The Challenge is On - Start with 30 minutes a day for a Week

The shorter version of this interview originally aired on Episode 2 of D³: LIVE & INTERACTiVE, streamed live on January 4, 2012. Watch D³: LIVE & INTERACTiVE every 1st Wednesday of the month and on-demand. More >>

Continuing with the theme from the last D³: LIVE & INTERACTiVE, starting something, well known community expert, Microsoft MVP, and career coach Miguel Carrasco was on the show to talk about LinkedIn; the opportunities it provides for you to learn, network, and grow; and most importantly, the positive impact it can have on your career. Miguel talks about how to use network connections, recommendations, and groups. He then provides valuable insights from the other side of the desk – the employer. He shares how he (at Imaginet) gets to know job candidates better by checking out their profiles and activity on LinkedIn.

As a final thought, he introduces a challenge – a challenge that will get you to see the value of LinkedIn.

Download: WMV (HQ, MQ) | MP4 (HQ, MQ, LQ) | MP3

Some interesting points

On LinkedIn in general

  • “LinkedIn is a platform for people to link up and get to know people, especially around the fields that they work in.”
  • “LinkedIn allows you to spread the message of what you’re up to, career-wise, what conferences you’re going to, etc, very effectively, online. It really takes that whole world of user group meetings and conferences and things like that and brings it to the digital realm and makes it [your presence] that much more effective.”
  • “Updating your profile and keeping it up to date (conferences you’re going to, career changes or advancements, new learnings, promotions, and things like that, or switching companies) is incredibly important because it keeps everyone up to date of what you’re doing.”
  • “If you don’t tell people what you’re doing, they’re not going to know [you], they won’t know what you’re interested in…”

On network connections

  • “By taking connections made via business cards and connecting on LinkedIn, you’ve turned that into an active online business card – you’re able to get [ongoing] information from them.”
  • “If you’re looking for a specific resource or someone (as an example someone who does web development), I can easily use the searching and filtering to find someone and if someone is outside of my network [but they are someone that is interesting], I can very easily add them [to get their ongoing updates].”
  • “You can become that hub/connection point for other people, if you now become that person who connects person A to person B then you can be incredibly successful just by doing that and helping other people get connected.”

On groups

  • “… you can post survey questions, respond to a survey, ask a question, and 3500 developers [referring to the Canadian Developer Connection group] across Canada are going to get that message. That’s incredibly powerful.”

LinkedIn from an employer’s perspective

  • “[As an employer] It is incredibly hard to filter resumes because if you think about it, resumes are funny – you are expected to write a resume and talk about yourself and people will always talk about themselves in the best light possible, so while a resume is good to get the points of what people have done, to actually find out how those things went is incredibly difficult (to find out people’s personalities, etc).”
  • “The big things we look for are: we see what they’re up to, are they active in the [online] community, what groups do they belong to, and recommendations…to see what people have said about you, above you [your managers], laterally [peers], below you [your staff], and understand what kind of work the person has done.”
  • “I take a LinkedIn profile much more seriously, in fact, than I would a resume. That’s just the level we’re [the industry] is at today.”

Miguel’s 30x7 Challenge

As a last thought, I asked Miguel what advice he has for someone who is not actively using their LinkedIn or has not created a LinkedIn profile in order to understand its value. Miguel’s advice – take the 30x7 challenge. Spend 30 minutes a day for at least 7 days to connect with people, join groups, read questions and answers, post questions of your own, and answer questions if you can. You’ll very quickly be able to see how, through connecting with people, you can learn new things, network, and meet people, ultimately helping you grow your online professional presence and career.

For more

Check out Miguel’s 10 LinkedIn Tips and Tricks to Take Your Career to the Next Level.

Join the Conversation

Do you consider LinkedIn as important tool to grow your career? What has worked for you on LinkedIn? What hasn’t? Join the conversation and share your thoughts in the Canadian Developer Connection group.

More on Miguel
Picture - Miguel CarrascoMiguel Carrasco is a digital marketing thought leader, software developer, architect, team leader, blogger and software development evangelist. Currently, Carrasco is the Director of Imaginet Interactive, and has been a Microsoft MVP for over 4 years. Before that, he was software development manager at E.H. Price, Ltd. for 6 years and chief software architect and head of software development at Anvil Digital. He started his career as solutions developer and Microsoft trainer at Imaginet. He contributes and runs many high profile blogs including and Software Development in the Real World.

Special thanks to Miguel Carrasco for joining me on D³: LIVE & INTERACTiVE.