How to get most out of LinkedIn ?

What is LinkedIN ?

LinkedIn is a business oriented social networking site, mainly used for professional networking. As of July 2007, it had more than 12 million registered users, spanning 150 industries and more than 400 economic regions.

Main Features of LinkedIn :

The main purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business.

  1. It can then be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by anyone in your contact network.
  2. Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.
  3. Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.

Most people use LinkedIn to “get to someone” in order to make a sale, form a partnership, or get a job. However, it is a tool that is under-utilized. Here are some tips to get the maximum out of it.

How to get most out of  LinkedIn :

  1. Increase your LinkedIn visibility:

    By adding 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 (which is a major plus if you’re one of the 52,000 product managers on LinkedIn), people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.
  2. Improve your connectability :

    Most new users put only their current company in their profile. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities. You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. All these would help you increase your connectivity.
  3. Improve your Linkedin profile Search Engine ranking :

    LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. To increase your Search Engine ranking do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web.
  4. Increase the relevancy of your job search:

    Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work experience like yours to see where they work. For example, a programmer would use search keywords such as “Ruby on Rails,” “C++,” “Python,” “Java,” and “evangelist” to find out where other programmers with these skills work.
  5. Gauge the health of a company :

    Perform an advanced search for company name and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This will enable you to scrutinize the rate of turnover and whether key people are abandoning ship. Former employees usually give more candid opinions about a company’s prospects than someone who’s still on board.
  6. Track startups companies using LinkedIn :

  7. You can see people in your network who are initiating new startups by doing an advanced search for a range of keywords such as “stealth” or “new startup.” Apply the “Sort By” filter to “Degrees away from you” in order to see the people closest to you first.
  8. Integrate into a new job :

    When people start a new job, ordinarily their roots aren’t that deep in the new company. However, with Linkedin, new employees can study fellow employees’ profiles and therefore help them get to know more people faster in a new company.
  9. Fill out your LinkeIn profile :

    First, some people search profiles for keywords, so make sure the words you hope people are seeking when they think of you exist inside your profile. Use real captivating words up front, not like a resume or CV, but instead, like an advertisement for you, because that’s what LinkedIN is! (Read very good profile summary here for an example.)
  10. Ask and answer questions :

    Using the Answers feature brings your name and profile around to people you’re not exposed to directly. This means more opportunities for someone to recognize your authority in some field, and to reach out and contact you for something further. It means sharing the fruits of your networking with others, and potentially connecting 3rd parties to each other for something bigger. This comes in handy when it becomes obvious that you’re also a good connector.
  11. Increase freelance work using LinkedIn :

    If you’re a freelancer, or you want to be, getting work can sometimes be a challenge. Or perhaps you get a lot of work, but you want to focus more on quality work that gets you the highest pay per hour. Set up a profile that shows what you can do, your experience, what you have to offer. Link up with others you know, and you’ve got a free way to market your services.
  12. Find your dream job using LinkedIn :

    You’ve already got a job, but it’s far from perfect. What you really want to do is create the perfect widget. Well, you’ll never get a job doing that if you just sit on your keister. Put yourself out there on LinkedIn, search for companies that are looking for perfect widget makers, and contact them. The search for the dream job starts with a single click.
  13. Help others :

    The best way to network is to help others succeed. They’ll never forget you, and you will be paid back tenfold some day. Use LinkedIn to help others — promote them, link to them, connect with them, recommend them, answer their questions.
  14. Get publicity from LinkedIn:

    It can be hard to contact media or top bloggers. But many of them have a LinkedIn profile, and you can contact them through the profile. I highly advise you not to spam them — but a press release or a polite email letting them know about a new launch, for example, might be appreciate or at least noticed. It shouldn’t be your whole marketing strategy, but it could help.
  15. Use LinkedIn as Market research tool :

    Planning to launch a new product? Do a little research into what companies are offering similar things, about what kind of potential customers are out there, and what they’re like, and what their needs are, and what kind of demand there is for your type of product. It can take some creative searching, but the information is there, waiting to be mined. Talk to employees or former employees of similar businesses, or of potential customers, and you can get the answers you’re looking for.
  16. Check references for potential hires :
  17. Trying to hire the perfect widget maker? Well, you’re not likely to find out about an applicant’s sordid past mistakes by calling the references on their application. Do a search for others who worked at the same company at the same time, and get a better background check in minutes.

My LinkedIn Profile :

LinkedIn Profile