Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

Your LinkedIn Treasure Chest is Waiting to be Found

Posted on October 3, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

iStock_000010469717_SmallLast week I stumbled upon a hidden treasure chest, and I could hardly wait to share it with you. LinkedIn hasn’t given it a name, so let’s just refer to it as the LinkedIn Keyword Treasure Chest.

To access the treasure chest, simply cut and paste this URL into your web browser:


Then enter the keyword or keywords you’re interested in researching–for instance, https://linkedin.com/topic/search_engine_optimization. If you have multiple words, like search engine optimization, be sure to try it with a space between the words and underscores between the words, and also try abbreviations–for example, https://www.linkedin.com/topic/seo. I found that each approach will result in different useful information.

What treasure will you find?

If you’re interested in search engine optimization–finding a vendor, checking out what your competitors who specialize in SEO are doing, or perhaps looking for a job as an SEO specialist–your treasure hunt will uncover:
.Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 2.27.37 PM

  • Popular articles about SEO that are posted on LinkedIn
  • People who have listed SEO as a skill on their profile and the name of the school they attended
  • Topics similar to or related to SEO
  • Popular SlideShare presentations on SEO
  • LinkedIn groups you can join related to SEO
  • SEO jobs posted on LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn Company pages that have search engine optimization in their name or description

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 7.19.55 AMThe Keyword Treasure Chest appears to be a work in process at LinkedIn because the format of the page and the information on the page can vary. However, despite these variations, you can discover some extremely valuable information.

Observations and action steps

This may seem like a lot of random information, so let me share some ideas about how you can use this information to advance your business and career.

1.  Skills. Ask yourself, Have I listed all applicable skills in my Skills section?

2.  Presentations. Check out what your competitors are sharing with their audiences, and make sure what you’re sharing is equally valuable to your market.

3.  Individuals. Check out the profiles of key individuals on the list. Does this give you any ideas about information you should add to your profile? If the person is a competitor, you may want to change your “select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” setting to anonymous before stalking him/her. Then the person won’t know that you’ve scoped out his/her profile.

4.  Groups. Check them out and consider joining any groups that are relevant to your business or job search. Remember–birds of a feather flock together.iStock_000031736840_Small

5.  Jobs. If you’re a job seeker, this could be the yellow brick road to your very own Oz.

6.  Companies. If you’re a salesperson or a job seeker, check out the Company page and see what’s going on. Then click the Follow button so you can be informed of future happenings at the company that may give you an inside track to a potential sale or job opportunity.

7.  Articles. Read them and learn, but also take note of the authors and ask yourself, Am I publishing articles like this about my area of expertise–and, if not, why not?

I definitely need to join you in capitalizing on this LinkedIn Keyword Treasure Chest. I need to go beyond my more obvious keywords–LinkedIn, LinkedIn speaker, LinkedIn consultant, LinkedIn consulting, LinkedIn trainer–and keep thinking of new keywords to try, like social selling, sales training, keynote speaker, etc. I have lots to do! How about you?

Do You Want to Know How to Double Your LinkedIn Profile Views?

Posted on September 27, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

Most people will agree that LinkedIn is the best marketing tool on the planet for business professionals. And part of your marketing strategy, whether marketing yourself and/or your products and iStock_000064068585_Smallservices, should be to encourage marketing events or interactions with your target audience.

One of the most important marketing events on LinkedIn is profile views. When someone views your profile, it’s like they walked into your store, ready to do some shopping.

So, how do you attract more shoppers to your store?

Long-term strategy

Of course, almost everyone who checks out your profile could be a potential client/customer or at least know someone who might be interested in you and what you have to offer. However, ultimately you’re looking for views from people who quite likely can help you achieve your business goals.
Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 6.54.06 AM

To get on the path to long-term success, it’s important to connect with your target audience and share great information, thereby nurturing the relationship and increasing your thought leadership status. Then, when they are ready to engage someone who has your expertise, you have earned your way onto their list–and hopefully it’s a very short list!

Short-term strategy

In the short term, here are ten simple ways to get more of the right people viewing your profile.

1.  Optimize your LinkedIn profile headline. A headline is meant to grab the reader and encourage him/her to read more. If you need help with this, download my free worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline on the free resources page of my website.

2.  Make frequent changes to your profile. Your connections will usually be curious about what you changed or added, so this one–if you don’t overuse it–works great.  Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 6.41.13 AM

Make sure that the Notify your network button on your profile is set to green.

3.  Share your thoughts in a group discussion that has lots of previous comments. If there are lots of previous comments, then lots of folks will get notified when you make a comment–so make it a good one.

4.  Look at other people’s profiles. When people see you’ve looked at their profile, it’s quite likely they’ll take a look at yours if your headline suggests you might be an interesting person to meet.

Be sure your Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 6.43.50 AMSelect what others see when you’ve viewed their profile setting is on the recommended setting of full disclosure. Then they’ll see your full name and headline versus something like Insurance agent at Northwestern Mutual.

5.  Post your own status updates daily. This doesn’t take as much time as you think if you simply use the Share button on an interesting article you’ve read. Add a personal comment about the article, and you’ll get even more action from your network.

6.  Share, “like” or comment on other people’s status updates or published posts. This isn’t quite as powerful as posting your own status update, but the time commitment is a lot less. It only takes a second to click “like,” and it’s an easy way to stay top of mind with your network.

7.  Put more of your most important keywords in your profile–and put them in the right spots. For help with this, download my worksheet Keywords: The Key to Being Found on LinkedIn on the free resources page of my website.

8.  Endorse people. Not everyone is a fan of this feature, but it does spark lots of engagement–which usually results in more profile views.

9.  Include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature and Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 7.04.39 AMon your business cards, resume, and other social sites. If you make it easy for people to find your profile, they’re more likely to take a peek at it.

10. Start writing longform articles using the LinkedIn publishing feature. Admittedly, this will take some work, and many of us shy away from writing, but over time this will get you more profile views. Also, one of the best ways to establish your thought leadership is to share your thoughts by writing.

Take action

So, which of these steps are you going to take to increase your LinkedIn profile views? And keep in mind that if you get more profile views, you’ll then get more traditional interactions (phone calls, emails, meetings, etc.). Of course, this will result in improved ROI for your time spent on LinkedIn.

For more easy strategies to improve your ROI, be sure to check out my video-based online LinkedIn training course Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn which is available for a limited time for just $97 when you use the promo code SALES at checkout.

Here’s a LinkedIn Setting You Better Think Twice About

Posted on September 19, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

As I was consulting with a corporate sales team this week on the best LinkedIn features for finding prospects, I added a new one to the list. iStock_000006003382_SmallIt’s the People Also Viewed box in the right column of your profile.

This tells you who else people are looking at besides you–and it’s probably people who have similar characteristics to you.

Now, LinkedIn doesn’t share exactly how it works (other than this interview with a LinkedIn data guy), and you have no control over who appears on your profile. However, you can take it off your profile. More on that later.

So, why is this such a great prospecting tool? Well, if you look at a client’s or prospective client’s profile and scroll down to People Also Viewed, the list could be a target list of people very similar to the Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 9.08.19 PMperson whose profile you are viewing.

An additional benefit for those of us who are not on one of the most expensive premium accounts: If you click the name of someone on that list and that person is more than three degrees away from you, you will be able to see his/her full profile. Typically you can’t look at full profiles of people who are more than three degrees way unless you upgrade your account.

Action Steps

1.  Decide whether you want People Also Viewed to show up on your profile. The default setting will put the list on your profile.

Personally, since I was tired of my competitors showing up on my profile, I unchecked the box. I feel pretty good about my decision because it doesn’t stop me from seeing the People Also Viewed list on other people’s profiles (unless they’ve also unchecked the box). And if my competitors haven’t unchecked the box, I can still show up in the People Also Viewed list on their profile.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. Click here to learn how to change your setting.

Over time, if more and more people do what I’m suggesting, this feature will become less helpful. But, trust me, LinkedIn will probably change something before we get to that point. Take advantage of it while you can.

2.  Check this list out often on your clients’ and prospective clients’ profiles, and add some of these names to your master prospect list. And, hey, why not try to connect with the ones you are not connected with using a custom five-star invitation.

To learn more simple ways to find new customers and grow your bottom line, check out my very popular online course Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn. Use the promo code SALES to save $50 and steal this comprehensive course for only $97.

Want to Know How to Use LinkedIn to Target Fellow Alumni?

Posted on September 12, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

This week when I told some college students about that warm, fuzzy feeling people have for fellow alumni, theyiStock_000014781494_Small just didn’t get it. I guess it’s one of those things you need to experience and not just talk about. The first time they see a door open for them in the business world as a result of that common bond, they’ll probably say, Hey, Wayne was right!

LinkedIn’s Alumni feature is the perfect place to begin new relationships with people who have walked the same hallowed halls. You won’t believe the incredible things you can now do with this feature.

There are two ways to access this feature. Scroll over the down arrow to the left of the search box on the top toolbar. Choose Universities and type in the name of the school Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 3.36.42 PMyou’re interested in. When the school shows up in the menu below, click that entry–or you can just click the name of a school on anyone’s profile. Once you’re on the University page, choose Students and Alumni.

Ca$h In On This Powerful Tool

Every school’s University page includes an awesome filtering system that helps you find the perfect fellow alumns to reach out to. Click Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 3.38.51 PMthe right arrow to gain access to all the filters.

The filters include:

  • Where they live
  • Where they work
  • What they do
  • What they studied
  • What they are skilled at
  • How are you connected

Once you have selected your filters, LinkedIn displays a mini profile for everyone who meets your filtering criteria. Without leaving the page, you can send a message to any first-degree connections or use a personalized message to connect with anyone on the list. Pretty cool, don’t you think? I am amazed that this is still free.

Some of the searching capabilities have always been available through Advanced People Searching, but it is much easier to do it here.

If you’ve been looking for a way to sort people by age range, this is Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 3.40.47 PMyour ticket. If you sell products or services to a targeted age group, use the dates attended or year graduated range feature on the top right to find alumni who are probably in that age range. Granted, it isn’t exactly an age search because not everyone gets an undergrad degree at age 22, but it should still provide some valuable information.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 3.32.46 PMUse the Search this set keyword box to really zero in on the right alumns to reach out to.

Attention Recent or Soon-to-be Grads

Use the Alumni feature to figure out who you might want to network with to help you find that first great job. This feature, along with some of LinkedIn’s additional profile sections (Test Scores, Courses, Honors & Awards), will help you stand out from the crowd and discover the perfect job for you.

I think after you test drive the Alumni feature, it will become one of your favorites. And I love success stories. Let me know how reconnecting with fellow alums helps you and your business.

Do You Want to Guarantee a Winning 2016? Then Get a LinkedIn Tune-up.

Posted on September 5, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

There’s something about September 1 that seems to motivate people to think about ending the year strong and preparing for a record-setting new year. Setting the 2016 business direction, 3d renderAnd that’s why my phone was ringing off the hook this past week. Companies want me to provide LinkedIn training so everyone can be up and running at peak “LinkedIn efficiency” in 2016.

To position you, too, for a banner year, I’m giving you a resource (see below) I share with many of my corporate clients. It will help you discover what parts of your LinkedIn profile and LinkedIn activities need some adjustment so you can operate at peak “LinkedIn efficiency.” It’s called the LinkedIn Success Scorecard: How do you measure up?

In about five minutes, you’ll know what needs to be beefed up in order to set yourself up for a record-breaking 2016.

If you need help making these changes or developing your strategy, refer to my book or use keywords to search my blog.Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 2.45.35 PM

For example, if you need help with your profile Summary (question 3), go to pages 49-56 in my book or search my blog using the word “summary,” and Professor Wayne will give you a detailed lesson on improving your Summary section.

Once you make these changes, you’ll be ready to hit your lofty business objectives for the rest of this year, for 2016, and beyond.

Then let me know how you’re crushing it in the new year!


Download (PDF, 314KB)

Your LinkedIn network is one of your most valuable business assets. Therefore, you should add people to your LinkedIn network very strategically. But people change and circumstances change, and occasionally you may find it necessary to remove someone from your network.

Why should you drop someone from your network?

This list is certainly not exhaustive, but here are a few situations that might prompt you to take action:

  • Someone is filling your Inbox with spam on a consistent basis
  • Without your permission, somebody is dropping your name in voicemails all over town in an effort to get the appointments he’s been trying to land for years with your friends
  • One of your connections has become a direct competitor
  • You can’t keep up with the inordinate amount of LinkedIn Introductions someone is asking you to make
  • The day after you connect with someone, she sends you a lengthy canned solicitation message that has no relevance to you and your business

I’m sure you get the picture. But don’t lose sight of the fact that each and every first-level connection is actually helping you in the search ranking algorithm on LinkedIn. So think twice before you disconnect. For instance, the fact that you’ve never met a particular person in your network may not be reason enough to disconnect.

How to drop someone from your network

There are several ways to disconnect with someone on LinkedIn, but one is preferable because the person won’t be able to see that you looked at his/her profile before disconnecting. And don’t worry–people do not receive a note from LinkedIn saying you dropped them.

1.  Click the Connections tab on the top toolbar.Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 4.53.50 PM

2.  Click the magnifying glass on the top right and then type the person’s name in the Search box.

3.  Once the person’s name shows up, click the down arrow and select Remove Connection.

After you disconnect, any recommendations or endorsements between you and that person will be eliminated. The person will not be able to reinvite you, but if you have the person’s email address, you can reinvite him/her anytime in the future.

And don’t feel guilty if you choose to disconnect. It’s your professional network, and you should be comfortable with who’s in that network.

Wondering How to Get to the Top of a LinkedIn Search?

Posted on August 22, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

“How do I get to the top of the list on LinkedIn when people are searching for someone like me?”

I’m typically asked this question after I show people how to use LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search function and they don’t see themselves near the top of the search results–or, worse yet, they see a competitor above them on the list. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Well, I cannot tell a lie–there is some “magic” involved, kind of like Disneyland. Only LinkedIn knows exactly what goes into their search algorithm. But my research and professional experience have helped me roll back the magic curtain a bit so I can share some helpful tips with you.

What does LinkedIn say?

“The ranking of search results on LinkedIn is dependent on ‘relevancy to the searcher.'” In other words, LinkedIn is trying to save you time by putting what they consider to be the best choices for you at the top of the list.

If you want to read LinkedIn’s official stance on this question, check out these articles from the LinkedIn Help Center.

LinkedIn People Search Relevance: How are profiles ordered in search results?

Ranking in Search Results: How can I improve my profile’s ranking in search results?

So, what does this mean to you, the LinkedIn user?

In summary, the information shared by LinkedIn is revealing at the highest level but intentionally confusing (or magical) at the detail level–but don’t lose hope.

Based on my interpretation of these statements by LinkedIn, along with lots of articles on this subject and the countless hours I’ve spent helping my clients improve their LinkedIn search ranking, here are seven simple action steps (along with additional resources) you can take to improve your chances of coming up higher in a search.

  • Add your most important keywords to your profile in the right spots.
  • Make sure your profile has an All-Star ranking.

  • Join LinkedIn groups that have members in your target audience.
  • Share your own status updates in addition to sharing, “liking” or commenting on other people’s status updates and group discussions.
  • Request recommendations from your connections, and endorse and recommend others as well.
  • Improve the Skills section of your profile.
  • Most importantly (and this is an ongoing process), continue to strategically grow your LinkedIn network.

Follow these steps and you might experience a little of your own LinkedIn magic!

LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI): What Grade Did You Get?

Posted on August 15, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

It’s back-to-school time here in the United States, and that means lots of new beginnings–friendships, School Report Cardexperiences, teachers, activities, fun, and, of course, a new grading period. So, what does this have to do with LinkedIn?

Well, a few weeks ago LinkedIn came out with a new, FREE grading system for all users. This was previously only available to their largest corporate users. It’s called the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI).

Don’t be turned off by the word “selling” just because you’re not a salesperson. Let’s face it–we’re all selling something. If you’re not selling products or services, you’re selling yourself or your organization every day. And with the rise of social media, this has never been more true.

Get your score by simply clicking the yellow Get Your Score button on this page: https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/the-social-selling-index

What’s your score?

Yes, 100 is a perfect score, and I doubt anyone has achieved that score other than maybe Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) or Jeff Weiner (current CEO of LinkedIn). But be sure to look past just the raw score and see how you rank in your industry and your network, both in total and in each of the four scoring categories (maximum of 25 points for each category). Also, take note of the trend line for your score. These spots are where the information gets particularly helpful for you personally.

What is SSI and why should you care?

LinkedIn came up with SSI to score sales professionals and their company teams and track improvement and results, thus proving the ROI from upgrading to their most expensive premium sales upgrade called Sales Navigator. So, of course LinkedIn has a motive for spending time and effort to generate this information. They’re hoping companies will upgrade all their salespeople to Sales Navigator.

However, now all users can learn and improve by tracking their Social Selling Index (SSI). It’s easy to set goals after you receive your score from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn surveyed over 5,000 sales professionals, and they’ve shared the following fairly significant results that demonstrate the importance of becoming an SSI leader:

  • SSI leaders create 45% more opportunities per quarter than SSI laggards
  • SSI leaders are 51% more likely to hit quota than SSI laggards
  • 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media

How does LinkedIn determine your SSI score?

Your SSI score is based on what LinkedIn refers to as “The Four Pillars of Social.” Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 7.06.14 AM

1. Establish your professional brand. Complete your profile with the customer in mind. Become a thought leader by publishing meaningful posts.

2. Find the right people. Identify better prospects in less time using efficient search and research tools.

3. Engage with insights. Discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships.

4. Build relationships. Strengthen your network by connecting and establishing trust with decision makers.

You can view LinkedIn’s SlideShare presentations with additional Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 7.21.38 AMinsights on how to improve your score in these four areas. I would highly recommend you take the time to click through these presentations, especially the ones related to the areas where your SSI results indicate you have the most work to do.

I am in total agreement with LinkedIn that these are the four critical elements for getting results from all your social media channels–and not just for selling purposes but also for growing your brand, improving your business and personal marketing, and finding your next great job.

I think we should give LinkedIn a big “high five” for creating this tool and then start our own benchmarking efforts right away.

And just in case you’re wondering, my SSI is currently 88, and I rank in the top 1% of my industry and network–but I won’t be happy until I get to 100. I only scored 17 out of 25 in the “Engage with Insights” category, and I’m going to work on that.

Speaking of engaging, if you’d like to discuss how I can help you and your organization get your SSI numbers up and improve your LinkedIn results, drop me an email at wayne@powerformula.net. I’d love to help you work toward a perfect score and make more money, too.

Great, You Found Someone on LinkedIn. Now What?

Posted on August 8, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

You’ve found someone on LinkedIn, but you’re not connected to him/her at the first level. However, you want to Pile of colorful chocolate coated candycontact this person.

Here are a number of ways you can contact your target, and you’ll need to decide which option is most appropriate for your situation.

Send a message.  This option is available to you if you are in a group with the person you want to contact. LinkedIn lets you send 15 of these messages per month.

To message your target, go to the group to which you both belong, click # Members, and enter theScreen Shot 2015-08-05 at 4.53.21 PM person’s name in the search box. When the person’s entry comes up, click Send a Message.

Send an InMail.  This option is only available to premium LinkedIn members. When you’re on the person’s profile, simply click the gray Send <person’s name> InMail button.

As a premium member, you get a specific number of InMails each month. You can purchase additional InMails ($10 each) byScreen Shot 2015-08-05 at 4.55.23 PM clicking Manage (on the top right when you hover over your photo). You’ll see a category that is called InMail messages. This will show you how many InMails you have left, and you can click Purchase InMail to buy more.

If someone responds to your InMail within 90 days, you get a credit from LinkedIn for another InMail. In other words, LinkedIn gives you credit for sending InMails to people who are more apt to respond. This helps control spamming.

LinkedIn power user tip: If you want to message someone who isn’t one of your first-level connections, join one of the person’s groups, and go through the steps outlined above. This will save you $10 or one of your allotted InMails. Are you taking advantage of this?

Get introduced through a connection.  This feature not only Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 4.50.59 PMenables you to have your first-level connection introduce you to your target but also gives your connection the opportunity to write something nice about you, your services, or the products you offer (assuming you pick the right connection!).

I suggest you call or email your friend to find out about the strength of the connection. You should also remind your friend about how an introduction works on Linkedin so it doesn’t get stuck in the Linkedin introduction pipe.

Include your message in an invitation to connect.  If the person is someone you want in your network, this is probably the best option.

Because it’s advantageous to customize your invitation, go to the person’s profile. Then either click the big blue Connect button or scroll over the small down arrow next to the Send <person’s name> an InMail button and then click Connect. If you don’t see either of these options, the person may have changed his/her setting, and he/she will not accept invitations.

If you don’t already know the person you’re inviting, some LinkedIn users consider this strategy to be somewhat aggressive. Therefore, to improve your chances for success, here are a few items you should consider prior to taking this step:

  1. Invitations have a 300-character limit, so you can’t send a very long message.
  2. You should always customize your message following The Essentials of a 5-Star LinkedIn Connection Invitation.
  3. You cannot include a website link or attach a document to an invitation.
  4. You may not get a response to your message because the person may not want to connect.

Call the company and ask for him/her.  Duh! Believe it or not, this still works with some people, especially with people who grew up using the phone as a phone!

Send an email.  Some people provide their email address on their profile or you can use any one of the many internet tools for tracking down emails–or now that you know where the person works, check out the email format the company follows and take a guess at the person’s email address.

Send him/her something by snail mail.  Since the dawn of email, most of us receive less physical mail. Personally, this causes me to open most of the snail mail I receive. An envelope with a handwritten address is even more likely to be opened.

Stop at his/her place of business and drop off some goodies.  This will surely surprise the person. When I worked at M&M Office Interiors, we would drop off a bag of plain or peanut M&M’s.

LinkedIn is a great tool for finding people and communicating with them, but don’t forget the traditional methods.

Good luck engaging with the important people you find on LinkedIn!

Warning: Your LinkedIn Profile May Be Missing Valuable Information

Posted on August 1, 2015
Wayne Breitbarth

I field lots of questions each week about LinkedIn, but one of the most-asked questions is: Multi-Ethinic Arms Outstretched To Ask Questions

What information should I include on my LinkedIn profile?

As a general rule, if your answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” then you should include the information on your profile:

  • Does putting this on my profile add to my story or increase my credibility?
  • Does putting this on my profile make it easier for people to find me?
  • If I do not put this on my profile and my competitors have it on their profiles, will I be at a competitive disadvantage?
  • Does this information help people understand what I do and how I can help them?

Other frequently asked profile questions

Here are some of the answers I typically give when asked specific questions about profile details.

Should I include my high school?

Yes, because people will find you when searching for your school, and people love doing business with fellow alumni.

Should I include my Rotary Club membership (or similar civic type organizations)?Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.31.55 AM

Yes, because people will find you when searching for other Rotarians, and people do like to do business with like-minded fellow club members. Also, others in the community will respect you for helping others.

Should I include all the jobs I’ve ever had?

Of course, because when adding connections, many people look for individuals they’ve worked with in the past. This will obviously help your past colleagues find you. Also, your job experiences help you tell your story, and the information you share might be just what a viewer of your profile is looking for.

Should I include the awards I won ten years ago at a prior job?Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.29.28 AM

Yes, because awards enhance your credibility and add to your story even if they are unrelated to your current job duties.

Should I include specific industry training programs?

Yes, because it will obviously enhance your credibility and increase your chances of being found when someone is searching for people with that specific type of training.

Should I include certifications I hold?Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.27.39 AM

Of course, because certifications are instant proof of credibility, and people will search for professionals with those credentials.

Should I include local groups or associations I currently belong to or have belonged to in the past?

Yes, you should. Because people like doing business with others who have the same interests and affiliations, including your groups and associations could open the door. This is also another way to enhance your credibility.

Should I include personal hobbies or interests that are totally unrelated to my current job?Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.33.53 AM

Yes, and here’s why. When I was looking for an architect to join me in a charity bicycling event my company was sponsoring, LinkedIn helped me find an avid biker. So believe me when I tell you a few personal items may help you be Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.37.08 AMfound and lead to a productive business relationship or your next great job.

Also, entries in this section are one of the “In Common” fields for viewers of your profile.

Bottom line:  If you’ve done it, you’re proud of it, and you want the professional world to know about it, put it on your LinkedIn profile!