LinkedIn is the number one professional network, however, that doesn’t mean everyone uses it or knows about the neat things it can do. These are features you should know about.
How many of you have a LinkedIn profile that just sort of sits there? You filled in some of it and maybe even connected with a few people but other than that, nothing.
Make Your Profile Public
Allow your profile to be public and searchable. Go to your privacy settings and make sure that anyone can see your information inside and outside of LinkedIn.
Like, Comment and Share
The best way to stay top of mind with your network is to share articles or updates on LinkedIn so that your profile shows up in your network’s newsfeed when they do log in. In order to do this, share a status update regularly (I suggest daily). It isn’t hard to do. It takes less than 5 minutes.
Liking is ok. When you like a person’s status update, they will be notified, but you’re like’s reach is limited.
Commenting on someone’s status update engages the person and draws you into a conversation with other people commenting on that post. It’s a good way to meet new people.
To learn more about creating status updates, see this post: How-To: 4 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Status
Endorse and Recommend Others
You can endorse people in your network for their skills and expertise. The verdict is still out by many LinkedIn gurus on this feature’s usefulness, but you should know about it!
In my opinion, endorse people thoughtfully and purposefully. In other words, don’t go on an endorsing rampage. Endorse people you sincerely believe have the skills you are endorsing. And in a perfect world, I would take this one step further…only endorse the skills you have seen in action!
If you prefer, you can recommend people in your network for their performance using recommendations. When you write a recommendation (either solicited or unsolicited), it shows your support for their work as well as demonstrates your abilities as a leader.
Connect With People
People define their LinkedIn connections differently. LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) connect with anyone. At the other end of the spectrum are LinkedIn users who only connect with people they know well. And then there are those who fall in between.
Your connections on LinkedIn should represent your real-life network. Grow your connections by inviting people you know first. When you reach out to people you would like to know, personalize the invitations you send and provide a reason for them to want to connect with you.
Be aware of whom you’re connected to on LinkedIn. For example, if you’re thinking of changing jobs and are connected to your manager and current work colleagues, be aware that they can see your activities and updates. If you don’t change your privacy settings, each time you make changes to your LinkedIn profile, these activity updates are visible to your network.
Keep In Touch
We move around from job to job more often today. LinkedIn makes it much easier to find past colleagues and stay in touch. Make sure you have listed each of your previous employers so that you can connect with past colleagues on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a multifaceted tool; one that provides you the opportunity to create awareness of your personal brand, keeps you connected, and helps you stay up-to-date on current trends.
Rethink how you use it or expand how you are using it. Think about its long-term value to you and your career. Keep building your network and for the best results, make it mutually beneficial.