How to group contacts in LinkedIn using tags

By Extra, Tips, Video

Once you’ve started connecting to people on LinkedIn, you might soon find your contacts list is, well, unwieldy. Ideally, your LinkedIn network would consist of people from all sorts of connections you’ve had: fellow classmates, previous co-workers, current co-workers, and other colleagues. There’s a way to better manage all those connections in LinkedIn, using tags.

Below you can watch a video I made showing how easy it is to group your LinkedIn contacts. You can use this not only to quickly find contacts, but also for sending more targeted messages to specific people. For example, if you’re looking for a new job, you’d probably want to send a note to your contacts other than your current boss and co-workers. You can have tags for “XYZ company,” “college classmates,” “book club,” and so on.

Basically, you just have to go to your contacts list (under Network > Contacts), select ones you want to tag, and use the tag menu to add a tag to them (or create a new custom tag to apply).

Remember, the best messages you can send on LinkedIn are relevant and personalized. Tagging contacts helps you achieve that.

Here’s a short video that shows how to do it:

Educational License for LinkedIn In 30 Minutes

By Extra

The following terms apply to the Educational License for LinkedIn In 30 Minutes:

Educational License Terms

  • LinkedIn In 30 Minutes is provided to the purchasing educational institution under the terms of a non-transferable, one-year educational license.
  • This Educational License applies to the PDF, .epub, and .mobi versions of LinkedIn In 30 Minutes.
  • The Educational License is valid for one year from the date of purchase or the start of the subscription.
  • The purchasing institution warrants that copies of the files shall only be distributed to students, faculty, and staff of the school.
  • The purchasing institution may not rent, sell, or redistribute copies of the digital content to any other people, or make the files publicly available on any network, device, storage service, or Internet-connected computer.
  • The purchasing institution may not create derivative works from the contents of the guide, or encourage others to do so.
  • The digital content is provided “AS IS” and neither the author nor publisher i30 Media Corporation shall have any obligation to provide maintenance, support, enhancements or modifications thereto. i30 Media Corporation specifically disclaim all express and implied warranties of any kind including, but not limited to, any warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. In no event shall i30 Media Corporation or the author be liable to any party for direct, indirect, special, incidental, exemplary or consequential damages however caused and on any theory of liability arising in any way related to the digital content, even if i30 Media Corporation or the author has been advised of the possibility of such damages. To the maximum extent not prohibited by law or regulation, the purchasing institution and affiliates further assume all liability for their use, reproduction, display, or distribution of the digital content and agree to indemnify and hold harmless i30 Media Corporation and the author from and against any and all claims, suits, actions, demands and judgments arising therefrom.
  • Any use, reproduction or distribution of the digital content which is not in accordance with this Educational License shall automatically revoke all rights granted to the purchasing institution.
  • This Educational License does not grant any rights in or to any intellectual property owned by i30 Media Corporation except those rights expressly granted hereunder.
  • Terms and information may change at any time.

LinkedIn In 30 Minutes Honored In The 2013 USA Best Book Awards

By Extra

USA Best Book Awards WinnerThe In 30 Minutes team is pleased to share the news that LinkedIn In 30 Minutes has been named the award winner in the Business/Career category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards! The guide, written by Melanie Pinola and available in ebook and paperback editions, helps readers supercharge their LinkedIn job-seeking and networking efforts. As you can see from the list of winners on the USA Book News website, the USA Best Book awards are a big deal, with submissions from both indie and large publishing houses in dozens of categories.

There are so many positive things I could say about Melanie, ranging from her incredible talents as a writer to her dedication to the publishing process. In terms of endorsements of the guide, I think it’s best to turn to some of the real reviews that readers have left on Amazon, Goodreads and elsewhere:

After reading this book (it’s a short and super-fast read), I logged into LinkedIn right away and immediately applied some of the author’s advice to improve my profile. Much of what is in the book is common sense but there are lots of easy, simple suggestions on how to get the most out of LinkedIn, whether you’re looking for like-minded people or mentors in your industry, job-seeking, or simply trying to advance your career.

I already had a LinkedIn account, which I use on a regular basis, but still found the book very helpful. The author gave examples and explained why it is important to detail and promote your account. Reading this book has motivated me to return to my account and update it to make it more thorough and attention-grabbing.

I especially liked the information about connecting with other people and the ideas of how to connect with people who can help you gain information and job leads, even if you don’t personally know them. This is beneficial to everyone who is looking for career leads.

I was looking for a guide to LinkedIn when I realized that the author of this book is one of my favorite writers for Lifehacker! Always loved her advice and resourcefulness, so I wasn’t surprised that she wrote this book for the mass of people who are looking to get the best out of the LinkedIn service.

Thanks Melanie, for writing such a great guide, and congratulations on winning this award!

An analysis of LinkedIn for students, and updates to the LinkedIn privacy policy

By Extra

LinkedIn for studentsLinkedIn recently updated its privacy policy and terms of service, after launching LinkedIn for Education. Here’s the rundown on what these changes mean.

Overall, I think the changes are good news. Most of us think of LinkedIn as a social network for professionals or jobseekers, but it’s really more of a network for anyone interested in the future of their careers. So it makes sense that LinkedIn has opened its doors to students under the age of 18 (age 13 and older; 14+ in the US). The earlier kids start thinking about what they want to do with there lives–and finding liked-minded individuals as well as mentors–the better.

Facebook started out as a college social network, but now it’s emphasis is more on the social and less on the college part, so LinkedIn can also fill the void for college students looking into their career prospects. ReadWrite had a great post back in April called Dear College Students: LinkedIn Is Not The Same As Facebook, in which the author, Brian S Hall, notes the reasons why college students aren’t using LinkedIn even when they should be–and how LinkedIn needs to do more for students while colleges need to help students learn how to use LinkedIn. The introduction of LinkedIn University might help.

So with its broader focus on the younger crowd (LinkedIn’s core demo skews towards the older generations), the social network had to update its privacy terms. For members under the age of 18, there will be different default settings and special support ticket routing, according to LinkedIn’s blog post.

For all members, LinkedIn’s privacy policy changes include these updates:

  • We have shortened the amount of time we store personal or location (IP address) data obtained through our off-site plug-ins (like the LinkedIn Share button) – and we now delete this information as soon as possible (as it comes into our system), and at the most, within seven days.
  • We have updated the privacy policy to cover the data sharing that occurs when you choose to bind your SlideShare and LinkedIn accounts.
  • We have updated the section of the privacy policy that allows what LinkedIn can suggest to you based on the data that you have chosen to upload from your email address books.

The most interesting part is that last bullet. What does LinkedIn do with the data it gets when you choose to connect your email address book? Well, it seems like the change is specifically to suggest people you could connect to based on your contacts’ connections (whether on LinkedIn or not):

Section 1.4.: We explain that we use your uploaded address book information to recommend connections to you “and others”, including showing you and other LinkedIn members that you share the same uploaded contacts who may or may not be LinkedIn members, in order to help you build your network and be better connected. We also changed the explicit reference to “Rapportive” to refer to LinkedIn software tools in order to accommodate branding changes and new products in the future. We also removed some duplicative language from this section.

Makes sense. After all, LinkedIn is all about that “I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy” who could possibly be a big help in your career, whether you’re a high school/college student or someone with thirty years of work experience.

Avoid These Terrible LinkedIn Photo Mistakes

By Extra, Tips

LinkedIn profile photo mistakesThat photo that goes along with your LinkedIn profile sends a message. It can say: “Look how professional and hireable I am” (the classic headshot). Or it can say: “I have a bizarre sense of humor and don’t know how to use LinkedIn” (photo of a cow, anyone?). Or it can say: “I’m not really here, so don’t bother clicking on my profile” (the outline of a generic person when you don’t upload a photo).

Unlike with other social networks, the quality of your profile photo really makes a difference on LinkedIn. A missing or inappropriate photo is one of the main reasons recruiters won’t click your LinkedIn profile. Besides your name, headline, and location, your photo is all anyone on LinkedIn sees of you in the search results, so having the best one possible really counts.

The best photo for your LinkedIn profile follows the standards of a professional headshot or portrait. Yes, that probably sounds as exciting as taking a yearbook photo (which is very similar), but if your goal on LinkedIn is to connect with more people professionally or find a job, the standard professional photo tricks are the most important.

You don’t have to pay someone to take your photo (although that is usually the easiest route. You can get a professional headshot inexpensively at any portrait studio or even Target). The main things to avoid, though, are photos that are:

  • Inappropriate or unprofessional: a wacky photo when you’re in a serious industry, for example, or a photo of you in a too-social location (like the bar or at a party)
  • Blurry: you want the image of you to be clear. For the same reason, pixel-y and grainy photos don’t work here.
  • Overly busy: if your background is too busy (with too many other things or people), it will distract from your profile photo. Keep the focus on you by using a plain background. Similarly, avoid wearing extreme patterns or colors that can compete with your face, such as bright reds or beiges.
  • Missing: this might be worse than a bad photo of you, since at least with a bad photo you’re actually trying!

NYC photographer Eric Calvi offers some basic guidelines for a better photo shoot, which can be boiled down to “Keep It Simple.” (Avoid flashy accessories, darker shades look best, keep the background simple, etc.)

Finally, besides looking the professional part in the photo (dressed suitably for your industry), you should be recognizable in the photo. Headshots work best because they feature your head and some of your shoulders at the best size for a thumbnail. If taken from too far away, your face will be too small in the profile pic. Also make sure your photo is recent, within the last few years at least.

All that said, don’t stress out too much about your photo. As long as it looks professional and appropriate, it should be a great help rather than a hindrance for your networking needs. At least your profile will be 7 times more likely to be found than those generic gray avatars!

For more tips on how to improve your LinkedIn profile, read Melanie’s guide, LinkedIn In 30 Minutes: How to create a rock-solid LinkedIn profile and build connections that matter. The guide is available in several formats, including Kindle, iPad, Nook, PDF, and paperback.

5 reasons LinkedIn recruiters don’t click on your profile

By Extra

5 Reasons Linkedin Recruiters Don’t Click On Your Profile

So you are in the midst of a job hunt. You may wonder why LinkedIn recruiters and employers aren’t reaching out. Your LinkedIn profile may be to blame.

Melanie Pinola, the author of the 1st edition of LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, and career expert Donna Svei have put together a list of 5 reasons recruiters don’t click through to your LinkedIn profile. It not only highlights some common mistakes people make with their profiles, but also illustrates how dominant LinkedIn has become among recruiters:

This is an infographic depicting the 5 reasons linkedin recruiters don't click on your profile.

Updated stats for LinkedIn Recruiters

Since this infographic was first published, LinkedIn has become even more ubiquitous:

  • According to a recent LinkedIn report, the network hosts more than 3 million active job listings. Advertised positions are in dozens of industries. They range from agriculture and construction to finance and healthcare.
  • LinkedIn has approximately 400 million members. They live in practically every country in the world. Whether you want to connect with a former supervisor, a colleague you met at a conference, the recruiter at your dream company, or even your old high school track coach (go Warriors!), you are likely to find them on LinkedIn.
  • A 2014 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey found that 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social media platforms to fill jobs. Among these recruiters, 94% use LinkedIn. Whether you are actively searching for a new job or are a passive candidate—defined as interested in opportunities though not active in the job search—joining LinkedIn will make it easier for employers to find you.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for job searches or networking purposes, be sure to check out LinkedIn In 30 Minutes: How to create a rock-solid LinkedIn profile and build connections that matter. Whether you want to find a new job or advance your career, this guide can be the blueprint for a supercharged LinkedIn strategy. The contents are listed here. You can buy the paperback or ebook editions here.

How to turn off LinkedIn notifications

By Extra, Tips, Video

If you are getting tired of having LinkedIn notifications, emails, group digests, and other reminders hitting your inbox, you will appreciate the video below, which shows you how to turn off LinkedIn notifications.

This is particularly useful for people who have just signed up for LinkedIn and are still figuring out how to use LinkedIn’s many features, as well as for people who have lots of connections or belong to lots of groups. LinkedIn can trigger notifications for all kinds of events, including:

  • Someone requests to make a connection with you
  • Someone accepts your invitation to connect
  • A connection sends you a message
  • You receive an invitation to join a group
  • Someone in a group posts a message, or responds to one of your posts
  • People in your network update their job details
  • You receive endorsements or recommendations
  • LinkedIn sends you announcements

These messages and alerts soon become tiring — while LinkedIn is a wonderful networking tool, most of the notifications do not require immediate action.

It is impossible to turn off the notifications by simply returning the email with “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject field. Instead, LinkedIn wants you to adjust each type of messaging manually. To do this, you have to go to the LinkedIn settings and click on Communications (shown in the screenshot below) and then follow the instructions shown in the video to alter the frequency of notifications (for instance, to set up some of the notifications so they come in a single weekly digest) or turn off notifications altogether.

Turn Off LinkedIn Notifications

The information in the video complements LinkedIn In 30 Minutes: How to create a rock-solid LinkedIn profile and build connections that matter, by author Melanie Pinola. The guide contains many other useful tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of LinkedIn, ranging from basic profile setup to accessing the hidden job market on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy in paperback form or for tablets such as the Kindle, iPad, and Android devices, visit this page.

LinkedIn Headlines: Tips To Make Your Profile Stand Out

By Extra, Tips, Video

LinkedIn headlines are an overlooked profile element for many people, who opt to the default Company/Job Title. It’s not only boring, the default LinkedIn headlines can also harm your career prospects. As author Melanie Pinola noted in LinkedIn In 30 Minutes: How to create a rock-solid LinkedIn profile and build connections that matter, headlines are crucial for career positioning:

“When your profile comes up in search, only your name, headline, location, and industry are shown. Your headline is what will convince the searcher to look at your profile. It’s a 120- character hook that should tell people what you do — and why they should care.”

In this four-minute video, learn how to to make your LinkedIn profile headline more attractive to other people (important for networking) as well as potential employers, who use keyword searches to find suitable job candidates. There are four examples of great headlines, too. Press the “play” button to start the video:

If you’re interested in learning other tactics for improving your LinkedIn profile, be sure to read LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. Purchasing options for the Kindle, iPad, Nook, and paperback editions are listed here.

How to use LinkedIn to research companies

By Extra, Tips

One of the best things you can do as a job hunter — on LinkedIn or elsewhere — is learn as much as possible about your potential next employer. You can use LinkedIn to research individual companies and the people who work there, just like they use LinkedIn to research candidates like yourself.

Not all companies have a LinkedIn profile, but for those that do, visit their LinkedIn pages to discover:

  • How you’re connected to the company: potential contacts who might be a “foot in the door” there.
  • Who the company’s competitors are, under the “People also viewed” and “Where Employees Came From” sections. This suggests other places to also consider applying at (or at least ones that would be good to understand before you interview at this company).
  • Company positioning and latest developments, posted on the company summary page and in status updates. This tells you the image the company is trying to project (where their strengths are, how they’re different from competitors, what they do best). It’s good to know all of this so you can answer dreaded questions like, “Why do you think you’d be a good fit for this company?”
  • Newly hired or promoted employees, under the “Insights” tab of the company page. This shows you the kinds of people the company is hiring right now. Read the profiles of these employees; if they have many common keywords or skills, be sure to add them to your profile. (Yes, I said “keywords” again!)
  • Available job openings, under the Careers tab, if available.

You can also click the “Follow” button on a company page to stay abreast of their job openings and new product or service developments via email alerts and updates on your LinkedIn homepage.

Insider tip: If you have the names of people interviewing you, read their LinkedIn profiles to get a better understanding of what their interview style might be like (for example, if they’re more conversational or by-the-book), common connections you might have, common interests or recent trends they might be interested in, and so on. Okay, so this might feel like cyber-stalking, but it’s not that bad–as long as you don’t seem like you’re trying too hard in your interview. Just use your research as preparation for the interview.

For more of Melanie’s advice and insights, download “LinkedIn In 30 Minutes”, available for the Kindle, iPad, and Nook, and also as a PDF and paperback.