“The Fence, the Letter, the Phone, the Roladex,
the Internet, and now Social Media...
What You Need to Know About LinkedIn!”
Michael W. Young
Vice President, Alliance Management
A Presentation for The Boardroom:
June 1, 2010 A job search resource, support and network group
Speaker‟s Safe Harbor
There is not just One Way
to get the most out of LinkedIn®.
I do not work for or receive
and remuneration from LinkedIn or it‟s affiliates.
I am sharing some of the many things I have learned
after using LinkedIn intensively since early 2008.
I encourage you to share your successes with me:
Social Networks have been evolving since people
began talking to one another.
The “chat over the fence” was one of the earliest
ways to gather news and…find work.
And in many ways, it hasn‟t changed
much at all….
Then came the letter
And even better, the Pony Express letter
Followed closely by the telephone
Which began to make
networking more complicated
“Party lines” and “the phone book”
were how our networks stayed linked
And we started to organize our
contacts. The Roladex® , marketed
in1958, was an indispensible part
of social networking and
“getting a new job”
Social Networking > Social Media
And most recently, the advent of the Internet has changed
the very way in which we know people, communicate with
them, and even meet and marry them.
It was only a matter of time before the Internet changed
the way we get employed and manage our careers.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn® is the leading business-oriented social
networking Internet site.
Used primarily for business networking
the site has over 65 million users worldwide
in 200 countries*
32+ million in the US
12+ million in Europe
4+ million in India – the fastest growing demographic
The unique value of LinkedIn comes from its “gated-access
approach" (where contact with any professional requires
either a preexisting relationship, or the intervention of a
contact of theirs)
*TechCrunch. Retrieved 04-11-10.
What is LinkedIn, Really?
The single most powerful career-advancing tool available
to you at absolutely no cost.
It is the most comprehensive professional relationship map
– making your connections visible.
And, like most things in Life: It‟s only worth as much as
you‟re willing to put into it.
It has become synonymous with online Job Creation.
= Active Career Management Tool
Hire Me @ LinkedIn.com
People with more than 40 connections are 68 times more
likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people
with less than 20.
All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In
fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and
LinkedIn Talent Advantage program
includes “LinkedIn Recruiters”, “Talent Direct”,
and other uses of the database to help I got my job as a
recruiters find “passive applicants”. on LinkedIn!
SimplyHired.com announced a mashup
with LinkedIn to “share” new job listings.
You know you need to throw your hat in the ring BUT:
What should you be trying to accomplish with
What are realistic expectations?
How do I make sure my connections can learn
about me in a way I want them to know me?
What’s the real value of the hours I’ll spend on
Increase your online visibility.
By adding high-value connections, you increase the
likelihood that people will see your profile first when
they‟re searching for someone to hire or consider.
In addition to appearing at the top of search results
(which is a major plus if you‟re one of the 59,000
marketing managers on LinkedIn), people would much
rather work with people who their friends and business
partners know and trust.
You might only “know” 100 people but if they each
know 100 others…well, you get the idea.
Improve your Connections
Many users only list their current company and last education in
their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to
connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it‟s an
executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations,
I recommend including a link to your profile as part of your email
signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people to
see all your credentials without having to ask for them.
Improve your Google PageRank™
LinkedIn allows you to make your profile
information available for search engines to
index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly
high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to
influence what people see when they search for
To do this, create a public profile and select “Full
View.” Also, instead of using the default URL,
customize your public profile‟s URL to be your actual
name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in
search engines, use this link in various places on the
web. For example, when you comment in a blog,
include a link to your profile in your signature.
*Google Ad Search Optimization, 2009
Improve your position in search engine results
In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or
website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your
LinkedIn profile allows you to publicize websites. On your
page, there are a few pre-selected categories like “My
Website,” “My Company,” etc.
If you select “Other” you can modify the name of the link. If
you‟re linking to your personal blog, include your name or
descriptive terms in the link, and Ta-Da! instant search-
engine optimization for your site. In order to make this work,
be sure your Public Profile setting is set to “Full View.”
Increase the relevancy of your job search.
Use LinkedIn‟s advanced search to find people with
educational and work experience like yours to see where
they work. For example, a Life Scientist might search “co-
transfection, genomics, or HPLC” to find out where other
scientists with these skills work.
Develop a specific Key Word “Job Description” to enhance
visibility to the electronic searches many recruiters use [I‟ll
show you later in “Pointers”].
Key Word Search
Build material for upcoming interviews
You can use LinkedIn to find the people with whom
you‟re interviewing. Look for conversation bridges or
links who might serve as good references. Knowing that
you went to the same college, you share a love of
sailing, you both lived in Columbus, OH, or share
acquaintances can help create a smoother interview.
This basic interview research can also show you‟ve done
some additional homework and are serious about the
“Take the Temperature” of a Company
Not as detailed as Hoovers or D&B but a heck of a lot
cheaper, basics can be gleaned on prospective
employers by looking at company profiles.
You can do an advanced search on a company name
and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This
will enable you to evaluate turnover rate and if key
people are bailing out. Former employees usually give
more candid opinions about a company‟s prospects
than someone who‟s still working there.
LinkedIn gives you a ready-made Mini-Wikipedia
where you can poll your network, get real-world
advice, and seek out expertise you don‟t have.
One of LinkedIn‟s newest product, LinkedIn Answers,
provides this online. The product allows you to
broadcast your business-related questions to both your
network and the greater LinkedIn network. You‟re more
likely to get valid and more specific responses from the
people in your network than open forums.
Hopefully the coffee has kicked in by now:
These are tips and ideas for you to use to enhance
your LinkedIn profile and get the most out of the
time you spend with LinkedIn.
In most cases, these have been gleaned from
but I’ve also included some from my Experience.
Simple Tutorials Incorporated into Site
Use the pull down menu
To get to the
LinkedIn Learning Center.
This section provides a wealth
of knowledge and instruction
on how to maximize your
ADD YOUR PHOTO TO YOUR PROFILE
A photo of you with a “business appropriate” smile actually
“personifies” your page. It makes you more approachable and
Branding and career marketing are about creating emotional
connections. People believe content more when it‟s accompanied by the
author‟s photo. An online profile with no photo is a missed opportunity
to reinforce your brand and engage people.
Make the photo align with the job you‟re seeking. If the job requires or
most frequently causes you to wear a business suit, wear one. If you‟re
in the lab, think about how a clean lab coat might help place you “at
work”. Note that the photo can be no larger than 80×80 pixels.
Make the photo about business. No boats, mountains, or Chinese New
Year hats. They‟re distracting and may give the wrong impression.
USE YOUR BUSINESS NAME ON YOUR PROFILE
Think about how prospective employers, networkers,
and business contacts who don‟t have your business card
will search for you.
Your LinkedIn name should match your resume / CV
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GREAT PROFESSIONAL
SUMMARY…AND KEEP IT CURRENT!
The Professional Summary section of your profile is a
good way to highlight your experience. Select an
Industry, because recruiters often use that field to search.
The Summary has a 2,000 character allowance. Use it to
help maximize your SEO by including critical key words.
Don‟t forget the Headline, because that‟s right at the top
of the page when someone views your profile. It‟s your
first chance to make a clear impression. Don‟t just list your
title or worse, “Looking for My Next Opportunity”.
Your Headline and Summary Announce You
CUSTOMIZE YOUR URL
Making sure your LinkedIn URL is memorable and
connected to you is an important branding step,
especially if you have a common name.
There are over 6800 Michael Youngs in the US.*
ADD A PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS
Profiles which don‟t have email addresses are annoying
when trying to invite you to join someone‟s professional
You should be making sure you‟re maximizing the
likelihood of being contacted. Make it easy.
I don‟t recommend using a work email in case you leave
For key connections who deserve them and for people
you really can recommend who ask you. Be generous
and try to include meaningful attributes.
“She‟s a really sweet person and you ought to hire her.”
will not be valued by the connection nor the employer
Use your recommendations to enhance your
management (with direct reports) or relationship (with
peers and superiors) experience by linking your
involvement in their recommendation.
By selectively requesting
recommendations, you enhance your
profile significantly. You reinforce
management skills and, clearly,
endorsements by executives who are
well-thought of in your arena, is a plus.
I recommend you post one or two WELL
WRITTEN recommendations for each key
position you‟ve held. I don‟t see real
benefit to 20-30 recommendations like
some profiles show. You want them to be
To a potential employer, a LinkedIn
recommendation is an opportunity to
read a reference in advance.
ACTIVELY REQUEST CONNECTIONS
While you‟re adding each business card you get to
your contact database (Plaxo, Outlook Contacts,
CardScan), make a personal connection through
Build your network like your “personal resource
Don‟t settle for the default message of “„I‟d like to add
you to my professional network on LinkedIn”. It‟s
impersonal and not memorable. You want to connect, so
do it like they‟re standing in front of you.
USE LINKEDIN APPLICATIONS
These web-based apps are a great way to enhance
your online presence and improve the “texture” of your
professional life as portrayed on LinkedIn.
Bloggers and Tweeters will appreciate that these apps
enable users to feed their blog or tweets directly to
their profile, so other LinkedIn users can see the most
current posts automatically.
JOIN LINKEDIN GROUPS and
Join appropriate groups, participate
in discussions, and start your own
conversations. Post articles and
information that will be helpful to
Maximum number of groups is 50.
Consider the implications of joining
certain “lifestyle” groups which may
be viewed as non-business oriented.
You can choose not to have them
visible to others.
MAKE SURE YOUR PROFILE IS COMPLETE
LinkedIn suggests that when your profile is 100%
complete, your chances of rising toward the top of
LinkedIn searches greatly improves.
Here‟s what you need to be 100% complete:
A current position
Two past positions
A profile photo
At least three recommendations
UPDATE YOUR PROFILE REGULARLY
I recommend that you check your LinkedIn site no less than three
times per week and use that opportunity to make Network Status
Every time you update, your changes are pushed to your
connections. Refreshing the “What are you working on?” network
update as one way to stay top of mind with your network.
Build a Key Word Search “previous position”
Search firms and employers are using electronic key word
search engines and aggregators to find candidates which
fit their job description qualifications.
Don‟t get left out by not coming “up on the radar screen”
Bag of More LinkedIn Pointers
Don‟t overlook the LinkedIn “Jobs” Tab.
LinkedIn often has exclusive listings.
Add your LinkedIn URL to your business cards! How easy is
that to direct Every Person You Meet to your profile?
Don‟t Link indiscriminately – make a point to actually know
each of your contacts. The exception is if you choose to be
an Open Networker.
Likewise, don‟t try to link with people you don‟t know yet.
Best to use an introduction.
Proofread you profile! Nothing kills a professional page
faster than errors and misspellings.
Another Bag of Pointers
Other popular business sites include
Plaxo, JigSaw, ZoomInfo, Facebook, and Ning
As good as LinkedIn is, as a career management tool, it is
NOT a replacement for Face-2-Face networking and
As you gain proficiency with LinkedIn, you can:
Categorize and organize your relationships
Optimize your profile for LinkedIn SEO
Make sure your security settings balance the risk of identity
theft against being found by an employer or critical-path
What does it All mean?
It seems like Everybody‟s on
But really only ~10%!
Most people don‟t apply a Success
Strategy to their LinkedIn Profile so,
their pages are poorly done…
Make sure Your Page is competitive!
Let your LinkedIn page represent what
Everyday, See Your Dream!
Some Additional Resources
Courtesy of Vince Ferraro, CMO http://www.linkedin.com/in/vlferraro
Official LinkedIn Blog: http://blog.linkedin.com/
LinkedIn LIONS: http://www.toplinked.com/top50.html
Xobni : Outlook Plug-In that merges social networking and email
Outlook Social Connector: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c87e257c-
Top LinkedIn Gurus:
Neal Schaffer, Windmill Networking Blog: http://windmillnetworking.com/#axzz0hWr3LZKw
Chuck Hester, Pay It Forward Blog: http://chuckhester.com/
Barbara Tip, LinkedIn for Recruiters: http://www.risetrends.com/blog/how-to/easy-linkedin-recruiter-
Viveka von Rosen, LinkedIn to Business Blog: http://linkedintobusiness.com/
Reach Personal Branding: http://www.reachcc.com/
Kirsten Dixon: http://www.kirstendixson.com/
Personal Branding Blog: http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/
Brand Yourself: http://brand-yourself.com/