How to Use LinkedIn Effectively

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There are lots social networks out there, some of which are worth your time and some of which probably aren’t. There are social networks mostly dedicated to friends/entertainment, and then there is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social network which puts the emphasis on making and maintaining professional connections as opposed to social friends.

I’ve neglected my LinkedIn profile since I joined and have just been using it as a glorified RSS in that time, so I went ahead recently and added and updated some information.

Whether you are in the same boat as I was or even if you’re still not on LinkedIn yet, consider this post on how to use LinkedIn to get started and how to use LinkedIn effectively.

Before we go any further let’s address the obvious question of why should you care about LinkedIn? At this point in time, there are over 100 million registered users on LinkedIn and it continues to grow at a rate of roughly 1 new sign up every SECOND. According to Alexa, LinkedIn is also currently the #13 ranked website IN THE WORLD.

When you create your profile, you’re essentially creating your online resume which more and more professionals are using every day to learn things about you. It’s a great way to build connections, grow your brand which can be your company if you have on, your website if you have one, or even you yourself. You can use it to find clients or potential employees if you’re a business owner, or conversely it’s a great way to find a job if you’re a job seeker.

Unlike Career Builder or similar job search sites, you can establish your own space on LinkedIn, make professional connections with other users, join groups which may or may not be related to your career aspirations, and much more.
If for nothing else, you should use LinkedIn because you can use it to control what information comes up when someone searches for you in the major search engines as search engines continue to turn to LinkedIn for this information at an increased rate.

How To Use LinkedIn

First off, sign up and start filling out your profile in full.
Your goal should be to get your profile up to 100% completion which isn’t nearly as involved or taxing as that sounds. The reason you want this full completion is because profiles which are 100% complete will appear in the search engines above those which are not. Work to getting your profile up to 100% complete. 7 things to do:

  1. • Current position listed on profile
  2. • Have 2 past positions listed
  3. • Education listed
  4. • Something written in summary
  5. • Have a photo
  6. • Add specialties
  7. • Display 3 recommendations.

I have everything but the recommendations and because I don’t have any connections (the LinkedIn equivalent to friends on Facebook) it’s difficult to get recommendations. SO, how do we get connections?
First you might think about importing your contacts. You can enter your email address (assuming it’s with one of the major providers) and password and LinkedIn can see if any of your contacts are currently members, as well, which makes for a fast connection.

A better way to get more targeted and relevant connections to your industry is to join some groups. Go to the groups tab and search based on keywords which are relevant to your industry, find a group which looks interesting, join it, engage in a bit of conversation and make a name for yourself (just like EVERYWHERE else online). Before long people will recognize you as a regular and you can make connections with them.

It’s also worth it to fill out your profile in full which includes your work history because you can easily search for employees from your current or previous companies which you work(ed) for who are on LinkedIn and they make for great connections.

How You Can Use LinkedIn to Get Success in Your Business and Professional Career? Why You Should Use It? Watch this Free Presentation at: http://www.linkedinsuccess.org

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