LinkedIn Tips For Happy Holidays
The festive season is here and no doubt, 24 December is International Deadline Day for many people.
I sincerely hope that 25 December is a day of fun, celebration and rest for you and if you have some time off from your work or business and you are thinking about your plans for next year, perhaps you will have some time to update your LinkedIn Personal Profile over the holidays.
Firstly, you need to think about your purpose. This determines the strategies and tactics you will use to secure the opportunities you would like next year.
Before you start editing (and particularly if you have a lot of connections), it is a good idea to turn off your activity broadcasts so that all of your connections are not advised of each alteration you make.
You can do this via your ‘Settings and Privacy’ choice on the Me top menu and choosing ‘Privacy’ in the middle of the screen and ‘Sharing Profile Edits’ and ‘No’.
It may be easier to follow these instructions if you print this post and have it next to you as you do each task.
Firstly, let’s start with some maintenance. Before you start making changes, visit your Profile and see the three dots just under your photograph and click and choose ‘Save to PDF’ so that you have a current copy of your LinkedIn Profile.
It is a good idea to save the profile with today’s date back to front at the beginning of the file name and save it in a folder called ‘LinkedIn’ so that you can go back to your original profile if you accidentally delete some text you would like to re-use. You will also be able to print out your old (and soon your new) profile and compare the two. Remember to save to PDF after you have made all of your changes.
Secondly, it is time to export your list of connections. If you have the old version of LinkedIn, go to Connections, click on the cog on the top right hand side of the screen, choose Export LinkedIn Connections on the right hand side of the screen and leave the selection as Microsoft Outlook CSV file and choose Export. Once again, save the file with today’s date back to front at the beginning.
This will give you a list of the first name, last name, current email address, current job title and current company name of each of your connections. A great backup to have and a good historical record of how many connections you had on this day.
On the new version of LinkedIn, if you would like this information, you will need to request a data archive for your LinkedIn account.
I recommend that you do these two maintenance items every 90 days – and also make a note of how many views you have had in the last 90 days. To have an active LinkedIn profile, I would suggest that you should be receiving at least 100 views every 90 days. You can see how many LinkedIn Profile Views over the last 90 days here.
Now, before you start networking away, here are some more tasks to complete.
LinkedIn seems to work best in Google Chrome rather than other internet browsers.
1. Update your LinkedIn Profile
Have you changed jobs during the year? Have your duties changed? Do you have an effective headline? Are your Summary and Advice for contacting you sections relevant for your future plans? Have you completed every section? Do you have a photo that reflects your current and future aspirations? Have new sections that have been added to the LinkedIn platform throughout the year been completed? Have you added some ‘bling’ to your profile (videos, images, PDF’s or slideshows)? Is your grammar and spelling correct?
I specifically help people prepare effective LinkedIn profiles, so if you would like further advice on these matters, please contact me via the information below to make an appointment (can be conducted via Skype to anywhere in the world).
2. Go through your outstanding Invitation Requests
These can easily accumulate. That little red box with a white number sitting on top of the head silhouette and plus symbol indicates how many people are waiting to be accepted as a Connection.
I know, I know, you can’t decide whether or not to accept their connection invitation, but now is the time.
I find the easiest way is to go to your Inbox (by clicking on the envelope on the top right hand side of your screen which will take you to your Inbox) and then clicking on the Invitations folder and going through the list. You can decide yes or no based on your Purpose.
If the person seeking a connection has no relevance to your Purpose, you can decide whether or not you would like to connect to expand your LinkedIn search results (very useful for free accounts). Spammers are regularly removed from LinkedIn so if you accidentally do accept a spammer, they are likely to be ‘deleted’ very quickly.
If you decide they will not add any value even as a ‘network’ point, you can ignore the invitation. They will not be told directly that you ignored them, but if they check their folders, they can find out. It is not the end of the world – you have to stick to your Purpose.
3. Go through your Inbox
It is sometimes said, better late than never! It is now time to go through the emails in your Inbox on LinkedIn and either delete or respond to the messages. Nothing like starting the new year with a clean slate.
4. Review the Groups you are in and the Companies you follow
Some Groups can be very effective networking tools – are the Groups you are in still aligned with your Purpose? Did you know that following your ‘target’ Companies can increase your chance of working for them in the future? Is it time for you to unsubscribe from a group or unfollow a company or perhaps join a new group or follow some new companies?
5. Update your Communication Settings
Are you getting too many emails from LinkedIn? You can change the frequency of correspondence by clicking on the menu from the top right hand side of your screen and selecting ‘Privacy and Settings’ and then Communications. Then you can decide how often to receive your updates. Digests can be better than individual emails.
Alternatively, you can set up a rule in your email program to have all emails from LinkedIn diverted to one folder on your computer – that way you can deal with all LinkedIn correspondence in one time slot and not be distracted throughout your day.
6. Add in any other email addresses you have
Don’t ever remove an old email address you have used from your LinkedIn account (unless it is a social media policy requirement of the company you have previously worked for) – but definitely make sure that your primary email address is valid so that you can stay up to date.
By keeping old email addresses on your account, if anyone tries to ‘find’ you on LinkedIn via your old email address, they can, without triggering off a duplicate LinkedIn account invitation. You can change your email settings via the Privacy and Settings Option.
7. Close any duplicate accounts
This can be a fiddly process. Firstly, I recommend that you sign into the account (reissue password if you have forgotten it), save the profile to PDF and export all of your connections. Then I suggest that you go to Privacy and Settings, choose Account and then Close Account. Then add the email address you used on the closed account back on to your current LinkedIn account (if it is still valid).
If you cannot remember the email address or the password for your duplicate account, visit the profile and get the URL address from the screen (mine is https://www.linkedin.com/in/sueellson/
Then, whilst you are signed in to your current LinkedIn account, you can send a ticket to LinkedIn by going to the bottom of your screen to the Help Center, click on the Duplicate Accounts Option and then click on the relevant option which gives a link to a Contact ticket – also found at https://help.linkedin.com/app/ask/path/csitda – remember that if you have a lot of connections there, you may want to work out how to sign in and extract them BEFORE you close the account.
Full instructions on how to fix duplicate accounts is available at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/duplicate-linkedin-profiles-how-delete-merge-two-more-sue-ellson/
8. Provide some endorsements
Of the people you know, how many could you endorse for certain Skills? Make sure you are absolutely fair and honest when you do this (perhaps do this step in conjunction with step 8). I call this type of activity ‘feeding the beast’ of LinkedIn.
This behaviour is ‘rewarded’ by LinkedIn and will then prompt your details to be put in front of your connections – a subtle way to remind them of your value offering.
9. Provide three recommendations
An unsolicited, positively accurate, honest and descriptive recommendation works well for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the recipient is likely to be very thankful!
Secondly, you will feel nice for doing it. Thirdly, your name and details will then be promoted on their profile as well as your own. Fourthly, they may also recommend you.
As stated above, focus on the positive (if they were a lousy boss but great at sticking to deadlines, then focus on the positive rather than the negative in your recommendation). Saying someone was ‘great’ is of no real value but saying that they ‘increased productivity by over 20% and initiated and completed new change programs’ gives someone a very clear description of their past and future capability.
Before you finish
Once again, record your views for the last 90 days, save your profile to PDF and get an archive of your data – and put it in your calendar to do it again in 90 days!
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year!
This article was originally published at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-tips-happy-holidays-sue-ellson