Limbering up with LinkedIn

Monkey Swing by Thomas Tamayo at Flickr

Thanks to Dale Smith (2012) I received Tim Tyrell-Smith’s (2012) guide against being lazy on LinkedIn.

On pondering Tim’s advice, I wonder whether there are some people (like me perhaps) for whom such sites are not the best place to promote oneself. For example: suppose one is aiming for a career change – where they have worked in the past could be a distraction; Or suppose one has been out of the workforce raising children for many years? Or working at positions below one’s ability during those child-free years because they are the only ones with child-friendly hours?

If I were to convert Tim’s warning signs into a to-do list, re-ordering for the limited position LinkedIn has in my humble ambitions:

  1. Keep profile updated:
    Thankfully, LinkedIn sends out notices fairly regularly, so when someone else updated their profile recently I let it prompt me into updating mine.
  2. Come up with an appealing headline
    Particularly difficult for humble people – could you point to some good ones?
    (Update August 8: Michael Keleman recommends precise (unpuffy) clarity)
  3. Improve summary without just copying resume
  4. Find a few more connections.
    Eek, I’m not keen on quantifying my connections, so I’ll not let Tim’s “at least 100” factor in at all. (Except cousins: I still take childish pleasure in having lots of cousins (>50)).
  5. Complete profile
    If I did, I would run out of things to update it with?
  6. Keep personalising connection requests
    – yes, of course, would anyone send a generic request except to someone they know very, very well?
  7. Keep seeking constructive groups
    Two of the ones I joined are more often spammed than constructive
  8. Find new ways to contribute constructively to groups
  9. Provide true, specific recommendations for others
    It is the only kind I would, but for whom would my recommendation be desirable?
  10. Recommendations? Does anyone take them seriously?
    Even Tim admits they don’t carry a lot of weight. Maybe he just wanted to round out his “10” signs? How useful are they if you’re not sure what kind of work you’re seeking? Might they be counter-productive the more generic they are, or if they are more relevant to past than future ambitions?

What would you advise?

Image credit: Tamayo, T. (2008). Monkey swing. CC:BY-NC/2.0 from http://www.flickr.com/photos/malweth/2914866040/

References

Keleman, M. (2010, January). LinkedIn Taglines. Retrieved August 9, 2012, from http://recruitinganimal.typepad.com/ch/2010/01/linkedin-taglines.html
Smith, D. (2012, July 28). RT @WayneMansfield: 10 Signs You Are Being Lazy On LinkedIn […] #inf2506. @das013. microblog. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/das013/status/229111276884865024
Tyrell-Smith, T. (2012, July 26). 10 Signs you are being lazy on LinkedIn. Retrieved from http://fixbuildanddrive.com/10-signs-you-are-being-lazy-on-linkedin