On Monday evening, Eve Bodeux, Riccardo Schiaffino and I presented a professional development session on “Social Media: Web 2.0 for Translators” for the Colorado Translators Association. I covered LinkedIn and Facebook, Riccardo handled Blogging 101 (you can download Riccardo’s excellent presentation from his website link above) and Eve wrapped things up with Twitter. Given that we covered all of this in an hour and a half, it was a very brief introduction to these topics. However, as one attendee commented, “I feel like for now I can get away without using these technologies but I can’t get away without knowing what they are, and now I know,” which I thought was a good observation.
My overview of LinkedIn was just that (an overview) without any power-user tips, but I thought I’d share a few suggestions for sprucing up your LinkedIn profile and controlling who can view your information. Feel free to add your own tips too!
-To create a customized link for your LinkedIn public profile (the view of your profile that other people see), click “Profile” and then in the blue shaded box at the top, look for the line that says “Public Profile.” Then click the “Edit” link at the end of that line. This allows you to change your profile URL from www.linkedin.com/pub/abunchofrandomcode to www.linkedin.com/in/yourname , for example.
-To see how many people have viewed your LinkedIn profile and how many times you have appeared in LinkedIn search results, click “Home” and then look down the right sidebar for the blue “Who’s viewed my profile” box. If you have the basic (free) LinkedIn account, you can’t see much information about the people who viewed your profile but it is interesting to see how your profile views increase or decrease over time. On a side note, Viadeo (a LinkedIn-esque site directed at Europeans) shows you the identity of everyone who views your profile even if you have a free account.
-To control who can see your profile photo, click “Settings” (this is not in the main navigation bar, it’s in the small grey type in the upper right hand corner next to where it says “Welcome, Your Name”. Once you are in “Settings,” click “My Profile Photo” and then select either “My Connections,” “My Network” or “Everyone.” A few people at the session were concerned about the general public being able to see their photo. If this applies to you, I would either restrict your photo to only your connections or upload something other than your photo (i.e. make a .jpg of your company name or create a professional-looking avatar of yourself).
-To control who can see your status updates, do as above but click “Status Visibility” and then select an option. Personally, if you are using LI for networking/marketing purposes, I would recommend making your status visible to everyone on the site. I do this, and I am just careful never to say anything that I would not want the whole world to know, such as my physical whereabouts, client gripes, etc. In my experience, more people view your profile if they can read your status updates (and of course if your status updates are interesting).
-To add various outside elements such as your blog, presentations, travel schedule, etc. click “Profile” and then scroll down until you see “Applications.” Click that link and you will see a bunch of options; I use the WordPress application to feed my blog into my LinkedIn profile. I think that this keeps my profile looking fresh without much effort on my part.