LinkedIn 101 eBook


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An easy guide to getting started on LinkedIn and leveraging it to accelerate your career

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LinkedIn 101 eBook

  1. 1. LinkedIn 101 About this eBook LinkedIn 101 is brought to you by the EMC Global Services Career Center (EMC Internal). This eBook was created on January 12, 2010. To check for new versions, and to download podcasts, templates and more, visit About the Authors This eBook was written by Kimberly Greco and Chris Ferdinandi. Kimberly is an English and Business student at New York University. She is also an HR intern at EMC, and works with the GS Career Center on EMC|One. Chris is an HR professional at EMC, and manages the GS Career Center on EMC|One. Photo Credits The images in this ebook were provided by:  LinkedIn  stock.xchng  François Bouchet EMC Global Services Career Center 2 / 13
  2. 2. LinkedIn 101 What is LinkedIn? LinkedIn is an online network of experienced professionals from around the world. As of 2010, membership exceeded 55 million individuals representing over 170 fields and 200 countries, as well as every Fortune 500 company. But that’s just scratching the surface. LinkedIn is really a multi-layered career community. Think of LinkedIn as an electronic resume combined with an ongoing networking event. At its core, the site allows you to create a profile detailing your work experience, education, and recommendations by your peers. But you can also join groups and engage in discussions with other professionals. You can browse profiles, connect, and share ideas. The result is a powerful career development tool. LinkedIn makes building, and maintaining professional relationships much easier. The connections you make will help you throughout your career. EMC Global Services Career Center 3 / 13
  3. 3. LinkedIn 101 Getting Started Filling out your profile This is the resume part of LinkedIn. The most important thing you can do is fill out your profile completely. Profiles that are 100 percent complete are 40 times more likely to be viewed than ones that are only 90 percent complete. As a best practice, use your real name and set your profile to “full view”. This will allow others to find your profile when they search for you. Adding a picture also substantially increases the chances that your profile will be viewed. This is a brilliantly easy way to broaden your audience. Profiles with pictures are more visually appealing and will spark curiosity about your written content as a result. It’s a great way to showcase your personality, and improve your chances of making new connections. At the top of every profile on LinkedIn (beneath your name) is a headline. Think of this as your “professional tagline.” You should write a tagline that describes your professional niche and current occupation. EMC Global Services Career Center 4 / 13
  4. 4. LinkedIn 101 Two Approaches to Writing Your Headline:  “Sr. Program Manager at Intel Corp” – Jeff Hodgkinson  “Work Smart. Be Heard. Be Remembered. Passionate Writing & Communications Strategist | Author | Screenwriter” – Liz Isaacs You can be as traditional or creative with your headline as you choose. Stating your job title and indicating where you are employed is perfectly effective. What was your reaction to the two examples above? Which is truer to your personal style? Whose profile would you click first? It’s also very important to include your education. If you do not provide this history, people will assume it didn’t happen. Describe your work experience. LinkedIn helps you build out this section by letting you upload your current resume, but don’t stop there! Each job entry should define the company you worked for, explain what you did there, and summarize the impact your work made. The goal here is to create a picture of the value you can add to other professionals. Write a summary. Think of this as your elevator pitch infused with keywords. This section should provide a high-level overview of what you do in your current position and what you’re looking to do in the future—what you’re about! EMC Global Services Career Center 5 / 13
  5. 5. LinkedIn 101 What are keywords? Search engines like Google and Yahoo—as well as the search function in LinkedIn— use keywords to generate results. For instance, if you conduct search on Google, the first sites you find will be those that are rich in the words included in your search. The same principle applies to your LinkedIn profile. If you create a profile that includes keywords that you want to be associated with and believe define your work, your profile will be located when other professionals search for those terms. Weaving keywords into your summary is a delicate task. Strive for a balance between using your own voice and “resume speak.” For a great example of a LinkedIn profile that balances keywords and natural voice, check out Jeff Hodkinson’s award winning profile. Presentation is almost as important as content. The online nature of LinkedIn changes the game here. Particularly on a screen, no one wants to squint at a page-long sea of text. Block out your content into as many manageable, concise sections as you need. Remember: You do not need to fill all the space you are given. Round out a strong profile by completing the achievements section. Listing any honors, awards, or recognition you have received will help demonstrate your credibility. EMC Global Services Career Center 6 / 13
  6. 6. LinkedIn 101 Building your contacts When you’re constructing your network, you don’t have to start from scratch. LinkedIn can import your contacts from Outlook or web e-mail. By doing this, you can begin connecting with the people you already know. EMC Global Services Career Center 7 / 13
  7. 7. LinkedIn 101 Building Relationships Building a profile on LinkedIn is essential, but nurturing your existing relationships and forming new connections is where the real power of the site lies. There are two ways to network—and only one will grow your career. The first type of networking is passive, the equivalent of collecting business cards and tossing them in your desk drawer until you need a favor. Active networking is about sharing ideas, helping others, and adding value to your connections. By sharing information and ideas, and helping others voluntarily, you can develop a coalition of professionals who are ready to jump to your aid should you need it. How to Network Actively Update your status. On LinkedIn, you can update your profile to let your community know what you are working on, thinking about, or learning about. Update your status to share links to quality articles and blogs, or let people know whatyou’re doing at work. Just take caution not to disclose any sensitive or confidential information. If you are unsure about what is acceptable to post, consult EMC’s Social Media Policy, located internally on Channel EMC. EMC Global Services Career Center 8 / 13
  8. 8. LinkedIn 101 You can also join professional groups and get to know the people in them. Within a group, you can engage in discussions and help others solve problems. On LinkedIn, you have an entire database of knowledgeable experts at your fingertips! As you participate in groups, you will begin to form relationships with other likeminded professionals. Continue to expand your network by requesting to connect with these individuals. EMC Global Services Career Center 9 / 13
  9. 9. LinkedIn 101 Finishing Touches Now that you’ve polished your electronic resume and built a robust network of professional relationships, you are ready to dive a little deeper into the other capabilities of LinkedIn. Request an introduction. On LinkedIn, you’re only a few degrees of separation away from almost anyone. The site even shows you how many degrees of separation lie between you and any other individual! For example, you might want to reach out to someone who you don’t know, but who is part of a colleague’s network. LinkedIn actually tells you who you know that can introduce you to that person. EMC Global Services Career Center 10 / 13
  10. 10. LinkedIn 101 Give and receive recommendations. Recommendations are a public endorsement of someone else’s work. They get linked to both your profile, and the profile of the person you recommend. Make sure that you only write recommendations for people that you truly believe deserve them. Recommendations are as much a reflection of you as they are the people you write them for. You can also ask people to write recommendations for you. Feeling reticent? Give recommendations when you truly believe in the value of someone’s work and you are likely to receive one in return. Integrate LinkedIn with other online profiles. If you have a blog, website, or other online profile tailored for professional use, linking to it on your LinkedIn page will showcase the work you have put into it. Sites like these can testify to your creativity and versatility. Cross-linking will also make your profile more visible to search engines. Add personality to your profile by listing both your work and home-related interests. Try to keep the professional-to-personal mix at an 80:20 balance. On LinkedIn, you can customize your contact settings to specify how and when you would like people to contact you (for example, reconnecting with old colleagues or learning about career opportunities). Keep it fresh. Active networking is all about maintaining ongoing relationships. Do not allow your profile to sit idle on the web. In addition to updating any changes in your work history or certifications, it is a best practice to regularly refresh your profile with news that may be useful to your network. EMC Global Services Career Center 11 / 13
  11. 11. LinkedIn 101 Don’t forget about real life! When you meet someone in-person, add them to your connections on LinkedIn. This will allow you to network and build relationships after first introductions. EMC Global Services Career Center 12 / 13
  12. 12. LinkedIn 101 Summary 4 Steps to Getting Started 1. Fill out your profile. Create a 100 percent complete profile, using keywords and adding detail where appropriate. 2. Sync your e-mail contacts. Upload your Outlook contacts file or import contact from another web mail account. 3. Grow your network. Meet other professionals by engaging in group discussion and sharing useful information. 4. Build relationships. Keep up with groups and continually offer your expertise. Stay top-of-mind with your connections by actively adding value to their network. To learn more, visit the LinkedIn Learning Center at EMC Global Services Career Center 13 / 13