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LinkedIn is the Facebook of business professional. It is a gret tool and there are many ways it can actually benefit your career. Here are few tips on how to use it in the proper way.
I am writing this post because having more than 5000 contacts and managing a popular group, I got an idea on what needs to be done to make the most out of the tool. I thought I might share
1. Complete your profile
It is mandatory to complete each and every section of your profile. Think about it as an electronic resume. Your potential employer is looking at it so you want to be as precise as possible.
- LinkedIn Profile Makeover
2. Get Recommended
Although it is part of the above I definitely suggest you dedicate extra attention to this. We all know the power of direct references, sometimes they work more than a great entry in your CV. Therefore try to get quality recommendations from quality people in the business.
3. Join a Group
LinkedIn poses boundaries in the way you can reach people. If you are not connected in any way to say an hiring manager the only way to get in touch is to send an InMail. To get InMails you need to upgrade your account. The good thing about Groups is that for most of them you can contact members directly. The Event Planning & Management Group now counts on 2400 members, just picture the opportunities within the network!
- EM&P Group
4. The more contacts the better
I don't agree with the say "link only with the people you know". For me Linkedin is a great way to meet new people. I am more than happy to expand the reach of my network to new industries or businesses. In this sense it is very important that you select the information you publish as well as the contacts you use in order to save your privacy. Having a dedicated email usually works.
- Get LinkedIn or be left out
5. Go through other's networks
Look out there for interesting contacts with similar interests and ask for Introductions. Introductions are a nice way to skip the InMail part and get to a contact. Remember to state why you want to be introduced and what you have to offer.
- How to create and respond to Introductions
6. Ask and answer questions
You will see on the top left corner a Q&A section. Ask a lot of questions in your field and try to answer as many as possible. Should your answer be rated as the "Best Answer" you will see in your profile that you soon became an "Expert" in that category. Expertise is what you are selling and perspective employers like it.
7. Download the Linkedin Toolbar
If you are looking for a job on popular websites this great tool will tell you if you have connections to the hiring manager and that is very handy.
- Browser Toolbars for Internet Explorer and Firefox
8. Bring your network live
Try to meet the people in your network because online is fine, but live is different. I am running events in London and scheduling Meetups all over the World. I'll keep you posted.
- Linked in London
9. Upgrade to business
Basic account is fine, but upgrading gives you more information about who saw your profile as well as more InMail to send, which cannot always be avoided.
10. Be proactive
It is ok to have an account sitting there forever just because everyone has one. Nonetheless, I strongly suggest you become proactive and don't get scared about going out there and reaching out for new opportunities, after all Linkedin is a tool to do exactly that!