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May 9, 2012

6

How To Share Documents on LinkedIn

****This feature is no longer available on a LinkedIn Profile. Use the Media Links Instead****

One thing that many people struggle with on LinkedIn is how to share content that doesn’t live on the web. By content, I mean documents, flyers, non-hosted audio files and the like. Much of small business still lives in the world of creating marketing collateral that results in a printed piece or a pdf file. Ideally, you would want to convert it to an html file and put it on your website which would give you a link that you could easily share on LinkedIn and with other social media. That can get a little tricky.

So, what do you do if you have a pdf flyer or newsletter that you want to share on  LinkedIn? You can’t attach documents to status updates. Heck! You can’t even attach documents to LinkedIn messages sent directly to your connections. So, does that mean that it’s just not possible to share documents and files? No! That’s where the partnership between  LinkedIn and Box comes in.

As long as you don’t mind who sees the document, you can share it on LinkedIn if you use the Box application on your LinkedIn profile.

To add the Box application to your profile, go to the More menu and scroll to the bottom and select Get More Applications. Find the application called Box and click on it. Click the Add Application button after making certain that the box next to “Display on my profile” is checked. You will have to set up a free account on Box before going any further. Once set up, you will be able to access your Box application from the More menu to add and remove files. You’ll see an Upload button that will walk you through uploading the document or file you want to share.

Once your file is uploaded, got to Edit Profile.  Scroll down to the Box application (if you haven’t used any applications on your profile yet, then it should be at the very bottom).  You’ll see the file that you uploaded and want to share.  If you see a big logo and a small file name, click on the Menu button in the upper right hand corner and select “List View” which will be the first item in the list. Your view will change to what you see in the image below.

If you hover your cursor over the file name, you will see a blue arrow appear at the end of the row.  Click on that arrow and you’ll get a drop down menu. Select “Get Web Link” and you’ll get a pop up with a web link that you can copy.

You can now use this link to share your document in social media status updates and via LinkedIn‘s messaging system. As you will see in the final image, when you use the “Attach a Link” feature, it treats your document just like any article. However, the description is the description of the Box application. To change that simply click on the blue Edit link at the end of the description and you can add your own description of what the document is that you’re sharing.

By the way, want to know the best part? Whenever anyone clicks on that link and downloads the document, Box will sent you an email notification. It can’t tell you who looked at it, but you’ll be able to track how many people do look at it.

A best practice is to always use a document format – like pdf or mp3- that is easily shared and used by all. If you leave your document in Word or other raw format, only those people who have that software will be able to open the document. Also, you would be giving a document that can be easily changed and manipulated allowing others to possibly steal your work.

Is this the first time you’ve ever heard this  LinkedIn tip? If so, please let me know in the comments.

  • NYCRecruiter

    Do visitors who try to access your documents from BOX need to sign up for an account, or are they able to open the file directly from your LinkedIn page?

    • http://linkedinninja.com Crystal Thies

      Documents in your LinkedIn profile folder are publicly visible to anyone and everyone. You do not need a Box account to view them. If you don’t have a Box account and want to try it out, feel free to visit my profile and click on any of the documents in my Box app.

      • NYCRecruiter

        Hmm. The issue I am running into, in fact, is that those without box accounts are not able to open or download the documents I’ve posted to my profile via my box account. 

        • http://linkedinninja.com Crystal Thies

          I’ve actually never run into that issue. Do you know if those people are trying to access it from their corporate office? I have seen corporate computer security systems that block or limit access to the applications in LinkedIn. It’s really strange. I remember being in one of my Wells Fargo client’s offices and looking at my own profile wondering where in the heck my applications went, when I realized it was a security system blocking them from loading. I have heard of other levels of such security to prevent the downloading of files in case they have some sort of virus or malware because the systems often can’t scan it first.

          I love testing some of this stuff out, so if you have a specific situation that we can try and duplicate to figure out the problem, then I’m game. Just let me know.

          • jerry white

            Ok, I am looking for the more menu and can’t find it anywhere on LinkedIn. Can you help??

          • http://linkedinninja.com Crystal Thies

            Jerry,

            This function is no longer available on LinkedIn. Look for the paper clip in the status update box and you can upload the document directly into LinkedIn. You can also upload it as a pdf into SlideShare and share that link in the status update. Since LinkedIn owns SlideShare, it now favors it over Box.