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LinkedIn. Career Development 101. Using to. to build, maintain, & grow your personal career. Disclaimer.

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Career Development 101

using to

Using to

to build, maintain, & grow your personal career



I am an active user of LinkedIn. As a former HRIS manager I appreciate the high tech backbone of the site that provides a very low tech, user friendly, fully customizable, instantly updated, user defined presence.

travel with me through
Travel with me through
  • The shift of networking from when you need it to being part of your workweek
  • The acceptance of LinkedIn by the mainstream
  • Why you need to use LinkedIn
  • How you can use LinkedIn (nuts & bolts)
  • Development of strategies that suit your need AT THE TIME.
presentation considerations
Presentation Considerations
  • This presentation, less the Word docs, is available on my web site,, so take notes or not accordingly.
  • While I’m open to Q&As during the presentation, there’s a lot to cover. This subject tends to be very interactive with Q&A, because there is so much that you can customize.
  • We’ll combine PowerPoint, Word, with an Internet web site tour & some selected searches.
  • We’ll cover why there’s value in pursuing this effort, different strategies, & some nuts & bolts on how to do it. (Wide & deep presentation scope)
  • Are we ready to roll?
up front concerns
Up Front Concerns
  • Determine if your company has a policy on LinkedIn. If prohibited you can still have an anonymous account.
  • With the only limitation of the number of character spaces, you can customize nearly every aspect of the site to fit you.
  • To get your profile to 100% you’ll need at least several job instances (can be vague if necessary), your education, a few recommendations, and possibly joining a group or two

NYTimes To Customize Headlines For LinkedIn Users

by Michael Arrington on July 21, 2008

Adults and Social Network Websites

1/14/2009 | Memo  | Amanda Lenhart

The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years -- from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's December 2008 tracking survey.

linkedin collaboration
LinkedIn Collaboration
  • LinkedIn has a partnership with that includes a tool that lets users find LinkedIn connections at companies mentioned in BusinessWeek articles.
the move from thinking about places to people

Paradigm Shift

The move from thinking about places to people

Think brick and mortar to internet as an analogy

It started with kids & now is part of business. R U taking advantage of it?

the web 2 0 way to connect to those who need your services
The Web 2.0 way to connect to those who need your services
  • There are over 80 million people on Facebook and over 40 million on LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn is a searchable database
  • You can develop a network where you are recognized as a respected source of information
  • You can develop a network that utilizes the exponential growth of multi-level marketing

The Geocities vs. MySpace comparison not only demonstrates the commonalities between the internet of 1996 and 2006, but it also provides a point of departure for understanding concepts of online presence in the Web 2.0 era. While the Geocities model relied on the metaphors of a place (cities, neighborhoods, homepages), MySpace anchors presence through metaphors of a person (profiles, blogs, links to videos, etc.). Geocities encouraged us to create our own cities and neighborhoods as points of entry to our personal worlds; MySpace cuts to the chase and enables direct access to the person, as well as access to his or her social world. And whether we call the current world 2.0 or 10.0, there's no question that the internet of today will look positively beta to future generations.

Pew Research Center Publications


Four major use cases for LinkedIn

Let’s look at the four major use cases for LinkedIn and use that to assess how well their direction fits the market needs:

LinkedIn's Young & Rich Demographic - Does Today's Announcement Do Enough For Them?

Written by Bernard Lunn / December 10, 2007 11:03 AM


Use Case # 1. Be found. If you want a better job or you want clients for your consulting business, updating your LinkedIn profile is one of the better uses of your time online. Yes your online presence is scattered across multiple sites, but for the business user LinkedIn is probably the number one site you have to pay attention to. You can also link from there to your site and Blog if you have one, so this works for early adopters as well as late adopters whose only presence is LinkedIn. There is one subtle benefit compared to job boards, which also plays to the next use case, which is that you don’t have to declare that you are looking for a job. You just say “Hi, this is me”. This strengthens your negotiating position with a new employer and does not upset your current employer.


Use Case # 2. Recruit. LinkedIn is used by recruiting firms but also by internal hiring managers. The one big benefit of LinkedIn vs job boards is that you can use LinkedIn to search for the candidate that is not actively looking. This is critical in a tight job market (which we have today). This kind of database is a key reason we have used external recruiters in the past. I asked if LinkedIn was a threat to recruiters and got the usual answer about “the ones who use LinkedIn to add value are doing great” - which means it is a threat to their current way of working. I imagine LinkedIn is a significant threat to traditional job boards.


Use Case # 3. Selling through contacts to avoid cold calls.My experience, amplified by speaking to a few other people who have used LinkedIn for this purpose, is that it is highly valuable up to Level 2 but no further. It is very useful to me to search for a particular company that I want to sell to, refine that by job title, and then see which of my contacts knows somebody there. Or I can search for a specific person as in “who do I know who knows Joe Bloggs”? This is the use case that got me interested in LinkedIn and I wrote more about the experience here. The point is it is useful only up to that level of separation. If I see Level 3, it is usually not worth the bother. That is when I am asking “who do I know who knows somebody who knows Joe Bloggs.” So this use case is limited to people with already strong networks that work across multiple domains.


Use Case # 4. Finding an expert “just in time”. This is a potentially big use case that LinkedIn is exploring, but it does not seem big today. There are many specialists doing this. For example, Gerson Lehman Group does this primarily for investors (Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Venture Capital) looking to find an expert in a market or technology; Gerson Lehman acts as a form of broker and the expert gets paid per hour. There are also examples in specific niches. This use case seems small today but it has big potential and it also impacts the other use cases as follows:

a) if I am looking for a job but don’t want to advertise that fact, I will be motivated to answer questions that show off my expertise and get me noticed.

b) ditto if I am a consultant or working in a consulting business

c) ditto if I am selling something where I want to engage in a conversation first that shows I know what I am talking about

networking is no longer something you do only when you lose your job

Networking is no longer something you do only when you lose your job,

it’s something you do while you’re working, to work smarter, get known by people who can help your career, and minimize downtime if you have the misfortune of stepping into “in transition” land. It has become the new paradigm.

what is social networking
What is Social Networking
  • While the term can mean any interpersonal interaction, it has come to mean the use of the Internet to connect with people, anywhere, at any time. There are sites that emphasize the “social,” & those like LinkedIn that emphasize “business relationships & business intelligence.”
  • Several sites, like LinkedIn, have incorporated a twist on what used to be called “multi-level” marketing, originally designed to sell products & earn monetary percentages of those within your “down chain” network who made sales. In the social networking context, you are able to reach the contacts that your first level contacts make, as well the next level of contacts, 2 generations away from you. This compounding of numbers can generate a large network of contacts that you can communicate with on any subject.
networking quotes
Networking Quotes
  • One reason (among many) that women may well take over the world of "virtual enterprises" is that they seem to have a greater instinct for networking. And the unfettered-by-machismo males who have taken to networking will do better than those who shun it as "sissy stuff." But truth is, it has always been the age of "networkers"; and in an era where organizations depend more and more on tenuously connected outsiders to get the job done, it will only become so. -Tom Peters
networking quotes26
Networking Quotes
  • “Networking is an essential part of building wealth” Armstrong Williams
  • “The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity” Keith Ferrazzi
  • “The successful networkers I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals & feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other person’s needs ahead of their own.” Bob Burg

book: Keith Ferrazzi – Never Eat Alone

what linkedin is not
What LinkedIn is not
  • It is not another version of Facebook or Myspace
    • Without care these sites can do your personal reputation harm
      • (non-professional behavior indicators – reasons to consider you less than professional) (think sexy or wild party photos)
    • Google yourself. If you find something that is unflattering to your career do whatever you can to remove it from the web.
  • It is not a waste of time
  • It is not frivolous
why use linkedin
Why use LinkedIn?
  • LinkedIn brings your contacts closer
  • It exposes/connects you to more people
  • It helps you get answers to difficult issues of the day
  • It allows you to advertise not only your existence, but your unique value proposition
  • You can establish a reputation as an expert in your field
  • You become searchable, (if U choose) even when you’re only passively interested in other career opportunities
  • It enables you to stay in touch with those you network with in the physical world.
    • It helps cement the relationship
profile of linkedin users
Profile of LinkedIn users
  • Anderson Analytics study – 2008
    • Nearly 60% of users have incomes of $93K or more.
    • People with lots of connections tend to make more money, according to the study - those with incomes between $200-$350k were seven times more likely to have at least 150 connections than lower income users.

(I’m not validating these numbers or assumptions, just sharing them.)

how do you begin linkedin
How do you begin LinkedIn?
  • Sign on at, provide your e-mail address & a password.
  • Create your profile
    • Customize to market yourself & present those skills you want to highlight
    • Customize to show the fuller you by connecting to groups that help a paint a picture of you that you choose
    • Customize by establishing links to your own site, notable items about you on the net, etc.
    • Change the last portion of your LinkedIn profile from the assigned alphanumeric sequence to your name, with a numeric after it, if necessary, to make it more professional in appearance.


use of a photo in your profile
Use of a photo in your profile
  • If you use one, make sure it’s a professional one, not a party shot. Using a graphic instead accomplishes little.
  • Pros
    • It will definitely help the viewer remember you from networking events or previous LinkedIn mail transmissions. It’s the equivalent or a real world, tangible (warm & fuzzy) connection. We help remember each other by our faces.
  • Cons
    • Our society is full of biases, sometimes recognized, sometimes beneath the surface. They can include race, age, sex, weight, and even attractiveness.
  • Ultimately this is a very personal decision you have to make. On age, you can leave off some old jobs and the year you graduated college, but other biases are less easy to work around. Think the issue through and do what feels right for you. You don’t have to use a photo, but it does adds a layer of depth.
  • In order to get your profile to 100% you will need to get some recommendations.
  • Contact your past supervisors, peers, and previous business partners and ask them if they would be willing to provide you with a recommendation
  • If so, ask them to develop a “minimum” LinkedIn account and let you know when it’s accomplished. Subsequently send them a recommendation request through LinkedIn.
utilize your linkedin profile link
Utilize your LinkedIn profile link
  • By clicking on your LinkedIn profile link anyone can be brought to a slightly abbreviated version of your LinkedIn profile, & subsequently click on your full profile, if they choose.
    • Put it on your business card
    • Use it on your resume & cover letters
    • Use it in your e-mail signature block
  • Yes. Shameless self promotion. If not you, who will tout your accomplishments?
using linkedin groups pick your strategy
Using LinkedIn groups(Pick your strategy)
  • Strategy A – Join groups with a large number of members
    • This will boost your network quickly.
  • Strategy B – Join groups that reflect your different interests
    • Presents you as a complete person.
  • Strategy C – Join groups that reflect what you would like viewers to see to mold their perception of you.
    • Presents you as you would like others to see you.
  • Be aware of the new LinkedIn limit of 50 groups.
using linkedin groups cont
Using LinkedIn groups (cont)
  • Discussion groups
    • Post & answer questions
    • Develop recognition among your peers
    • Utilize the multitude of opinions available from around the world to help gain a macro perspective to local issues.
  • Join physical world groups where you have a connection to enhance relationships, when they have their own LinkedIn groups.

Suncoast Human Resource Management Association Chapter #0238

For Instance

The mission of the Suncoast Human Resource Management Association (SHRMA) is to provide a forum for professional development opportunities, to support human resource professionals, and reinforce and endorse the values of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) at the local level.

how can you improve your visibility on linkedin
How can you improve your visibility on LinkedIn?
  • In the “Question” area find your area of expertise, look for questions that you’re comfortable with, and answer them with as much care and generosity of your time as you can.
  • Get previous supervisors, peers, &/or subordinates to “recommend you.” This is definitely needed to build your profile to 100%.
  • The former helps label you an “expert” and the latter helps substantiate what you say about yourself, giving third party reviewers more comfort in accepting what you present.
recognition as expert
Recognition as “Expert”
  • To become an Expert on LinkedIn you answer posed questions. If your answers are deemed to be the best answers by the person who posted the question, that person designates you as an Expert. Repeated occurrences leads LinkedIn to designate you as an Expert.
what can you do on linkedin
What can you do on LinkedIn?
  • Search for people who work in the company that you have targeted and engage them in conversation – company culture, intro for an informational interview, leads on company research to enhance your interview.
  • Talk with people who left a company you’re interested in and try to get the reason they left or some insider information. Remember, everyone has different values & hot buttons, what upsets John may roll off Tom’s back.
what else can you do on linkedin
What else can you do on LinkedIn?
  • Reconnect with people you haven’t seen in 20 years
  • Engage your peers in subject matter focused blogs
  • Talk to people in other countries about cultural differences & similarities
quality versus quantity discussion
Quality versus Quantity discussion
  • Quality – connect only with those you know & trust
    • Pros – Messages you send can be quality enhanced by having your contacts praise you, along with your message, it adds power and interest to your message.
    • Cons – It’s slow to develop your network in this manner.
  • Quantity – connect with as many people as you can
    • Pros – Develop your network quickly
    • Cons – You have to rely on strangers to pass your messages along, …. or do you?
      • (paid account upgrade alternative)
what is a lion
What is a “LION”
  • One acronym, two translations, same meaning
    • Leading International Open Networkers
    • LinkedIn Open Networkers
  • The meaning is clear:
    • Individuals who self identify themselves, usually in their own LinkedIn name “title,” do so to convey the fact that are willing and eager to accept invitations. They may still self-police the incoming requests, but in general their purpose is to build their network quickly, accepting most invitations. They want to network aggressively.
a blended approach
A Blended Approach
  • Like good scotch, a blend of the quality and quantity approach can help you achieve the positive aspects of both approaches.
    • Pro – You build a large network in a fraction of the time
    • Con – You have to “rely on the kindness of strangers”
      • You’ll find that 70% of members want to help each other, either for karma or graciousness
      • If your network is large enough, you can attempt contact with many people in one company, increasing chances that one will respond to your request, even if they don’t know you or your contacts.
adding connections
Adding connections
  • There is a degree of peril when inviting connections that you do not know personally.
  • On the receiving end of a LinkedIn invitation the recipient can choose any of the following:
    • Accept invitation
    • Archive
    • I don’t know (your name)
  • If your invitations receive too many “I don’t know your name (IDKs)” responses, LinkedIn may cut off your ability to acquire new connections. Accordingly, always include some language in your invitation similar to “… if you are not interested in connecting with me, please click the archive button, otherwise I will be penalized and not be able to connect with great people like you.”
invites what they don t tell you
Invites, what they don’t tell you
  • LinkedIn limits the number of invitations that you can send to 3,000. Beyond that it prevents you from sending invites.
  • HOWEVER, there is no limit on how many invites you can accept. There are people on the site who claim to have over 20,000 first level connections. Tactically seeking out who you would like to connect with, either by your invitation, or by asking them to send you an invitation, takes some thought and finesse. LinkedIn has just set a limit of 30,000 first level contacts.
OK. Profile built, network building, questions answered, recommendations sought, you finally get to 100% profile build position.
  • Reality check:
    • The profile can be built in a day
    • Being really aggressive you can build a big network in about 6 to 8 weeks
    • Getting old contacts to recommend you can be slow
    • Maintaining your network can take as much time as growing it, if you choose to. There’s a train of thought that you need to maintain your network continually, because you never know what life event may change your circumstances.
every day linkedin activity
Every day LinkedIn activity
  • Get Linked with everyone in all of the organizations to which you belong. Ask your phone book contacts to join you.
  • If one of your organizations has a “group” on LinkedIn, connect to it and participate in the discussion area.
every day linkedin activity cont
Every day LinkedIn activity (cont)
  • At EVERY networking event, at the end of your discussion with a new connection, ask them if they are on LinkedIn & would they like to connect. If they do:
    • Send them a LinkedIn invite & ALWAYS customize it, referencing where you met them and any details of your conversation to help them remember you.
    • To cement the relationship further, after they accept, send them a thank you note. In the note, ask them if they know anyone, in or out of LinkedIn, who might be able to help you in your client search. The business pitch should be soft pedaled and the giving aspect of networking emphasized. It’s referred to as the law of reciprocity (a.k.a. the Giver’s Gain Principle also called Pay It Forward). Give first, receive second.
periodic linkedin activity
Periodic LinkedIn Activity
  • Send low threat or warm correspondence to your first level on a regular basis to stay in touch or make them aware of something new. Giving tends to get more respect & attention than asking.
  • Send “Thank You” scripts to those who accept your invitations or those who invite you
  • Send “Occasion” correspondence to keep in touch
business intelligence on linkedin
Business Intelligence on LinkedIn
  • Premise: either because you have an interview or you want to prepare for your encounter with a new contact in a particular company
    • Go to Search “People”
      • Type in “company name” or “company name + geographic location”
    • Go to “Companies”
      • Search industries
      • Get company specific information & information concerning your contacts who have left or joined the company
business intelligence on linkedin cont
Business Intelligence on LinkedIn(cont)
  • When you’ve found one or more person who work('s) or worked for the company that you’ve targeting, send them LinkedIn mail, either through your connections, or directly, if you’ve paid to upgrade your membership.
  • As politely as you can, ask about their company culture, the style of management, the formality/informality of the organization, or any other piece of information not available through internet research. How does the decision making process work in this company? The more research you have on your target company the better your ultimate interview is likely to go.
linkedin as part of your self promotion strategy
LinkedIn as part of your self promotion strategy
  • Develop your profile as you would like other to see you.
    • If you get a positive performance appraisal ask your supervisor if he/she would mind posting it to your LinkedIn profile
    • Highlight results oriented accomplishments as you would with a resume
    • Identify your interests, volunteer activities, & leadership roles
    • Networking must be done all the time.
    • Link your company website to your profile so viewers get to know you by your association with the company.
    • If you develop your own web site, use LinkedIn to help drive professionals to it, and promote it.
    • Remember the “Pay it Forward” mentality.
linkedin as part of your self promotion strategy cont
LinkedIn as part of your self promotion strategy (cont)
  • Use the new LinkedIn side applications
    • Amazon book list – helps add a color commentary of your different interests, presenting a more well rounded you.
    • Google Presentation – post some of your white paper/Power Point work
    • Miscellaneous Apps for sharing and monitoring data
time management
Time Management
  • LinkedIn is a wonderful tool. This presentation focuses on its use in a career development. It’s also useful for establishing warmer cold calls. It’s great for gathering business intelligence. It’s great to stay connected with people as you move from job to job, or from state to state, because people want to maintain their connections & network.
  • However it is only one tool. LinkedIn & on-line social networking should take no more than 20% of your week if you’re working. For those in transition, join LinkedIn with your networking events in the physical world, to solidify those contacts. A blended strategy is the most successful approach.
  • Consider doing most of your LinkedIn work after normal working hours, so it doesn’t interfere with daily business or networking opportunities.
good luck
Good Luck!

Remember that once found, new contacts need to be nurtured.

Feel free to download this presentation from the “white paper” section of my website:


Get Connected, Stay Connected