22 Things Linked in Doesn't want you to know
||I have written several articles about LinkedIn, and they
often generate the most comments. Here are the highlights of my LinkedIn
advice from previous articles, along with additional tips and tricks,
many of which remain unspoken by the people at LinkedIn. With this
checklist in hand, you can make your LinkedIn profile your best personal
branding tool. These little-known, often-overlooked and seemingly
counterintuitive tips deliver big results with minimal effort.
1. Be secretive. When you’re updating your LinkedIn profile, it can
annoy your contacts if they’re alerted to every little change. When
you’re in edit mode, head to your privacy controls. Turn off activity
broadcasts and change the setting for “select who can see your activity
feed” to “only you.”
2. Be opportunistic. Join groups that will let you connect with people
who are in your target audience but are not contacts. Being part of the
group gives you permission to reach out to them and invite them to join
your network. You don’t need to upgrade to Premium to do so.
3. Be redundant. Know the top five strengths for which you want to be
recognized and use them in your profile – repeatedly. If your top skill
is project management, describe your project management proficiency in
your summary as well as in multiple experience descriptions. This will
help the right audience find you.
4. Be ungrateful. Ask your contacts to endorse you for only your top
skills. Having the highest number of endorsements for your signature
strengths will influence those who are looking at your profile. Have the
courage to delete or reject the endorsements that aren’t central to how
you want to be known.
5. Be stingy. Only give recommendations and endorsements to those whom
you genuinely admire. When you recommend other people, their reputation
is seen an extension of your values.
6. Be lazy. Reuse and repurpose the content you already have available.
This amplifies your message and delivers brand consistency.
Communicating different forms of the same content in distinctive ways
helps reinforce your messages within your brand community. Convert your
Blog posts into activity updates and embed whitepapers and articles in
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7. Be greedy. Don’t follow the LinkedIn formula of creating one
experience entry for each job title you have held. Take the space you
need to communicate your accomplishments by creating multiple entries
for every role you have performed within each job title. It’s OK to have
overlapping dates. See how I did it in my profile.
8. Be a groupie. Don’t limit the number of groups you join. Join groups
related to your area of expertise, industry, alumni, passions, social
causes, and other aspects of your identity. This gives you access to
more people who matter to your brand. Plus, when others look at your
profile, they can learn about your brand by looking at your groups.
Always select groups that are highly active and have a lot of members.
9. Be promiscuous. Ignore LinkedIn’s advice to only accept connection
requests from people you know. That helps sell Premium, but it doesn’t
help you get found. LinkedIn’s search algorithm favors those who are in
your network. That means when people are looking for what you have to
offer, the results of their searches are displayed with 1st level
connections first, then 2nd level connections and so on.
10. Be a chameleon. Don’t assume others know how you spell your name or
know that you’ve changed your name. Include all known misspellings,
previous names, nicknames and aliases in your summary. I include this:
AKA/Common misspellings: Bill Arruda, Will Arruda, William Aruda, Will
11. Be invisible. Fly under the radar when you’re using LinkedIn to
check out your employees or poach talent. To keep your agenda hidden,
change your viewing setting to “anonymous” in “Select what others see
when you’ve viewed their profile.”
12. Be verbose. Know the character limit for each section and use every
character. This gives you the opportunity to repeat keywords that are
critical to being found. You can find the character limits here.
13. Be opinionated. Integrate your point of view (POV) into your summary
and experience where appropriate. Join groups where you can share your
POV as it relates to your area of expertise. It’s a great way to
distinguish yourself from competitors.
14. Be disorganized. Reorder the content in your profile (yes, LinkedIn
made this possible). This enables you to lead with what’s important and
choose which strengths to focus on. Bonus: it will make your profile
stand out from the crowd of others who do what you do.
15. Be selective. Don’t feel you need to include every detail of every
job you have had – especially if the details dilute your brand message.
You can omit the jobs you had early in your career if they don’t offer
insights into how you deliver value today. Or group those older listings
under one heading, such as “Apprenticeships” or “My Training Ground.”
16. Be square. Direct people to your LinkedIn profile with a QR code on
your business card. The next time you’re at a networking function, the
people you meet can scan your QR code and instantly read your profile
and connect with you.
17. Be frugal. If you want to reach out to someone and you can’t reach
them any other way, sign up for Premium by the month. Then, do all the
outreach you need to do to connect with those super-exclusive contacts.
Mission accomplished? Cancel your Premium subscription.
18. Be a thief. Repurpose the great content in your LinkedIn profile for
other social media sites. You’ll increase your digital footprint while
ensuring consistency. VisualizeMe.com, Vizify.com, Re.vu, and
ResumUp.com are a few services to check out.
19. Be personal. Your profile is not a resume or CV. Write as if you are
having a conversation with someone. Inject your personality. Let people
know your values and passions. In your summary, discuss what you do
outside of work. You want people to want to know you.
20. Be in their face. Make sure your headshot is high quality, with good
lighting and ultra-sharp focus. LinkedIn is not the place to run a
casual snapshot. Also, make sure that you’re either facing forward or
turned toward your left shoulder, in the direction of your content. If
you’re looking to your right, gazing off the screen, this sends a subtle
message that you don’t believe the content of your own page.
21. Be a bean counter. Get at least 500 connections. In addition to
widening your target audience, the magic 500+ in your profile has a
psychological impact on those who view your profile.
22. Be a procrastinator. Don’t reach out to contacts until you are
thrilled with your profile. When you reach out the others, they will
likely view your profile before deciding if they want to connect with
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