Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Missing Link

LinkedIn is the world’s largest business-oriented “social” network. It’s a Facebook for professionals – but more meaningful. There are no lame games to waste your time on or “which one are you” tests. It “connects” you to professional contacts all over the world and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities. You can find out if people in Timbuktu are having the same issues as you are in Cleveland. Having launched in May 2003, LinkedIn now has over 55 million members and is still growing.

The purpose of LinkedIn is to permit registered users to “connect” with professionals in all types of businesses, anywhere where they can get to a computer. Connections can be used in a number of ways:
- build your own network to learn/share more about your business and others’. Stay on top of the days most pressing issues by asking questions, posting surveys, and joining in on discussions.
- use it to find jobs, people and business opportunities.
- list job openings.
- if you’re job seeking you can review profiles of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can "introduce" you.
It’s really one stop shopping.

Here’s a list of a few things you can do to get more out of your experience.
1 - Register with your personal email address. Don’t use some goofy email either. This is a professional site. So keep your manstud@yadayada.com for MySpace.
2 - Create a quality profile. Keep it professional
(are you seeing a trend here?) and honest. Just like a resume, you'll be scrutinized and your bluffs will be called, buddy.
3 - Upload your email address book from gmail, yahoo, netzero, etc and connect with everyone who's already a member. The site will search for you and let you know who's registered. Then you can choose who to connect with.
4 - Use personal messages for EACH person you're requesting to connect with. Don’t send the generic message to blanket everyone.
5 - Look for connections to make recommendations for. It’s just like writing a letter of recommendation. Give a good recommendation and they’re likely to return the favor. Once you get a recommendation, you’ll start showing up in that person’s list of recommended professionals. So get as many as possible to increase your exposure.
6 - No one’s going to care that you made mac & cheese for dinner or just gave your dog a flea bath. Post meaningful statements and discussions.
7 - Promote your
LinkedIn profile on your other social networks, personal websites, and blogs. It’s your online business card.

Whether you’re looking for new business opportunities, discussions, or just wanting to “be seen”, LinkedIn is the site that you need to be on. And the best thing? It’s FREE!

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