The professional networking tool LinkedIn has emerged as the largest online network with more than 9 million users. Unlike the social networking sites like Orkut or Facebook, LinkedIn is the tool for professionals to do serious business. Whether you looking for a new job or forging new business partnership, LinkedIn is the tool you should look forward to. With adverse economic conditions, it becomes all the more important to have a stronger professional network to ask any sort of help. MyBangalore finds out top five ways to use LinkedIn.
Build your network
First and foremost, build your professional network using LinkedIn. This tool is inherently designed for professionals with a no-nonsense approach. If you are new to LinkedIn, start inviting your friends to join. In case of you already have a presence in LinkedIn look forward for every single opportunity to add new members into your network. By adding new connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results, people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust. Remember, the success in professional life has got more to do with “whom you know” than “what you know”.
Keep it updated
After building your profile, it’s equally important to keep it updated. Be it change in organization, role or project make sure you spend an hour to update your LinkedIn profile. Also make sure you capture your complete professional history by maintaining previous employer information in reverse chronological order. This increases the possibility of adding new connections to your network in form of previous colleagues, peers and supervisors. Recently LinkedIn has introduced “what are you doing?” field, thanks to Twitter revolution. By keeping the status updated, you can also get connected with professionals working on similar project. An element of caution here: Don’t publically announce your employee confidential information, which may create business violation.
This is where the real power of LinkedIn lies. Using the ‘Recommendations’ options you can seek recommendations from anyone in your network. The more recommendation shows up in your profile, the trust level on your profile increases dramatically. When it comes to long term career building, having a trustworthy record plays a critical role more than anything else. These recommendations are used by companies to validate background check on employees. Also be gracious! If you find anyone of your fellow-professional worth recommending, make sure you do it without even them asking for it.
LinkedIn offers multiple other options by which you can build authenticity in the online world. Participating in ‘Question and answer’ sessions by offering focused answers count a lot when it comes to measuring your expertise in a particular area. In order to emphasize the importance of it, LinkedIn has an internal ranking system where the person asking question can rank the answers. The person whose answer chosen as ‘best answer’ will be added as ‘expertise area’, thereby increasing your authority on the subject that you claim you have expertise. This is a simple but powerful way to build your authenticity online.
LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index, which is ranked high by popular engines like Google. This is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you online. Also by following simple Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) like: having a customized public profile URL, including it in your email signature, adding LinkedIn badges in your blog or website can create a personal brand for your name in the online world.
If you have not done it, its time to build your professional profile by visiting http://www.linkedin.com