Connecting with you on #linkedin is a privilege

Sounds self-important, huh? Well it should be, as a connection on LinkedIn is not to be taken at all lightly.

disconnectingAfter all, connecting means “open kimono” on all aspects of your profile: your connections, your marketing materials, your phone number, etc. (unless you have selectively turned those off).

But sometimes relationships sour or go really badly and you need to sever. It’s part of business life.

So here’s another way to think about a connection: are you ok with being seen in public (at a coffee shop, at lunch, etc.) with that person or does that necessitate too much backpedaling and explanation to your peers if seen in public? Yes? Delete the connection.

If you have to reverse a connection, here’s how to sever it. And don’t worry-LinkedIn does not directly notify them of your actions-no emails are sent to anyone. The only thing that will happen is that the relationship you have with the person drops from 1st level to 2nd level.

And you can always re-connect down the road.



FINALE: #LinkedIn profile spring cleaning suggestions, part 15 of 15

This is it. Make no mistake about it! It’s part 15 of 15, expanding on my earlier plog.

Finally, after you hgoave taken all my rips to heart and acted on them, don’t stop there!

Keep going, updating and tweaking your profile continuously as you morph, have new work to show, change jobs, shift focus, devise a new product/service, open a new business, etc.

Your LinkedIn persona is organic only if you grow it; otherwise it is freeze-dried in history.

Tell us the serial story of you. A great book to help you understand this well is “The Start-Up of You” by Reid Hoffmstartupofyouan, a book I have revisited multiple times and get something good from, differently, each time I read or listen to it. Everyone I have turned onto this book thanks me. You will too.

If you work better with a recurring calendar reminder to prod you to review and update your profile, schedule that now.

So thanks for tuning in to this 15 part serial on spring cleaning your LinkedIn profile. My entire blog posting published by LinkedIn can be found here.


LinkedIn profile spring cleaning suggestions, part 14 of 15

This is part 14 of 15, expanding on my earlier plog.

linkoutAsk trusted colleagues, confidantes, the important people in what Leslie Grossman calls your “entourage” (in her book “Link Out” which I recommend!)  who know your work well if your new profile effectively tells “why you.”

Take their advice, criticism, suggestions to heart. Reinvent your profile and let it cool, come back to it with a fresh outlook and once you are satisfied with the re-write, show the same colleagues again, and take their next set of advice. This is a process.

They want you to succeed and their objectivity helps you see your profile in a truer light.

Thank them, offer to reciprocate.


LinkedIn profile spring cleaning suggestions, part 13 of 15

This is part 13 of 15, expanding on my earlier plog.

teamworkRetain only the trusted connections, meaningful recommendations, and knowledgeable skill endorsers who clearly reinforce your value proposition. This is your extended team, your entourage, your cultivated board of directors, so manage it accordingly.

  • To disconnect from old connections that you do not know or for some reason no longer wish to keep in your valued group, follow these steps.
  • To hide (you cannot remove) a recommendation, here is the process.
  • To edit your skills endorsers, I wrote this blog posting which will update you on the latest that LinkedIn now offers, which IMHO, is a vast improvement.

Delete, disengage or hide any of these, as needed.

In each of these sections, quality far outweighs quantity!


LinkedIn profile spring cleaning suggestions, part 12 of 15

This is part 12 of 15, expanding on my earlier plog.

This one is short and to-the-point.

You must review all sections for errors in grammar, format, syntax, and (eek!) typos; a mistake is typoall they will notice to the exclusion of the rest of your profile and potentially dismiss you as careless. Don’t only rely on spell check.

We get too close to what we write, especially about ourselves. I had a coaching client who forgot to put his advanced degree on his profile (and he’s a very accomplished professional!)

Have an objective party read your profile, not only for typos, but critically review it for ways to improve it and tell better WHY YOU.


LinkedIn profile spring cleaning suggestions, part 11 of 15

This is part 11 of 15, expanding on my earlier plog.

Update the Publications, Organizations, Projects, Volunteer Experience, and Honors sections to be sure they convey your point of view, interests, roles, and other contributions. It’s a blank canvas but if you don’t tell us you were recognized by peers for this or that, we’ll never know.

Help us think that much more highly of you and your abilities. Don’t be shy-describe these sections in terms of how you are unique or how you helped others by using your skillset.

Be sure to list any pro bono nonprofit expertise you could volunteer to offer or board position you would fill, so a nonprofit can find you and tap into your expertise. Instructions here.

linkedintilesAnd, did you know you can reorder these sections? For me, my education is so much less relevant to “why me” than my volunteer work and publications.

Go ahead. Shuffle the order to your specific situation, seniority, focus and/or the impression you want to leave. Here’s how.


LinkedIn profile spring cleaning suggestions, part 10 of 15

This is part 10 of 15, expanding on my earlier plog.

Incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) keywords in your Headline, Summary, and Experience sections, complementing your Skills.

SEONot familiar with SEO?

See this article. It’s a good one.

And ask your web designer what SEO keywords and metatags he/she used in your website. Combine the lists and use the ones that suit you. Put yourself in the seat of someone looking for you. What terms would they think to use for a search that will result in your profile? Try searching using these SEO words and see how high up the results you appear.

(Remember LinkedIn automatically stacks ranks search results in 1st level connections, then 2nd, then mutual group connections, then 3rd level. You want to keep that in mind and you can’t override that.)

Even if being findable in a LinkedIn keyword search is your goal, don’t go nuts. The search engine is very powerful and resist deliberately “seeding” these sections with densely packed SEO keywords will accomplish the task but could numb the human reader despite your hopes of feeding the electronic one.

A numb human mind changes to someone else’s LinkedIn profile and never looks back. And that’s a forever-lost opportunity. So be findable and memorable for other reasons.


LinkedIn profile spring cleaning suggestions, part 9 of 15

This is part 9 of 15, expanding on my earlier plog.

IMHO the Skills and Experience section has gone out of control. LinkedIn apparently doesn’t agree with me. That’s because there are over 1 billion skills endorsements out there. If that’s a success, I offer my unscientific estimate that 65% of the billion are not reliable since so many people endorse without any experience of your skills in that area.

To make lemonade out of a very sour lemon, do these things now:

  • Recast your Skills with laser-focus: a skill called “analysis” is vague (is that psychoanalysis? financial analysis?) and nowhere as clear as “competitive retail market analysis.”
  • Looking backward, cull out endorsers who don’t directly know each skill directly, but somehow endorsed you for it anyhow.
  • Tired of people endorsing you for skills you don’t show on your profile? Weary of being prompted by LinkedIn to endorse your connections? Finally! LinkedIn just made an adjustment to the Skills section on your profile, giving you more control going forward.  Here’s what you can do.skillsandendorsementschangeapr14
  1. Click “Edit” on your profile tab.
  2. Scroll down to Skills & Endorsements.
  3. Click “Edit.”
  4. Decide if you want to leave “I want to be endorsed” as checked as Yes.
  5. Uncheck “Include me in endorsement suggestions to my connections.” (good riddance to that!)
  6. Decide if you want to leave “Show me suggestions to endorse my connections” checked as Yes (if you need LinkedIn to suggest people to endorse.)
  7. Decide if you need to check or uncheck “Send me notifications via email when my connections endorse me.”
  8. Scroll back up to the top of my profile and clicked “Done Editing.”

Ta da! You own the section now.


LinkedIn profile spring cleaning suggestions, part 8 of 15

This is part 8 of 15, expanding on my earlier plog.

Yesterday I equated your Experience section on LinkedIn to layers peeled away to expose your core, like an onion.

Further, the Experience section should NOT be a rehash of bullet points in your resume.

Directed to a different reading audience than your backward-focused resume, this section should also highlight today’s efforts drawn from the past, with your aspirations for the future: 3 tenses.

Add pertinent multiSignpost of Timemedia and complementary material. Make it interesting and lively to read and get a feel for your personality and the package of skills, traits and values you bring with you. Direct the reader/viewer/listener what they will see/watch/hear when they click the media on your Experience.

It’s a completely different way to be memorable and tell about you in a more engaging way.