓦ ⓧ ⓨ ⓩ

Remember: Hold your horses ♘♘♘♘♘ & don’t ☹ get carried away, okay?

Cute symbols are no substitute for the kind of relevant, engaging, well-written content that makes for a truly impressive profile.

LinkedIn Recommendations: Giving and Receiving

LinkedIn Recommendations: Giving and ReceivingIf you frequently read my blog, it must seem that I am always harping on the importance of having a LinkedIn profile with recommendations. The fact is, recommendations do impress prospective employers and other important career contacts.

Giving a recommendation is a great way to build relationship with a first-degree LinkedIn connection whose work you sincerely admire. It can also lead to receiving a recommendation in return, although reciprocity is not required and should not necessarily be expected.

Be aware that your recommendations of others can be read in your profile and, unless you choose otherwise in your Settings, they will appear in your Activity Broadcast (your automatic contributions to the LinkedIn Updates emails received by members). Only give recommendations that are accurate and deserved.

To get recommendations, ask for them! Your contacts may think very highly of your work, but may not be in the habit of giving recommendations. It may never have occurred to them.

The most important recommendations are generally from your direct supervisors and those above them. Internal and external customers are also very important. Once you have recommendations from these groups, recommendations from peers and direct reports will round out the impression.

To Give a Recommendation:

  1. Go to the person’s profile.
  2. Move your cursor over the triangular black arrow icon next to the square button(s) in the top section of the profile.
  3. Select Recommend and follow the step-by-step process.

To Request a Recommendation for Yourself:

  1. Consider contacting the person outside of LinkedIn first – via phone, email, etc. – to mention that you’ll be requesting a LinkedIn recommendation. This can give your request a more personalized feel and may increase the likelihood of a good response.
  2. In LinkedIn, go to the your contact’s profile, click the ” . . . ” button to the right of their profile photo, and select “Request a recommendation.”
  3. Select the appropriate relationship and position from the drop-down menus.
  4. Write a personalized message.
    • Be gracious; you are asking for a favor. At the same time, it may be a good idea to suggest specific aspects of your work you would like the person to comment on, or provide insights on why you are requesting  a recommendation at this time.
    • Pasting in something you have drafted “as a starting point” can be a big help for busy contacts, and increases your chances of getting the recommendation.
  5. Click Send.

Be patient. Recommendation requests don’t seem as urgent as other emails, so it may be several weeks before you get a response; or the recipient may not respond at all.

If you receive a recommendation you’re hesitant to use, you can either choose not to make it visible (e.g., if it consists of “faint praise”), or send it back to the person suggesting a small revision (“Can you mention the XYZ project?”) or with spelling errors corrected (“I just fixed a little typo – can you copy and paste this in?”). In the latter case, realize that you’re doing your contact a favor by helping them look good.

If you do receive a recommendation – even if you never post it – be appreciative! A handwritten thank-you note or card is a nice touch.

For an example of a LinkedIn profile with recommendations, here’s mine.

Get Back in Touch with a LinkedIn Recommendation

Refresh Your Connections by Giving a LinkedIn RecommendationWant to stay top-of-mind with your connections?

Networking and connections are the lifeblood of career management, but those connections go stale if you never get in contact – or worse, if you only call when you need something!

To nourish your connection with a former co-worker whose work you respect, give them a LinkedIn recommendation.

You can give those quick-click endorsements, too, but recommendations are more valuable. Here’s an explanation of the difference between endorsements and recommendations, and instructions for giving and receiving recommendations.

LinkedIn: 10 Tips for an Impressive Profile

10 Tips for an Effective LinkedIn ProfileEven if you’re not in job search mode, LinkedIn is essential as a place to make connections and communicate your value in the professional world.

To help you get the most out of LinkedIn, here are 10+ tips for creating a profile that will help you achieve your career goals.

 1. Consider your name. Will you be Thomas G. Brown, Tom G. Brown or Thomas Grant Brown? Before you even go to LinkedIn to sign up, do an internet search on various forms of your name and see what turns up. You want a clean, unique identity so you won’t be mistaken for anyone else. You may want to use the name most people know you by, for example Beth instead of Elizabeth.

2. Do upload a photo or other image of yourself. Use a good head-and-shoulders photo of yourself in business clothes. Smile and look approachable. If you’re concerned about age discrimination, invest in a really good professional photographer and tell them to make you look as young as possible through lighting and focus. Or use some other type of portrait. It’s not rare, especially among creatives, to see artfully computer-generated portraits that can be very flattering.

3. Use the Professional Headline to your advantage. You’ve got 120 characters (including spaces) to brand yourself. Don’t just use the default, which consists of your title and current company. Changing the headline at some later date when you’re interested in moving on may tip off your current employer; start with a forward-looking, customized tagline right from the beginning.

4. Write an engaging Summary. In a future post, I’ll go into detail about this crucial piece. For now, read this brief post from Jason Alba’s blog I’m On LinkedIn, Now What? Jason’s Summary is a good example, as is my own Summary.

5. Write full, compelling descriptions for your Experience section. Emphasize accomplishments. How did you make a difference? Include the most important keywords for your occupation and industry.

6. Be complete. Fill out every section unless you have a strategic reason not to do so.

7. Request recommendations. This is one of the most powerful and underutilized aspects of LinkedIn. Why not have supervisors and other management VIPs, clients, co-workers, teachers (if you’re a student) and others singing your praises? In an increasingly review-driven online world, recommendations boost your credibility. It’s easy to request recommendations once you find the links to click.

8. Get help from a writing professional, or at least a skilled proofreader. Very few of us can write a profile without any typos, grammatical errors or incorrect punctuation. You wouldn’t want to have a messy spot on your collar at a business event, would you? Don’t have one on your profile.

9. Understand the Privacy and Security Settings. Visit this section via the dropdown menu under the tiny photo of you at the upper right-hand corner of the profile. For many people the default settings are just fine; others will want to control how much of their information and updates are visible and broadcasted to their contacts.

10. Customize your URL. A cumbersome URL like “www.linkedin.com/put/your-name/17/525/527” looks a bit clueless. It’s easy to get a smooth URL like this: www.linkedin.com/in/theakelley. Just click “Edit” next to the URL under your picture and follow the instructions.

IMPORTANT BONUS TIP!

Don’t stop after filling out your profile! Join Groups and participate in discussions. Explore. Keep learning. Much has been written, and is still being discovered, about effective use of this powerful networking tool, and these tips are only a start.