LinkedIn recently introduced a new feature—mentions—that is similar to tagging connections in a post on Facebook or mentioning someone in a tweet. I encourage you to view the slides in this post to learn how the feature works. The feature is not available to all users at this time; according to this tweet from @LinkedInHelp, LinkedIn is “slowly rolling it out to everyone.”
Overall, I think the mentions feature will be effective, but I also think there’s potential for spam. I’ve outlined several dos and don’ts on how lawyers and law students can use the mentions feature once it’s available.
- Thank a LinkedIn connection for inviting you to speak or a company for sponsoring the event:
- I enjoyed speaking at XYZ Symposium yesterday – a big thanks to Sally Smith for inviting me to participate!
- I enjoyed speaking at XYZ Symposium yesterday – a big thanks to the host sponsors: Smith Jones LLP, Hunter Thomas LLP and Perkins Cox LLP.
- Acknowledge your LinkedIn connections who are speaking at an upcoming event:
- This seminar on salary negotiations looks like a great event for women lawyers – speakers include Sally Smith, Jane Doe and Molly Jones.
- My colleague, Paul Hunter, is speaking at the HNBA Annual Conference. If you are attending, he’s speaking on April 1 at 11am.
- Share a link to an article, post or video that’s by or about one of your connections:
- Such an important topic for all lawyers – great piece (or interview) by Mike Smith.
- Congratulations to Tom Moore on his promotion!
- Don’t share links (especially links to your own content) and mentioning people just so they will see/read the article, post or video. A private message is more appropriate to send this type of content.
- Sally Smith, Jane Doe and Molly Jones – I think you’ll love this article!
- Don’t mention LinkedIn connections who are attending an event unless you know (with 100% certainty) they don’t mind your mentioning them.
- I loved the session on how to find a job in the current legal market and enjoyed visiting with Tom Moore and Mike Smith.
- Don’t list companies or firms where you’d like to work.
- I’d love to work at Smith Jones LLP, Hunter Thomas LLP and Perkins Cox LLP.
It is common for lawyers and law students to connect on LinkedIn with other legal professionals they may not know very well. However, most legal professionals prefer to receive a personalized invitation where the lawyer or law student explains why he or she wants to connect on LinkedIn; the default message (“I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network…”) annoys many legal professionals.
In my presentation at the University of Georgia School of Law last month, one of the attendees correctly noted that sometimes you can’t personalize your LinkedIn invitation. He’s correct — sometimes when you click “connect,” you have the opportunity to write a personal message and other times you don’t.
The inability to send a personalized invitation arises when you use the “People You May Know” feature on LinkedIn–specifically, when you choose the “See more” feature of the “People You May Know” section. From your LinkedIn home page, you’ll see a section in the upper right corner called “People You May Know.” As shown below, LinkedIn usually displays three people that it thinks you might know. Below each person’s name or picture is a link to “connect.” If you click the “connect” link, you have the option to personalize your invitation.
However, if you click the “See more” link at the bottom of the section, you are taken to a page with rows and rows of people LinkedIn thinks you might know. If you click “connect” on this page, LinkedIn automatically sends the person an invitation to connect, and you don’t have the option to personalize the message.
To send a personalized invitation to people LinkedIn displays on this page, you can click on the person’s name to view his or her LinkedIn profile, then click on “Connect” in the snapshot section of the person’s LinkedIn page and then customize the invitation to connect.
A new app, FaceWash, scans comments on users’ Facebook posts, pictures, likes, as well as posts and pictures in which users are tagged. The app highlights posts with certain naughty words, including profanities as well as words like “sexy,” “butt,” and “xxx,” as shown below.
Users can then click a link and delete the post if they wish. Users can also enter words they want to the app to search. For example, maybe you’ve vented about your job or certain co-workers on Facebook. You could enter your company’s name or colleague’s name to see if you’ve mentioned them in a negative manner.
Final note – I tried the app earlier this week and it eventually timed out. However, I had no problems on my second attempt (and the app identified the picture above). I recommend that all job seekers and professionals use the app to scan their Facebook profiles–it can’t hurt!
When I speak at law schools, I’m always impressed with the number of students who have removed themselves from Facebook search so that potential employers can’t find the students simply by entering the students’ names in the Facebook search bar. However, with the privacy changes Facebook introduced earlier this month, Facebook is removing the ability of members to hide themselves from Facebook search.
You may still have the option to hide yourself from Facebook search because the change is being rolled out to members gradually. However, you should start planning for the change now, and I recommend considering the following:
- Does it belong on Facebook? Before posting an update or photo, ask yourself whether the information should be shared on Facebook. As we’ve been reminded by the recent Randi Zuckerberg photo privacy breach, your information can still be shared by your friends who have access to the information—no matter how private you try to make the information by applying the most stringent privacy settings. So, before posting anything, ask yourself, “Would I mind if the entire world saw this information?”
- Use your privacy settings. The bright side of the recent Facebook privacy changes is that the settings are more user friendly. Spend 10 minutes today reviewing your settings to make sure your information is protected.
- Apply the Office Desk Photo Rule. No matter which privacy settings you choose, your profile picture is public to everyone. Now, that you can’t hide from a Facebook search, more people will find you and see your profile picture. It’s even more critical that you choose an appropriate Facebook profile picture. In my book, I recommend applying the Office Desk Photo Rule when choosing your profile picture: choose a picture that you would display on your office desk. The picture can be casual, just not too casual. Avoid the pictures of you taking shots or posing in a bikini.
A few weeks ago, I noticed the “work anniversary” of one of my contacts in my LinkedIn news feed.
The work anniversary feature is yet another way to use LinkedIn to keep in touch with your network and remain visible—-especially if you don’t actively share content on LinkedIn. When you “like” or comment on the work anniversary update, your contact is notified so you are able to remain on that contact’s radar.
LinkedIn makes it easy to sort updates to find the work anniversary notices:
- From your LinkedIn home page, place your mouse on the All Updates drop down menu and select Jobs.
- Scroll through the news feed with updates related to your contacts’ jobs until you see work anniversary updates. Note: other job related updates include endorsements, job postings, and your contacts’ new jobs or titles.
- Like or comment on the update!
If you are looking for one last challenge to accomplish a monumental task before the end of 2012, now is chance. We all know that the month of December is crazy–holiday parties, family, vacation time (making it harder to transact business toward the end of the month), etc. So, why not challenge yourself to accomplish (or at least start) one more big project in November, before the December madness arrives?
In the past week, I’ve learned about three November challenges. Perhaps these will give you an idea on what you wish to accomplish.
- National Novel Writing Month. Melissa Sachs mentioned National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) in several recent Facebook posts, so I had to learn more. Participants in #NaNoWriMo attempt to write a 50,000 word novel (approximately 175 pages) in the month of November. You can read more about the project here.
- Three Book Diet. Chris Brogan introduced the Three Book Diet (#3bd) in a blog post last week. As noted in the blog post, we read many books a year but implement very few ideas. With the Three Book Diet, you select three books that you’ll read multiple times (at least twice) between 11/1/2012-11/1/2013 (so, this challenge would last beyond November 2012). If you are like me and keep a running list of business books you want to read, participating in the Three Book Diet is a great way to commit to reading at least a few of those books and committing to implementing ideas shared in those books! If you need ideas for books to select, review Cordell Parvin’s list of books he recommends to his coaching clients.
- Hard Core Turkey Challenge. I’m a member of Exhale, the home of the original barre/core class known as Core Fusion, and the studio recently launched Hard Core Turkey Challenge. With this challenge, members are encouraged to take 14 classes in 21 days (which is 14 classes between November 1 and Thanksgiving).
Still looking for an idea for your challenge? Improve your LinkedIn network – here’s a post I wrote last year about a LinkedIn Challenge.
My November challenge is to spend time each day working on the 2nd edition of The 6Ps of the Big 3 for Job-Seeking JDs. While speaking at law schools last month, I realized the book is now two years old and needs to be updated with the new tools available for job seekers. My “writing time” will be from 6-7 am on weekdays and 10 hours on weekends. Each Sunday in November, I’ll blog about my progress and preview a new tip or resource that will be included in the 2nd edition. Stay tuned and good luck with your November challenge!
The Contact Preferences section on LinkedIn (where you indicate why you want someone to contact you) troubles many attorneys because they don’t want to state that they are interested in “career opportunities” or “job inquiries” if they are currently employed. The attorneys are concerned that their employers will see that they are looking for a new job.
A new site, HireSignals.com, recently launched with the purpose of hiding a job seeker’s job search preferences from the job seeker’s employer but sharing the job seeker’s preferences with recruiters. Here’s how it works:
- Job seekers would not list “career opportunities” or “job inquiries” as their Contact Preferences on LinkedIn; rather they would use HireSignals.com to convey their job search status to recruiters.
- Third party recruiters and job seekers create an account on HireSignals.com which syncs to their LinkedIn accounts.
- Recruiters must log in using a company email address (and this email address must match the primary email account on their LinkedIn profile).
- HireSignals.com screens the recruiters who join, and the recruiters must agree to a strict code of conduct.
- Job seekers choose one of four options as their job search status:
- Actively networking
- Passively networking
- Not networking (but open to seeing the market)
- Not networking (do not contact)
- Job seekers enter guidelines for recruiters, such as desired salary.
- Job seekers can indicate the domain name of companies they don’t want to see their job search status (e.g. domain name of current employer).
- When recruiters perform a search on LinkedIn to look for people with certain requirements, the job seekers using HireSignals will appear with a shaded background in one of four colors. The four colors correspond to the job seeker’s status and can alert that the job seeker is looking for opportunities even though his LinkedIn Contact Preferences does not list “career opportunities.”
- Recruiters can then see the job seeker’s salary and other guidelines and contact the job seeker through the LinkedIn platform.
- Click here to view a short video that walks you through using HireSignals.
I’ve signed up for a HireSignals account and am waiting for approval. I like the purpose behind the site because I think most attorney job seekers are concerned about their current employer learning of their job search. Any platform that helps to preserve confidentiality is a step in the right direction.
In addition to using HireSignals, here are my other two recommendations to job seekers who are employed and don’t want their employers to learn they are looking:
- Turn off activity broadcasts so your employer and others do not see when you connect to recruiters on LinkedIn. Go to Settings, Turn on/off activity broadcast, and make sure the box is unchecked.
- Hide your connections. Go to Settings, Select who can see your connections, and select Only You. By hiding your connections, your prevent your employer from being able to go to your page to see how many recruiters are among your connections.
Thus, by using HireSignals, turning off activity broadcasts and hiding your connections, you can conduct your job search without the fear that your employer will learn that you are looking.
Our July 2012 #LawJobChat is tonight, Thursday, July 26, at 9pm EDT. Since the July chat falls on the night before the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics, we’re focusing the chat on legal careers tied to the Olympics, such as:
- In-house counsel to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC)
- Rana Dershowitz – General Counsel of the USOC
- Kelly Maser – Associate General Counsel of Intellectual Property of the USOC
- Gary Johansen – Associate General Counsel of the USOC
- Outside counsel to the USOC
- Douglas Winthrop – National Lead Counsel for the USCO in intellectual property matters
- In-house counsel to the London Organising Committee of Olympic Games (LOCOG)
- Outside counsel to the LOCOG
- Lawyers representing Olympic athletes
In this chat, we’ll explore the roles of the lawyers outlined above, including their daily tasks and career paths. Our guests for the July chat include several prominent sports lawyers who are active on Twitter, including @DavidCohenEsq, @LauraJeffords, and @Sports_BKLawyer.
Click here or here for details on how to participate in a Twitter Chat. As always, I’ll post the #LawJobChat transcript following the live chat.