Have you been keeping track of what’s changed on LinkedIn? If better networking on LinkedIn is part of your 2013 goals, make the following pledges:

  • I will create a compelling summary. LinkedIn’s new profile layout looks more like a social media personal page and less like an online resume. Your story is as a important as your experience.
  • I will speak my mind in the groups. Keep it professional but don’t be bashful. Stating what everyone else is thinking but afraid to say is a fast way to build an excellent rapport with strangers.
  • I will check the discussion-to-comments ratio before investing time in a new group. Don’t waste time in blogspam groups. Find the navigation bar underneath the group name, then click More->Group Statistics->Activity. If the number of discussions is much higher than the number of comments, stay away.
  • I will get a professional headshot. The new LinkedIn profiles feature a much larger picture. A professional headshot is a solid investment, even without LinkedIn.
  • I will endorse the skills of others only when I really mean it. Resist the urge to turbo-click every checkbox in the Endorsements section when giving out approval. Endorsing one or two skills reflects better on both you and the person you’re endorsing.
  • I will try move LinkedIn relationships outside of LinkedIn. Don’t let new relationships sit on the shelf. Move them to other social media platforms, and ideally phone or in-person meetings. (This presumes you’re using it to connect with folks you don’t already know in “real life,” which not everyone does.)
  • I will increase my search rank. Unlike the Google search algorithm, LinkedIn still doesn’t penalize keyword over-optimization. Pepper keywords in your summary and experience, but don’t spam.
  • I will post my accomplishments. One of LinkedIn’s goals with the profile page change was to encourage social sharing, which is why the “Activity” box is so high on the profile page. Share major successes with your network to populate this area with a timeline of accomplishments.
  • I will not let warm leads get cold. One of the biggest mistakes people make when LinkedIn networking is not acting on potential leads.  If you’ve noticed someone interesting has been browsed your profile, reach out to them within 20 days. Offer them something they can use, such as information or an invitation to a networking event.
  • I will continue to seek written recommendations. A skills endorsement does not carry the same weight as a written recommendation. Don’t forget to ask for a written vote of confidence from colleagues and satisfied clients.

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10 thoughts on “10 Resolutions for Awesome Networking on LinkedIn in 2013

  1. John Paul Nettles tightly shares exactly what I recommend to the few people who will take the time (investment) to make their presence on LI intensely optimized and distinctive.
    May I also recommend “drilling” deeper to seek little used Endorsement words thereby avoiding the obvious (quaint) descriptors volunteered by LI’s automation. Why endorse an accountant with the word Accounting. Instead delete all the volunteered words and scan fresher labels that say what you really want to say (within reason)to salute the person you are endorsing. One of my favorites is Friendly Demeanor and still another is the word Fun. Yup, these and hundreds more are available when you take the time to search “behind the banal words curtain”. Correct?

  2. Absolutely correct. It’s a selling point to be a “person” in your profile and biography, and personality traits are, of course, as important as skills.

    Here’s is a list of non-canned “skills” words that I pulled of an LI discussion a while back:

    Imagineer, problem solver, open minded, sense of urgency, encourager, forward thinker, father, open networker, takes initiative, mom, change leadership, resourcefulness, unshakable optimist, pay it forward

    Link to thread:

  3. Good stuff, thank you. I especially liked the tip about the comment ratio in the groups. Will keep that in mind when joining future groups and even more importantly try to increase it on my own groups 😉

  4. Interesting and helpful, thanks. But what does this actually mean:

    “I will increase my search rank. Unlike the Google search algorithm, LinkedIn still doesn’t penalize keyword over-optimization. Pepper keywords in your summary and experience, but don’t spam.”?

  5. Well, if you want to rank highly for, say, accounting, in your profile you can just spam “Accounting Accounting Accounting” over and over in your profile. This is unlike Google page rank, which will penalize your for Web page for keyword spamming.

    However, just because it works doesn’t mean you should do it. It looks terrible.

    So instead, be creative to add your keywords naturally. For example, I want to rank highly for “content marketing.” So with the extra space I had in my profile, rather than just spam keywords, I included a “fun facts about content marketing” section that functioned as an search booster as well as a sales stat-sheet.

    I pepper in keywords in the “Experience” section as well.

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