Posted by: brandextenders | June 23, 2011

Are You LinkedIn?

Men in the cosmetics industry are savvier with online networking than women, but would you believe the reverse is true in the fields of ranching and tobacco?

Although those statements may seem counterintuitive, that’s exactly what the surprised data researchers discovered recently after analyzing the activities and networking ratios of LinkedIn’s 100 million members worldwide. These same members are 97 times more likely to have a college degree and 80% more likely to influence business decisions at their company. Does that sound like the kind of people you’d like to connect with?

Since ancient times people have used networking as a way to move ahead in their business and personal lives. Launched in May 2003, LinkedIn is the 21st century’s way to stay connected and connect with people in your professional life whether you are looking for a job, doing research on people or companies or just want to have a safety net of contacts should you need to make changes in your career.

If you Google LinkedIn you’ll find hundreds of articles on how to join, why it’s a good tool along with the features and benefits. In this brief article I will assume you are already a member and touch on the do’s and don’ts of using it.

What to do

  • To look as professional as possible, complete your profile 100%. As you fill in the information it will tell you how complete your profile is and taking the time to fill out all the areas will give you the best results.
  • Add a professional looking picture so people can see what you look like. Make it a recent picture and although not required, this will make you more personable and looks better than the blank space that will automatically populate if you don’t have one.
  • The Summary is where you can highlight what makes you unique from the 100 million other members. Take some time and think of it as your :30 second elevator speech. This will be one of the first things people see and needs to stand out and help them remember who you are and why they should care.
  • Be accurate in all of the information you post. This is your online resume and it’s important your work experience, job titles and employment dates are all correct.
  • To stand out, fill in those sections that most don’t: what books you are reading, a link to your blog if you write one, a link to you or your company’s website (if applicable) and recommendations you may get from colleagues and friends.

 What Not To Do

  • Don’t put a picture of you with friends or with a drink in hand, alcoholic or not. If you show up for an interview and you look drastically different than the picture it can create doubt about the rest of your profile.
  • Don’t lie. As with any of the social media venues you never know who is looking at your profile and misinformation of any kind will eventually be discovered and it could lead to consequences that won’t play out well.
  • Don’t list any sort of personal information on your profile. Home addresses, social security numbers and year of birth could open you up to identity theft and there is no business reason to add them.
  • Don’t spam your contacts with business offers or MLM schemes. Don’t ask to connect with others unless you have a valid business reason and don’t share your thoughts moment by moment. This isn’t Twitter or Facebook and your connections most likely don’t care that you are going to bed or attending a birthday party for your best friend.

Remember, LinkedIn is a network for people to connect professionally. Keep your business and personal lives separate and remember the people on LinkedIn are typically more affluent, better educated with higher household incomes. Your profile is out there for the world to see, literally, so make sure what others see is a true reflection of your career and professional interests.

 I work with my customers to evaluate their promotional marketing needs and develop creative and measurable solutions based on those needs. I build long-term relationships to become a trusted advisor my clients turn to for their brand extension, promotional product, incentive and other branding needs. Contact me at  


  1. Very good advice! Thanks for the information.

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