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The definitive-guide-to LinkedIn


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The definitive-guide-to LinkedIn

  1. 1. Researched and Compiled by THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO
  2. 2. CONTENTS PAGE Executive Summary by Mike Saunders LinkedIn Profile Why LinkedIn? Why create a 100% profile? How do you create the perfect LinkedIn Profile? Company Profile Your Company Page/Profile Company Page Tabs Benefits of a Company Page/Profile Get Connected Now get connected! Using your LinkedIn Profile Mistakes to avoid What is the difference between a CV and your LinkedIn Profile? LinkedIn Etiquette Using the LinkedIn iPad app LinkedIn Recruiter: Corporate Edition Thanks and acknowledgements References About DigitLab LinkedIn Statistics: SA LinkedIn Statistics: Africa THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn
  3. 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn LinkedIn is by far the most useful business network on the internet. I say this because LinkedIn has grown from a social network that connects professionals into a powerhouse of business tools that can improve your bottom line. The business of LinkedIn shows in its share price, currently at $98.52, compared to Facebook, who is currently trading at $31,91. * LinkedIn offers advertising solutions that help target business professionals to ensure your content reaches the right individuals. It also offers services that help you connect with the right people and strategically build your network. The real benefit and business value comes in their main revenue driver, LinkedIn Recruiter. LinkedIn allows people to brand themselves online and build a profile that will help them secure a great career in the future. This means that the information available about candidates is rich and deep, helping employers get a better feel of the candidate before calling them in for an interview. These branded business professionals reveal a new competitive advantage to headhunt our employees instead of opening up all prospective positions to large amounts of ‘job spam’. Finally, we now have a way to find and approach those hard to find passive candidates. It has become clear that having a LinkedIn profile is no longer optional, but an imperative for the success of your career in the future. That’s why we decided to put this guide together, to help business professionals profile themselves correctly on LinkedIn. We hope you enjoy this guide and that it helps you get another step closer to realising your business and career dreams. Kind Regards, Mike Saunders CEO of DigitLab * share price quoted from Bloomberg on the 29th May 2012 Mike Saunders
  4. 4. LinkedIn PROFILE
  5. 5. LinkedIn PROFILE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn WHY LINKEDIN? LinkedIn is a powerful online tool which allows you to market yourself as a professional within your industry by showcasing your accomplishments, skills, knowledge, and expertise. This professional network, which is built around your employment capabilities, allows you to connect with others and learn from those in your field of work, by adding them as ‘connections’. The unique attraction to LinkedIn includes the offer to access specific demographics – those interested in professional networking. If your aim is to build relationships and grow your knowledge of industry trends, you’ll need to join the other 1,6 million South Africans who are currently ‘LinkedIn’. Currently LinkedIn is ranked as South Africa’s 8th most visited website by South Africans. LinkedIn has grown by 45% in membership from 2011 to 2012 and it’s predicted this growth is only going to continue over the next few years. WHY CREATE A 100% PROFILE? “Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. There is a direct correlation between how complete your profile is and higher search ranking. Yes, this is HUGE!” says Donna Serdula, author of LinkedIn Makeover. Your LinkedIn profile should be optimised with other professionals, potential employers and clients, and even existing clients in mind. What’s the big deal about a complete profile? For one, it could affect your future job opportunities as well as your overall identity on the internet. LinkedIn let us know earlier this year that there is a new way to measure profile completeness, and the following are the key areas you should focus on: • Your industry and location • Up-to-date current position (with description) • Two past positions • Education • Skills (a minimum of 3) • Profile photo • At least 50 connections. Chris Brogan has also weighed in on how to make your LinkedIn profile work for you: • Fully complete your profile – leave no gaps • Edit your profile to claim your public profile – your link should be short and have your name at the end (http:// • Make your profile publicly available on all levels • Make connections and request recommendations • Register a company profile if it doesn’t exist already • Make use of the three website hyperlinks – for example: your website, company website, and your blog • Join related groups • Use LinkedIn Answers – to build reputation in your field • Optimise your job title. Mike Saunders suggests that one of the most valuable elements to complete your profile is often overlooked. The ability to request recommendations from your connections is a great way to show credibility and store your recommendation for future use in other documents. HOW DO YOU CREATE THE PERFECT LINKEDIN PROFILE? The first step is to get prepared by researching profiles of professionals in your field. Be sure to examine well-organised, effective, and simple profiles. Focus on examining your skill-set from the perspective of a potential employer and/or client. Write your skills with the intention of answering the questions, “Why should I hire you?” and “Why do I want to connect with this person?” Create an outline by noting positions you’ve held in chronological order. Make sure you look through the above lists and note some attributes that set you apart in your field. The second step is building your profile. Now that you have a clear idea of where you are headed and what you have to offer – you can make your profile stand out. Here’s how: • Display your photo This needs to be done to firstly prove you are real and that your profile is credible; not displaying a photo raises questions. If you have something to hide, you wouldn’t want to participate in this form of social
  6. 6. LinkedIn PROFILE CONTINUED THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn networking. Avoid using social snapshots, but rather a standard/professional headshot is the preferred option. • List your full name and create a public profile Claim your unique public profile name and avoid the long link. Be creative and use your middle initial or full middle name if your name was already taken. If you want to edit your public profile, click “Edit Profile” and go to “Public Profile”, then click “Edit”. You will now be able to delete that generic link and fill in your name. • Create a professional headline This is the space underneath your name on your profile. Make sure you do not just put your company name and job title here. The point of this is to brand yourself and to create a way for people to find you in search engines. It should be a marketing phrase, not your job title. Remember to tell people about the value you add, not just “what you do”. • Write a professional summary Introduce yourself to the world. Why would you want to have a presence on a social networking platform, but not introduce yourself? This summary needs to show who you are, what you do, and why you are unique. It also needs to convey something of your personality. • List your work experience And don’t forget details. Your profile is not complete if you are only listing your current place of work, and if you are not including details of your position. It does not need to be a full resumé. Enough detail is shown with a one sentence summary explaining your role at each organisation you’ve worked for – just enough for the potential reader to understand where you worked and what your job entailed. It is to your advantage to list as much detail about your experience at each company as possible in order to appear more frequently in search results. • Include educational information It is important to display high school and tertiary education details so that people understand where you have come from. • Include skill set under Skills and Expertise The more skills you can list, the better – but be honest. One day you might work with the people who read your profile and you need to follow through on what you are promoting. • Additional information This is where you will include three websites and your Twitter profile – a good opportunity to brand yourself and your business. Link to your personal website, company website, and blog. Also include your interests and honours/awards. Quick SEO Tip: If you have a blog or website, select the option “other” under the type of link and then write the preferred search term you would like to rank for, i.e. instead of having the words “company website” linking back to your website, you create the link “professional accounting services”. It won’t miraculously push you to the top of the Google rankings, but it will help. • Personal information Information about you, such as your birthday and marital status. • Contact settings Why have you established your presence on LinkedIn and what is your objective? If you want to be contacted, say so. In order to network, it pays to be open to potential opportunities. The third step is to register your company profile, although this only applies if your company is not on LinkedIn. Request to create their profile if that is the case – this also makes it easier when trying to connect with colleagues.
  8. 8. COMPANY PROFILE THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn YOUR COMPANY PAGE/PROFILE Over 100 million professionals are following more than 1.9 million companies on LinkedIn. The reason for following companies on LinkedIn is to stay in the loop with new developments, compare products and services, track potential business opportunities, and keep an eye out for job openings. Members are notified of such developments via network updates or emails. When members want to know more about your company, they look to your Company Page on LinkedIn. COMPANY PAGE TABS • Overview A friendly introduction to your brand. • Careers A unique opportunity to interact with millions of passive and active job seekers on LinkedIn. • Products and Services Highlight products and services that are relevant to your target audience. • Analytics This is visible only to you, as an administrator of your Company Page. Use this tab to begin understanding your followers. BENEFITS OF A COMPANY PAGE/PROFILE • A powerful way to reach millions of professionals through word-of-mouth recommendations and trusted testimonials • An opportunity to reveal the human side of your company • Provides a peek at the individuals behind the brand • Highlights how members use your products in their daily lives to solve real problems • Provides tools to bring your brand to life • A Company Page can answer the following questions – What is the company really like? Who has recommended their products and why? Should I work for them? • Grow and engage your followers – this is done by status updates, blog posts, Twitter updates, YouTube videos, special offers, and more. • Benefit from the buzz about your products. Each time a member endorses your product or service, their recommendation becomes visible to all of their connections and could spread virally. • Promote your employment brand by creating and updating your Careers Tab. You will need to upgrade your LinkedIn account to Premium to have the full advantage of this extra feature.
  10. 10. GET CONNECTED THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn NOW GET CONNECTED! Once your profile is set up, you need to get connected and find people that you network with both on and offline. Find your connections from the past, as well as your present connections. Be intentional with your connections – make a point of connecting with people you met that day, or at a conference last week. The LinkedIn ‘profile completeness’ rule used to require that people receive three recommendations in order to get to 100% profile completion, but this is not stipulated in the new rules. Getting recommendations is still important to include in your profile though, as it shows other professionals opinions of you, your work, and your character. You should get at least one recommendation for every position that you’ve held. USING YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE A stagnant social profile does more harm than good. Once your profile is complete, focus on the following: • Post frequent but relevant status updates • Be active on LinkedIn Answers and demonstrate your business acumen by answering questions from other members. When questioners choose another user’s answer as best, that user gains points of expertise. These points rank members on the Answers leader board, titled “This Week’s Top Experts” • Make connections – actively seek to grow your professional network • Join groups related to your field of work and interests • Get recommendations – one or more per position • Create a LinkedIn signature to use in your email footer • Constantly update your profile – especially when you change positions or companies • Use LinkedIn to job search when you are in the market for a new position • Re-arrange the order of your LinkedIn profile by clicking “Edit Profile”. Drag any section to where you would like it to appear. For example, some people may prefer their education to appear closer to the top (usually because this is what lures people to hire you) or you may want to highlight your work experience. Watch the video for an explanation: MISTAKES TO AVOID There are common mistakes that many people make in setting up their LinkedIn profile. Things to avoid include: • Blurry or ‘weird’ profile pictures, or not displaying a picture at all • Poor punctuation • A half-written profile – make sure you list enough previous work experience and schools attended • An unbranded professional headline – this appears in search results next to your name so don’t just put your company name and job title here • Boring status updates • Less than three recommendations • Too few connections • Not listing three websites, which is a good way to provide even more information to potential employers and to your connections • Not claiming your unique URL • No branded summary rich with keywords • No job descriptions. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CV AND YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE? Usually your resumé or curriculum vitae wouldn’t be more than two pages and might only be viewed by potential employers that you have specifically sent it to. A LinkedIn profile however can be as long as you want and it’s in the public eye for everyone and/or anyone to see. When people search for anything in relation to your professional headline or your name, you could potentially appear in the search results. LinkedIn profiles are used primarily for networking, whereas resumés are used to land employment. LinkedIn profiles have headshots, whereas the majority of CVs do not. LinkedIn profiles should provide a good overview of your professional experience, whereas resumés and CVs should be tailored for each specific job you apply for.
  11. 11. GET CONNECTED CONTINUED THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn LINKEDIN ETIQUETTE Part of LinkedIn’s own philosophy is that you should know your contacts personally before deciding to add them as a connection. LinkedIn’s view is that your connections are a reflection of who you are as a professional. As with any social networking though, there are always extremists. LinkedIn’s extremists are called LIONs i.e. LinkedIn Open Networkers. A LION adds anybody and everybody as a connection, regardless of whether or not they actually know them. USING THE LINKEDIN IPAD APP Akhilesh Gupta, Software Engineer at LinkedIn, shares some light on the new iPad app for LinkedIn: “LinkedIn just released a brand new iPad app built using HTML5, backbone.js, and underscore.js. The app includes a rich stream of information which is a combination of network updates, group posts and news articles. The user can also switch to specific streams like Co-Worker updates or news articles from a specific category.” The first LinkedIn iPad app, launched on 26 April 2012; it brings a brand new look and feel to the social network. New features include the calendar widget on the left hand side of your home updates screen. “It pulls in appointments from your iPad’s calendar (with your permission of course) and displays the LinkedIn profiles of the people you’re going to meet with,” says Steve Kovach. It’s a great new layout, with your stories and updates appearing in a similar way to that of Flipboard. Many people are shocked when they hear that 95% of the LinkedIn iPad app is mobile web and not native. “Only one screen in the entire LinkedIn iPad app is actually native. The rest is good ol’ HTML5-based mobile web technology, running in the browser and leaning heavily on Node.js,” says Jolie O’Dell.
  12. 12. LinkedIn RECRUITER
  13. 13. LINKEDIN RECRUITER THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn CORPORATE EDITION Learn how to find the world’s best passive talent by viewing this video: Wondering how to find and contact your ideal passive candidates? • Get unlimited access to names and full profiles. • Find the best candidates, much faster. Zero in on the best passive candidates using powerful search refinement filters which target candidates precisely based on company, skills, industry, or keywords. • Boost your recruiting productivity. Up to 50 search alerts let you spot new talent automatically. • Manage your pipeline by using the Project Folders to stay on top of each search. Set reminders on profiles to follow up with candidates of interest. • Keep your team on the same page. Team members will get visibility into their colleagues’ projects, notes, and communication history with candidates, avoiding duplication of effort. • Contact candidates using InMail (LinkedIn’s trusted messaging environment).
  15. 15. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Putting together a report like this is the work of number of people and organisations. We would like to take this opportunity to thank those involved. Corporate Recruitment Mandi, Darren, Meegan and Steve for all the blood, sweat and tears put into this project. REFERENCES • Serdula, Donna. 2011. LinkedInMakeover. • Brogan, Chris. 2008. Make Your LinkedIn Profile Work for You. URL: • Worthington, Sue. 2010. 10 Steps To The Perfect LinkedIn Profile. URL: • Myers, Grace. 2011. Get Noticed: 5 Steps to Writing a Perfect LinkedIn Profile. URL: • Gibbons, Kevin. 2009. 10 LinkedIn Tips to Optimise your Profile. URL: • Schaffer, Neal. 2009. LinkedIn Profile Tips: The 10 Mistakes You Want to Avoid and Why. URL: • Doyle, Alison. LinkedIn Profile: Use Your LinkedIn Profile as a Resume. URL: • LinkedIn for iPad. URL: • LinkedIn launches A Killer New iPad App. URL: • You’ll never believe how LinkedIn built its new iPad app (exclusive). URL: • Top 20 websites in South Africa 2012. URL: • LinkedIn Corporate Recruiting Systems. URL:
  16. 16. ABOUT
  17. 17. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LinkedIn ABOUT DIGITLAB DigitLab is a Digital Marketing and Social Media Agency who believes in breaking past the technology on the internet and engaging directly with customers with great value propositions. DigitLab has a wealth of experience working both nationally and internationally for some of the world’s leading organisations. We have helped businesses navigate the world of digital and social media through our robust process of clear strategy, flawless action and insightful research. STRATEGY This division, headed by our CEO Mike Saunders, designs strategic engagement plans to reach customers in various markets including Business to Business and Youth Marketing. Our strategic minds have also been instrumental in helping business move into the social age by building employee engagement models to build an organisation’s return on investment through social media technology. ACTION Our skilled team of digital artists ensure that every aspect of your project is implemented flawlessly right down to the last line of code. Our focus remains to use technology to connect with people so our action is always directed to creating great experiences that lead to predetermined objectives. RESEARCH DigitLab has a fully fledged research department that focuses on analysing client projects and finding opportunities to improve on the positive impact the project is making. We are also dedicated to growing the industry’s knowledge by providing research reports to the public. A few of our fantastic clients: ABOUT MIKE SAUNDERS Mike Saunders is the CEO of DigitLab and his interest lies in how people use technology, believing that technology is only useful if people use it. Understanding how people use technology helps business use technology to build value into peoples lives. Creating better experiences, more useful products, deeper relationships and more engaging ideas. An international speaker, Mike has an entertaining, relaxed, personalandengagingpresentationstyle.Hehasworkedwith some of the worlds most prestigious organisations. Along with his experience in business, Mike has also contributed to leadership programmes for Gordon’s Institute of Business (GIBS). Mike has been at the forefront of business transitioning into a world of social technology and has been a key part of important projects looking into the use of social technology in marketing campaigns, internal communications, social learning, leadership development, knowledge management, collaboration, project management and enterprise social media. Acknowledged by his peers as one of the Top 20 South Africans to follow on Twitter, Mike has won the respect of business by his determined approach to helping business navigate a diverse and complicated world of people and technology. Mike is often called on by business magazines and websites to comment on technology, social media and Generation Y. He blogs at and can be found on: As an entrepreneur and businessman, Mike has built DigitLab into one of South Africa’s premier digital marketing companies and he is a partner at TomorrowToday where he contributes to the future world of work as a speaker and consultant.