LinkedIn Customized Profile URL

Did you know you can customize your LinkedIn profile URL? Every LinkedIn member can create a easily recognizable link directly to their profile in LinkedIn.

When you create a profile in LinkedIn, the system automatically generates a link to your profile. By default, this is a meaningless string of numbers and / or letters. I recommend Linkedin members edit this field and creating a custom URL for their profile.

Create your own LinkedIn customized profile URL

My custom profile URL is http://www.linkedin.com/in/aprilmwilliams. Clicking on this link will take you directly to my profile page in LinkedIn.

Click on my custom URL http://www.linkedin.com/in/aprilmwilliams and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Members can customizable the last part of their URL or the segment after “in”.

http://www.linkedIn/in/<CUSTOMIZE>

Each LinkedIn member profile is unique. If you have a common name, you may have to be creative in your selection. Consider these options:

  • <FirstName LastName>
  • <FirstName Middle Name LastName>
  • <FirstName Middle Initial LastName>
  • Tag line: i.e., WorldsBestLawyer

Add your newly customized LinkedIn profile URL to your email signature and include it in your resume.

Enter a comment below and let us know your customized LinkedIn profile URL.

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You heard about LinkedIn from professional associates and possibly even created your profile. Now it is time to use LinkedIn to attract clients to you.

A quick overview of LinkedIn: It is an online professional networking tool used around the globe. According to LinkedIn, you can network with 70 million members from over 200 countries, including executives from all Fortune 500 companies. Members are split evenly between the United States and other countries. Basic LinkedIn membership is free though premium memberships are available.

Logging on to LinkedIn and creating your professional profile is the first step to building your online presence. Your goal is to attract clients and engage in business transactions.

This 34 page guide will walk you through the best practices for creating a profile that attracts clients, and the best ways to use LinkedIn as a tool to build your business. In each section you can stop reading, update your profile and come back for more.

Buy today and receive special bonus material too!

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Starting an Alumni Group

Most of us change jobs every 2-3 years. Have you wished you had a way to keep in touch with your former co-workers?

I started an online alumni group during the recession in January 2002 to help find new jobs for recently laid off co-workers. The group currently has over 400 members and is still a resource for sharing job leads. Most of us are still in the Chicago area at other companies. We provide the group with unadvertised job leads, pre-interview company intelligence and internal contacts.

Thai Festival 2010 - 17
Creative Commons License photo credit: garryknight

Is now the time to set up a group for your former co-workers? It’s easy to do with online groups. They work as a broadcast system to distribute emails to those who have “opted in” to the group. Check out the free group tools at Linkedin, Facebook, Yahoo groups or Google groups and start your own group today. Either site walks you through selecting the options to set up your group. From personal experience, I select “restrict membership” to maintain the groups focus. I also recommend requiring membership in the group before you can post messages. This reduces the chance of getting spam.

The amount of time required to maintain your group depends on the options you choose during set up, the number of new members and member activity level. The group owner can change these options to better suit the needs of the group and time available to administer membership. Additional moderators can be appointed to help with group maintenance.

Finding the Email Address Of Someone You Want To Meet

Have you ever wanted to contact someone but could not find an email address? Below are some tips from Rich Sauser, our guest blogger today.

Rich is a networking expert and is often quoted in the media. He is sought after as a presenter and I was glad to have Rich working with me when I started my company. Currently residing in Charlotte, you can contact Rich through many social networking sites. Thanks to Rich for sharing these tips with our readers.

Kait
Creative Commons License photo credit: Katie@!

Here’s Rich…

Have you ever wanted to connect with someone on LinkedIn, but they were out of your network and there was no easy way to connect? You can still try to get an introduction but it may take a bit creative of work outside of LinkedIn. Recently, someone asked me how to connect with someone in the County of McHenry Department of Health in Illinois. Although I have over 1,200 first degree contacts in LinkedIn, there are not a lot of people on LinkedIn from the McHenry County Health Department.

Listed below is the approach I used to find someone who could potentially introduce me to the person I wanted to contact.

  1. Look up the company the person works at on LinkedIn and see if there is anyone else you can connect with or contact. In this case there were a few but not too many:
  2. In this case there was nothing really there, but I was able to get the website of the company:
  3. What you are now looking for is the format of the email address of people who work there (e.g. FirstName.LastName@CompanyName.com)
  4. First thing I do is go to the “Contact Us” page – sometimes when you attempt to contact them it will pull up in your email and you will get the format.
  5. By going to Public Health and clicking the “contact us” I get the following address: Health@co.mchenry.il.us – while better than nothing it is still a generic email account.
  6. So now having nothing else to go on, you need to do a Google Search to get the name format. In this case I did a search on “@co.mchenry.il.us”. A few hits down, you will see your first listing of a name followed by the “@co.mchenry.il.us
  7. Based on the email addresses shown, I have a couple of options for the email format: first letter of first name and then last name or first letter first name, first letter of middle initial and then last name.
  8. So now I can either do a search on Google for the person I am trying to contact with both versions of their email address or I can send an email to both versions and see which one works.

Social Networking Classes for Business

Student feedback for the recent social networking classes in McHenry has been fabulous. We have a whole new set of LinkedIn users, Facebook friends, Twitter Tweeters and bloggers out there.


This four class series ran three times in McHenry at the Shah Illinois Small Business Development (ISBDC) Center.

After the class, students were invited to join our LinkedIn group to share learnings and best practices with each other. If you attended one of my social networking classes and would like to join this group, send me an email and let me know the class you attended.

If you missed on the session in McHenry, you still have time to register for classes in Elgin. Check our events page for the upcoming events.

Rock the World with your Online Presence book

Mike O’Neil knows how to Rock the World with your Online Presence: Your Ticket to a Multi-Platinum LinkedIn Profile 2nd Edition with music and LinkedIn. I picked up new techniques on updating my profile while reading a promotional copy of the book. Mike and his co-author Lori Ruff weave the solid advice on building a strong LinkedIn profile with classic rock songs.

The book walks the reader through each element of a LinkedIn profile starting at the top. Chapter by chapter, you will learn how to maximize the law of attraction to let others find you online. Using screen shots, examples and tips, these authors start with strategy then get to the details. Mike and Lori focus on the hard tactics which make all the difference online.

Their tips on creating an attention getting LinkedIn profile headline include keyword search strategies, number of characters allowed (120) and using market test strategies.

The power of keywords is a feature often overlooked by LinkedIn users. Mike and Lori show you how to enter keywords in the best segments of your profile so they become searchable by others.

This book is about LinkedIn though there is references to integrate LinkedIn with other tools. The importance of status updates is discussed and links to Twitter updates as well. They discuss the recently added LinkedIn status functionality which allows an instant update to your linked Twitter account.

Their suggestions for giving and receiving professional recommendations are right on. With 3-5 sentences, you can get to the point and make your case. They show you how to make it easy for others to recommend your work.

Linkedin regularly changes the user interface or adds new features. To keep the book current, there is a website where updates and additional content are posted.

Check out this book if you are ready to dive in to create a LinkedIn profile that “Rocks the World.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Duplicate LinkedIn Profiles

Duplicate LinkedIn profiles are common. This can happen when you create a LinkedIn profile using one address then you receive another LinkedIn invitation to join through a different address. When you click on the link to the LinkedIn website, it does not recognize your email address and you are encouraged to create a profile.
ivan-walsh-linkedin-profile
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ivan Walsh

Why is this a problem? When you build connections and recommendations they are tied to a single profile. Currently, there is no way to merge two different profiles. They are each stand alone entities independent of one another.

Think of a customer or client who looks for you on LinkedIn. If they see two separate profiles, how will they know which one to connect with? The only way to resolve this is to delete one profile. When you do this, you will lose all your connections and recommendations on the deleted profile.

You can prevent this from occurring by updating your LinkedIn profile with all the email addresses you use.

Choosing LinkedIn Groups to Join

You asked, “How do I begin choosing LinkedIn groups?”

Linkedin
Creative Commons License photo credit: Coletivo Mambembe

LinkedIn groups provide a forum for those interested in a specific topic to share information and learn from each other. You can join an existing group or create your own group for a specific purpose. I created the “CyberLife Tutors Connectors” LinkedIn Group to share information on networking and jobs.

The owner of the group determines if the group is open to everyone or has restricted access requiring approval of the group manager. The group owner can pre approve or invite others to join the group.

Search in the group directory on a subject of interest to you. Review the search results to select groups to join. I read the description of the group and note the number of members. A useful national group or global group will have thousands of members. Groups bound to a geographic area might have hundreds of members.

You can choose up to 50 groups to join. Have fun!

5 Reasons to Join LinkedIn Groups

Do you need more reasons to join a LinkedIn group?

For those who say they do not have time to network, here are some interesting statistics I read:

  • Percentage of elite professionals (those earning more than $200,000 per year) who say networking impacts income, according to a study from Upwardly Mobile Inc. with the assistance of the Graziadio School of Business Management at Pepperdine University: 80%
  • Percentage who believe a skilled networker could see up to a 100 percent increase in income: 58%
  • Percentage of respondents who said networking is how they found their current job: 40%

Source: uexpress.com/figurativelyspeaking

LinkedIn members, know they can connect directly with other individuals. LinkedIn groups enable collective connections with others to engage in group dialog.

Here are five reasons to join a LinkedIn group:

  • Learn from having rich discussions with others in your field, industry, geographic area, etc.
  • Identify partnership opportunities
  • Share best practices with other like-minded networkers
  • Post job openings
  • Build relationships to benefit from future employment or sales opportunities

To choose a LinkedIn group to join, search the ‘groups’ directory. You can choose from corporate, professional, industry, alumni, or geographic groups.

Join LinkedIn groups and network with others who are serious about managing their careers. You will learn and share ideas with industry experts. Members understand networking is not something you do for a short time to land a job. Networking is for life.

Post a question, offer your perspective, link to a career article or let us know about job openings. Send a note to the group and introduce yourself. What you put into the group will come back to you again and again.

Social Networking Class July 2010

New summer social networking for business classes added to our summer schedule. Check out these sessions in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. These sessions are designed for business owners and employees who want to leverage the power of social networking tools to gain market share. Learn how you can rank higher in Google and other search engine results without paying for these hits. See how you can use these tools to build relationships and community with your current and potential customers.

  • Blogging Basics – 7/12/2010 Students will need access to a web based email account (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc) to participate in this class.
  • I’m LinkedIn, Now What – 7/19/2010 Create a free LinkedIn.com account before class
  • Facebook for Business – 7/26/2010  Create a free Facebook.com account before class

Register early as these sessions have been selling out. Contact Elgin Community College for information on class fees, dates, times and locations. For information on upcoming classes and other events visit our website events page.

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