Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Long Form Posts on Linkedin

Do you have access to long-form posts on LinkedIn yet? I noticed this featured added to my LinkedIn profile in early 2014, and the feature is continuing to gain popularity.
  • LinkedIn started rolling this out in May. They stated it's going to a small group first, but that everyone will eventually have the ability for long posts.
  • Long posts are not the same as the LinkedIn Influencer posts. So don't get excited like me when you see the feature.
  • If you have access to long-form posts, you are awesome. Well, LinkedIn didn't say this part exactly, but I came to that conclusion. Because I think you're pretty special. I'm sure eventually they will update their explanation of long-form post and publicly announce that all LinkedIn members using this feature are awesome.
Do you have the long form post? Are you awesome? Comment here and let me know.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Shhh.... Hiding Profile Updates

Q: I would like to update my Linked In profile. However, I am "Linked" to some of my present co-workers. How can I update my profile without my co-workers receiving the message that (name) has updated her profile? 

A: Excellent question. There are definitely times when you may wish to turn off the broadcast feature on LinkedIn. This is the feature that posts an update on your LinkedIn timeline (and thus shares with your first level connections in the homepage feed) when you have updated your photo. And then your job title. And then your summary statement. And then your education. Etc. Etc. All may be signs that you are either completing an incomplete profile, or getting ready to make a career move. And therefore, you may wish to be a bit more subtle on those profile updates. 

Here's how you hide your profile updates from being broadcast to your network. 

1. Go to "Privacy and Settings" (hover over the box by your avatar photo in the upper right hand side of your LinkedIn homepage to get to "Privacy and Settings")

2. In the "Profile" tab, click the link to modify "Turn on/off your activity broadcasts"

3. Uncheck the box that reads "Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies"

Even LinkedIn know's what's up. Here's what it reads below that box:
Note: You may want to turn this option off if you're looking for a job and don't want your present employer to see that you're updating your profile.

Was this blog helpful? Click to share. Although, my guess is you might NOT want to share this one. (WINK WINK) Don't worry, I won't tell. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Getting Started on LinkedIn for the Graduating High School Student

Q: I am working with my oldest daughter on getting her LinkedIn profile going. I want her to understand that having a decent network of trusted people can pay off nicely later on when needed. 

It is a bit difficult since she her life experiences are still developing and a lot of the people she deals with (bosses at her job as a lifeguard, college advisors, band mates, etc) have fairly private LinkedIn profiles requiring "InMail" to connect. 

Have you addressed this in your social networking adventures? Do you have any other suggestions I can pass on to her? 
Joining LinkedIn? It's as easy as PIE.
~ Brenda Meller
(Note: this is NOT my LinkedIn profile photo)

A: Excellent question! First of all, kudos to you if you are a parent reading this and who is interested in helping your high school child to get started on LinkedIn. Double-kudos to you if your child has either expressed an interest in learning about LinkedIn, or if they're willing to take advice from you! (hey - I remember what it was like to be 17!)

I've been thinking about this request since I received it in my LinkedIn inbox and several tips come to mind right away. If you are a high school student getting ready to graduate and considering LinkedIn, here is the advice I would offer:

1. Make sure your parent or guardian knows you are setting up an account on LinkedIn. Together, read "LinkedIn for Parents and Educators" which offers tips for minors. 

2. Set up a profile, keeping in mind that LinkedIn is a purely professional network. Do not add your birthdate. Do not add any personal information that would not be relevant to include on a resume or job application. 

3. Keep it professional, from head to toe. That means use a professional looking headshot on your profile. Head and shoulders only. Not a glamour shot. Senior photo might be OK as long as you're not posing outdoors or with a football uniform. Or with your pet. (Do kids still pose with their pets?)

4. Celebrate any educational or community service achievements in your profile.

5. When describing work experience, avoid a job description. If you worked at a restaurant in high school (like I did), skip the description of what a waitress is and how you took orders and bussed tables. Instead, focus on the fact that you learned customer service and marketing skills. 

6. Start inviting people to connect with you using the LinkedIn "invite to connect" tool. Personalize every invitation. Read my blog on this topic:

7. Invite me to connect with you. I will be happy to introduce you to people in the future. I
This is the photo I have
on my LinkedIn Profile.
Notice the difference?
Which one looks more professional?
~ Brenda Meller
make it a practice to only connect with people I know and who personalize their invitations. Or who respond when I ask them, "have we met?" Because of this, I have a powerful, engaged LinkedIn connection list. By reading this blog, I know you're a superstar that I'd like to connect with, too. ps. YOU ROCK. 

8. Look for other high school students on LinkedIn. Review their profiles. You'll quickly learn what to do and what not to do. 

9. Start joining groups of interest to you. Thinking of a career in sports management? There's a group for that. Have a dream college? Join their group and follow their university page. Then, start participating in discussions. 

10. Spend 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn, every day for a month. Then spend at least 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn once a week. Need ideas on what to do during those visits? Read my other blog posts. 

One thing I've learned in the six years I've been on LinkedIn is that I always learn from others. In fact, when I was sitting down to write this post, I asked my Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and Twitter followers to share tips for high schoolers getting started on LinkedIn. Here is their advice and their LinkedIn profiles. 

Invite them to connect with you and mention this blog. And tell them "THANKS" for the tip. Us "grown ups" are big on manners and it impresses us when young people appreciate us. 

  • "Customize the URL." ~ Christopher G. Johnson, MBAInternal Auditor at Lear Corporation
  • "Get a professional picture taken - not sure if they should use senior pictures?" ~ 
    Laura RolandsDirector of Account Services | Coach
  • "It's not about how many contacts you have but the quality of contacts!" ~ 
    Kara (Bundenthal) Caruth, MSF, CFP®Financial Planner at Snook Housey Advisors
  • "
    Join groups and comment in them. Whenever I post in a group I get people looking at my (poorly done) profile. I had 90 people check out my profile last month and I'm not even job-seeking!" ~ 
    Trish Belanger, CPA, CDFAAccounting/Tax Professional
  •  "
    Be sure to add keywords to your profile. And avoid a selfie for your profile pic! Also, the should be adding projects to showcase their abilities." ~ 
    Erin Janda Rawlings,  Writer/Blogger(Mommy on the Spot, Detroit News MichMoms, The Mother Company)~Social Media Strategy Prof - Walsh College
  • "
    Ask their profs if they can connect. As with anyone, don't just send a request without identifying the connection." ~ 
    Jennifer ChinnMarketing, Graphic Design, Print Production and Event Management
  • "
    Build your professional network early and maintain a strong brand integrity." ~ 
    Eyad (Ed) Batayeh, M.A.Director, Novi Campus - Walsh College of Business (Founded in 1922, Private/Not-for-Profit)
  • "
    When asking someone to join their network, be sure to include a personalized message!" ~ 
    Jessica KnapikDatabase Analyst at Walsh College
  • "Become connected with everyone you meet!" ~ Sherry Yagiela, MBASenior Digital Project Manager at Lowe Campbell Ewald
  • "
    Remember it is a professional network. Keep posts appropriate including profile picture. Paste from Word to ensure spelling is accurate." ~ 
    Stephanie M. ZytowskiHuman Resource Generalist
Like this blog? Please share. And add any additional tips as comments. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anonymous Views of Your LinkedIn Profile

Admit it... you're more that just a bit curious when you notice that there has been an "anonymous" view of your LinkedIn profile.

Executives take note: you may wish to consider changing your settings to prevent LinkedIn users from knowing that you have viewed their profile. This can be particularly helpful if you are in a high profile position such as a VP level or above, company president, or HR manager who does not wish to be contacted by potential candidates whose profiles you have viewed.

An "anonymous" view of your LinkedIn profile.
To adjust your settings, follow these simple steps:

1. Hover over your name until the account dropdown appears.
2. Go to "Privacy and Settings" in your LinkedIn account.
3. Click "Select what others see when you view their profile."
4. Change the setting to "You will be totally anonymous."
Keep in mind that when you adjust this setting, you will also lose the ability to see who has viewed your profile. A small tradeoff to help protect your privacy as you are viewing profiles on Linkedin.
Did you find this blog helpful? Click to share on LinkedIn or your favorite social network.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CHEESE (your LinkedIn profile photo)

Your LinkedIn Profile Photo:
very important!
I'm not sure what the exact statistic is, but my guess is that the majority of LinkedIn users who do NOT have a profile photo are having a really hard time getting their invitations accepted. Like it or not, people want to see faces of their LinkedIn connections. I know that personally, one of the considerations for me on whether or not I'll accept an invite from an unknown person is their profile photo, or lack thereof.

When it comes to your Linkedin profile photograph, I always recommend:

  • YES, include a photo on your LinkedIn profile.
  • YES, make it viewable by public.
  • Pleasant and smiling
  • Head and shoulders only
  • Professional attire
  • Clean background
  • NOT: summer vacation picture, group picture, avatar of something scenic instead of your face, sunglasses, angry grimace, etc.

Check out a few posts related to this topic:

On LinkedIn Chat:
When do you NOT accept a LinkedIn invitation?

How to Take and Choose a Professional Photo for LinkedIn: Tips for Picking a Perfect LinkedIn Profile Photo


25 Things that Make You Look Dumb on LinkedIn

10 Mistakes That Drive Other LinkedIn Users Mad!

Hopefully this blog post makes you rethink your position on the ever-powerful LinkedIn profile photograph. What do you think?

Was this blog helpful? Click to share. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

LinkedIn for Executives: How Do You Stack Up?

If you're an executive using LinkedIn, chances are you have unique challenges and unique needs compared to the average working professional.

How do you stack up against these items? Give yourself one point* for every "YES." Subtract one point if you answered "YES" to items 6 or 19.
  1. I’m on LinkedIn
  2. I know why I’m on LinkedIn
  3. I’ve completed my LinkedIn profile
    Don't use a "selfie" as your
    LinkedIn profile photo. 
  4. I review and update my LinkedIn profile once per quarter
  5. I personalize invitations to connect
  6. I accept all invitations
  7. I know what to do with invites from people I don’t know
  8. I hide my connections
  9. I know how to modify my profile settings…
  10. … when I make updates, so my network does not see the edits as I make them
  11. … if I want to privately view a profile
  12. My company is on LinkedIn (company page)
  13. My professional summary on LinkedIn mirrors my professional bio
  14. My photo on LinkedIn is a professional headshot (NOT a “selfie”)
  15. I know how to access LinkedIn HELP
  16. I am aware of the value of LinkedIn groups
  17. I participate in group discussions (post or read)
  18. I review my LinkedIn homefeed weekly
  19. My assistant manages my LinkedIn for me
  20. If I have multiple emails that I use professionally (work, gmail, etc.), they are all linked to my LinkedIn account
  21. I have only one LinkedIn profile
  22. I’ve looked at my peers’ profiles on LinkedIn
  23. I’ve looked at competitors’ company pages on LinkedIn
  24. I know how to modify what displays on my public profile
  25. I've added my board affiliations to my LinkedIn profile
  26. Use a professional photo for your
    LinkedIn profile photo.
  27. I am connected with Brenda Meller on LinkedIn

This is just a sampling of common concerns that executives face when working with LinkedIn. In the next few months, I'll be blogging an explanation for each topic and provide instructions on each when applicable.

Was this blog interesting? Please click to share on your professional network.

** Extra bonus points if you share this blog as a LinkedIn status update.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Is Your Company on LinkedIn? It Should Be.

Stop what you're doing right now and do a search for your company on LinkedIn. Does your company have a company page on LinkedIn? If not, make sure you send your head of marketing, social media, or HR a note and tell them that Brenda said you NEED to get your company on LinkedIn. It's free to do so and fairly easy to do.

Here are the instructions from LinkedIn on setting up a company page:

Keep in mind that there are a few requirements you need to have before setting up a company page, as outlined here:

At a high level,

  1. You must be a current employee of the company to set up your company page.
  2. Your email address must match your company. Ex: my work email is and my company's webpage is 
  3. There cannot be a company page already created using that web address, such as subsidiaries or franchises. 
  4. You must be rated "intermediate" or "all star" by LinkedIn. 
  5. You must have "several" connections says LinkedIn. Once upon a time I heard the minimum was 50 connections. This may have changed. 

Several reasons. 

  • People aren't going to your website to learn about your company as much as they used to. Sorry, but it's true. Now, people find information on your company on social and professional networking sites, which tend to be more current, active, and visited frequently.
  • It's free to set up a company page on LinkedIn. Really.
    "Your competition has a company page
    on LinkedIn," says Brenda Meller. 
  • You can set up product descriptions on LinkedIn through your company page and ask your customers to recommend those products. 
  • You can post on behalf of your company: news, announcements, general messages, etc. 
  • Every Fortune 500 company has employees on LinkedIn. I.e., it's kind of a big deal.
  • LinkedIn provides you analytics for people who "like" your page. Again, this is free. (I'm big on free)
  • Because your competition is on LinkedIn. Don't believe me? Go ahead and check. 
  • Because I think it's a smart thing to do. I call 'em like I see 'em. 
Like this post? Please click to share on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or wherever your network may be found. And then send me an invite to connect: and mention this post.