7 Essential Back to College Applications

Well, at the University of Wyoming, courses are in full session. With that in mind, here are my recommendations for applications that I believe all students should have close at hand. These applications were chosen based on versatility and accessibility. All of these applications and Web programs can be reached from desktop computers as well as mobile devices. Personally, I would recommend loading the applications on all your devices so you can reach them from home, work, school, and on the road. Read more

Getting more out of LinkedIn

InmapsWhen I talk with folks about social media, I usually recommend four basic tools: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a rolodex on steroids and is used for professional networking. As with most applications, its power is enhanced with the use of third party tools. LinkedIn is no different. With third party tools, I have gotten more out of LinkedIn. Here are some of the tools that I use and recommend.

LinkedIn for Outlook

LinkedIn for Outlook is a plug-in for Outlook that links to LinkedIn. When added, it enhances Outlook with a LinkedIn tie in. Here are some of the features:

  • When you select a message to read, you will also have an additional window showing the individual’s image with a link back to LinkedIn to see their profile and activity. If they are not part of LinkedIn, there is a link to invite them. If there are multiple people in the message, they will be listed.
  • Within the contacts folder, there is a new grouping of just LinkedIn contacts. These are all of your contacts from LinkedIn. You can email them directly from Outlook.

When crafting message, it is a nice way to see what has been previously written as well as what activity they have had.

InMaps

Basically, InMaps allows you to visualize the connections you have in LinkedIn. The image above is my LinkedIn network. The dark blue is Civil Air Patrol, the orange is UW Extension, the green is University of Wyoming, the gold is the Bujinkan, the light blue is Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the grey is ASTD Northern Rockies Chapter. You can see your connections by going to LinkedIn InMaps.

Evernote Hello

Evernote Hello is a mobile tool that helps with relationship management. By building your contacts with Evernote Hello, you can leverage the power of both Evernote and LinkedIn. When you add a new contact, it searches LinkedIn to see if they exist, and pulls information from LinkedIn to help populate the new contact. As the site mentions, “Hello automatically brings in related information about the people you meet from your calendar, Evernote account, online networks, and more.” If you log each encounter with a person, you can develop a rich profile on them. Evernote Hello is backed up through Evernote.

TripIt

TripIt is a tool that will let you create an itinerary for your trip to include times, locations, and important phone numbers. These details can be accessed from multiple devices. TripIt will also sync with your favorite calendar programs. I just discovered today that I can mail my confirmation messages to TripIt and they will automatically be posted to my itinerary. If you are interested in sharing your experiences with others, you can post your itineraries to your favorite social media sites like LinkedIn.

SlideShare

Slideshare is another program that I get a lot of mileage out of. Basically, I post all of my presentations on Slideshare for others to see. Once they are posted, they automatically show up on my LinkedIn profile. There are also options to see presentations posted by fellow LinkedIn’ers.

WordPress

Finally, if you are a blogger, you can connect your blog to LinkedIn. In my case, I connect my WordPress Blog to LinkedIn to automatically share new posts. My personal goal is to share everything I create. Being able to do it automatically removes one more thing to do from my list.  Wordpress has plug-ins for making these connections.

All of these third party applications help to both disseminate information to my connections as well as help me stay in contact smartly with my connections.

Are you using any other applications to leverage LinkedIn? If so, I would love to know about them.

#ASTD2013 Linkedin Networking for Crazy Busy Professionals: Wendy Terwelp

The first real presentation for ASTD 2013 was Linkedin Networking for Crazy Busy Professionals given by Wendy Terwelp. She did a great job talking about the importance of LinkedIn in your career, and how to get more out of LinkedIn.

As Terwelp pointed out, Linkedin is useful for building careers and selling products. Approximately 73% of recruiters successfully hired a candidate because of LinkedIn. An important lesson learned is that if you are not on LinkedIn, a recruiter cannot find you. Linkedin shows up on page one of a Google search. It is not an option to be on social media:

  • Recruiters will look at linkedin before looking at a resume.
  • People will Google you and look at your LinkedIn profile before meeting with you.

Profiles

During the presentation, Terwelp had us make updates to our LinkedIn profiles. Before we did, she instructed us to turn off activity broadcasts before making multiple updates. Before making updates to our profile, she had us collect business cards from those around us. It was interesting that no one had a picture on their business cards. Lesson learned: 97% of communication is visual. Having a current color picture on your LinkedIn profile helps with the know, like, and trust factor. People tend to remember faces they have seen. However, not having a picture on your LinkedIn profile detracts from from your credibility.

Next on the list, we reviewed and tweaked our headlines. Check out Terwelp’s headline for an example that she recommended. She advocated for including your personal email address to be used rather than your business email address… just in case you change jobs on short notice.

Terwelp had us enhance our profiles with the various LinkedIn tools such as Publications, Skills and Expertise, and Certifications, etc. She recommended highlighting presentations and clips of training; basically, building a portfolio. She stressed that we are CEOs of ourselves; we have to manage our own brand.

Build Your Network

Terwelp moved onto networks and invitations. She stressed to only add individuals whom you know and trust because this is your professional network and brand. I totally agree with this advice. When sending out invitations, it is important to customize your invitation by explaining how you know the individual. Canned invitations raise suspicion and lack of sincerity.

The conversation moved to receiving invitations. Terwelp noted that you do not have to accept invitations. She advised the following when you do not recall the individual:

  • Look at their profile. Do they have value added content? Do they have a picture?
  • Look at shared groups. Are they members of shared groups?
  • Look at shared connections. Do they have shared connections with you? How many?
  • If you want to know more, you can call someone to learn more.
  • You can also reply to the individual without accepting the invitation. 

Groups

First order of business – join the ASTD National group. It is possible to join up to 50 different groups. Terwelp recommended selecting groups that focused on audiences that you wished to target as well as groups relevant to your clients. One of the significant benefits of groups is the ability to send messages to individuals in your group as well as the ability to invite them to connect. 

I need look into the interest of creating a group for University of Wyoming Extension.

Skills Endorsements and Recommendations

Terwelp also addressed skill endorsements and recommendations. She began with skill endorsements. Skill endorsements are a new feature for LinkedIn. They have less importance than a recommendation but are nice to give if you know about an individual’s performance.

Recommendations on the other hand are testimonials about your performance. You should solicit recommendations from your clients, vendors, coworkers, and bosses. As trainers, you should also solicit endorsements from learners. When asking for a recommendation ask for a specific recommendation… let people know what you would like to be recommended for. You should not only ask for recommendations but also give recommendations. Terwelp challenged us to identify 3 people to receive recommendations from, and 3 to give recommendations to.

Do one thing a day

Terwelp pointed out that it does not take much time to tend to your LinkedIn profile and contacts. You should touch base with your network on a regular basis. Here are some recommendations:

  • Endorse or recommend someone
  • Invite someone to join your network
  • Update your status
  • Congratulate someone for their accomplishments

If you are interested in learning more, you can always check out Wendy Terwelp’s book: Rock your network.

Wendy Terwelp can be reached in a number of different ways:

As a bonus, here are some LinkedIn tools that will extend your experience.

It is time to do a a social media spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning
Spring Cleaning

With spring right around the corner, it is a good time to do a little social media spring cleaning. Here is are some suggestions for knocking the cob webs from your social media sites.

Facebook

Facebook continuously adds and removes features. Here are some ideas for both your personal profile and fan pages.

  • Review your profile settings. Click on your name in the upper right corner and then on Update Info button under your cover photo.
    • This is a great time to ensure your settings are how you want them.
    • Is it time for a new profile picture?
    • Are you featuring the people you want to feature? with the right relationship?
    • Have you included your education and work information? While certainly optional, this is a nice way to find old friends.
    • You should also update your philosophy, arts and entertainment, sports, and activities and interests.
    • Finally, you should review and update your contact information. Are all your social media sites interconnected?
  • Review your profile privacy settings.  Click on the “gear”  in the upper right corner and then click on Privacy Settings.
    • Review each of the settings, and adjust them to where you feel comfortable.
    • Once you have updated your privacy settings, select Apps from the left hand menu and clean out all of the applications you no longer use.
  • Review your “friends” and lists. Click on your name in the upper right corner and then click on Friends.
    • This a great time to purge your lists of those names unfamiliar to you or individuals that you wish to drop.
    • Lists are a great way to manage your Facebook views. From the Friends link, you can create new lists by clicking on the Create a List link.
  • Review all of your Fan pages. Go to your fan page and select Edit Page from the admin panel.
    • Starting with the Update Info. Is your Basic Information Current? This is a great time to make any updates.
    • determine how you want to post to the page, and when you want to be notified of activity on your site.
    • Review and update the Manage Permissions settings.
    • Is it time for a new Profile Picture?
    • You can also identify with pages and page owners your would like to be Featured.
    • Have you considered adding additional admins to help manage the load, you can do this through Admin Roles.

If you take time to go through this list for your Facebook pages, your site will be considered spring cleaned.

Twitter

When cleaning up your Twitter accounts, yes, I have multiple accounts, I recommend attending to three basic chores: removing inactive users, create lists to manage the individuals you are following, create Twitter newsletters to keep you informed, and update your profile.

  • Removing inactive accounts. Sometimes it is time to cull the herd. There is a very useful program to identify users who are just not active with Twitter, it is called Untweeps. I personally set it for 90 days to give users the benefit of the doubt. Select the accounts you want to remove and submit the results.
  • Create a list to manage users. Lists are a great way to manage conversations on Twitter. You can create a list to follow users around a specific them. Check out this post to learn more about creating lists.
  • Create Twitter newsletters to keep you informed. I have found Twitter newsletters using paper.li to be a great way to stay informed. Here is more information about Twitter newsletters.
  • Update your profile. You should take this opportunity to update your profile.  Log into Twitter, and select Profile then Edit your profile.  At this point, you can update your account information, password, mobile phone settings, notification settings, profile information, design and connections to applications. It is always a good idea to review which applications are accessing your accounts. Naturally, revoke access to accounts you no longer use.

With four simple things to do, you can have a squeaky clean Twitter account.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an important networking tool, but like most tools it needs to be cleaned and oiled. Here are some things you can do to keep LinkedIn servicing you needs.

  • Update your profile. When is the last time you reviewed your profile? Have you changed jobs or responsibilities? Have you updated your profile picture? Have you updated the new skills feature? Have you been published? What about your education? This is also a great time to update your Web sites, Twitter accounts, and interests.
  • Examine the groups you are following. Are they serving you well? Are there some you should drop because they are inactive? This may be a good time to join some new groups.
  • This is also a good time to reach out to those you worked with and ask for a recommendation.  Speaking of recommendations, you should also review your contacts and take a moment to hand out some much deserved recommendations.
  • Update your settings. To locate the Settings link, move your cursor over your name in the top right of your home page. Here you can update your email preferences, group preferences, applications that you use, and your basic account information.
  • Update the applications you use. Under the More tab, you have an opportunity to add or delete applications you way want to use. Some applications are extremely beneficial, I personally use seven of them.
  • Finally, it is time to review your contacts. You should purge your contact list of names which you are unfamiliar or who simply do not use LinkedIn. Focus on the contacts who will help you succeed and who you help to succeed.

Diigo

Diigo is a great tool for managing favorite links… at least, in my opinion. I only have a couple of suggestions for spring cleaning Diigo: update your profile, update your tags, update your network, and update your groups.

  • Update your profile. This is a great opportunity to update you profile. Click on your name that the top of the screen and then select Profile. Review and update your information under the Basic, Interests, Privacy, Me elsewhere, and Picture tabs.
  • Update your tags.  I personally have 817 different tags. In some cases, I have a basic name and a plural of that name; it would be useful to consolidate. In other cases, I have only one or two bookmarks under a tag; again, it may be good to consolidate. To edit your tags, go to My Library and then click on Edit next to My Tags.
  • Update your network. Click on My Network and see if your network is serving your needs.  This is a good time to search through your contacts and add new ones, or look the individuals you are following and drop them if they are no longer beneficial.
  • Finally, update your groups. Look at your groups, again, are they beneficial to you. If not, enter the group and Quit group. Perhaps you have new interests, this is a great time to search out and follow new groups.

Google+

Google+ is another great tool for keeping abreast and discussion issues. I only have a couple of suggestions for spring cleaning Google+: update your profile, update your tags, update your network, and update your groups.

  • Update your profile. Take a moment to review an update your profile. Click on your name that the top of the screen and then select View Profile. Then click on the “gear” and choose settings. Review and update your information such as who can interact with you, how you will receive notifications, manage apps and circles, and profile information. Update your image as necessary.
  • Review your Circles.  Check your circles to see if you are benefiting from the individuals you are following. To do this, click on Find People button on the left hand menu, and then the Your circles tab at the top. Click on a circle to review its membership.
  • Update how much news you wish to see from each circle. Click on Home and then click on a circle name from the tabs provided at the top of the news list.  Adjust the slider to control how much news you want to have appear from that particular circle.
  • Finally, update your communities. Look at your communities, again, are they beneficial to you. If not, enter the community, Click on the Actions dropdown menu, and Leave Community. Perhaps you have new interests, this is a great time to search out and follow new communities.

If you have completed these tasks, you have gone a long way to cleaning up your social media presence. If you think I missed something important, please leave a comment.