READING LIST: The Startup of You

Reid Hoffman is the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn and knows a thing or two about the power of networking.

The Start-up of You is not a technical “how to” book about the world’s most popular professional networking site, but instead a philosophical discussion about approaching your career with the mindset of entrepreneur.  Hoffman along with his co-author, Ben Casnocha suggest that you consider your career in permanent beta– as a professional, you are never complete, but instead always aiming to grow, expand and improve.

Who should read this book? Read more

Getting Started on LinkedIn for College Students

There is never a better time to get started using LinkedIn than while you are still in college. Unlike Facebook, which you’ve probably used primarily for your social life, LinkedIn should be reserved for your professional life.  And even though you are a couple of years away from your first professional job, now is the time to start building your LinkedIn profile and network.  LinkedIn is a very powerful business tool and a “must have” for all professionals.  For more insight on the use of LinkedIn among recruiters, check out this article, “20 Reasons Why LinkedIn Will Be the #1 Recruiting Portal of the Future.”  Read more

LinkedIn Maps to Visualize Your Network

LinkedIn Maps is a tool for visualizing your professional network.  It takes only a few minutes and reveals clusters, gaps and connectors in your network.  Here is mine:

The Power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the most popular and powerful social media websites of our time.  I would argue that it is one of the most powerful business tools ever invented.  I say this because I believe that people with whom you interact are the single most important factor in your career.

Let me be more specific, it is the relationships you have with the people around you—your colleagues, managers, customers and clients– that determine your professional success.  And LinkedIn is the most powerful tool for helping you manage and grow your professional relationships.

All social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Myspace and Twitter and are Read more

The Most Important 10 Minutes You’ll Ever Spend on LinkedIn

At the beginning of January, I posted Reading List: How to Master LinkedIn in 7 Days or Less, and noted that Jan Wallen’s book includes a tip that by itself is worth the price.  Well, Jan was kind enough to allow me to post her tip here.

Read the tip.  Read more

Seth Godin’s Email Checklist

Godin’s email checklist has been around for a few years, so you may have seen it.  If not, it is definitely worth a read.  There are too many recommendations to be practically used as a checklist, however, they are all good.  Here are the most important recommendations to consider for your professional email:

13.  Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour).
14.  Could I do this note better with a phone call?
21.  Could this email be shorter? Read more

Reading List: Mastering LinkedIn in 7 Days or Less

Jan Wallen's BookJan Wallen’s Mastering LinkedIn in 7 Days or Less  is a must read for LinkedIn newbies and experienced users alike.  Because of Jan’s extensive professional experience in Fortune 500 and Big 5 firms, her book focuses on the very practical aspects of utilizing LinkedIn to find a job, identify new clients and grow your business.

The book covers the basics from creating  your initial profile to searching for and connecting with people in your network.  As an extensive user of LinkedIn for her own business, Jan provides many of her own insider secrets, tools and services throughout.

There are specific steps for days #1-7 starting with determining your LinkedIn philosophy.  On Day #6, you’ll learn about The Most Important 10 Minutes You’ll Ever Spend in LinkedIn.  This information alone is worth the price of the book and the time spent reading it.  Each day covers a different topic and by Day #7, you will have had the full tour.  Some of the other important topics include:

  • Why LinkedIn shouldn’t be used as your electronic resume
  • Maximizing your LinkedIn profile with Recommendations & Answers
  • Determining your purpose and goals for using LinkedIn
  • Why to include the link to your LinkedIn profile in your email signature and how to get your “vanity” link
  • 10 Ways You Never Thought of Using LinkedIn

There are many books covering LinkedIn.  This is one of the best.

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Reading List: “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” – 2nd edition Available for Free Download

Jan Vermeiren and Bert Verdonck have written the second edition of “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” and are making it available for free.  Vermeiren’s first edition is one of my top recommendations on the subject of LinkedIn.

The 2nd Edition has been completely revised and there are 53 extra pages which include:

  • Passive, active and proactive strategies for people who are looking for new customers, new employees or a new job.
  • How to be better prepared for offline events using LinkedIn.
  • A brand new chapter about how organizations can use LinkedIn (versus individuals) including the new LinkedIn Strategy Matrix© for Organizations.

Finally there is the new free “Video & Tools Library” with video tips, assessments, tools and webinar recordings.  The book can be downloaded for free from http://www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com (the library can also be found on that website).

Everyone Has Something to Contribute

In her Wall Street Journal Online article, Reverse Mentoring Cracks Workplace, Leslie Kwoh writes about “reverse mentoring” whereby older, more experienced employees are paired with younger employees who serve as their mentors.  This approach can be especially helpful to teach older employees about the latest technology such as Skype and iPhone apps and popular social media tools such as Facebook or Twitter.  The article cites several Fortune 500 companies that have successfully implemented reverse mentoring programs including GE, Ogilvy & Mather, Hewlett-Packard Co., Cisco Systems Inc. Read more

Top Eight Rules of Networking

Networking is a critical skill for a successful career.  When you learn to do it well, you will enjoy yourself.  If not, networking can be excruciating for you and the people around you.   Approach networking with the idea that you want to help others and you’ll be amazed at how much you receive in return.

Kelly Eggers of Dow Jones offers her version of the do’s and don’t of networking:

  1. Have a Solid Introduction
  2. Don’t Confuse People with Your Pitch
  3. Don’t Tell a Sob Story
  4. Spend More Time Listening Than Talking
  5. Avoid Being Socially Inept
  6. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
  7. Hand out Your Business Card, Not Your Resume
  8. Follow Up and Through

Read the full article on FINS.com.