Do You Want a New LinkedIn Habit for 2018 That Will Pay Big Dividends?

A new year sometimes means new habits. Loads of well-meaning experts are giving you advice about what new habits you should establish for 2018 in order to get better results.

So I've decided to add my two cents about your LinkedIn activities/habits, and it's simple—always look at a person's LinkedIn profile before you have a meeting or phone call.

(Note: You may not be able to do some of these steps on the LinkedIn mobile app.)
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10 tips for reviewing a person's LinkedIn profile prior to a meeting or phone call

In just a few short minutes, you'll be able to get a pretty good idea of just who this person is and what's important to him/her.

1.  Summary. After reading this, you may know precisely what other profile sections you will want to concentrate on.

2.  Articles & Activities. Whatever they are writing about (Articles) or sharing (Activities) has to be important to them or they wouldn't have made the effort to write and/or share.

3.  Media items. Watching a video they're in, reading a document they wrote, viewing a slideshow they prepared, etc. can really give you insights into who they are and what's important to them.

4.  Recommendations. Read a few they've received and also some they wrote for others. This is priceless information. You'll gain great insights into what they think is important and what others think about them.

5.  Education. If you find a fellow alumnus here, it's usually a home run.

6.  Mutual connections. These are the friends you have in common. You may even want to get ahold of one or two of them to get the scoop on this person.

7.  Accomplishments. This is a section where people can display what they have accomplished, so it only makes sense that they not only hope you look at the details but that you mention it in your upcoming meeting.

8.  Interests. In this section the person lays out on a golden platter what he/she is most passionate about. These are perfect conversation starters. Be sure to click See all near the bottom of this section to view who they are following (influencers, companies and schools) and the LinkedIn groups they are a member of.

9.  Volunteer Experience. This may give you even more insight into where someone's heart is. Don't be afraid to mention this in your discussion with the person. People usually love to talk about the organizations they support.

10.  Experience. Look for companies, careers, etc. that you have in common and thus can leverage when starting a new relationship. You may also find significant volunteer experiences listed here that are great conversation starters. Be sure to click See more positions at the bottom of this section to view older experience entries.

Keep this list handy and use it as a checklist for all of your upcoming meetings. Trust me—not only will the meetings be more productive, but they'll also be more fun.

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