Okay, you’ve already sussed me out, I don’t really know what a hack is … it always used to be something negative when I was growing up but now it just seems to be used in place of “ways to do things”.
So, anyway, here are 12 great hacks that you might find of value on LinkedIn, that’s to say some “really useful things you can do and find on LinkedIn that you may not have previously known about”.
Okay … “LinkedIn hacks” is shorter, I’ll grant you that.
Now, these aren’t going to make or break whether LinkedIn is a success for you – having an unfocused profile, blindly connecting, not engaging and pitching when you should be listening will all make a much better job of that – but perhaps they may add a little to your experience on the site and open up some of the options you have available to you.
1. Connect Date
The date when you first connected with someone on LinkedIn can be remarkably useful, particularly as you start to have the odd senior moment … at least that’s what I get told. As it happens, in days gone by on LinkedIn, we used to have the ‘Relationship’ tab where you could make notes, add tags to people and the like – that’s all in the Sales Navigator account now and unlikely to make a return.
However, it also used to tell you when you first connected to someone which was hugely useful as you grew your network. Well, that snippet of information has now made a welcome return, so no longer to you need to wrack your brains to recall when you first met / connected with someone … instead, make the short trip to the bottom of their Contact and Personal info area and you’ll find it there.
2. Add an Image in Comments
Text not enough for you, eh? Well, fear not, in a recent change you can now use an image when you leave a comment on someone’s update rather than simply write something. Hopefully this will be used for the forces of good rather than evil and we won’t descend into a Facebook frenzy of images for images sake.
They don’t appear massively in size so do think about that before you add it in – after all, there’s no point in adding an image if no-one can see what it is, but if it can add something to comment that you are looking to get across then they might make all the difference.
3. Read receipt in messaging
Have you noticed that you will now see in Messenger if someone has read your message, it leaves a little notification image – at least now you know if they haven’t had time as yet to respond but at least have read your reply. NB. this can be turned off but I’ve yet to find anyone who’s done so in their settings.
4. See routes into a company via the messaging box
If you are looking at a Company Page that you are interested in – and hopefully after you have decided to follow the page – you can also see who out of all of your connections knows someone within that company or if you know someone already and the latest conversation with them.
If you look to the bottom right hand side of the screen, you’ll see the messenger popup box – click on that to open it and the first names on it won’t be from the Messenger system but instead will show you people who can connect you to members of the company you’re interested in.
5. Reply to an invite without connecting
Does it annoy you sometimes when you get invites from people you don’t know but just contain the standard default “add you to my LinkedIn network” message. Well, firstly don’t be too hard on them – there are lots of places you can ask people to connect where they can’t customise the message. (This article helps you avoid that situation! 🙂 )
Anyway – if you wish, you might decide to send them a message before agreeing to connect. In doing so, you’ll be able to ask them why they might want to connect or it allows you to check a little about them so that you can be sure that you do indeed want to connect.
If you go to “My Network” in the main menu, then you see a list of the invitations that you have received. At the top of that list (in the header area), you should see a link marked “Manage All” – click on that and you now have that same list but with the option to ‘message’ underneath each of the invites. Clicking on that gives you the option to send them a message before accepting (or ignoring) their invitation to connect.
6. Save profile to pdf
On some occasions, it’s a great idea to keep a copy of someone’s profile so that you can refer to it at a future time. While it’s quite a mainstay for recruiters, it doesn’t just have to be for them but can be for all sorts of situations. On all profile pages, if you look to the top right hand corner, you ail see ‘three dots’ – clicking on that creates a menu and one of those items should be “Save to pdf”.
This allows you to save a pdf copy of key parts of the person’s profile to help you to remember then and to refer to at a later date.
7. Search Connections
You used to be able to filter and search through your own connections using a number of different criteria such as location etc. great if you were visiting an area and wanted to see if you make best use of that time and catch up face to face with some. This used to be on the ‘My Connections’ area which was renamed ‘My Network’ when the new interface arrived.
You can’t any longer (this is restricted to named searches) but there is a place where you can. If you do a blank search in the main search box, choose ‘People’ and then in the right column click on 1st under connections you should now have a list of all of your direct connections and the ability to filter or search through them using any of the other criteria there.
One word of warning: if you are on the free account, then currently any searches that you carry out using the full search when you are not just looking for a named person will count towards your monthly “commercial use” limit. Searches carried out in the ‘My Network’ area won’t.
8. Search Messages
Messages on LinkedIn are good, sometimes they are very good! Talking is the fundamental element that allows us to get to know others and the place where thopse closed 1-2-1 chats take place on LinkedIn is in the Messaging area.
Now, oldies like myself really quite liked the structure of the old ’email style’ interface that used to be here with its folders and Sent folder, so the current Messanger style feels a little unstructured sometimes.
This allows us at least to divide up your messages into certain chunks and allows you to search through them – the search is a text search by the way for anything in the message, not just for names.
9. Hide Notifications
Although some of the notifications that we get in the main menu on LinkedIn are great, they are not everyone’s cup of tea, particularly some of the Happy Birthday and Work Anniversary ones that tend to be the most frequent for the casual user.
You can hide them if you require – go into the Notifications area and click on the ‘three lines’ symbol next to the type of Notification that you’d prefer not to see. This will hide all future versions until you decide to reverse it.
I went into rather more detail in a recent post, so it’s probably worth having a look there as it does lay out a lot of the things that you can do within the notifications system and why they might be of value to you.
10. Who have you sent invites to?
You know how you send invitations to people but can’t always remember exactly who you have sent them to? It would be nice to manage that situation wouldn’t it – well, LinkedIn does still give us the chance to see just such a list and even to make the move to withdraw that invite if we see fit to do so.
In order to use this option, you should head over to the ‘My Network’ icon in the main menu – click there and then at the top of the resulting page you will see ‘Manage All’. Click on that and them on the ‘Sent’ at the top of the list and you will access a page and you will give you a list of outstanding invites you have sent which you can either leave to run or use the ‘Withdraw’ option to rescind.
One downside … on the desktop version, you currently cannot see the custom message you sent (and if you didn’t send one then shame on you … and read this) but you can on the mobile app, if you follow a similar route and go to My Network, then “See All” then click on “Sent”, you should then see the details displayed along with the date that you sent it.
All much more useful and hopefully something that will be put right on the desktop in the near future … well, we can but hope!
11. How often you appear in searches
Something new from LinkedIn is the appearance of a new stat in your profile area which tells you how many times you have appeared in people’s search results in a certain time period. Nice … although it doesn’t specify what constitutes appearing in a search (page 100 anyone?) nor whether it resulted in profile view or other action.
Following this further, if you click on it then it will show you which companies you have and most search results from and also the position that they hold, Useful … though not yet very useful. Let’s see how they develop … but I bet you won’t be able to stop yourself from checking!
12. Hovering returns
I love hovering … you may not, but I most certainly do! I’m a serial hoverer and that is both difficult to say and something I didn’t expect to see myself writing!
Anyway, the hover option is finally back and you have probably noticed it over the past week or maybe you never even noticed it had gone. On my homepage on LinkedIn, you can now once again hover over someone’s name or the name of a company and you will get a pop up box appear with their name, headline, connections in common and the option to connect.
(Be careful, the ‘Connect’ button sends the default invite – instead customise as I suggest here). On the plus side, it’s a great place to find out more and is another great reason to get that headline working as hard as possible for you.
There are more of course and LinkedIn seems to be in a rich vein of form at the moment in terms of releasing little bits and pieces – multiple images in the Updates being the latest of them. I hope, however, that these might prove useful.
Of course, if you want to learn more then there is particularly excellent set of public courses, bespoke training and 1-2-1 coaching on offer from yours truly. 🙂