New LinkedIn Profile Design – Time To Overhaul Yours? 13 New Tips

new LI profile

In case you missed the news, LinkedIn launched a new profile design in October (here’s a sneak peek).  LinkedIn is arguably the number one social media site for business and professional networking with more than 187 million members in over 200 countries worldwide, as of September 30, 2012.  It’s a hugely popular site and recruiters spend a lot of time looking at user profiles.  Just in time for 2013, here are 13 new ways you can make your LinkedIn profile more irresistible in the new year, whatever your goals may be from Business Insider.  (And when you’re finished polishing your LinkedIn profile, join The Greater IBM Connection group on LinkedIn if you qualify:  http://linkd.in/Ru0wWj).

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For more information:

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

Searching for my civic life

Happy New Year, everyone! Maybe I’m lazy, but I seldom think about what I want to do, or maybe more precisely, how I want to live in the new year before it arrives. I have come up with no resolutions or list of things to do. No goals, and underdeveloped expectations. As the year turned over, I did acknowledge that I have an itch, however, to get more involved in civic life. In general, I invest my time in work, family, friends, and managing my household of 1 (plus 2 cats). These are all important, yet I face a fear that I will eventually have no voice in the world if I don’t start paying attention to what’s external to "mine" and participating in community life.

I live in New York City, on the Upper West Side. I like this neighborhood for many of the obvious reasons — great restaurants, shopping, architecture, access to parks, access to transportation. I like New York because it’s an international city — a place where each and every person is free to be whoever they are without being an outcast. The anonymity of the big city is comforting. I may run for the bus, arms flailing like a fool, and no one will notice or laugh at me for it. I sit on the subway and notice the people across from me, as they notice me. We stare and contemplate each other as the train rumbles on. Sometimes we judge as we look through each other; other times we cast empathy with our gazes. We keep quiet, and ultimately, we let each other pass without requiring anything of one another. To me, this social spaciousness is peaceful. I also like being here because it’s familiar. My grandparents have friends who live nearby, so when I came into the city as a kid growing up in New Jersey, this is one of the areas I’d see. I feel like I’m living in one of my childhood storybooks. How romantic.

So here I am — a single, professional New Yorker with a good job, a nice apartment (but no mortgage), and no dependents. Aside from whatever books and computer equipment I purchase, and whatever I give to charities, I have no tax deductions. And as April 15 approaches, I will, no doubt, feel the blood letting. The tax code, of all things, makes me feel disconnected from our society – a signifier of my role in the machine: money comes in, money goes out. There is so little that I do in my life that is recognized as a need or a contribution. I know I’m fortunate, but I also ask — am I an island? am I frictionless?

I refuse to accept that notion. The first thing I did to investigate a more explicit connection to my community is look up the community board web site for the Upper West Side (http://www.cb7.org/). I spent about an hour reading through the site. Maybe I can get involved with this? One look at the meeting agendas and I thought — maybe not, or maybe not yet. Most of what I saw was about reviewing applications for building permits and the like — something I know little about. For now it’s enough to understand that this organization is there and generally how it works.

With the U.S. presidential primary season roaring, I looked next to find a group of supporters for my favorite candidate. I found them on Meetup.com, and I attended a meeting. I didn’t immediately connect with the tone and style of the group, but tried to keep my eyes wide as I experienced, for the first time, what it’s like to come together with strangers around an objective. It was interesting to encounter this heterogeneous group of people. I could credit Meetup with bringing us together, but I suspect that the Community Board also sees people of all shapes and sizes pass through. It made me ask myself, though, if this was what I was looking for when I set out to get more involved with the community. I couldn’t help but predict that when the primaries are over — or perhaps even after Super Tuesday, that this group would disband. A collection of people with a common objective does not, in and of itself, a community make. Yet the fact that we all are also dedicated supporters of a person, who happens to be running for president, because of the values and ideals he embodies gave me a sense that if I needed this group outside the cause of the election that I could turn to them. From the political will of our candidate, a community has emerged.

So what else makes for a community? Having worked at IBM, I know that members of a community do not always have to live in the same geographic region. Other dimensions can connect us. I looked to my social graphs on Facebook and Linked In. Sure, I know all these people — some better than others — but most of them don’t know each other. Perhaps a community can emerge by virtue of knowing someone, but I’m not a superstar with that sort of gravity, so my social graph, regardless of size, is not a community.

I thought about my building. There are about 35 apartments on 7 floors. Are we a community? Right now, probably not. At least, we don’t behave as one. We don’t know each other by name or ask favors of each other, although we do all know the super. I would recognize a few faces if I passed them on the street, but as with the subway, we seem to — not avoid each other, per se — but to give each other space.

Next up – my company, Avenue A | Razorfish. In some ways we behave as a community, but in many ways, these behaviors and relationships are compartmentalized. I wanted to write: "…perhaps less and less as our professional and civic lives intertwine," but I don’t believe this is true. In my observation, professional and social lives intertwine, but our civic lives almost seem taboo in context of the workplace. I wonder — what are we protecting, and from whom? I fear we have our priorities reversed. This feeling is part of the itch.

Now I consider the Greater IBM Community. What is community-like about it? How can participating in it enrich my civic life and yours? We don’t work together anymore, so perhaps it’s safer to talk about situations in our world that may want for some of our consideration and civic-minded sweat. In her recent post entitled "A New Year: 20,000 Moments a DAY", Debbe Kennedy challenged us to think about what we could accomplish together in the business and social networking world in 2008. For me, these two facets of life are still part of what is "mine" — my social network and my business network rather than our network. If we think of this network as a commons and don’t worry too much about the equity each of us has in it, individually, then what sorts of activities would we do? How would we behave?

Yours truly,
Ruth Kaufman
IBMer 2003-2007, ibm.com

Insights From Core Connectors Events: Vienna, UK

We recently spent some time in Europe talking to current and former IBMers about the Greater IBM network.  I wanted to share some of what we heard and learned from the several dozen people who took the time to meet with us in Vienna, Frankfurt and IBM’s Hursley Park lab.  (Many thanks to Sandor Barany, our social network’s ultra-connector, for organizing the Vienna event, and reaching out to so many current and former IBMers, especially in the important emerging market of Eastern Europe.)

 

Wonderful Wien

The good news: in listening to hundreds of IBMers, past and present, from all parts of Europe, there seemed to be genuine appetite to be connected to the human network of people who share an IBM heritage. In some sense, the culture of being an IBMer does transcend the business organization.

There was also broad consensus, among both current and former IBMers, that new Web technologies, and the interactions they enable, could provide benefits to all participants. The majority of people seemed to perceive that there was an essential benefit to enabling current and former IBMers to connect with each other.

Many good ideas and insights on how to improve greaterIBM surfaced in our discussions in Vienna. Three examples:

1) Develop some kind of automated match-making based on profile comparisons to introduce people to one another
2) Make Premium Accounts Opt In: offer them to all who say they are willing, on their honor, to build the network by inviting in others, and enriching it by active participation: contributing to dialogue in the forums, creating events, introducing members to each other, etc.
3) Give members a set of clear, simple value prop talking points to use in persuading others to join

Food for Thought in Frankfurt

The challenges:  For former IBMers, trust in an alumni social networking program is a real issue. They want to be part of a network that offers them very concrete, and crystal clear, value proposition, and are, at least initially, wary of such a program being more for IBM’s benefit than their own.

As strongly as many alumni IBMers may identify with Big Blue, in some cases from careers spanning decades, there is understandable skepticism….”if in the past, once someone left the company they effectively fell off IBM’s radar, so what’s different now?”

The short answer is that many social and business trends have made many organizations realize that their former employees are an important constituency in today’s incredibly networked economy.

if IBM can show that it is serious about creating a new kind of relationship between alumni and current IBMers, and offer substantial services and features that will benefit participants,  many of the people we talked to seemed to hunger for such a redefinition of the IBM ecosystem, and the opportunity to leverage the global fraternity of IBMers.

In fact, one of the surprising things I heard was that alumni wanted to have a real inside perspective on IBM…”give me access to BluePages (IBM’s intranet directory) and w3″ was a common refrain.

As my colleagues have noted from a range of sources, alumni IBMers have high expectations for IBM. If the company wants to really create a meaningful community with its large pool of “graduate” IBMers, it will have to dig down deep and really deliver on every front with rich features, services, content and commitment.

I think we can deliver on all kinds of reports, events, promotions, research projects, collaborative projects and the like, to make this case, and to show that being part of Greater IBM will be an enormously beneficial experience and asset for all.

(Of course, members of the network have to be part of that productive equation, and are equally encouraged to start initiatives that will feed the interests and needs of other Greater IBMers.)

When we succeed, the Greater IBM Connection will be a step toward turning IBM “inside out” for those such as corporate alumni who want to have a productive, interactive relationship.

This mixture of interest and uncertainty was echoed in questions about how serious IBM was about reaching out to alumni, and whether the company’s culture really could be open enough to involve them in activities, projects and innovation efforts.

On a more optimistic note, most we talked to recognized that IBM can drive great societal level innovation when it sets its mind it.  They only hoped that the ideal for greaterIBM was backed up by a plan to match it.

Sandor Barany, superconnector

Of course, some of those who have been involved in the network during its pilot phase these last few months pointed out that most people are time starved, and will only participate to the degree that they feel that their time is wisely invested, which puts further onus on the network having immediate and personal value.

We are conducting as much serious research as we can, but all members can help Greater IBM become what they need by sharing their thoughts…in Greater IBM’s forums, in email, and in disucssion with other members.

Finally, our listening tour reinforced the notion that greaterIBM has the opportunity to be a global program, but it must also have a local focus to make the service most relevant to clusters of member, and that the program needs to create regular in-person events to feed the creation of the trust and social capital that only face-to-face, real human interactions can engender.

To that end, in Vienna we discussed how the growing group based ther could be the spark for a kind of regional initiative to drive innovation and business throughout the emerging market of Eastern Europe. Fortunately, there has been strong growth of members joining Greater IBM throughout the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and the rest of this exciting region.

Making Virtual Connections in Hursley Park

All this, and similar, effort needs is a spark, and a few enterprising people to step up and get such a open source  type of innovation community rolling.

2007 is fast approaching, and our network is growing toward the tipping point that will help it become a proactive organization fueled as much by the energy of its members as it is by the support and commitment of IBM.

So let’s create something Great, together, as we roll into that new year.

Welcome to the Frontier!

Fellow greaterIBMers, let me introduce you to the frontier. We are witnessing the start of
two initiatives that will be very big: greaterIBM, and the birth of the 3D internet with IBMs $10M play in virtual worlds, announced by IBM’s CEO Sam Palmisano on Tuesday in Beijing. Both initiatives share two key similarities… they are both moving very fast and the models are not “more of the same” from IBM. Let me share the recent story of a couple of greaterIBMers

They decided to run a greaterIBM virtual bloc party in Second Life. One of them learns how to build things in Second Life, builds a greaterIBM Headquarters in 2 weeks in his spare time for $20. They reach out to the community around them to get involved as they really need their help to run the event smoothly and to draw on their expertise. They run the event, which becomes the top story on IBMs intranet, gets mentioned in the New York Times, BusinessWeek and CNet. The builder is immediately requested to write a best practices document and consult with 2 major multinational companies on how to run successful events in Second Life and receives requests from around the world to collaborate with other initiatives.

As part of his preparation for the event, the builder investigates how to use a more sophisticated way of videoing the event, and finds a tool in SL, which costs the huge sum of $0.70! He enlists the help of a colleague who figures it out, makes a short
film of the Bloc Party
which they edit and post on YouTube. It gets hundreds of viewings and is used by IBMs Media Relations group

Four weeks later, Sam Palmisano is due to make an appearance in the virtual Forbidden City IBM have built. The bloc party cameraman is called on to run the virtual camerawork and films Sam, switching between 10 virtual cameras for a live video feed watched
by 7000 IBM employees across China!

Elapsed time from nowhere to subject matter experts: 6 WEEKS!

greaterIBM is at the same stage of development. This is gold rush time and you can hitch up your wagon and join in right now. We have a big mandate to make this happen from IBM but we’re only currently at 850 people. If you formed a community in greaterIBM, for example around Healthcare, by searching for a few like-minded people, ran a couple of conference calls using the events function (ask us and you can use our number), you will be the de-facto topic healthcare leader in The Greater IBM Connection. When the
membership has risen to 5, 10 or 50 thousand people next year, you could be
providing insights and business opportunities for your company from a community
of hundreds of people across the world. People could be emailing you to join in and collaborate with your team and opportunities you never envisaged could open up for you.

Take a 5 minute coffee break, grab a pen and blank sheet of paper and open your mind to the possibilities. Also, watch this space and next week we’ll will show you one way you can get involved with BOTH greaterIBM and IBMs virtual worlds initiative, make incredible new connections, and have a lot of fun!

The energy and buzz around these two initiatives is huge at the moment. How much opportunity would you like? All you have to do is a little work and you can be a 21st century pioneer!

IBMers and IBM alumni join greaterIBM here.

The Friendly Skies in Frankfurt

Our work introducing The Greater IBM Connection to IBM’s European consulting partners at a two day event in Frankfurt has been very productive.

Many of our business colleagues seemed to quickly understand the value proposition of a social network that brought current and alumni

IBMers together for mutual business benefit: in short, IBM becomes both a more responsive organization, and being an IBMer becomes more than a matter of job status, but a professional and personal affiliation that has greater value.

After a day of demonstrating greaterIBM to our consulting colleagues, the group of 300 hopped on buses to an exciting evening event held at Lufthansa’s Flight Training facility.

Between wonderful food, drink, music and more of the business social networking that greaterIBM hopes to engender, our group was treated to virtual flights in a variety of state-of-the-art simulators for many models of commercial aircraft.

Meanwhile, we continued to describe the greaterIBM and get feedback and insights from the cream of our business service leaders on how the program can drive business and innovation opportunities.

During the course of the evening, groups of attendees were ushered onto the flight simulators and given a demonstration of how the multimillion-dollar mega-machines are used for safety training of pilots and crews.

As we prepare for the global greaterIBM program to take off, one lesson from our feedback in Frankfurt stands out…as IBMers, current and alumni, better understand how a social network for a large corporate ecosystem will operate, the more they seem to appreciate its potential.

We’ll continue the campaign in small exploratory events with current and former IBMers in Frankfurt, Vienna, London and Amsterdam.

Greater IBM in Frankfurt, Germany

IBMers Kevin Aires and Jack Mason are bringing the Greater IBM story to a meeting of senior IBM consultants in Frankfurt, Germany.
To accelerate the network’s growth as we prepare to become a live program, we’re showing our European colleagues the program’s portal, ibm.com presence, blog and virtual worlds frontier.

We’re also using a nifty little Bluetooth broadcasting widget to send a greaterIBM “electronic business card” to the phones and mobile devices of the 300 or so consultants milling about the two-day event.

During breaks in the main room presentations, we’re also discussing the Greater IBM Connection’s strategy, and comparing notes with our colleagues on opportunities for this network to support business goals in key current markets, such as Germany, as well as emerging ones like China, India and Brazil.

The heart of that strategy is to empower alumni IBMers to stay connected with current IBMers, as well as each other.

Such richer relationships promise to benefit all involved, and to transform what it means to be an “IBMer” into something bigger and better than just being a current employee.

Of course, enabling current and former IBMers to interact — online, through live events and even via the exciting new from of virtual worlds — is very much in line with the emerging principle that the greatest societal innovations are the product of rich collaborations, collective creation that is increasingly empowered by Web 2.0 trends and technologies.

Of course, the real power of greaterIBM will not be a matter of technology, but of empowering people with new abilities to connect with each other.

One learning from this immersion in IBM’s global business culture is that virtually all IBMers get the premise and promise of the business social network we’re preparing to soon make public.

Meanwhile, our pilot network is growing briskly, with more than 800 members. Current and former IBMers who would like to become part of this group of groundbreakers are welcome to join via this link:

http://www.greateribm.com

And Greater IBMers are equally welcome to share this invite link with alumni IBMers they think would want to join this network for collaborative innovation.

Global Business Services Alumni Network

This post continues the series “What can Greater IBM Do for Me?”

IBMer, Lois Dwyer, IBM US Global Business Services, Program Manager IBM Global Business Services Alumni Network

Lois Dwyer is the Program Manager for IBM Global Business Services Alumni Network.  In her twenty-two years with IBM, Lois has worked in hardware, software and services.  Her career focus has been in Marketing.

To poorly plagiarize the words of President John Kennedy, I would not ask what the alumni can do for me, but, what you can do for your alumni!   Simply put, if we provide services and add value for our alumni, they will want to be part of the Greater IBM Connection.

As Program Manager for the IBM Global Business Services Alumni Network, I periodically poll our alumni to ask what they feel is the most valuable aspect of our alumni network.  The latest results show that our Webcasts (currently held approximately every sixty days throughout 2006) are the most valuable, followed by the ability to apply for jobs, followed closely by — the social networking spoke of the alumni “wheel”—learning the latest alumni news (e.g., “where are they now”) and reconnecting with former IBM colleagues.

The Greater IBM Connection provides a short cut to a much needed culture change in IBM… How IBM interacts with its former colleagues.  If we can host the types of activities, or provide a portal for our alumni to participate in activities as were described by our alumni in the paragraph above, we can be guaranteed of garnering successful relationships, both for IBM and for our alumni.

The “reconnection” aspect includes alumni and active employees in IBM Global Business Services Americas.  If you are an IBM Global Business Services Americas employee, or an alumnus of IBM Global Business Services Americas, please visit http://www.greateribm.com to join