So You Are on LinkedIn, Now What?

In my last article, I wrote about the basics of setting up a profile on LinkedIn.  This article will go a little deeper into setting up your profile for best use.

Privacy Controls – Like any other social network, LinkedIn has privacy controls that you can adjust but unlike most other networks, on LinkedIn, you want to be as open as possible.  You are not sharing pictures from the party you went to last night so you have nothing to hide.  By being open, it will allow more people to find and connect with you which will grow your network.

To adjust your privacy controls, scroll over your name in the top right corner of the screen and click on “Settings”.  At the bottom of the screen, next to the profile tab, there are a few controls that you can manage by clicking on them to adjust who can see each part of your profile and activity.  I suggest opening it up completely but feel free to make your own choices based on your situation.

In the Email Preferences tab, click on “Select the types of messages you’re willing to receive” and adjust settings based on what types of emails you are willing to receive from others on LinkedIn.

Also in the Email Preferences tab, click on “Select who can send you invitations”.  I suggest leaving it at “anyone on LinkedIn” to make it easier to build your network.  If you ever receive an invite from someone that you wouldn’t want to be connected with, you can just reject their invite.

Vanity URL – LinkedIn allows you to customize your profile’s URL so that instead of showing up as www.linkedin.com/pub/firstname_lastname/number/number/other_information, You can have something simpler such as mine www.linkedin.com/in/lehrer.  It’s a lot easier to give out to others and it makes it a lot easier for your profile to come up in Google searches for your name which leads to more people contacting you and more connections.

To create your own vanity url, click to edit your profile, scroll down to where it says “public profile”, click on edit and on the next page, there will be a link to edit the url.  Then you’ll see a popup with “http://linkedin.com/in/ and a space for you to enter whatever you want as your vanity url as long as it is between 5 and 30 characters and hasn’t been taken yet.  I suggest using your name.

Getting More Recommendations – I mentioned this in my last article but I cannot stress enough how important recommendations are.  When a recruiter or potential client looks at your profile, they will look at your recommendations.  If they are trying to decide to contact you or someone else, they will very possibly make their decision based on how many recommendations you have and what they say about you.  To get recommendations though, you have to ask for them.  Nobody is going to write you a recommendation unless you ask for it so make sure to ask.  A good way to do this is, anytime you help someone out, answer a question or do work for someone, send them a request for a recommendation.  They won’t all write one but some of them will.

Adding Applications – If you scroll down your profile a little bit, there is a section that allows you to add applications.  Applications allow you to add additional information that the basic Linkedin Profile doesn’t.  They give some life to your profile and can show viewers of your profile more about who you are.  Some of the most popular Applications are the blog applications which add your blog to your profile.  You can look through other applications at http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=application_directory and add whichever you feel would best suit your profile.

If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.  You can also feel free to leave any other feedback as well.  The next article in the LinkedIn series will talk about actively growing your network.

  • Guyg

    many folk posture their time in LinkedIn as though they are looking for a job. engaging with professionals whose purpose in ‘being nice’ is to engineer a job offer, in my view, prejudices the quality of such engagement/dialogue. any tips to weed such people out?

  • Guyg, What goes around comes around.  If you are helpful to others, they will be helpful to you when you need it.  Yes, many people use their time on LinkedIn to find jobs.  If they are just looking for jobs, it is usually pretty easy to sniff them out.  If they are helpful or deliver value in one way or another, great.  

    Zig Ziglar said “One can get anything if he is willing to help enough others get what they want.”