LinkedIn is THE place to make connections with colleagues, clients, prospects and more. It’s the biggest networking platform out there: it had 500 million users as of January 1, and 40% of them use LinkedIn daily. Isn’t that incredible?

Like any platform, it’s always changing, so I asked my colleague Judy Zimmer to share a few tips about recent changes with you. She’s a super-star LinkedIn expert, and you can learn more about her here: www.coachology.us.

Green Dot Indicates Active Status

The first new change Judy points out is the green dot in the messaging window, which indicates a member’s active status. It appears in two ways: a simple green dot means the person is on LinkedIn right now, and a green dot with a small white dot in the center means the person will receive a notification on their mobile phone when they receive a message. This allows LinkedIn messaging to function like an instant messenger. If you can catch them while they’re active, there’s a better chance of piquing their interest and getting a response. EXTRA TIP: Remember to personalize your message to increase the odds that they’ll accept you as a connection or reply to your message. Ask yourself: What were you excited about when you met them? That’s a great way to get personal.

Private Dashboard

Another significant new change is your personal, private dashboard in your profile. You’ll see some useful statistics: a set of three numbers telling you how many people have viewed your profile and your posts, and how many times you appeared in searches. Click on this bar to learn more about your searchers: where they work, what they do, and what keywords they used to find you.

EXTRA TIP: If the keywords you value aren’t in the list, make sure they occur repeatedly in your profile. In fact, your preferred term should be in your profile no less than five times: in headline, summary, experience, skills/endorsements and recommendations. Why is it so important? “Because the more clarity you have around keywords, the easier it is for people to come looking for you and the more people you can help,” says Judy.

Take Control of Skills and Endorsements

Lastly, scroll down below your Experience section to find Skills and Endorsements. This has been revised to make it easier for you to control which skills are featured at the top of your list. Click on the pencil to edit the list: by clicking on the thumbtack icons, you can select which three top skills you want to emphasize. By clicking on the four parallel horizontal lines, you can drag the skills to rearrange them. When people endorse you, they refer to this list, so make it easy for them to craft a useful endorsement for you.

It pays to be active on LinkedIn, and to get acquainted with the ins and outs. “There’s so much you can leverage, so many tools,” says Judy.

If you’d like some help with LinkedIn, reach out to me or to Judy, and polish up that profile!



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