LinkedIn is the world’s largest networking site for business – by far! As of March 2012 LinkedIn passed the 100 Million mark.
I’ve been a LinkedIn member since, well, since forever. I started using this great networking tool just 10 months after they launched. I was the 347,536th registered user of LinkedIn. That’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. There are now over 100 million LinkedIn members, and I joined well before they reached their first million. I’m now patting myself on the back for being such a savvy early adopter.
OK, enough about me.
Before I give you the first tip, I’ll tell you how you find the date you joined LinkedIn. It’s easy.
- Login to LinkedIn and hover over your name in the top right corner.
- Select “Settings.”
- You’ll see your avatar (profile picture) in the top left corner. Just under your name you will see the date you joined LinkedIn.
And finding your LinkedIn “number” is just as easy. Here’s how:
- Hover your mouse over the “Profile” menu.
- When that menu opens, hover over “View Profile.”
- Now look down in the bottom left corner of your browser window. It shows a link (URL) to your profile. LinkedIn has a unique identifier for each of their members, and they are ordered sequentially. The link has a bunch of text then says “id=” followed by a number. That’s your LinkedIn “number.”
- Your industry – you will want to tell people what industry you work in. For example, I put Computer Software. I thought about putting Insurance because the software company I own serves the insurance industry, but MY industry is Computer Software.
- Your location – people need to know where you are. I live about 20 minutes north of Salt Lake City, so I put “Greater Salt Lake City area”.
- Enter your current position – This is usually your job title, the time period, the company, etc.
- Enter at least your two previous positions – People want to know where you have worked prior to the job you currently have. You should enter all the positions you would normally list on a paper resume.
- Enter your education – If you haven’t graduated from college yet, don’t sweat it. If you are going to school (post high school), list where you are going, what you are studying, and when you anticipate graduating. Most people don’t list their high school, but actually more and more people are starting to do that to make it easier to connect with people.
- Enter at least 3 skills – These are things you are genuinely good at. Don’t list things you’ve heard about, or taken one class on.
- Add at least 50 connections – For your profile to really be complete, you have to be connected. It’s kind of the purpose of the whole thing. If you only have 4 connections, potential employers will probably not take you very seriously. It’s easy to find connections – I’ll cover that in a future article.
- Add your profile picture – This is NOT optional! A LinkedIn profile picture is an absolute must. AND!!!! Don’t put in a picture of you and your spouse, or you and your pet, or you sitting on a beach somewhere. This is NOT Facebook! Your LinkedIn profile picture should be a nice looking picture of you – head-shot style (mug shot), so people can see what you look like.