Three LinkedIn Hacks ...


Conducting a training session for a client yesterday, I was reminded that many people still associate LinkedIn with the job market.

While the social media platform started as the darling of recruiters, it’s evolved into something much more, blending the attributes of social media with storytelling (content creation) and what amounts to a news service.

I think of LinkedIn as “Facebook for white-collar professionals.”

To understand LinkedIn’s direction, look no further than hires made from media properties like Fortune Magazine and the Associated Press.

LinkedIn profile - Daniel Roth


LinkedIn profile - Chip Cutter


LinkedIn profile - Francesca Levy

They definitely intend to scale both original and curated storytelling.

That’s why it’s worth taking a few minutes to optimize your LinkedIn profile. I recognize that if you plug [optimize LinkedIn profile] or [optimize LinkedIn page] into Google, you’ll find literally hundreds of articles that will walk you through the process with the precision of a marine making his bed.

But here are three LinkedIn hacks that can add some verve to your profile.

  • Hack #1: Customized Contact Information

LinkedIn provides real estate for three URLs in the contact information section. Take advantage and use all three. Those backlinks are money. The hack comes in the form of customizing the names of those resources. The LinkedIn drop-down menu offers five choices: company website, personal website, blog, RSS feed, portfolio and other. Choose “other” for all three resources which allows you to tailor the name of each resource.

You can see how it plays out below:

LinkedIn - Lou Contact Info

  • Hack #2: Captions for Content

LinkedIn ditched the widgets for WordPress and SlideShare some time ago, replacing the functionality with the ability to download or link to virtually any content (presentations, articles, video, etc.). Select content that has visual appeal. Taking this a step further, LinkedIn gives you two lines for commentary on each piece of content, a perfect forum to bring out your personality. Again, you can see how this looks in the content that closes the summary section of my LinkedIn profile .

LinkedIn - Use Captions

  • Hack #3 Personalize the Invitation

This one kills me. Social media should be personal. Yet, 90+ percent of the LinkedIn invites that come my way use the LinkedIn template copy in the let’s-connect invitation.

If I were going to connect with President Obama, LinkedIn would provide me with:

LinkedIn - Invite Barack

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” sounds like it comes from a robot having a bad day.

Instead, personalize the invitation in your own voice:

LinkedIn - Note to Barack

If you know other LinkedIn hacks that fall under the mainstream radar, by all means chime in.


  • N

    Hello ,

    I heard about a great MOOC (free university online courses, for everybody) entitled “The future of storytelling”, and I wanted to share the good news with everybody interested in storytelling.

    The MOOC will be about :
    • storytelling basics,
    • serial formats (on the TV, web and beyond),
    • storytelling in role-playing games,
    • interactive storytelling in video games,
    • transmedia storytelling,
    • alternate-reality gaming,
    • augmented reality and location-based storytelling,
    • the role of tools,
    • interfaces and information architectures in current storytelling.

    The course starts on October 25th, 2013, so enrol now and don’t forget to share the good news with your friends 🙂

    You can follow this URL to to discover the course and/or enrol :

    May be I’ll meet other readers of this blog in the MOOC?! 🙂

    • hoffman

      Good luck with your course on storytelling. Happy to provide space for your advertisement (once).

  • Anneliz Hannan

    Three great points Lou that I will incorporate for my students I am mentoring on their LinkedIn profiles. The personalizing of invitations is a pet peeve of mine. There is a glitch somewhere that I have and I think it is on mobile but may be my iPad where it won’t allow me to personalize and when I check off a connect it just sends. Does this ring a bell to you and perhaps a get-around? I have no problems on my laptop or desktop with editing.

    Thank you.

    • hoffman

      Yes. The problem isn’t with you. The problem is with LinkedIn. When LinkedIn brings you a screen with people (plural) with potential relevance, it automatically sends the boilerplate invite if you click on someone. Why they do this makes no sense. Instead, you need to go back to the individual’s personal profile before hitting the connect button which then allows you to customize the invite.

  • tamarack day camp

    Hello, just wanted to say, I loved this article. It was practical.
    Keep on posting!

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