• I had the pleasure of being part of LexisNexis’ webcast on how to use LinkedIn for law students. I was there to talk about how I use LinkedIn in my professional life. We had over 1000 students tune in for the webcast and they had the option to ask questions during the show, but we didn’t have time to get to all of them, so here are my responses to some of those questions.

    LinkedIn Chocolates by Nan Palmero from Flickr (Creative Commons License)
    LinkedIn Chocolates by Nan Palmero from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

    How Important is it to Include my Photo in my Profile?
    Very important. If you don’t have a photo on your profile, I will assume that you haven’t been active on LinkedIn since the day you created your account. Why would I want to connect with someone on a platform where they don’t want to connect with anyone? I don’t. So yes, you need to put your photo on your profile, and make a picture of you, not your pet or your kids. This is a professional forum. (And some of us are really bad at remembering what people look like so having your photo on your profile is a big help.)

    I’m hesitant to Enable Endorsements because of the potential Ethical Problems. Any Advice?
    I enabled endorsements but I don’t give them a lot of weight in general because people can endorse you for skills that they have no actual knowledge if you have them. If someone tries to endorse me for a skill I don’t have or a topic that is outside my areas of practice, I don’t allow it.

    How much of a Job Description should I include for each Position that I have held?  I do not want it to be a Restatement of my Resume.
    I think mine are basically cut and pasted from my resume. If you don’t want to do that, be as brief as you can while giving an accurate description of each job.

    How do I Tailor my Profile to keep my Options Open and Not Turn Off Potential Employers or those I am looking to Maximize Opportunities with even when they Conflict?
    Keep your descriptions focused on your skills and interests that will appeal to most people. Avoid the specifics that might make you a turn off to a particular audience. For example, you can say you’re interested in a certain practice area without stating which side of the fence you’re on.

    How do you Feel about the “Request an Introduction” function in LinkedIn?
    Introductions are basically endorsements so definitely ask for introductions if you know someone who knows the person you want to meet. On LinkedIn, I connect with anyone who doesn’t look like spam, and a lot of other people do the same. Don’t be upset if you request an introduction and the person responds that they can’t help you because they don’t actually know the person you want to meet.

    My LinkedIn Connections as of Nov. 17, 2013
    My LinkedIn Connections as of November 17, 2013

    How Often should I Post to LinkedIn?
    As often as it’s relevant. It may not be relevant to post on a regular basis. I do because I post links on my blogs and videos, but not much more than that.

    How do we Connect when we Don’t Know the Person? LinkedIn requires you know the person as a Friend, Colleague, etc. when attempting to Create a Connection.
    I’ll say I’m a friend even if I don’t know the person but I personalize the request to connect so they know why I want to connect with them. This appears to be a generally accepted practice.

    Do you Recommend putting Less ‘Formal’ Forms of Contact (such as Twitter) on LinkedIn?
    I would put all your contact information for all the forums where you want to connect with people. Always include an email address and they it’s your choice to add your phone number, Twitter handle, blog, etc.

    When should I get a LinkedIn Account?

    Always remember that LinkedIn, like all social media platforms, is a communications tool. Having an account is not enough; it’s what you do with it that matters.

    I hope this has been helpful. If you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, feel free.

  • When it comes to social media, the easiest places to connect with me are Twitter and LinkedIn. Anyone can follow me on Twitter (and all my tweets are public) and as long as you look like a real person and not spam, I’ll accept your invitation to connect on LinkedIn. I only seek out people on LinkedIn if I know them in real life or if there’s someone I want to meet and LinkedIn is the only way I can contact them.

    Question 1 by Virtual EyeSee from Flickr
    Question 1 by Virtual EyeSee from Flickr

    I recently accepted an invitation to connect with someone on LinkedIn who lives out of state, who shortly thereafter sent me a question about whether I could help with a tax question for him and his business. My profile says I do business law so I’m not surprised to get a question about taxes that’s related to running a business. For the record, I don’t do tax law and I suggested he contact his state or county bar association and request a referral.

    He responded and thanked me, and then he asked ask if I was married because he’s “simply stunned at [my] beauty.” He wants to be my friend and get to know me better.

    How do I respond to that? Who hits on someone via LinkedIn? It’s weird, especially since we live in different states! I look at LinkedIn as a forum for professional networking so it threw me off guard to have someone approach me with a romantic tone, especially since he doesn’t know anything about me except what’s on my profile. It’s like he wants to date my resume. Is that bizarre to anyone else?

    I haven’t responded to this and I’m not sure if there even is an appropriate response. I’m not interested in getting to know him because (1) I don’t know him (and don’t plan to since he doesn’t live anywhere close to me) and (2) it’s weird that he hit on me via LinkedIn. (And people who do know me in real life know what a big deal it is for me to consider something “weird.”)

    If you have any suggestions about what I should say to this guy (or not) please leave it as a comment.

    PS – In case you haven’t figured it out, anything you do or say in my presence can and will end up on my blog. Life is blog material!

  • I Was Cyberbullied – Part 4 of 4

    This is the final installation of my four-part story with cyberbullying. You can read it from the beginning here. Back to the story . . .

    After finals were over, I filed a formal report with the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. They said there was nothing they could do at that point, but that people like her engage in the same behavior repeatedly. They suggested that I send my bully an email informing her that any future contact was unwanted and would be reported to the university as harassment. If she contacted me again, it would be actionable. I disagreed with their assessment, but I sent my bully the email.

    Seclusion & Serenity by Iwona Erskine-Kellie

    Thankfully, my bully only had one more semester of school and we didn’t have any classes together. If we had been in any of the same classes, I would have asked the school to make her change. It was still nerve-wracking to see her on campus, but we never had direct contact again. Last I heard, she moved to California. Shortly after graduation, I blocked my bully and my other former exec on Facebook. Doing that made me feel like I was closing the door on that chapter of my life.

    I had an unsettling experience last week with my bully – she asked to connect on LinkedIn! I was surprised she would want to be a connection given her animosity towards me. I suspect she uploaded all her contacts to her LinkedIn account and requested to connect with all of them, not thinking that there might be people in her contacts list that she doesn’t want to be connected to. I looked for the ability to block someone on LinkedIn and was shocked to learn that LinkedIn doesn’t provide that ability. The best you can do is deny someone the ability to connect with you. I expected them to have a stronger anti-harassment provision. I would like to block her on that site too, but that is not an option at this time.

    So there’s my story. It was hellaciously stressful to be the victim of cyberbullying. I’m so grateful that I had support from my friends, my family, and the law school. I can’t imagine how much worse it could have been if I had to endure it alone. Unfortunately, that’s what happens to too many children. They’re ostracized from their peers and they’re too afraid to ask for help from their parents or teachers.

    To all the victims of cyberbullying, I know it’s hard to admit that you’re being bullied, and I know it’s scary to ask for help, but do it. You don’t have to go through this alone and you don’t have to continue to be the victim.

    Enhanced by Zemanta