LinkedIn tips and tricks

When compiling information about LinkedIn for a client, I thought I would collate the most useful links here.

LinkedIn is a social networking site which is overtly professional in scope, and thereby bypasses a lot of what many people find to be the more off-putting elements of social media (the compulsion to tell people what you had for dinner, post photographs of your children or list your favourite films). LinkedIn deals with the meat of what you do, your strengths, your skills and your experience, and encourages you to meet other people and develop your career, your networking, your client base, and yes, your friendships too. It is very much a ‘real world’ social network which deals in real interactions in a real life context.

The power of LinkedIn is connections. It’s a collection of business cards, in one sense, but instead of being static and unchanging, each card is a little living window into someone’s life and career and connections. From simply ‘needing an “in”‘ in a particular company or actively being headhunted, to understanding the personal and professional dynamics of your working world, being aware of this goldmine of a resource is something vital for anybody who is dynamic and switched-on about their career.

Here are a selection of links and articles which help go deeper into the usefulness of LinkedIn.

This article from Centernetworks gives best practice, etiquette and notions of why LinkedIn is important. It is clear, concise and down to earth.

LinkedIn’s own tutorial pages are useful for introducing the user to concepts like finding service providers that your contacts have recommended – “Anonymous web searches are a thing of the past”. It is a useful way of forcing you to think about how you present yourself, by using (admittedly Americanised) concepts such as your “elevator pitch”.

The Guardian has a decent article aimed at the graduate jobseeker. Nice tips here include writing in the first person to inject personality and humour (it’s not just a CV). There are also reminders to make the most of LinkedIn’s regularly increasing array of little tools and built-in functions, such as making the most of your time spent at university by filling your profile with the projects, courses, classes and activities you took part in.

This article from Entrepreneur.com is a look at how to use LinkedIn for business networking and lead generation. Although the stats are a little out of date, it contains interesting advice on how to use groups, how to keep tabs on what your contacts are doing and what a flurry of activity might mean. It demonstrates why LinkedIn is rather like the social equivalent of the stock market. If you are keeping an eye on your network and one step ahead of any changes, you will be best poised to act appropriately for your business.

Typically, MakeUseOf has some clever ideas and workarounds. This article is useful in particular when considering how to make contact and what privacy settings to use. And finally this very recent article from MakeUseOf is full of extremely useful and interesting links, guides and tips. Highly recommended.

One of the most useful things that the MakeUseOf article emphasises is that you should see your LinkedIn profile as a long-term project. Building up recommendations, contacts and relationships takes time and should be seen as a permanent ever-shifting “living resume”, to hijack the title of MakeUseOf’s special pdf guide to LinkedIn. Not yet a year old, this pdf is an excellent starting point to get to grips with the LinkedIn basics.

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