Lifehack’ing LinkedIn: 5 Tips

July 12, 2007

Chris Brogan, over at Lifehack (a productivity site that is built around the theme of hacks, tips and tricks) outlines his five personal productivity tips on maximizing one's usage of LinkedIn. I thought this would be a good way to continue the conversation right here on the LinkedIn blog and address the five tips he recommends. Given below are Chris' five tips with a LinkedIn take on them:

(1)  Fill out your profile

Seems like a no-brainer, but spending time to build your profile 100% is an essential step forward in helping you take control of your professional brand. Don't forget that LinkedIn Public profiles tend to get indexed on all major search engines. So, when opportunity knocks and a manager or prospective employer finds your profile through a search, it's always good to have the most accurate, up-to-date and impressive stats from your career displayed.

Check out what a LinkedIn Public Profile means and other FAQs

Take control of your online identity by tweaking your LinkedIn public profile

(2) Add plenty of passion (and may I add, professional character & humor)

A LinkedIn profile not only defines your professional identity on the web, but also helps differentiate and position your unique personal brand. A LinkedIn public profile is the easiest way to define your unique skill sets and so it's worth spending time on crafting a unique LinkedIn profile. A suitable start would be updating the following three profile categories with relevant information (example provided):

* Profile Summary --

My personal mantra is "empower entrepreneurs." When all is said and done, I'm a marketing guy. I established my professional reputation as a software evangelist at  Apple back in the 80s. Now I lead a peripatetic (peripathetic?) existence: blogger, venture capitalist, author, and speaker.

* Specialties --

Marketing, evangelism, new-product introduction, keynote speeches, and wrist shots.

* Additional Information (Interests) --

(Source: Guy Kawasaki's LinkedIn profile)

(3) Recommend and be recommended

Let's assume you've joined LinkedIn and have just built out your profile, the proactive way to follow-that up would be to substantiate your career history by obtaining recommendations from your colleagues who've always appreciated your work and more importantly recommending peers whose work you've admired as well. It'd also be a great way to reconnect with those coworkers you'd always wanted to stay in touch with.

(4) Ask and Answer questions

Whether you're a consultant or someone looking for a job, users would rather connect with or hire an expert. A great way to establish credibility in any given field would be to answer questions in categories that you're passionate about. What's interesting is that this is also a great reason for your peers to recommend you since it validates their recommendation. The feature also allows you, as Chris says, to get in front of your peers and colleagues you've always wanted to connect with but haven't had a chance to do so until now.

(5) Should you add your email address to your last name?

As enticing as it is to publish your email address in the Name field, we've received numerous complaints of abuse in the past ranging from spam to harassment. As stated in our user agreement (under user conduct), we believe in protecting sensitive information shared by over 12 million users and posting content in fields that aren't intended for that content would be a violation of that trust.

The best way for someone to reach you would be through the power of mutual connections. So, if you'd like to connect with me, find someone we both know who can recommend you and ask them to introduce you to me. And, don't forget to recommend that friend of yours who made that introduction!

(Source: Chris Brogan's Lifehack post titled "Five LinkedIn Tips")

About Chris Brogan: One of the prolific bloggers at productivity blog Lifehack; here's how Chris practices what he preaches: "I don’t watch commercial TV. I don’t follow professional sports. I don’t sleep as much as most people. I don’t waste much time online. I type really really fast. I’ve got a great ability to compose my
thoughts as I type them, the way sculptors say they see their artwork hidden in the marble".

Related links on "Using LinkedIn":

1. My post last week on "Best Practices for Consultants" on using LinkedIn, based on my presentation at the Software Developers Forum.

2. Guy Kawasaki's extreme profile makeover

3. LinkedIn Answers section on "Using LinkedIn" | RSS Feed to access all "Using LinkedIn" Q&A