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Top CEO Names across the globe: Brad, Bland or Brand?
April 27th, 2011
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Are some names more successful than others? Is your name influencing your career (as David Brooks suggests, noting that Dennis is more likely to become a dentist and Lawrence a lawyer)? Or are both your career and choice of name influenced by factors like personality and values?
Any attempt to explore these questions would need some cold, hard data.  LinkedIn is the perfect place to start: you can find 100 million professionals, their first names and their corresponding career histories (or, as our data science team calls it, a fun project waiting to happen).  I took advantage of one of our InDays to examine the correlations between people’s first names and their career choices. We’d like to share our findings with you in an infographic designed by Anita Lillie:
Short Names, Long Names and the Gender Divide
We started by contrasting CEOs across the globe with the average LinkedIn professional to find the top names that are over-represented among CEOs. At first glance, the top CEO names are a reflection of the CEO demographics. Looking more closely, however, we observe a different trend: over-indexed CEO names tend to be either short or shortened versions of popular first names. Onomastics specialist Dr. Frank Nuessel  suggests that shortened versions of given names are often used to denote a sense of friendliness and openness. Female CEOs, on the other hand, use their full name to project a more professional image.
Short, four-letter names are even more popular in sales (Chip, Trey) but not in engineering (Rajesh) or the restaurant industry, where the top over-represented names are Thierry, Philippe and Laurent.
Monosyllabic CEO names are also not necessarily popular in all countries – here are the top over-represented CEO names across the globe:
Whether you are officer Rodney, coach Matt, or Dennis the dentist – your LinkedIn profile is a reflection of your professional identity, so it’s important to keep it up to date.
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Inspiring a new generation of women technology entrepreneurs
April 25th, 2011
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We couldn’t think of a better way to start the week than by shining the spotlight on our colleague Anu Tewary, Sr. Data Scientist at LinkedIn, who started a non-profit after-school program in 2009 called the Technovation Challenge. The goal: to encourage girls in high-school to explore careers in technology and entrepreneurship.
Here’s Anu…
This year, LinkedIn is hosting the Technovation Challenge, a nine-week program in which high school girls and high-tech professional female mentors work in teams to design a mobile Android app prototype and write a business plan. The program, run by non-profit Iridescent, has expanded to five cities across the country (including Berkeley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and two programs in Mountain View), serving over 250 girls.
The LinkedIn Mountain View program will culminate in “Pitch Night” at LinkedIn’s headquarters on Wednesday, April 27, when the girls will pitch their business plans to a panel of judges that includes LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, Venture Capitalist, Katherine Barr, and Entrepreneur and Professor, Mendel Rosenblum.  The evening will also feature a keynote by Raissa Nebie, co-founder of SpoonDate.
Winners of each regional Pitch Night will come to the San Francisco Bay Area for a “National Pitch Night” on May 21, where they’ll compete to have their app professionally developed and distributed on the Google Android Marketplace.
I’m very excited that LinkedIn has sponsored this year’s Technovation Challenge. LinkedIn is an ideal platform for transforming the world by tapping the talent and creativity of the world’s professionals to solve big problems. I’ve already used LinkedIn to find mentors, speakers, judges, and volunteers for the program. As students who have gone through the program advance in their education and their careers, they will use LinkedIn to find internships, mentors, jobs, and, eventually, funding for their entrepreneurial ventures.
Yet another benefit with having LinkedIn host the program is that it’s made it easier for women mentors from LinkedIn to participate. This year, four LinkedIn employees, including Janet Ryu, Prachi Gupta, Lili Wu, and myself have been able to take advantage of the opportunity to mentor these incredibly talented girls from neighboring schools.
As software engineers, product managers and data scientists, it’s been personally rewarding for each of us to mentor these young girls and give them the skills and confidence they need to be successful in computer science and entrepreneurship. The girls are avid users of social media and technology, and they have a keen and sophisticated sense of what makes a technology product useful and “cool.” Watching them in action as they develop their ideas, it’s easy to see that with coaching and encouragement, they can become the next generation of product designers, technologists, and entrepreneurs.
Pitch Night is open to the public and free to attend. More details here.
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Bringing you the best of LinkedIn’s Speaker Series
April 19th, 2011
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Many of our readers have stumbled upon the livestream of LinkedIn Speaker Series – featuring interviews with transformative individuals from different realms of professional life. We’re glad to have hosted visionary leaders like Newark Mayor Cory Booker, personal finance guru Suze Orman, best-selling author Deepak Chopra and others in the recent past. Most of these interviews last roughly an hour followed by questions from our audience – employees and guests – gathered in our Mountain View office.
Given tons of requests, we’ve decided to stream all of our Speaker Series videos on YouTube. Check out our past Speaker Series videos here.
Last week’s event featured an interview with Salman Khan, educator and founder of the Khan Academy – a free online education platform aimed to “accelerate learning for students of all ages”. Bill Gates, who introduced Sal at TED 2011, called out the academy as “the future of education“. Our CEO, Jeff Weiner‘s Q&A with Sal last Friday, delved into many of these topics and more.
Here’s the entire Q&A session:
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A designer who builds cars and “latte art”
April 13th, 2011
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Ed. note: This post is a part of our continuing blog series featuring our employees. Here, we hear from our very own Adam Barker – a senior designer who builds interesting things from scratch. Here, he tells you more about some of his interesting projects, and why he’s so excited to be at LinkedIn.
Not everyone sees a blank canvas in a foam latte or a pile of car parts.
But I guess that’s what makes me unique; I love a good challenge. I’m a designer at heart, but I enjoy trying new things and learning quickly.
That’s why working here at LinkedIn has been such a great experience. I joined LinkedIn because I had a lot of respect for the products, and I wanted to be a part of a medium-size company that was about to become much larger.
In the past year-and-a-half, I’ve probably changed desks within the Design team about six times. Currently, I design software products, such as the new LinkedIn Polls analytics tool that debuted in December.
But what’s really great about working here is that LinkedIn has allowed me to stoke my creative interests both inside and outside of work.
Last year, I joined a team competing for the “X Prize” challenge to design a 100 mile per gallon commuter car. My manager was incredibly supportive and allowed me to take time off on short notice– he understood that this was an exciting opportunity that couldn’t be missed. I flew to Seattle and worked for 10 days straight to help a team of volunteers build a 100 mpg car from scratch. The Wikispeed team car received 10th place out of 150 teams!
Currently, I’m spending my weekends working on a project for the “24 Hours of Lemons” endurance race for $500 cars. My Lemons team has taken a 1989 BMW 325i sedan (purchased for $400) and are converting it into a vehicle that resembles the ambulance in “Ghostbusters.” Our first race is a little over a month away, and I’m pretty excited about it.
Another fun project I’m tinkering with right now is “latte art,” where I pour milk through a shot of espresso to create shapes, like trees and flowers. I bought an espresso machine on eBay and restored it to perfect this art at home. Since LinkedIn provides free food and beverages to employees, including use of our on-site espresso machines, I can test out my creations on my colleagues here.
LinkedIn has also encouraged me to pursue my passions on the job. Recently, I’ve been working as a staff photographer for some of our on-site events. I’ve also submitted a couple projects for LinkedIn’s monthly “Hackday” competitions. I even won one competition last year, for my idea for a URL shortener. Very cool.
So what’s next? Well, I’m thinking of a new project for this summer …. Any ideas?
If you liked this post, “you may like” Careers at LinkedIn
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TextIn: Another day, Another Hackday Win!
April 12th, 2011
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Hi, everyone.  My name is Sudeep Yegnashankaran, and I’m a software engineer on the LinkedIn Mobile team.  I recently joined LinkedIn as part of the CardMunch acquisition, and with this being my first “real” job out of college, I had no idea what kind of work environment I would find. I am thrilled to find myself surrounded by people who are not only passionate about innovation but are obsessed with it and celebrate it frequently.
I created this project as part of LinkedIn’s Hackday, a monthly competition that pits the entire company in a battle to produce some of the coolest, geekiest, and most compelling hacks. The winners are rewarded with fame, fortune, and (most importantly) the hope to launch their hack as a product for all of our users.
About My Hack: TextIn
Around 80% of mobile phones sold worldwide are feature phones. This means that not everyone can use our iPhone or Android applications. For LinkedIn’s March Hackday, I decided to build a prototype that would bring LinkedIn features to users of feature phones through simple text messaging.
Try TextIn on LinkedIn Labs
Imagine that you’re in an important business meeting. Adam, a Vice President at LinkedIn, is giving an amazing presentation, but you didn’t catch his last name! During a break, you pull out your phone and send this simple SMS:
Now that you know Adam’s full name and job title, you can view his profile in SMS form, and then invite him to connect on LinkedIn.
Simple, But Powerful Commands
TextIn features the following commands:
Please note: As a prototype, TextIn is currently only available in the United States.
Register for TextIn on LinkedIn Labs
I’d like to thank LinkedIn management and my team for their help and support. We chose to use Twilio as our SMS provider for this prototype, and they’ve been a breeze to work with.
I can’t wait until the next Hackday.  Until then, enjoy TextIn!
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LinkedIn Cribs: From Club Tron to a Yellow Submarine
April 8th, 2011
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What does a casino, a night at the movies, the zoo, and a yellow submarine have in common? They are all themes chosen by different teams of employees in our recent “Pimp My Row” competition held in our Mountain View office.
Employees managed to transform our new office space  – which had basic and corporate, albeit nice, décor – into a place full of energy, personality, and buzz.
So how did we do it? Each team in the company was given a starting budget to personalize their area and told there would be a prize for the best row. That got the ball rolling. But as soon as decorations started popping up, the mixture of healthy competition (everyone trying to best their neighbors) and incredibly creative and talented participants led to 62 fully immersive experiences spread across 7 floors in our 4-building campus.
Some of the highlights from the event (see pictures above):
We topped it all off with an open house where the entire campus could check out each row’s decorations and themed refreshments on a Friday evening. It was a great opportunity to explore our colleagues’ new digs especially since we’ve been moving around a lot as we expand our campus in Mountain View.
Oh, and we plan on IT’s Club Tron coming to life for future company parties. I hear they are already thinking of building a glow-in-the-dark dance floor.
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4 Easy Ways to Spring Clean Your LinkedIn Presence
April 7th, 2011
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For those of us who live in cold weather climates, turning the calendar page to April is a glorious moment. Although it’s still cold outside, you know that spring really is on the way.
If you’re like me, that first whiff of warm air also gives you the decluttering bug. That’s right — it’s spring cleaning season.
While most of us do some spring cleaning in our homes and offices, today I’m going to talk about spring cleaning online. These days, our computers and databases and social networking profiles can become just as cluttered and musty as our closets and garages and desk drawers.
If you feel as if your LinkedIn experience could use some sprucing up this spring, try implementing these 5 tips:
1. Kick-start your keywords. If you’re not attracting a lot of interest to your LinkedIn profile, take a look at what words you use to describe yourself. They might be doing more harm than good. Last month, LinkedIn released a list of the top 10 LinkedIn profile terms that are most overused by professionals based in the United States. According to LinkedIn data, those terms are:
  1. Extensive experience
  2. Innovative
  3. Motivated
  4. Results-oriented
  5. Dynamic
  6. Proven track record
  7. Team player
  8. Fast-paced
  9. Problem solver
  10. Entrepreneurial
Why should you avoid these words? They’re not “bad” in and of themselves, but because they are so common on LinkedIn profiles, they can appear empty or meaningless to a potential employer or networking contact; there’s nothing memorable about them. If you have these words on your profile, try replacing them with more specific descriptions of your accomplishments and skills.
2. Feature a new photo. One of the first things people see when they click on your LinkedIn profile is your headshot. Could yours use some improvement? Your LinkedIn photo accompanies all of your status updates, group discussion comments and any other activity on the site, so you want it to be a positive reflection of you. I like LinkedIn photos that are high quality (not blurry or grainy), professional (not casual snapshots or screen grabs of wedding photos with the spouse cut out) and those that feature a smile or positive expression.
One recent trend I’ve noticed is taking one’s photo in career context. For instance, if you work in the sports industry, take a photo in a stadium. If you work for a university, take a photo in front of the school’s main building or statue. This immediately places you in context and makes you memorable. (Note: It’s okay if you don’t want to include a photo for privacy reasons, but if you’re going to post a picture, make sure it’s a good one.)
3. Add a few apps. Another smart way to perk up your profile is to add some LinkedIn Applications. If you travel frequently, try TripIt, which enables you to share your travel itineraries and potentially set up appointments and build deeper relationships with LinkedIn connections in the cities you visit. If you’re a visual type, consider SlideShare or Google Presentation, which allow you to add presentations to your profile. I also love the Reading List by Amazon, which invites you to post books you’re reading and share your reviews with your LinkedIn connections. The overall goal of adding more applications is to give people as many reasons as possible to find something in common with you.
4. Get active in groups. As the manager of a LinkedIn group, I’ve noticed that my group has some “stars” — people who consistently post thoughtful, engaging comments and draw the attention and admiration of other group members. There’s no reason you can’t be one of those stars. All it takes is a commitment to share interesting and relevant articles, to comment on popular discussions, to help people when they ask for advice or ideas and to respond to group who comment on any discussions you begin. Think of posting a discussion in a LinkedIn group as the online version of hosting a table at a conference luncheon. When you’re the host, you get to know everyone and you gain the credibility and respect of being a leader.
What other ways have you found to perk up your LinkedIn profile? Please share!
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LinkedIn for Android: Ready for Business
April 7th, 2011
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The LinkedIn Mobile team is excited to announce the availability of LinkedIn for Android version 1.0.  The app is available in the Google Marketplace or from our website:
Download LinkedIn for Android
Since the launch of our Beta, the team and I have had the great pleasure of working with a passionate group of Beta testers.  Their feedback, bug reports, and involvement in the process were invaluable, and we want to express our sincere thanks for all of the contributions.
We’d like to keep the community growing and involved in future updates.   If you’d like to contribute, please join us:
Join the LinkedIn for Android Group Now
We Work Where You Work
LinkedIn for Android, is a continuation of our efforts to help you leverage the power of your professional network anywhere, anytime.  Now, you can walk into any interview, any customer engagement or client meeting with the ability to look up the details on over 100 million professionals worldwide, in real-time.
LinkedIn for Android includes a full, rich feature set designed to bring the most useful features of LinkedIn to your business smartphone.  The application features six modules, each with a user experience designed from the ground up for Android devices:
Updates. View and share crucial business intelligence and updates with your network.  Perfect for those spare moments between meetings.
Search. Search across over 100 million global professionals, and get the answer back in seconds. We’ve implemented a unified search across both your direct connections and the entire LinkedIn network.
Connections. LinkedIn is your address book in the cloud.  Get quick access to any of your connections to get their up-to-date profile information, and the ability to send them a message immediately.
Invitations. Why wait to get back to your desk? Accept outstanding invitations immediately.
Messages. Messaging is one of the reasons that Android owners love their devices, and we’ve worked hard to integrate your LinkedIn Inbox.
Reconnect. You can’t leverage your network if you don’t build it.  This module brings suggestions for new connections to you anytime.  Now you can build your network from anywhere, in seconds.
What’s Next?
In this version, we’ve focused on delivering a great experience around the core LinkedIn features that our members love.  In the coming months, we’ll be updating this app with new features that have been heavily requested during the public Beta.
We’re excited to take this next step with the Android community, and hope you’ll find this version as delightful as we do.  Please join the LinkedIn for Android Group, and help us improve our Android experience.
Download LinkedIn for Android
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The New LinkedIn Platform: Help Build the Professional Web
April 6th, 2011
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Today, we are very happy to announce that we are opening up full access to LinkedIn’s new platform for building the professional web.
In October, we announced early access to a new Javascript platform to help make integrating LinkedIn faster and more powerful.  Since then, we’ve had over a thousand developers test out the new technology platform, serving over one billion page views across the web.
In addition to support for OAuth 2.0 and Javascript APIs, this release also includes our new Plugins — self-contained features that can be customized and embedded on your website with minimal effort. Within minutes, you can now enhance your site with LinkedIn’s professional network.
Visit the new LinkedIn Developer website
Building the Professional Web
With this release, we’re including a powerful set of plugins, to further help bring professional identity & insights into your application. For example, you can show your visitors who they know in a professional context with the Member Profile plugin, and display rich personalized insights about companies featured on your site with the Company Insider plugin.
The plugins include:
As developers ourselves, we wanted to give you a featherweight way to light up your site and increase engagement, without any costly development overhead.  The plugins we’ve built can be used with only a couple of lines of markup.  Here’s the Member Profile plugin, for example:
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://platform.linkedin.com/in.js"></script>
<script type="IN/MemberProfile" data-id="http://www.linkedin.com/in/reidhoffman" data-related="false" data-format="inline"></script>
We’ve also made significant infrastructure improvements to the platform itself.  The JavaScript framework now loads significantly faster, and we’ve added SSL support and more robust OAuth support.  So if you’re looking to integrate with our platform at an even deeper level, I think you’ll be pleased with the progress we’ve made.
The best way to try things out for yourself is to head over to developer.linkedin.com​. We’ve added some great quick start content, including script generators that allow you to visually configure and deploy your plugin of choice.  If you want to dig deeper, we’ve also done a lot of work on our tutorials and documentation as well.
Visit the new LinkedIn Developer website
Stay tuned — we have more exciting things planned for the future.  In the meantime, please tell us what you think — either by commenting or participating in the forums at developer.linkedin.com​.
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Making it easier for Hotmail users to grow their LinkedIn network
March 29th, 2011
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We’re happy to announce that we’ve collaborated with Microsoft to make it easier than ever for our users to stay connected through Hotmail. With Microsoft’s foray into interactive email around Hotmail Active Views, LinkedIn sees the potential for email to once again empower the working professional by removing some of the burdens of staying connected.
Starting today, we’ve begun to roll out one of our connection invite emails using Active Views to give LinkedIn’s Hotmail users the full advantage of interactivity within their inbox.
When you invite someone to connect on LinkedIn and the other person accepts, you receive an email about the successful connection. Within that email, LinkedIn provides insights about the other person’s network by showing who they are connected with and which companies they follow. With Active Views, you now have the ability to take multiple actions directly within email. Which means its much easier to connect to people you may know or follow companies that you’re interested in without leaving that email.
One of the ways our members interact with LinkedIn is through email. Traditionally, email has more or less served as a delivery vehicle for static content. Static content succeeds when it’s used properly to present information or to drive a limited set of actions. However, today’s world demands much more from the working professional. To stay connected, we’re asked to accomplish more, oftentimes across different sites and mediums. The traditional email fails to help manage this onslaught.
At LinkedIn, our passion is to create products that help our members be more productive and successful at what they do. Professionals come to LinkedIn to stay connected with other professionals, and create opportunities for themselves and their networks as well as to gain insights that help them be great professionally.
This is our first interactive email, and we’re excited about its potential. We look forward to leveraging Active Views to help make it easier for our members to stay connected and be more productive.
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