Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Make the Most of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the ultimate social network for business professionals. With more than 70 million users in 200 countries, it has become the connection-based referral network, taking networking to Web 2.0 as one of the most useful social networks.  In fact, people are not only searchable on LinkedIn, but also on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing - LinkedIn profiles are usually in the top five when you search your name. Here are some tips to be sure you are making the most of out of LinkedIn:

  • The Profile: Complete your personal profile until it's 100 percent complete.  This helps maximize exposure and connecting with colleagues from throughout your career. Also, make sure you type the names of the websites you link to so it doesn't display the generic "company website" or "blog."
  • Applications: After your profile is complete, add applications that will pull content from other places, such as Twitter.  Other innovative applications allow you to share your blog posts, display your Amazon reading list, show events you have attended and even post presentations or files through Box.net or Google.
  • Groups: Join groups to help you network and connect with like-minded individuals and organizations.  You can then contribute to conversations, provide resources and comment on trending topics to quickly position yourself as an expert in your field.
  • Skills: There is a beta Skills & Expertise section available where you can input your field of study or profession all the way up to 50 skills. This ensures that you reflect your expertise on your profile appropriately.
  • Connect: After you meet someone in person, whether you’re at a networking or social event, make sure you connect on LinkedIn.  Better than just holding on to a business card, LinkedIn allows you to keep in touch no matter what company you or your connection are working at.

For more information, check out this article.

Just starting out? Visit LinkedIn's New User Starter Guide for a LinkedIn tutorial.   And, don't forget to connect with the VE & Co. here.

- Rebecca Noel