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I’m on LinkedIn Again…Damn Peer Pressure

When LinkedIn was first growing years ago, I created a quick profile and forgot about it.  Then I became a pretty well known blogger, decided the profile sucked, went self-employed, and decided to delete myself.  But after about 3 years of successfully avoiding this haven for humanity’s working class, I was drawn back in.  Surprisingly enough, by my grandpa…I mean if an 86 year old dude can figure it out and request to connect, I had to jump back in.  Darn computer-savvy grandparents.  ;-)

Why You May Want to be LinkedIn

For me, LinkedIn wasn’t very useful when I wasn’t motivated or growing a career.  But now I am self-employed and it pays to have your name out there wherever you can.  Networking is always a good idea when your livelihood depends on your reputation and ability to make others money.  So I jumped in.

If you are trying to grow in the career you have or want to start looking for something different, LinkedIn may be a good place for you to at least start.  It’s not a Facebook or Twitter account – so don’t share what you had for lunch or your feelings about each day.  But do make sure to highlight your best job-related assets and experiences.

The Key Aspects of a LinkedIn Profile

I’ve been a LinkedIn balla’ (HAHAHA!) for less than a week, and even I have noticed there are key aspects of a good LinkedIn account:

  • Either have a professional profile picture or none at all.  Bad pictures or inappropriate poses make an awful first impression.  I am going to get actual headshots done soon since I don’t even like my current profile picture on LinkedIn or here on BFS, though it is at least professional looking on LinkedIn.
  • Treat it like a resumé.  Business contacts probably don’t care about the touchy-feely stuff unless you are in a touchy-feely business.  So you may not want to list your hobbies that really do not have anything to do with jobs that you may be interested in.
  • Edit yourself.  I suck at this.  I was long-winded and will be getting a few people to look at my profile this coming weekend to help me tighten it up a little without losing the impressive stuff.
  • Recommend and endorse people you trust.  Some of your contacts will do the same for you and I can tell you, it is a HUGE ego boost.  I felt like a dork for not even knowing that I could do that for others…

Remember, Time Flies

I think the last thing to mention is that time goes by way more quickly than it should.  So make a note in your calendar to update your LinkedIn profile every 6 months at least.  Who knows what could have changed?  If you want it to draw it future job opportunities, you’ll have to keep your info current.  I know my life seems to change completely every few years…my last LinkedIn profile was laughable and made when I had a different life.

Are you on LinkedIn?  What suggestions would you add?

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6 comments to I’m on LinkedIn Again…Damn Peer Pressure

  • Participating in groups/answering questions can be quite useful. And just interacting with contacts’ updates on the homepage – helps keep you on their radar…

  • Wow, I’m impressed with your grandpa! My grandparents think that the computer is “of the devil” and refuse to have one in their home. None of their 4 kids, 11 grandkids or 6 great grandkids can convince them otherwise. Oh well.
    So I tried to connect with you on there, but I didn’t get the usual place where I can leave a personalized message…oops. Just wanted to let you know, and hope we can connect on there.

  • I am on LinkedIN or rather I have a profile on there. Haven’t really done much to it though. I know its great for networking and you are right you should at least updated maybe every 3-6 months.

  • Try joining a LinkedIn group, not just to interact with people, but to post updates of your blogs, but make sure that the info you’re posting are relevant and related to the group. Also, check out the group’s rule, some group administrator do not allow people to post ad-like discussion on their boards. You can also post jobs, in case you’re looking to hire people.

  • I doubt any employer will fault you for not having LinkedIn. That said, I’m sure it can help through the connections (although can’t you just do this in real life?). Not sure where I stand, I suppose.

  • @eemusings, great suggestions!

    @Charlotte E, connected! :-)

    @YDF, sounds like where I was with it last time I tried.

    @The College Investor, my sister suggested the same. Now to find groups…

    @Mike, it’s harder to make real life connections with absolutely everyone you can reach in a huge group like LinkedIn. :-) I’m really good about making an impression (good for most, bad for some…but they all remember me – I have that personality type), but I will reach more people on LinkedIn than I will through my work emails.