social networking for business

Why is LinkedIn Important?

By Communications, Social Media

I’m asked often if it’s important to have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn can be useful for a number of reasons: it can help you connect to others in your field; it can help you find new business opportunities or a new job; it can help you learn good business practices and social networking technique.

LinkedinimportantWhat you do with your LinkedIn profile says a lot about you as a professional. Other business people will go to LinkedIn to connect with you after meeting. Before that, though, some will Google you. What do people find when they search your name in Google? For me, an admitted high-producing publisher of online content AND the only Marijean Jaggers in existence, it’s surprising, even to me that the third result in a Google search of my name is my LinkedIn profile. It’s important because LinkedIn profiles show up for anyone who has one, in the Google search of their name. If it’s a clearly neglected profile, a nearly blank profile, or otherwise suffering (you have 14 connections? Really?) then THAT leaves a distinct impression on the person searching for you. If you can’t be found online, THAT leaves yet another impression.

What does your online profile look like? Are you happy with it?

Questions from the Field: How to Manage Your LinkedIn Profile

By Communications, Social Media

This just in:Marijean Jaggers

Dear Ms. Jaggers,

I read an article you wrote last year on LinkedIn summaries, with interest.

A question: what advice do you have for those who have perhaps the resume of a job-hopper, many interests, and though they may appear to be on a particular track, are still thinking about what they want to do when they grow up–in their mid-30s? Not that this describes me or anything 🙂

For example, how much should resemble marketing copy vs. an open acknowledgment of the divergent paths you’re thinking about?


J. Hopper

My response:

Dear J.:

What a great question! There’s less concern about having a varied resume as there used to be – Gen X and younger workers don’t stay in one place longer than the job fits. I think open acknowledgement is the right choice – and demonstrates that you have a variety of interests and abilities.


I think the days of worrying about short-term engagements (as long as there’s a variety of career commitments and reasonable explanations and a lack of FIRINGS) are over. The new conventional wisdom says if you’re not fulfilled, satisfied, and rewarded at work, MOVE ON. It’s better for the employer and the employee. I have yet to meet a person who regretted a job change.

What do you think? What would you tell J. Hopper?


Can you be Dr. Jekyll AND Mr. Hyde on Facebook?

By Social Media

It’s a challenge many of us face — straddling the chasm between our personal and professional lives or the personality we have among friends and the personality we have with, say, our grandmothers.

It’s not that we’re necessarily two different people altogether, it’s just that some content we want to share with friends, and some we really don’t want our grandma to see.

So who to be on Facebook, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? And can you successfully manage being two different people on that social network? 

My first piece of advice is this: DO NOT HAVE TWO DIFFERENT PROFILES. First of all, it’s weird. Second, it makes it really hard for people to figure out which one of you they should be friends with.

Instead, manage who sees what by developing lists. For some, that list may be “Grandma and Mom,” or “Colleagues,” or “Exes from Texas.” The other list, the one you share ALL your crazy stuff with, may be simply “Friends.”

For me, I have lists like “Besties” and “Charlottesville” — the town where I live. I have “Business Contacts” and “Family.” Separating my friends into categories serves another purpose; it keeps me from boring the pants off of the people who just don’t really care about my Pinterest pins, my social activities or my cousin’s wedding.

This means, of course, that I have to manage my posting more carefully — I have to actually select to whom any given post is visible. It takes work!

Is it worth it? Well, for those of you struggling to maintain some kind of illusion with your grandmother, I suppose it is.

To get started, click on Friends in the sidebar and Create List. Give your list a name you’ll remember so you can, at a glance, know who’s included in that distribution.

Now, when I post an update, I can select from my list to decide who gets to see that update. For example, if I want to post something relevant to my St. Louis friends, I would select only that list.

It’s a bit cumbersome, sure, but can save a few embarrassing conversations with Grandma over the Thanksgiving turkey.

Facebook has also built in a setting that defaults to the LAST LIST TO WHICH YOU POSTED. So be careful to select the right audience before you post.

Editor’s note: Seriously — go see Jekyll and Hyde at Play On Theatre in Charlottesville this week — it’s spooktacular!

New: Endorse Your Contacts on LinkedIn

By Social Media

As a LinkedIn user, you may have noticed that you’re suddenly racking up endorsements as fast as an Olympic athlete. Since you can’t seem to recall your medal-winning athleticism, you may be wondering, what the heck is going on here?

LinkedIn launched a new feature to allow its users to “endorse” — with one click — the skills people in their network claim to have. Here’s a sample from my own account:

As a bonus, LinkedIn will e-mail you to let you know who endorsed you and for what — extra points if your employees or customers endorse you out of the blue — you’re doing a good job!

I like this feature for a couple of reasons:

  1. It doesn’t require the user to request the endorsement of their contacts.
  2. You list the skills and expertise you have and others select from your list.
  3. It provides a quick and easy way to recognize others for their capabilities — we often get hung up on the crafting of the perfect testimonial recommendation — this takes that cumbersome task out of the picture.

Endorse someone today!