12 Most Little Known Tricks to Use On LinkedIn

12 Most Little Known Tricks to Use On LinkedIn

To know me is to know that I love — love — LinkedIn. At 150 million members and growing, LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking tool, and it’s not just for those who are job seeking. Frankly, if you’re in the professional world and not using LinkedIn, I’m not sure what you’re thinking. Our team at V3 uses it for new business development, competitive research and analysis, participating in groups and discussions and engaging with and learning from peers — and, of course, it’s the go-to site for savvy job seekers everywhere.

One of the cool things about LinkedIn is there’s always something new to learn. Sure, the first step is to sign up and create your profile. But once you’ve got the basics covered, there are a number of ways you can customize your experience in order to not only achieve your professional goals, but also to get more personally out of LinkedIn. I do a lot of corporate LinkedIn training and these are some of my favorite tricks and tips. Let’s get started.

1. How to remove a connection

Wanna ditch a connection? Sometimes you need to give someone the boot. Maybe it’s a colleague, a competitor, an ex or just someone you don’t want to be associated with. Getting rid of them is easy as pie. Even better, they won’t know you’ve given them the heave-ho. How to wield this magic? When you’re logged into LinkedIn, Select Contacts in the main navigation bar. At the far right, you’ll see two options: Add connections and Remove connections. Click Remove connections, check the box next to the contact’s name and click OK.

2. Hide your status updates

Sometimes it makes sense to operate in stealth mode. If you’re connecting with new business prospects or making changes to your profile in preparation for job seeking, you may not want to broadcast that activity to your network. Click the drop-down menu under your name in the top right corner of the page, then select Settings. In the profile section, click Turn on/off your activity broadcasts under Privacy Controls. Uncheck the box that appears in the pop-up window and click Save Settings. Easy as can be and now you’re flying below the radar. One tip: remember to turn this setting back on as soon as you’re done, otherwise, you’ll be invisible on LinkedIn and that kind of negates the whole point!

3. Privacy matter to you? Opt out of ads

There was a big brouhaha about LinkedIn and privacy a few months back when it was discovered that a default setting called “social sharing” allows LinkedIn to pair an advertiser’s message with the social content from a LinkedIn user’s network. This allows them to tailor ads more closely to the audience. Bottom line, if you don’t want your info showing up in random ads, opt out. Click Settings under your name, then click Account. Under Privacy Controls, select Manage Advertising Preferences. If you don’t want to see ads, uncheck the box that appears in the pop-up window and click Save Settings. You can also read more about each type of advertising, if you want to learn more.

4. Get a custom URL

It’s much easier to publicize your LinkedIn profile with a customized URL, rather than the clunky combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up. Plus, if you use a consistent name across all of your social networks (and you should), this is a great way to boost your own “brand awareness.” Laugh if you will, but it’s an important part of networking. And when it comes to networking, do you really want anything less than a custom URL on your business card? We think not. How to get your own custom URL? Log in click Profile > Edit Profile in the main nav bar. At the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.

5. Make yourself anonymous

If you’re gearing up for some serious LinkedIn stalking, whether for competitive research, new business prospecting or job hunting, you may want to switch your profile setting to anonymous so that individuals and companies can’t tell that you’ve been looking at their profiles. To make your profile anonymous, choose Settings > Privacy Controls > Select what others can see when you’ve viewed their profile. From there, you have three options: Display your name and headline, Display an anonymous profile with some characteristics identified such as industry and title, or totally anonymous. Once you’re done with your sleuthing, be sure to switch your settings back — remaining anonymous on LinkedIn for a long period of time won’t do you much good when it comes to networking and lead generation.

6. Customize a link to your website

When you set up your profile, LinkedIn lets you display links to up to three URLs. And although LinkedIn provides several choices when identifying the website content you’re linking (Personal Website, Company Website, Blog, RSS Feed, etc.), it’s better to customize those. For instance, mine say: The V3 Website, The V3 Blog, Shelly Kramer’s Facebook, which is where I’d like to send people if they want to know more about me. To customize the URLs you link on your LinkedIn profile, do this: Select Edit Profile from the Profile menu in the main nav bar. In the gray box that includes your photo, Select Edit next to Websites. From there, choose Other from the drop-down menu. A new box will appear that lets you name the website and enter the URL. When you’re done, click Save Changes.

7. Add your blog feed

If you have a WordPress blog, we highly recommend feeding your blog into your LinkedIn profile (unless, of course, the content isn’t appropriate for a LinkedIn page.) To enable this setting, Select More in the main nav bar and Select Applications. From there, choose the WordPress application and enter the link to your feed. The blog will then appear in your profile and will update each time a new post is added. Want to move where that blog application is appearing in your profile? Easy. Click Profile > Edit Profile and hover over the application title. Your cursor will change into a hand, and you can “grab” the element and move it to a different spot on the page. You can also use the BlogLink application if your blog isn’t a WordPress site.

8. Hide a recommendation

Ever get a recommendation you didn’t ask for? Or one that isn’t something you’d want to showcase on your LinkedIn profile? I have! If you get a recommendation that’s poorly written or is unsolicited and don’t feel comfortable reaching out to the writer and asking for some revisions, no biggie. You can easily hide the recommendation instead. Select Profile > Edit Profile and go to the position with which the recommendation is associated. Click Manage. Uncheck the box next to the recommendation that you want to hide, and click Save Changes.

9. Add to your connection base

Duh. (Sorry, that just slipped out). A social networking site doesn’t do you much good if you don’t focus on building a network and adding to your connection base. If you’ve mined your email contacts for possible connections and have exhausted LinkedIn’s People You Should Know recommendations, there’s an easy way to expand your network—stalking!! Yeah, I said stalking. Simply go to a friend or colleague’s profile and click Connections in the main profile box. From there, you’ll see an alphabetized list of connections, and before long you’ll probably be saying to yourself “Oh, I know her. And him. And I can’t believe I’m not connected to THAT joker (I said that about that goofball @seanmcginnis), and you can quickly and easily send invitations to connect. For me, this is one of the easiest ways to build LinkedIn connections—and candidly, I also get a little thrill out of stalking. One last reminder — don’t forget to customize the invitation before you send it. Nothing’s worse than getting the default “I’d like to add you to my connections” email for telling someone “you’re so unimportant to me that I can’t take the 20 seconds it would require to send you a personal note.” Just. Don’t. Do. It.

10. Block connections and group activities from competitors

If you’re using LinkedIn for new business development (or job seeking), it’s probably a good idea to slip into stealth mode again when you’re focused on this kind of work. It only makes sense, in some instances, that you’ll want to keep competitors (or current employers, if you’re job hunting) from seeing your new connections and group activity. Easy to do. Select Settings > Account > Customize the updates you see on your home page. In the pop-up window under General, uncheck the box that says New connections in your network. Scroll down and, under Groups, uncheck the box next to Groups your connections have joined or created. Click Save Changes and you’re set!

11. Get LinkedIn updates in an RSS feed

Want an easy button when it comes to LinkedIn Updates? If so, you can add LinkedIn updates to your feed reader. I think this is especially good when you’re focused on new business development. And when doing this, you can choose from the public feed and your personal feed, which contains private information from your network. To add a feed to your reader, go to LinkedIn’s RSS feeds page. You can turn on the feed for network updates and add it to your reader using one of the reader buttons or by copying the link. Additionally, you can add an RSS feed of a LinkedIn Answers category, a great way to stay up-to-date on discussion about a particular industry or subject. Before you add a personal feed to your reader, be forewarned that some web-based readers will publish your feed URLs on the web, meaning that information could show up in search results. If you want to avoid that disclosure, make sure your feed reader guarantees that your feeds are kept private (sorry, Google Reader fans).

12. Beef up your experience with projects

This is a relatively new LinkedIn feature and it is uber cool! You’ve probably listed a summary of your career experience, as well as individual jobs, to your LinkedIn profile, but Projects take it to a whole new level. Projects gives you a chance to further showcase specific skills. Plus, you can add a relevant URL to each project and, if your team members are also on LinkedIn, you can connect them (by name and by link to profile) to the project as well. Sweeeeet. We LOVE Projects! Want to add this to your profile? Click Profile > Edit Profile. Under the primary gray box of your profile, you’ll see a new Add Sections feature on a blue background. Click Add sections, Projects and enter a project description. You may want to add other sections, too, depending on their relevance.

There you have it. My 12 most favorite tricks and tips for making your LinkedIn experience not only a better one, but a more productive one as well. And hopefully there’s a trick or two there that you didn’t already know about!

Now, what are you waiting for? Get going! LinkedIn is a powerful business social networking site and we find that the time we invest there pays off in spades. And, if I’ve missed any tips that you think are stupendous, leave them in the comments — you know we wanna know about ’em! And while you’re at it let’s be sure we connect on LinkedIn.

Featured image licensed via Stock.Xchng.

Shelly Kramer

http://www.v3im.com

Shelly Kramer is the CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing. She’s a digital marketing strategist, and owner of a full service digital agency headquartered in Kansas City, MO. What they do? It’s simple -- if it’s on the web, Shelly and her team at V3 do it. From web design and SEO, to content strategy and marketing to social media community development and management, they've got it covered. She’s got a love of words, a propensity for data and analyses, is possessed of a twisted sense of humor and appreciates quick repartee more than most. The icing on the cake? Her well-published love of beer.

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100 comments
erinsrk
erinsrk

great post but did you know that you can't view your own Projects, nor can any of your approved contacts view them, when logging in or viewing from the mobile Linkedin site/app? This is an extremely annoying (and detrimental) fault in an otherwise excellent professional platform and app. This is a cut&paste of my comment on a Linkedin forum on the subject and which I'm currently spamming them with everywhere in the hopes that someone will reply or fix it!! People have been talking about this fault since mid last year it seems. No fix yet...


"Does anyone know the program on this (hopeful) fix? I need this fixed as well. I just spent a day cleaning up my profile and putting all unpaid or extracurricular projects in the Projects section to make my career trajectory look way less busy and eclectic (you know how some employers are). And now so much of it doesn't even show on the mobile version!!!

Most of my arts and curatorial work has been projects alongside other 'day jobs'. If people can only see my Experience section, it looks like I've not even been that involved in the Arts? Linkedin needs to fix this missing mobile app/site functionality ASAP. It's a serious flaw in an otherwise excellent platform."

Nikhila
Nikhila

Hi shelly,

The tricks given above have really helped me. Just need one more tip on "how to hide updates from specific members" on LinkedIn. It would be great if you can help me on this. Thanks for sharing

Jens
Jens

Regrettably LinkedIn apparently always broadcasts change of photo regardless of setting “Note: Updating your photo generates an update that cannot be prevented by turning your activity broadcasts off. ” Quite annoying.
https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/78

Oops
Oops

I accidentally viewed someone I have an awkward relationship with 's LinkedIn Profile when not anonymous...this could be really really awkward, i went private afterward, will they still be able to see that I viewed their profile?

LeslieDeanBrown
LeslieDeanBrown

Very helpful, thanks very much!

I especially like the bit about feeding your wordpress blog into linked in. I didn't know you could do that.


Executive@SG2013
Executive@SG2013

HI Shelly Great Article.

Do you or anybody here know to block someone who is not my connection from reading/seeing my profile?

rexalexander62
rexalexander62

Great inforamtion and really appriciate the post.

One thing that I would reccomend on the site though is to wrangle your floating share button to one side of the page or the other.  Being right in the text the entire time it makes it hard to read around and is a huge distraction:)

Hutoxi Anklesaria
Hutoxi Anklesaria

Hi !  How to know that one particular person (not a group) only one person has blocked me or just removed me from his connection.

SS
SS

Hi Shelley,


Nice article! Thank you. I was just wondering about removing contacts: how do you know that they won't know you've gotten rid of them? There's a few people on my list I don't want on there, but I've kept them on purely to prevent dramas.....

North_facer
North_facer

Hi I have a question about the project members, I created project section added few projects and added project members to each project from my first degree connections made projects as publicly visible on my profile.. all of that went well except that when viewers click on the member name link it is asking them to login into linkedin to view their profile instead of taking them to their public profile and all of these project members have their public profiles on linkedin.. I also notice when the viewer mouse over the team member link it is displaying a long url (in the browser status bar) instead of the URL pointing to their public profile.. any suggestions on how to fix this? your response greatly appreciated. 


thanks N

RB
RB

Thanks for the above suggestions/tips.  Do you know if there is a way to block people from having the ability to comment/like an activity or blog that I post to linkedin?  I have looked all over the site but don't see the option anywhere.  Thanks so much

RB

osmanteyeb
osmanteyeb

Thanks Shelly for the useful tips.

Asterion
Asterion

I'm looking for a plain English, clear explanation of tip 10. How do I hide my network from my competitors? This is a MAJOR drawback of LinkedIn for me. My network is my IP, so sharing it with all and sundry is bad business. LinkedIn seems like it was designed for 12 year old FaceBook users looking to impress each other with their number of "friends". I need to control access to my network, but can find no clear instructions anywhere on how this might be achieved. The focus of the tips given in this article seem to be on their 'chatty' written style rather than on their clarity. Do you have these tips (especially #10) written for adult readers? Thanks.

Colin Robbins
Colin Robbins

Sadly 'trick' 7 no longer works, since the LinkedIn GUI update.

Nussol
Nussol

Dear Ms. Kramer - May I ask you a question about LinkedIn? Is there a way to sort your connections according to the date you connected? 

linayerkes
linayerkes

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rihanna

Michele Hartley
Michele Hartley

Great article - never knew quite what to do with linked in but now i do!

Roger Shindell
Roger Shindell

Great Post.  Really liked the insight to Projects.  Went right out and added on to my profile

 

Thanks

petren
petren

Shelly, ive recently joined linked in and like you say, its a wealth of information. just a question. when i did my profile i showed my url but when you post something it asks you to submit a url again. should i use that box for another reference, or put mine in there again? just confused on this issue. thanks for excellent article.  Peter (opalmine.com)

Thorsten
Thorsten

Hi Shelly: great tips for a more safe and convenient linkedin experience- thanks a lot ! Just updated my account settings to get rid of several minor annoyances :-) Greetings Munich, Germany Thorsten

Lisa
Lisa

i don't want someone to know I've viewed their profile  - it was a bit of an accident and I had clicked on to it while searching without meaning to- can I go anonymous and appear that way in their viewer history, or is it too late ?

mmangen
mmangen

@2morrowknight Thanks, Sean

Jenni Johnson
Jenni Johnson

Wow!  Thanks Shelly! This was very helpful.  I didn't know about these little "secrets".  Now I can work on polishing up my linkedin page without looking "unfinished" in the process of building it.  You're a gem for sharing this.

pramod_pawar
pramod_pawar

@LinkedInIndia hey.. Mobile web link of linkedin doesn't work on @samsungbada mobile. Nor there is any decent app for #bada OS.

Javiersxdyi8bf3
Javiersxdyi8bf3

@JuliaRosien Get yourself an walmart voucher. All you have to do is respond walmart's question! See my profile website!

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer

@chamblisslaw Excellent. Now you do. So get going :))

dbvickery
dbvickery

Great suggestions, Shelly. LinkedIn is an invaluable resource, so I am glad you made the suggestions above. Everyone needs to strive for that 100% profile completion because this is your "best foot forward" in the professional world nowadays.

 

And folks need to proofread. Similar to a resume, if I see misspelled words, I will disqualify you as a candidate. If you aren't willing to do a little quality control when representing yourself, how can I ever count on you to best represent our company?

 

I also like the custom URL and website links. The results look a lot "cleaner".

Cathy Bishop
Cathy Bishop

LinkedIn is the social network for professionals that's why many are into this social platform. I've heard they're getting stricter and stricter these days. Thanks for the tips in using LinkedIn especially in removing connections and hiding status updates. http://www.callbox.com.sg/

WendyChamberlain
WendyChamberlain

Thanks for sharing @ShellyKramer.  Great tips on how to go into "stealth mode".  Love it.  Project is also a feature that I'll be checking out.

 

Wendy

Cody Baird
Cody Baird

Sweet post!  Thanks for the tips.  Especially the projects tip.  Love it

Ted1ubmgh
Ted1ubmgh

@mqtodd Looks fantastic, check this user @walmartmarket

MeghanMBiro
MeghanMBiro

@recruiterblog @JenniferMcClure Thanks you two ;-) Fridays Cheers!

Miriam Salpeter
Miriam Salpeter

Shelly - a great list of tips! I am always surprised when people don't realize they can customize their LinkedIn URLs - an absolute must have!

 

I have a bit of a different take on when to go into "stealth" mode, though. I advise job seekers to set their privacy settings to ALLOW people to see they've visited their profiles. For example, it's a good thing if someone who will be interviewing you knows you are doing your research and reviewing his or her profile! If you are expanding your network (and who isn't?), letting people know you've stopped by their profiles is a great way to potentially start a conversation and to connect.

 

Of course, there are plenty of good times to be anonymous, too. I tend to favor the "more information is better" approach for many job seekers, though.

 

Thanks for your terrific list!

ibizenberg
ibizenberg

Thanks for the great ideas, Shelley. Now, from an obvious neophyte: how are people adding thier LinkedIn button to their comments?  Thanks!

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer

@josepf Hahaha! You're good. Very very good. And I'm wondering if that will entice @seanmcginnis to dig a little :)

dizzernp
dizzernp

@GlenGilmore @shellykramer @2cre8 @12most 'Most little'? Tut, tut Mr Gilmore. You mean 'least' surely?!!

Stan Doric
Stan Doric

Good of you to share this with all, Linkedin my understanding is a business website,(connections) I am amazed at times when asked why want to connect  and as much amazed when connections are not shared (is that how business is run without trust or do members have profiles which can not be made without  others being able to exploit ?)Please feel free to pass on an open invitation to anyone that wishes to connect to me as I am happy to connect and share my connections.Open to all connections as I believe everyone could be an asset someday.     

Milaspage
Milaspage

Shelley, I love love love this post. You covered some basics and threw in some other stuff, there is something for everyone here! A year ago, Linked in was not as hot and I think a lot of us on there, did not spend the time needed to really get the most out of it, now as more and more people are hopping on (in particular those who aren't even on other SoMe, are on linked in simply because they are relating to it as a resume/professional necessity) its time we all take a second look at what we have been doing and if we are using Linked in to its max potential. Really fun post! Thank you! @shelleykramer 

PaulBiedermann
PaulBiedermann moderator

Thanks for this great post, @ShellyKramer — LinkedIn is such a great business tool but like so many social media platforms, many people still don’t know how to use it well.

 

I also think LinkedIn is important because it is many business peoples’ first foray into social media — if they have a good experience there, maybe they’ll be more willing to try some of the other platforms in earnest. I think each can offer real business benefits, but it takes some time and keeping an open mind to the possibilities.

Tom Haupt
Tom Haupt

Great tips. Thanks for sharing! I just you asked to connect on LinkedIn......I wonder what you'll think about my profile! LOL!

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