Learn More About LinkedIn

Inspired by another Mashable article I read this morning, this post exposes some features about LinkedIn that you may not have known about. In addition, I’ll offer some tips on how to improve your existing profile and optimize your use of the networking site effectively.

1- LinkedIn is great for conducting a job search. Of course Craigslist is still an option, or in the case of an internship, websites like InternSushi and InternQueen are also great resources for beginning a search. As for me specifically, Cornell offers a job connection website as well–filled with exclusive opportunities for it’s students. All this being said, LinkedIn is another great job search engine to add to your list. Whether you get scouted by a Headhunter,  reconnect with an old classmate or utilize the Jobs section of the site specifically, opportunities are endless.

2-LinkedIn statistics are your friend.  Network Statistics are relevant to your specific professional connections and help you find out which industries most of your friends, colleagues and classmates are in, as well as which geographic areas they represent the most.

3- Take the Skills and Expertise section of your profile seriously. While on a paper resume it’s sensical to leave out the obvious “skills” such as Microsoft Office (Who doesn’t know how to use that these days?), on LinkedIn it’s helpful to include skills as simple as “creative writing” and “public speaking.” These skills are labeled as clickable links (think hashtags on Twitter) so employers looking for particular criteria can search for people who list the skills they desire in their staff. Another reason I personally enjoy the Skills & Expertise feature is because the “More” tab of LinkedIn offers a global skills database. Not only can I see what other skills are comparable to the ones I have listed on my page (This is great for getting more ideas. I may not have thought of something I did as a “skill” but an employer does!) but it also displays a percentage next to every skill. Green stats = good stats. This means that your area(s) of expertise are becoming more & more important, as well as raising the bar in terms of competition. For example, “Hootsuite” is growing by 81% at present. It’s the 84th highest growing skill on the site, and clicking on the skill specifically offers several options. #1) I can see related skills and their comparable growth (maybe the competitors- i.e. TweetDeck- fare better) #2) I can find and join groups of other professionals with this skill #3) I can find Related Areas (In this case, Hootsuite is a web-exclusive, working wonders across the globe. But for something more specific like Computer Graphics, Silicone Valley pops up as the top location for this expertise.)

4-You can, and should, customize your newsfeed.  While it’s great to see what current connections are up to, the “LinkedIn Today” feature lets you tailor your newsfeed to what interests you specifically. Interested in PR and Online Media? Then, follow those industries! The top stories will be featured on your news stream. You can also opt in to the email service, so instead of logging on, these updates can come straight to your email.

5- Try out LinkedIn LabsI personally had no idea what this was until reading Mashable’s article this morning. It appears to be a separate website from LinkedIn, and these labs require your permission before accessing your LinkedIn information. However, as long as you choose to approve specific apps, they can be quite informative and entertaining. Apps include everything from a Resume Builder to WordCloud and a search bar for Google Chrome. Here’s two graphics from my experience with LinkedIn Labs. The first, a timeline of my friends & experiences (that doesn’t quite look the same as a still image) and the latter, a web of my network connections.

The different colors represent different parts of my life (High School, working as a camp counselor, interning, college, etc) and the scattered people who pop up show when we connected on LinkedIn. Pretty cool, huh?

This web shows my network in terms of whose connected to whom. The blue dots represent Cornell, and of course, that’s where most of my current connections are from.

Downtime at your Internship?

Although there’s always something to do at work, I know that sometimes after finishing a project (especially if it’s done faster than my bosses anticipated) I’m left with a bit of free time.

In those instances, here’s a few ideas that I’ve come up with to occupy your time effectively (inspired by Intern Queen’s article on the same topic, which I’ll include at the end of this post).

1) Browse the web: Depending on the specifics of your internship, websites may vary..but I know that as a current Social Media/Digital Marketing Intern I constantly scan http://www.Mashable.com. It’s the social media guru’s version of the New York Times. Speaking of the NYT, you might want to check up on that as well..it’s always good knowing what’s going on in the world. For PR, http://www.prdaily.com is a great start.

-Checking up on PR Firms’ Twitter accounts is always great too. They feature daily tips, inspirational quotes, useful articles and more. Plus, sometimes you’ll even find a good new website to browse!

2) Blog, blog blog!  As I’m doing right now..hehehe. It’s always great to record some of the day’s highlights, as well as the downfalls. Writing things down will help get your mental hamster ball rolling. What did you absolutely love about the day? What cool new things did you learn? Find any great photos or info graphics? Share them! Answering these questions and more are a great way to keep track of your summer internship’s highlights..as well as some of the things you didn’t like much. But that’s okay too, because the negatives can always be improved upon!

3) Ask for more work: It’s not pushy, nor is it annoying (unless, of course, your boss is in the middle of an important phone call). They love to see interns taking initiative, and the more you can get done, the better!

4) Keep Up With Social Media: Depending on whether or not your internship allows you access to the company’s Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter pages and etcetera, you may or may not be able to do this step effectively. I get the passwords for Collective Media and Laffey Fine Homes’ accounts..plus a few of our clients. When I have downtime I pin relevant things to their pinboards, find great articles to post on Facebook, and come up with new Tweets (and reply to people who’ve tweeted at us! Plus it’s always great to thank new followers & always follow back!).

Of course these are just a few of the ideas to spice up your downtime. Intern Queen has come up with her own tips for making the most out of your internship experience. Check out her ideas–the very inspiration for this post– and feel free to add a few ideas of your own to the comment box below!

Intern Queen’s Article: 3-ways-spend-down-time-your-internship

Thanks for reading..now get back to work 🙂

–Olivia

What’s On Your Mind…tell us, really.

Do you know what would make the Twitterverse a lot more fun?  If celebrities actually used their accounts!  Social Media news website, Mashable, reported on 7 celebrities who they believe could truly help this cause.

Beyonce’s account has over 4.5 million followers, but she’s only tweeted once. Must’ve been a really riveting message!  I know for sure we at CMG would LOVE to see more from her!

Funny man Adam Sandler doesn’t boast the same number of followers, but we’ll give him some time though; his anonymous publicist tweeted twice that Sandler is not yet active on the account.

J.K. Rowling actually warned her followers about her eminent inactivity: “This is the real me, but you won’t hear from me often I’m afraid, as pen and paper are my priority at the moment.” Luckily for her 1.2 million followers she has a whopping 13 tweets, which is much more than her other inactive A-List celebrity friends.

Naturally, we wouldn’t expect the creator of social media rival, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, to be an avid tweeter. However, we wish he would make more of an effort on the site. Atleast  he did change his twit pic. Seems like Zuckerberg is more of an observer on Twitter; following over 800 people must mean he’s intrigued by some trending topics.

Also on Mashable’s list are actress Emma Stone, NBC News anchor Brian Williams (nothing newsworthy to report?) and Apple Senior Vice President, Scott Forstall.  The irony doesn’t escape us on that last one…guess he didn’t download his own iPhone app!

So unless we can magically convince these famous folks to start tweeting, our next best option is to look before we leap. Next time we see those verified accounts pop up on “Who to Follow,” it seems like a great idea to click on their page first to ensure we’ll be getting updated tweets. If you’re interested in reading Mashable’s write up that inspired this blog, here’s the link: http://on.mash.to/MRzQK6

Happy Tweeting!

[See my original blog post published on Collective Media Group’s website here: http://bit.ly/MSmkDf ]