HOW TO: LinkedIn Profiles for Beginners

Over the past few months, I’ve seen friends jump jobs to explore new careers, start a career for the first time, and sit stagnant in a job wishing they had a career. Tis the end of the year and with 2012 comes new year resolutions and goodbye to last year’s not-so-fabulous moments (or wonderful moments as well). As for me, I was one who took an opportunity to explore something new. It’s going quite wonderful, thanks for asking. [insert wink here] For those of you who might be wondering, “Where the hell has Laura been?” I’m here to say, I’m alive and well! I started a new role at Pioneer Hi-Bred, managing digital and social media. It’s been a fun, thrilling and challenging adventure these past 2 and a half months, and I’m excited for what 2012 has to bring for me and hopefully, some great work I’ll be able to bring to the company.

But after about 75 days have past, I started to realize – I haven’t been active in my personal social presences, and I barely did anything to my Twitter Page (with minimal tweets at best), Facebook Page (well, I did get my Timeline up and running), Tumblr (does staring count?), and LinkedIn profile! So, this morning, I set out on a mission. Re-activation social media commenced! For friends in professional fields, step one is to update your LinkedIn profile. What I realized in my conversations with new colleagues and friends, is that there are spectrum answers as to how and if they have a LinkedIn profile. So to get us started, let’s take a gander at LinkedIn.

Because infographics are awesome, here’s an infographic on the value of LinkedIn (in case you were wondering)…

More infographics: 12 Awesome LinkedIn Infographics in 2011

Getting Started on LinkedIn

So, you want to get started now? Here are 3 easy steps!

1. Create a Profile.

2. Find People. Make Friends.

  • When you add your previous employers, you’ll get a list of suggested people. Scroll through and start adding folks! SocialMediaExaminer gives a few how-to’s.
  • When following people, try to write a personalized note in your request, especially if you don’t know them very well. It’s a nice touch and gives a reference point to why you’re connecting.
  • Don’t always think with a “what’s in it for me?” mentality! I hate when people connect with me because they want something. Let’s date before you try to push the envelope.
  • Join groups, that align with your business goals. Check out Miles Jennings’ LinkedIn Blog for some good tips.

3. Engage Regularly.

  • Take part in the groups you joined. I don’t do this enough, but there are some great discussions happening, and it’s a great way to stay connected.
  • Ask and give recommendations. Everyone loves getting a pat on the back, and in order to receive, you should give. Chris Brogan gives some good tips on LinkedIn recommendations. Check it out.
  • If you don’t know someone’s email address, LinkedIn is a great way to try to connect with them. But remember: don’t go crazy with it. No ones likes a stalker.
  • Use tools! Hootsuite’s LinkedIn stream makes it easy to follow discussions and see what your connections are up to!

If you’re thinking, ” It’s just more work for me!” or “There’s not enough time in the day!” My response would be, “It’s only ‘more work’ if you think of it like that. You get out what you put in, so give a little and have fun!”

What about you? Do you have tips for LinkedIn?

For those of you managing a LinkedIn Page for your company, check out this great article: 5 Sure-Fire Signs Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks

If you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, go to:


Posted on December 17, 2011, in Professional, social media and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the tips, Laura! Glad to see you back in the social-sphere 🙂

    I agree that LinkedIn is a powerful resource, not only for those who are jobseeking, but also for those that are looking to share experiences and learn from others. It’s a great tool to find other professionals in your area of practice.

    The groups can be valuable if the members are active. There are way too many inactive groups out there and trying to find those that offer value definitely takes time.

    For me, I find a lot of value in the conversations because they help me come up with ideas for blog posts and social media cartoons. One of my favorites “First Day On The Job Where Social Media Is Blocked” was created based on a conversation I engaged in on LinkedIn.

    Great to see you blogging again! Looking forward to more posts 🙂


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