6 Ways To Finally Start Taking Advantage Of LinkedIn

Taken from here.

This summer, the work-oriented social networking site LinkedIn took a deep look at some of its data to figure out whether men or women were savvier at online professional networking. The verdict: Men came out on top. Not surprisingly, the assessment was based in part on the number of men and women using LinkedIn. Though women dominate Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace, there are twice as many men as women on LinkedIn. This rings true for me. I’m an avid Facebook and Twitter user (here I am), but though I signed up for LinkedIn ages ago, I rarely visit and just haven’t really grasped how I should be using it. Why is this? And more importantly, how can women take advantage of the site so we don’t get left behind in the new frontier of networking?

In search of answers and advice, I spoke to Nicole Williams, a career expert who LinkedIn hired earlier this year as its “connection director.” (That’s her looking glamorous above.) She, like me, had only dabbled in LinkedIn before being considered for the job. “I had just not known how many uses there are,” she told me yesterday. Now, of course, she’s a convert. Here are her tips for making LinkedIn work for you:
  1. You need a photo. Step one when you join LinkedIn is filling out your profile, and it’s all too easy to skip adding a photo since LinkedIn is more professional than personal. But Williams says it’s a must, especially for women who have married and changed their names, or for people like her who find multiple “Nicole Williams” on the site. Another reason: LinkedIn’s own research finds that your profile is seven times more likely to be viewed if you include a photo.

  2. Fill out your profile thoroughly. Again, it’s easy to half-ass it with the profile, adding only your current job. But LinkedIn is search-engine optimized, which means the more info you have in your profile, the more likely it’ll come up when people Google you. And that’s what you want: To have your professional profile of record be your main “face” online

  3. Use the “recommendations” feature. This was a new one to me. The site allows you to request recommendations from anyone you’re connected to, usually testimonials just a few sentences long. Think of them as the blurbs on your book jacket. “It validates the kind of professional you are,” Williams says.

  4. Don’t use the standard message. They’re probably cluttering up your inbox right now: “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” Instead, write a short personal note to make an actual connection. “People can feel like LinkedIn is a little stoic and a little cold,” Williams says. “But this is how to warm it up.”

  5. Use the site regularly. How surprising that LinkedIn would suggest you use the site more, right? But Williams has a good point here: If you only start networking when you’re out of a job, you’re not building good professional relationships.

  6. Explore other features. The site lets you “follow” companies, which gives you clues when positions are opening up. And next on my list is tapping into comment boards, which are meaty and not troll-infested because people have to use their real names.

First on my to-do list today: Add that photo. Advanced networking ahoy!

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Post from: TheGrindstone


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