Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reading List on LinkedIn

Today's 15 minutes on LinkedIn will be spent in one of my favorite areas: Reading List by Amazon.

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. BONUS: it's a great hobby to showcase on your LinkedIn profile. Why? Well, readers are knowledge seekers. They are eager to continue to learn. That's a good quality to demonstrate to future employers, current managers, colleagues, clients, etc etc. etc. And reading is not something you can really fake. If you are not interested in reading -- at all -- chances are that you won't spend the time adding books to a reading list on your LinkedIn profile.

So, let's get started.

Reminder: Print this email for a visual reminder!

1. Set your timer for 15 minutes.

2. Log into LinkedIn and if you don't already have the "Reading List by Amazon" application loaded, load it now.

3. Start by adding in a book you are reading now. Add in a brief summary of why you are reading the book and/or what you like or dislike about the book. This may take several minutes once you remember the book titles.

4. Add in any books that you plan to read over the next few months. I jot notes down every now and again when a friend recommends a book to me, and this feature on LinkedIn makes it MUCH easier than trying to find those notes. Keep in mind you can mention audio books, too.

5. Read your connections' reading list updates. You may find you wish to "watch" their list updates so you are periodically notified of books added to their lists. I've found that like attracts like, so if they have a few titles on their list that you've read, chances are, they will offer a good source of future recommendations as well.

So, what are you reading now? I just finished an issue of HBR magazine and I'm looking for a few books for this summer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Location, Location, Location: Events on LinkedIn

When it comes to starting a business, they say the three most important things are location, location, location. In the world of virtual and in-person networking, this "location" applies to where you are, where people can find you, and where you need to go to make new connections.
Today's 15 Minutes on LinkedIn will focus on the "Events" section on LinkedIn. So let's get started.

1. Get out your timer and set it for 15 minutes.

2. Log into your LinkedIn account and click "More" then select "Events." If you don't have "Events" in your dropdown menu yet, it's probably because you have not used this module yet. The easiest way I've found to add this in is to do the following:
2a: Click "More"
2b: Click "Application Directory"
2c: Select "Events" by clicking it and follow the instructions to install on your profile.

3. Search for events. Start by looking at events that your connections are attending. Like attracts like, so if you want to meet people who are connected to a specific industry, attend their events. Plus, many events advertised on LinkedIn are free to attend.

4. Find a few events to attend in the coming month and RSVP via the event page on LinkedIn. This helps the event organizer to gauge attendance and it also lists the event on your profile. That's good to help create visibility of the types of events that you are interested in attending.

That's it! Your timer will be beeping away in no time.

Brenda Meller

ps - Not familiar with Events on LinkedIn? Here's what LinkedIn offers as an overview:
What is LinkedIn Events?

LinkedIn Events allows you to see what events your LinkedIn network is attending and allows you to find events recommended to you based on your industry and job function. LinkedIn Events features allow you to:

1. Search for conferences.
2. Post important conferences to your profile.
3. Promote a conference.
4. See who will be attending a conference.
5. Show when you are presenting or an exhibitor.
6. Invite other contacts to attend.
7. Send a Network update out to your network telling them you will be attending a conference.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Write, Review, Rewrite, Review, Repeat...

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, it's important to keep in mind that your profile page should be reviewed periodically -- just as you should do with your resume.


Your career changes. You gain new responsibilities. Your accomplishments change. You may add new volunteer activities, too. So today's 15-minute LinkedIn exercise involves a thorough review of your profile.

For the sake of this exercise, I'm going to assume that you've been on LinkedIn for several months and that your profile is pretty well filled out. So we'll skip the "write" step and jump right into "review."

Write, Review, Rewrite, Review, Repeat...

1. Set your timer for 15 minutes.

2. REVIEW: Start by logging into your LinkedIn account and select the "View Profile" link under "Profile"

Spend the next 5 minutes reading through your profile. Really read through it. If you've done the previous exercise, you probably already have a few thoughts on what you'd like to change. If you still have your printout handy, you may have some notes written down.

3. REWRITE: Click "Edit My Profile" and go in and make the necessary changes. Take out any outdated information. Change your verb tense from present to past for any past events. Update your summary statement if necessary.

4. Save your work periodically... every 3-5 minutes... so you don't accidentally lose your work. Yes, it has happened to me!

5. REVIEW and REPEAT. Review your revised profile page and continue to make edits until your timer rings.

That's it! You're done for today.

I did this exercise tonight and found several areas of my profile that I've neglected for nearly six months. How about you? What are you finding that is outdated on your profile?

After you've completed today's 15 Minutes on LinkedIn, post your LinkedIn profile here. Here is my profile as an example:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cruising Your Contacts

Being a good networker means staying active with your LinkedIn connections. It's easy to become so focused on growing your connections list that you might forget the value of each connection gained along the way. And you don't usually make time to reach out to your connections until you need something. (it's okay, it happens to me, too!)

So today's LinkedIn exercise involves reviewing and reconnecting with your contacts. Ready?

1. Get out your kitchen timer and set it for 15 minutes. Then hit the button to start.

2. Log into LinkedIn. If you don't have a profile yet, visit and set up a free profile.

3. Click on the "Contacts" link at the top of your page to access your connections list. As a reminder, these are your first-level connections on LinkedIn.

4. Start reviewing your contacts from A to Z. Or, if you'd like to support those who are always forgotten, start with the "Z" list first and move forward. :)

5. Focus on those connections who you haven't spoken with or heard from in a while. The intent here isn't to contact EVERY connection, but rather to start a pattern of periodically reaching out to SOME connections. And remember, you only have 15 minutes to do this so you might only get to the "F" list (or if you're moving from the "Z" list upward, to the "S" list).

6. Just as you should with an invitation to connect, personalize your message. Don't send every person a blanket message:
"Hi Jim, hope you are doing well. Hadn't heard from you in a while and thought I'd check in to see how you've been at XYZ Company."
What's wrong with this approach? Well, if you can insert in place of "Jim" and in place of "XYZ Company" than it's not really personal.

7. Suggestions on personalizing your check-in messages:
- Start off where you last left off with this person: "when we last chatted, you were working on...(insert activity here) and I'm curious how things are going."
- Include an update of your own activity
- DON'T solicit. Especially if it's the first time you've reached out in a long time. Enough said.
- End with an offer: "If there's ever anything you need, let me know."

That's it! Your timer should be beeping away in no time and you can check off your 15-minutes on LinkedIn for today.

Brenda Meller

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile by Reviewing Your Competition

If you're seeking a way to enhance your profile on LinkedIn, try this simple technique, which will help to educate you as well as offer you insights on the competition.

1. Get out your kitchen timer and set it for 15 minutes. Then hit the button to start.

2. Log into LinkedIn. If you don't have a profile yet, visit and set up a free profile.

3. Go to your profile page and print your profile. You'll keep this at your side during today's session for notetaking.

4. Next to the search bar in the top menu, you'll see the word "Advanced." Click on this word to go to "Advanced People Search."

5. In the "Title" search box, type in your targeted job title (for job seekers) or current job title (for working professionals), then click the "Search" button at the bottom of your screen.

6. Scroll through the search results until you see a profile of interest. (hint: Notice the profiles that don't pique your curiosity, too.)

7. When you find a profile of interest, click the person's name to view their profile. Look at their summary statement, keywords, photo, recommendations, groups. Make a note on your printed profile of specific items you would like to enhance. You might find some summary statements that are relevant to your experience, too. Don't plagiarize, but rather compare those summary statements to your own and consider further enhancing your profile based on what you see. As an example, I found a connection who listed "Speaking Engagements" in his summary section and now I list those on my profile, too.

8. Go back to search results and repeat.

9. When your timer beeps at the 15 minute mark, you're done for today! Although you might be tempted, don't spend any more time on your profile for today. Walk away from the computer and plan to use those learnings to work on your profile updates tomorrow. Chances are, you will be subconsciously thinking about what you saw until tomorrow, which will help you better identify the changes you want to make on your profile.

Brenda Meller

About This Blog

There are many ways you can make your LinkedIn profile more effective. You'll need to spend time increasing your connections as well as enhancing your profile each day.

You can do this by spending 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn. Everyday. For job seekers or working professionals.

This blog will offer you practical, easy-to-understand and easy-to-implement techniques that you can start using today.

Sure, you can spend hours and hours a day on LinkedIn, but who has the time or desire to do that? Not me! And probably not you. And if you DO have the time to spend hours and hours on LinkedIn, you may be using LinkedIn to help find a job. This blog will help you in reducing that amount of time.

Feel free to share this blog and comment on your success with these tips.