People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Career – SLA-NY Event Recap

linkedinOn Wednesday, I attended a great presentation on “Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Career” by Brian Tietje, Strategic Account Executive at LinkedIn (and professional envelope pusher — from his LinkedIn profile headline). The event was organized by the New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA-NY).

Sandra and I are big fans of LinkedIn (as you may know from our leadership and career development presentations and blog posts). Being a LinkedIn fan, I was glad that I learned some new things and not-so-new things from a different perspective:

  • Update your LinkedIn profile according to your professional/career objectives.
  • You can create a company page on LinkedIn, for free.
  • Make a good first impression: use the headline space of your profile. Don’t just put your job title — that’s what we said about name tags and on maximizing LinkedIn.
  • Your summary section = your elevator pitch. Make it count. Highlight your role and career experience.
  • When it comes to LinkedIn recommendations, be specific in your recommendation request. Tell them what you want to be recommended for. Don’t have more than 3-5 recommendations displayed on your profile (Brag, but not too much).
  • Weed your LinkedIn connections at least once a year.
  • You can join up to 50 LinkedIn groups, but do you really want to be part of so many groups? Think quality over quantity. Feel free to test drive groups.
  • As a LinkedIn member, you get 5 introductions per month to use within your network. Get an introduction to the person you need to reach. You may share similar professional interests with this person or this person works at a company that you’re interested in.
  • When you search your network, you can save those searches and create weekly alerts.
  • Participate in Answers. It’s a way to share your knowledge as a professional in your field.
  • LinkedIn Today, news headlines (which I enjoy reading and sharing) comes from a few places: LinkedIn’s editorial team and what your network and industry are sharing.
  • Keep an eye on your profile stats. This helps gauge the impact of your LinkedIn profile. Are people finding or looking at your profile?
  • LinkedIn recently acquired Slideshare (we’re big fans of Slideshare too).

For more tips on leveraging LinkedIn for your career, check out Brian’s presentation slides on the SLA-NY website.


The one LinkedIn tip that Sandra and I keep sharing in our presentations (so we’re going to share it here as well): 

connectWhen you send an invitation to connect with someone on LinkedIn, please customize your message.

The default message is “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”, which is fine to use, in addition to your message. We can’t tell you how many times people just send us the default message. You wouldn’t just walk up to someone, give them your business card and then walk away — would you? Don’t do that on LinkedIn.

Customize your message. It can be something as simple as “We have similar professional interests: x,y,z.”. Remind them if you met in-person at an event, worked together on a project or were in the same class together.


What are your tips for using LinkedIn? Share them in the comments section below. 

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