February’s #meme15 is on Linkedin and how we use it.  The meme15 concept came from one of my good friends, Jason Strate (Twitter | Blog).  The monthly topics focus on professional development, blogging and really, why we do these things to help ourselves and others.  I have always been an abuser of all the social networking tools that are available.  I use them to my advantage to promote myself and my career.  Realistically, no one will know about you beyond past, current employers and interviews unless we take advantage of these tools.

Linkedin is a social networking tool that is geared directly towards your work experiences, skills and current employment status.  In short, your overall profile of who and what you can do.  Now, work doesn’t limit us to only employer related topics.  Linkedin is a great place to supply speaking engagements, conferences attended, blogging, articles written and book authored.  All of these topics go out to a vast amount of viewers that aren’t only limited to your contacts list.  Recruiters and recruiting companies have tools that work (kind of) that search your profiles and that gets them directly in touch with you for possible future opportunities.  Recruiters may be a PITA at times when their search tools fail them but we do have to account for the fact that these are tools that have flaws.  For example, I found an invitation to connect last week from a recruiter that involved RPGIV development positions.  Obviously, I heart SQL Server and I’ve built a respectful history around it.  The invitation was really a failure due to the recruiter not personally reviewing what it is I would actually be interested in.  The reasons this happened was due to RPG being something I worked on over a decade ago.  Now, I can hardly remember how to start writing RPG or control language programs on the AS400 but alas, they want me to take time to look into this position.

 

Profile

With the failure on the RPGIV position, it leads us into knowing how to make your profile accurately portray who you are and what you have to offer as a connection and for potential future career development.  A few years ago my profile had just about every keyword that I have worked on or with.  That was a mistake due to the same results that happened with the RPGIV email.  I consider this a slight failure in resume building as well.  After all, Linkedin is truly a public viewing of your resume with slight alterations to that fact, that it is public and not focused on one position you may be after.  Remember, build your resume for the job you are interested in.

To fix my profile I did some fine tuning, added some critical links to show who and what my career is based on.  Let’s take a look…

The Summary

Ted Krueger is a SQL Server MVP and has been working in development and database administration for 13+ years. Specialties range from High Availability and Disaster / Recovery setup and testing methods down to custom assembly development for SQL Server Reporting Services.

Ted blogs and is also one of the founders of LessThanDot.com technology community. Some of the articles focused on are Backup / Recovery, Security, SSIS and working on SQL Server and using all of the SQL Server features available to create stable and scalable database services.

Recent publication include co-authoring of the Red Gate book, “Troubleshooting SQL Server: A Guide for the Accidental DBA” and “SQL Server Deep Dives Volume 2”

Speaking Engagements in the last year include SQL Saturdays in Pensacola, Minnesota, Iowa and SQL Server User Groups in Wisconsin and Illinois.

Notable honors and accomplishments:

SQL Server MVP
Microsoft SQL Server Certification Exams Author
Finalist for the DBA of the Year 2010 Awards
PASS Regional Mentor – North Central Region
Co-founder and blog on LessThanDot.com
www.lessthandot.com
Simple-Talk DBA of the Day
Magenic Thought Leadership

Specialties

SQL Server Internals, BI and Development, Development on the .NET Framework, Integration Processing and Development, Database Server Technology, Hardware, Disaster/Recovery Planning and Testing.

Being part of a Team – A specialty we all need to master

Notice how I directly focus on SQL Server and the key features that I truly feel I can offer a level of skills that would potentially show a quick return on investment to a company from employment or consulting.  Prior to this summary, vbscript, AS400 and even COBOL were listed.  That, on my part, was a failure and did not represent my current skills very well.

TripIt, Blogs, Twitter

Linkedin added the ability a while ago to list your TripIt travel plans, blog link and twitter.  This was an excellent extension into the other great social networking tools we have available to us.  TripIt can catch others attention to possible events you are speaking at or attending.  That can promote them to attend the same events or keep it in mind for the next event.  Remember, there are a lot of SQL professionals out there that don’t know what the SQL PASS Summit is still.  This can get them to check it out and see what it has to offer them in professional development and networking.

These tools do lead me to a warning: keep in mind that the world will see them.  This goes back to the old age fact that you don’t put on Facebook or other social networking tools that potential employers and, most of all, current ones, negative comments about your employment or just psychotic thoughts about anything.  They will see it and so will a lot of others.  I recently did several interviews and tweeted the fact that I personally review all of these when preparing for an interview.  They make a big difference in how people like me will interview and even if they will proceed with an interview. Make them work in your favor and not against you.

Recommendations

If you don’t have recommendations from past and current co-workers and managers, get them.  This is the final word to others reviewing your profile on whom and what you are about.  Can you work on a team? Can you be an asset to the company?  All types of information can come from a recommendation.  Go request recommendations even if they are from your current co-workers or managers.  Let them know you are simply building your Linkedin profile.  Don’t let it work against you in your managers thinking you are in the market but just building yourself professionally for the public’s viewing.

Did I answer how I use it?

Not really.  One sentence can though.

I use Linkedin to publically provide the ability for connections and potential future career development to have a quick, viewable listing of my experiences, skills and achievements.

Bottom line is, Linkedin can be a major piece to your career if you use it right.  It can be the link to your next big career move and can also be a tool for you to let other Linkedin connections know just how well they are doing.