Maximize the use of LinkedIn for career or business success. Exchange references, look for employment, promote your company, recruit new employees, and establish your network. Find out how you can use LinkedIn to connect with colleagues, acquaintances, friends, and even valuable strangers.
Maximize The Use Of LinkedIn
LinkedIn in a business networking site that targets both business owners and professionals. It costs nothing to use LinkedIn’s basic services, but users who pay for premium accounts have extended options. Maximize the use of LinkedIn and start building your online contact list by searching for people you know. Plus, you can find recommended professionals and service people from accountants to plumbers with its service provider feature.
Create An Account And Build Your Profile
LinkedIn’s website, www.linkedin.com, debuted in 2003, but really took off in 2007. It offers business professionals a way to promote their companies and network with each other. Moreover, building complete profiles boost their websites’ search engine rankings. It offers a place to find jobs or employees and to make contacts. Start your journey with LinkedIn. Get to know the company on its website and where you can explore background information without having to join. LinkedIn’s blog also covers its features for business users. It provides tips for using the site and offers news about the company and its services.
LinkedIn displays a chart comparing its available accounts, which range in cost from free to more than $200 a month. You may not know at first exactly what you will want to do on the site. But, you can try it for free to see how much you use it. It’s help function also provides answers to users’ frequently asked questions.
As you navigate the site, it asks how you want to use its services and how you want to help others– such as potential employers or clients – find you. When you register for an account, LinkedIn asks you to fill out a profile with your current job and at least two past positions, educational background, credentials, a summary of your professional experience, a photo and a note about your specialties. Add three or more recommendations from other LinkedIn members among your clients or co-workers. Then, add your web address and any other relevant links so people can learn more about you.
Find And Manage Contacts And Jobs
To learn if your friends or associates have posted LinkedIn profiles, enter their names in the search tool. To refine your results, use the additional fields from the advanced people search or name search tabs. Access these tabs from the search results page or click people in the navigation bar to enter more details, such as company name, industry and address.
The search tools also let you locate people you don’t know who share your interests, work in your industry or hold positions you want to target. For instance, if you work for a software company that makes a product for a specific industry, you can search for potential customers by industry and job title keywords. Once you locate a prospect, see if you share any contacts. If so, you can ask your common contact person for an introduction to the prospect. Generally, it’s better not to contact people you don’t know unless you have an intermediary.
Maximize the use of LinkedIn with a list of high-quality connections. Having a high-quality list of connections is much better than having a large list of low-quality contacts. To make the most productive use of resources you already have, LinkedIn lets you import contacts from your e-mail account contact list. You can then select those contacts you wish to invite to join your online network.
Linking Up To A New Job
LinkedIn includes an integrated job application tool for posting, finding and applying for jobs. The job search tool enables you to search for openings by geographic location, keyword, job title, company, job function and more. The search results page provides two tabs- LinkedIn jobs and the web. If you don’t find anything promising on the LinkedIn jobs page, switch to the web tab to broaden your search.
Hiring managers and recruiters maximize the use of LinkedIn to display available jobs, find candidates and get references. However, posting a job opening on LinkedIn isn’t free. The employer’s costs depend on whether the company lists one job or saves money by purchasing bulk credits it can spend for multiple listings. Companies also can use LinkedIn’s distribute new job feature to send e-mails that tell selected connections or applicants about a fresh job posting. If an applicant uses LinkedIn to apply for a job with your company, you can search for contacts who have worked with that candidate to solicit independent references.
Services For Service Providers
To set up your listing as a service provider, click request a recommendation and send an e-mail to each contact on your list so satisfied clients can provide references for you. Recommendations are most valuable when they come from clients on your most recent projects and from high-quality connections, such as senior managers from a company that purchased your services. Try to obtain recommendations from a variety of sources to highlight your ability to work in many different settings. Ask for a recommendation at the end of each project or assignment when the clients’ impressions of your work are still vivid and detailed. The length of a recommendation letter doesn’t matter as much as the information it provides. In fact, short can be better.
Work With Answers
The answers section of LinkedIn lets members ask and answer questions related to specific industries, careers, technology and more. If someone posts a question about a service you provide, you can contact that person directly, or you can ask someone he or she knows from within your network to recommend you.
In fact, mentioning your clients in answers can pay off when they return the favor by hiring you again or citing your services. Questions that you ask on LinkedIn remain open for responses for a specific time and then close so that no one else can add a response. The answers to questions you have may already be on the site. Search for them by using keywords before posting a fresh question.
Questions fall into categories, so you can search through them to find the answer you want or to find questions in your area of knowledge that you can answer. If you don’t want to respond to questions in public, you can do it privately. It’s a place where members can share information within a trusted network instead of dealing with strangers elsewhere on the Internet. Whatever the reason you are contacting someone, give the impression that you are truly interested in him, not just looking to network with him only to connect with someone else.
Reaching Other Members
The avenues that LinkedIn makes available to you for contacting other members depends on the kind of membership you have. LinkedIn groups connect members who are interested in the same topic. You can search for existing groups in subject areas that intrigue you or suggest new groups, although before a new group can move ahead, LinkedIn reviews the suggestion for appropriateness.
Maximize the use of LinkedIn by sending invitations. However, there are times that the invitation you sent may be ignored and rejected- that’s just part of the normal course of events. He or she could be busy. Perhaps, your shared connection did not forward your message, or the new person doesn’t want contact with strangers, doesn’t remember you or sent the message to the junk folder. Don’t give up hope. LinkedIn provides pages that let you review the status of all the requests you’ve received. Its inbox shows received, sent and blocked invitations, so you can resend, edit or withdraw unanswered ones.
After setting up your LinkedIn account, you may also find this step-by-step checklist of how you can brand yourself online useful in coming up with your personal branding strategy.