people create a LinkedIn profile as a virtual business card,
never look back and never reap its true networking rewards.
In the upper right hand corner of every
page on LinkedIn is a site search with ‘people’ as the default. The
common use of the search field is to look for people you know or would
like to connect with. Many people don’t realize the box drops down
to 7 fabulous search features, each with their unique benefits.
Even the busiest, most time constrained
person can upgrade their online networking activity by spending
even 15 minutes a week with my drop down technique on LinkedIn.
It’s great for people who need a
little guidance and structure to their online networking to
optimize their LinkedIn experience. I hope you’ll like it and find
yourself with a new coffee ritual in the morning.
- People — Take the business cards you collected
during the week and check your calendar for the upcoming week’s
meetings and connect. Personalize the invitations by letting
your new contacts know you would like to stay updated on their
activity via LinkedIn. Your network and access to the network of your
new contacts will grow quickly.
- Updates — When you search updates you are
searching the global LinkedIn network. Use keywords for your
industry, professional interests, someone in the news, technology
— anything you would like to see the network perspective on. Click
on profiles of people you would like to know more about and if you’re
interested — connect.
- Jobs — Search jobs even if you love yours. Stay
abreast of positions at the competition, learn who could use your
services as a consultant during a gap, see where the turnover is —
in short, job posts reveal a lot of information even for non job
seekers. If you are looking for a new opportunity you’ll see who
you’re connected to that could give you insider info and walk your
resume to the hiring manager or HR.
- Companies — The company profile is the perfect
place to find consolidated information on news, recent company
and employee activity, demographics, who you are connected to there,
job openings and stock info if applicable. It’s a great way to help
prepare for an interview or upcoming meeting.
- Answers — Search keywords to find conversations
you can participate in with the global LinkedIn network.
Crowdsource information and opinions, help build your reputation
as a subject matter expert, find experts and — connect.
- Inbox — You might notice from the screenshot in
this post that I have a lot in my LinkedIn inbox. I don’t delete
everything. The inbox is searchable by name and keyword so for
example, if I search ‘human resources’ anyone who has that in their
profile or a message they sent me will return in the results. Keep
your conversations unless they are junk, one day you’ll be glad
- Groups — LinkedIn allows everyone to belong to 50
groups. This is a huge benefit because when you belong to a group you
are indirectly connected to all its members and have access to them
without having to connect directly. Groups can be searched by
industry, occupation, university, geography,
company/organization, natural resource, etc. You can join and leave
groups, and not so long ago group owners were given the option of
opening to the public. That means the content of groups that are open
can be viewed and commented on by non group members. To start a
discussion you’ll have to become a member of the group however.
Groups also have free job boards and many recruiters post there versus
paying for posts on LinkedIn jobs.
Just drop down the search box and go through the options on a
routine basis. Though it’s definitely user friendly, LinkedIn is very
feature rich and that can be intimidating for seasoned
professionals just starting to explore online networking, college
students and that C-level person who is working to overcome fear of
the unknown. This is a great way to take the guess work out of the
equation and form good LinkedIn habits.
What tips do you have to help build good LinkedIn networking habits?
P.S. Connect with me for LinkedIn in the mornings over coffee!
P.S.S. Check out the screenshot for real live proof of why you
should not connect your Twitter account to LinkedIn unless the only
tweets you make are 100% professional. LinkedIn is not the correct
forum for entertainment gossip Sharelle.