How to Survive on LinkedIn – Tips from a Volunteer LinkedIn Forum Expert

Being asked by LinkedIn to be a Volunteer LinkedIn Forums Expert for a year, helping people with their LinkedIn questions, was an interesting experience. I’d like to share with you some tips that might help you with your problems with LinkedIn.

*NOTE: LinkedIn does not like to make it easy for people to fill in a help ticket. They hide and change the direct links to the contact forms on a regular basis so my links here may or may not work in future. To be fair, they have over half a billion users so if everyone asks every question as a help ticket, they’d never be able to help anyone.  But, in constantly directing people to the Forum to ask questions, it can be incredibly frustrating when you know you have a problem that only they can resolve.

If you look at my headings below, you might consider these pretty good lessons for life in general!

Ranting doesn’t help – Fix your own problems – Go to the right place for solutions – Ask the right questions – Ask your questions clearly – You may have caused your own problem

Ranting doesn’t help

Well…maybe it will make you feel better but it’s unlikely to get you an answer – especially as I’ve noticed people become less and less articulate as they get angrier! And, in the LinkedIn Forum, it’s often volunteers, official or otherwise, plus some entry-level LinkedIn employees who are trying their best to help you.  And, if you need to vent about the new LinkedIn and what you think needs to be fixed/changed, there’s a place for that!  Join others here and choose the “Suggest an improvement” tab where LinkedIn is collecting feedback (really!)

Fix your own problems

How many times have you been able to fix your own computer problems by rebooting your computer? Like most of us, it’s probably many times and you never do discover what caused the problem – you’re just grateful it now works!

LinkedIn has technical problems now and then and there’s a lot you can do to resolve your own problems.

One problem lately (and it may be fixed now but the point I’m trying to make is still relevant!) has been that when you ask a question in the LinkedIn Forum, you may not get notified that someone has answered. Yes, that’s a problem for LinkedIn to resolve BUT it’s you that wants an answer.

When you ask a question on LinkedIn, take note of the URL where you asked your question and go back periodically to check. It should also appear when you choose “help” from the drop-down menu under the “me” tab.

Try Googling an answer

It will often take you to the LinkedIn Help page with exactly the answer you need already provided or to an article that a LinkedIn expert like Melonie Dodaro, Brynne Tilman or Victoria Ipri have written with some great solutions to your problems.

Try another browser

If something isn’t working (On three different occasions – I couldn’t add a company page, answer a question in the LI forum or save changes to my profile). I was able to add the company page by changing to Chrome, answer the question by changing from Chrome to Firefox and just going back the next day to save my profile changes.  A little crazy – sure – but it worked. Isn’t that all we want?  And I’ve had similar problems with other online sites so it’s not just LinkedIn.

Refreshing your page can often be a miracle worker

If you can’t save changes to your profile, hitting cancel and trying again often doesn’t work.  You need to cancel and then refresh your page (how to refresh your page varies by which browser you’re using) and then try again.

Is it your own fault?

You may have caused your own problem (e.g. creating a duplicate profile, getting locked out of your account because you used only a work email you no longer have access to, etc.)
That’s okay.  LinkedIn will still help but give them time.

Ask your questions clearly (and in the right place!)

“How do I see everyone or my account” – this was actually added as an answer to a totally unrelated question about connecting with another social account.

“I can’t do anything, view anything now.  What should I do?” –  Give us a little more information. I feel her frustration but unless I contact her directly to get more detail, she hasn’t given enough information about her problem for anyone to help.

A large number of the questions I see are specifically for technical problems with your account that Forum volunteers can’t help you with. LinkedIn employees monitor the Forum but you can’t rely on that. If it’s a technical problem, report it using the “Get Help From Us” tab. Give them as much specific information as possible.

If your question is about your account, say that! And think about whether a question you have requires the ability to look at your account. If so, ask LinkedIn Help, not the Forum.

If your question is for LinkedIn’s business department, e.g. “How to cancel the premium subscription and get money back!” don’t go to the Forum. In fact, don’t bother. They don’t offer refunds.

In general, start here: LinkedIn Help  (“Help Center” is one of the drop-down menu items under “Me”)

Search the Help Forum for answers here: LinkedIn Help Forum (LinkedIn’s Help Forum lets you ask fellow members questions about how to use LinkedIn).

To set up a help ticket with LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/ask)  It may take some time but they will get back to you.  With 500+ million users, they are a little busy!

There’s a Beta LinkedIn online Chat option for premium members (see at the bottom of the help page.  It’s not always online but when it is, I’ve had clients have great results.

If you’re a Twitter user, try @LinkedInHelp – they really are pretty amazing and got back to me on a weekend, even though the site says Monday-Friday.

If all else fails

And, if you are still getting a little hot under the collar, read my “Breathe, Mouse Over and Refresh (BMR) for Sanity on LinkedIn” blog.