Why Should You Be Looking For Alumni On LinkedIn? Here's How To Find Them.

If an alumni from the university you attended contacted you, would you be more apt to respond? My guess is yes. The reasons may vary but it would be safe to say we would engage with the individual because our college years laid the foundation for our professional lives and the associated common bond of where we went to school is usually strong and everlasting.

But why would they be seeking you out and why should you too?

Relationships with alumni can provide you with direct knowledge of industries and organizations, opportunities to gain experience and advice, as well as the chance to expand your network and job search skills. Fellow alumni may be the door opener to match your objectives. Here's just a few examples:

  • If you are a jobseeker, an alumni might aid you in uncovering a potential lead or gain access to hiring managers inside a corporation.
  • Any sales and business development professional is always seeking insight and avenues available to speed up the sales process. Alumni may be able to point you in the direction of the appropriate decision maker.
  • Finding top candidates for a position you want to fill may be made easier if an alumni knows of excellent candidates.
  • Referrals or introductions of all kinds for collaboration, mergers, thought leadership, speaking engagements or project management.
  • For graduating college students, this is a goldmine. Finding an individual who not only graduated from your university but uncovering their common major with you, the industry and company they work in and location opens you up to requesting an informational interview. I wish I had this ability when I graduated!

If you agree with everything you've read so far, you might be asking yourself, "how can I easily gain access to my fellow grads and know where they live and work, what they studied and what they do and what they are skilled at?"

Prior to the new LinkedIn user interface update a tab labeled “Alumni” existed which allowed you to easily find out this information. If you’d like to uncover this today it will take a little work. Here’s how.

I graduated from Pace University with a BBA in Marketing. To start the process I typed Pace University into the search bar. I now select the full Pace University company page.

Clicking on the Pace University listing for the full school takes me to the page below. Once there, I clicked “See alumni” 

I am now presented with an early preview of the new alumni search page. Here interactively I am able to drill down to uncover individuals I may be interested in contacting based on their location, company, position, etc.

Whether you are seeking a new position or want to find out about a certain organization or city, you are presented with a great tool to uncover fellow grads and as we suggested earlier, who wouldn’t want to speak with a fellow alumni?

What’s Next? Until next time stay tuned to this channel.

What happened to LinkedIn Pulse? Here’s Your Answer.

In the past I enjoyed the opportunity to follow LinkedInfluencers, channels of interest and media organizations offering free content via LinkedIn Pulse. A few years ago Pulse had it's own tab which made it simple to access. With the recent interface change finding "Pulse" requires a little direction. Have no fear. Here's how to find it.

Your #LinkedIn Home Page consists of many updates including the activity of those individuals in your network, suggested content (aka promoted content paid for by the advertiser), channels and media you follow and influencer posts.

Prior to the new user interface you could elect which influencers, channels and media you wished to follow by going to the bottom of your profile page and click “Discover More.” 

Clicking “Discover More” would open to this page:

Old Pulse.png

When we queried #LinkedIn via their Help Center to determine if this page was accessible, their response was “At this time we don't have that specific functionality available, but I've sent your suggestion to our product team for consideration.”

Don't worry. Here's the link that gets you there: www.LinkedIn.com/pulse/discover

Nevertheless, this development makes no sense so we went about trying to determine if you can access #Pulse anywhere on the platform. Well, sure enough the answer is Yes with a twist. Here’s how.

  • Go to your Home Page Feed.
  • You’ll notice three horizontal dots in the far right hand corner of each post.
  • Clicking it reveals several options including “Improve My Feed: Get recommended sources to follow.”

Once you click on “Improve My Feed” you are brought to a new rendering of #Pulse choices with a twist. It's now called “Follow Fresh Perspectives.” Here you will see all offered categories of content and individuals including influencers, channels and media to follow. 

What happened to #Pulse? It morphed into Follow Fresh Perspectives. Let us know how you like the new functionality.

What's Next with #LinkedIn? Stay tuned to this channel.

Breaking News! #LinkedIn Profile Background Image Size To Change... Again.

My partner Linda Bass called me into her office this morning. There's nothing special about that other than what she showed me. Linda was seeing her profile's background image as well as other people's background image in a reduced size, no longer stretched across the width of the page. Here's what it looks like.

I thought this must be a bug or she's part of some beta test that LinkedIn occasionally rolls out. Or maybe she zoomed in using her browser. Being the curious and inquisitive person Linda is, she queried LinkedIn about this via the Help Center. Here's their response.

That's right. You will be receiving this update to your profile background image. When? Let me know when you get it. I don't have it yet. Plus there will no longer be a profile image gallery for you to chose from. It will be either the default version or something you create. The previous size (which didn't last very long) was 1536x768. The new size will be 1584x396.

Actually, I think this is a good change as the stretched version was difficult to render properly for both desktop and mobile. At least now there will be consistency across both access points and if you desire, centering your logo will be more sensible.

What's Next? When you receive the new size be sure to adjust it so that it renders properly. Until next time...

How Important Is It To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile For Mobile?

Think about this for a second. The percentage of unique #LinkedIn visitors who access it via mobile is 58%. Fifty-eight percent! For years the vast majority of us accessed LinkedIn via our desktops/laptops. Welcome to the new world. We've been building towards this for years and the future is now.

If you know this, doesn't it make sense to pay even greater attention to how your profile is rendered using the LinkedIn mobile app? The short answer is yes. With this in mind, I'd like to draw your attention to one very important aspect of your mobile LinkedIn profile. It's your Summary.

Note how your Headline leads your profile. Below it is your city and state and just below that is what I call your ~92 character Sub-Headline. Actually it is the beginning of your 2,000 character Summary.

Once you click on the three dots after your Sub-Headline (...), your entire Summary is presented. Now you see your Headline leading the Summary, followed by the Sub-Headline and finally the body of your Summary. Side note: If you have not optimized your Headline your current position title will appear where your Headline is rendered. This will thoroughly confuse the reader so please create a searchable Headline to increase your discovery success rate.

Mobile Summary.PNG

What's Next? With so many changes happening with LinkedIn for both the mobile and desktop user interfaces, we'll continue to point out those areas that aren't as clear as they appear on the surface.

Eye Opening LinkedIn Statistics

Do you want increased views of your LinkedIn Profile? Below are some Eye-Opening statistics provided by Julie Inouye, Senior Director of Corporate and Product Communications at LinkedIn.

  1. Your profile gets 21x more views and 9x more connection requests if you have a Photo. Don’t do a selfie. Get a decent headshot with a solid background. SMILE and wear professional clothing!

          2. Make sure your current position is listed and described. Doing this can lead to 8x                   more profile views. Adding your Education can get you 17x more messages from                   Recruiters.   

            3. If you have listed your Industry your profile will receive 9x more views.

Above all, please remember to add your contact information in several places throughout your profile. Make it easy for prospects and recruiters to reach you!

Do You Say Thank You?

When I was a child my mother introduced me to a common courtesy. When someone did something, anything for me, I was taught to say "Thank You". When someone threw a compliment my way, I was taught to say "Thank You". When someone responded positively to my request, I was taught to say "Thank You". 

"Merriam-Webster Definition of Thank You: a polite expression of one's gratitude"

Thank. You. Two simple words that go a long way toward expressing gratitude and appreciation.

Armed with this, I went off into the world and remembered to thank individuals. Not sometimes but all the time. I thank the grocery store check out person. I thank the landscaper who expertly manicured the trees outside my house. I thank the business owner (many times) who decided to secure my services. I thank my family members, my friends and acquaintances. I thank everyone! Pretty simple, right?

So why is it when someone either accepts my LinkedIn connection request or I accept theirs do I rarely get a simple "Thank You" followed by a request for a conversation? Isn't this the place where we are supposed to be developing business relationships? If you agree, then why aren't the majority of connectors thanking their new connections for connecting in the first place? 

Don't take a thank you for granted. It goes a long way toward establishing a new relationship on the right foot or solidifying one months or years old. 

So here's my 100% free LinkedIn tip. The next time someone accepts your LinkedIn connection request or you accept theirs, send the individual a return note thanking them. From there it's up to you how to proceed.

Make your mom happy. Say thank you.


OMG! Finally. LinkedIn Encourages Everyone To Personalize Connection Requests.

It's been more than 10 years since I started using LinkedIn to grow my media planning and buying company IB Media LLC which morphed into our LinkedIn training service Connect To Success. During these many years, I have been consistent and told anyone who would listen that business is personal, and not to use a default message when you're seeking to connect on LinkedIn.

As a result, every single connection request I've sent has always been personalized with a note calling out to the individual why I'd like to be part of their network. Every. Single. One. Even those individuals I met at a networking event or have known for years. To me it's just good business.

With the new LinkedIn User Interface (some of you do not have it yet but will in the coming days), you no longer have to wonder how you know someone in order to connect. By the way, it hasn't mattered for over two years. Instead, once you click on "Connect" this wonderful box pops up! It says:

" LinkedIn members are more likely to accept invitations that include a personal note".

OMG, I feel so vindicated right now, sorry! Please click "Add a note" and let the individual know WHY you want to connect with them. Maybe they were mentioned to you by a common connection. Maybe you're in the same networking or LinkedIn group. Maybe you have 76 people in common and are wondering why in the world hasn't anyone introduced you to each other. Maybe you simply went to the same university. Whatever it may be, call it out. Otherwise, you'll be so impersonal with your request that you may likely lose your one chance for making a connection.

Thank you LinkedIn for listening.

Live LinkedIn Help via Online Chat for Premium Accounts

Don’t you just love it when you can actually chat with a real person online for help with an issue? Online chat provides immediate assistance and answers to questions. Premium LinkedIn users can take advantage of this opportunity.

I recently discovered this option when I had an issue. My profile was not displaying all the new connection requests that I was receiving. I was notified through email that an individual wanted to connect with me but the connection request did not show up on my profile. My chat session with LinkedIn revealed that this is a current issue with some profiles and their technicians are trying to fix this glitch.

The LinkedIn online chat is hard to find so I have provided screen shots below to show you how to get there. It is available M-F 9am EST through 5pm EST.

Hover over your small photo on the top right of your profile. You will see a list of options. Choose the Help Center. 

Once you arrive at the Help Center go to the very bottom of the page. You will see Online Chat. LinkedIn is testing this feature, so you'll have to check to see if you're part of the trial.


LinkedIn Pulse Schizophrenia. How To Follow Influencers, Channels and Publishers In The New World Order.

If you are a frequent user of LinkedIn Pulse, you probably are experiencing a multitude of issues, wonderment and bewilderment. Many of you can't find Pulse let alone figure out how to follow it's content. As LinkedIn's preference is to either slowly roll out new functionality or "test" it's user interface on all of us, Pulse is now going through a metamorphosis of sorts depending on what stage of the "roll out" or "test" you currently have. Heck, some of you don't even have a Pulse tab to click on. Fortunately I do.

Here's what my version looks like today (June 15, 2016):

OK, it looks nice. Pretty clean. Simplified for easy reading and scrolling. But, can you see what's missing? It's the ability from this page that we had in it's previous incarnation to select the Influencers, Channels and Publishers we wish to follow!

Here's how to find it until the next "update", "test" or "roll out".

Go to your Profile and scroll all the way to the very bottom. Yes, this is absolutely hidden from you, me and anyone else interested in following Pulse elements. See the two little words, "Discover More"? Bingo! Click it and magically you are taken to the "old" version of the Pulse Follower page. 

All the credit goes to Linda Bass for uncovering this as she was with a client today and happened upon it. Now you know where it is too!

Until "What's Next" next time...

Did You Know There's A Fresh Method To Move LinkedIn Sections Within Sections?

As you know we conduct LinkedIn workshops and personal training on a regular basis. During our sessions we are asked many questions related to an individual's profile and how much flexibility exists to manage it.

Sometimes an individual has two businesses listed as "Current". In some instances the two positions may exist within the same organization. Recently we were asked "Can I elect to have a particular position presented in the first position even if they are both current"? Absolutely you can! Here's how.

Previously you needed to place your cursor to the left of the multiple positions within the same organization. As shown below you would see two vertical bars that would require you to grab and pull them to reorder your positions. Please note we have placed purple vertical rectangles where the gray box appeared previously.

In a recent update, LinkedIn changed the method to do this. It now more closely mirrors what you would do if you were reordering complete sections by grabbing the arrow on the top of the right of the section, Now you are provided with an up/down arrow within the section. 

The example shown below highlights the "secondary" up/down arrow. It's hidden until you scroll over the section. By grabbing the up/down arrow shown you can now reorder the multiple positions you hold within the organization. 

It's pretty simple once you know where to find the tool and now you do! Happy to help with little LinkedIn tips like this to make your profile your own.

Until "What's Next" next time...