LinkedIn.com has quickly jumped to the front of the line as the best business-related social networking site. Now at over 150 million members since being founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it has mainly been used for professional networking.
LinkedIn give you the opportunity to connect with past and present colleagues and classmates, has a widely used job search tool and allows you to directly connect with new peers in your industry. Think of it as your online resume for you and your company. Always putting your best foot forward is important!
To get started and fully join in on the LinkedIn experience make sure you have few key things in place when creating your profile and getting involved.
– Professional Photo – For the photo you would like to use make sure to ask yourself “Would I feel comfortable attaching this picture to a hard copy resume when searching for a job?” If that is answer is no, then it’s probably best not to use that photo for LinkedIn. Save the quirky, whimsical photos for other social networking sites like Facebook. However no need to run to a professional photographer, have a friend take a photo of you standing against a white wall and that can easily be used as your main photo.
– 1-2 Paragraph Description/Summary – This can include your past and present positions. You want to give a full summary of your work experience and skills.
– Include your current position with at least 1-2 sentences or bullet points of your main job description
– Complete the ‘Specialties’ section – This section is for adding keywords in that speak directly to your professional knowledge. As you type in your specialties LinkedIn will help you by giving you other suggestions also that people who chose that specialty also added in to their profile
– Make your profile public. Linkedin will give you that option in the “Settings” section. This will help your LinkedIn profile coming in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Your next step is to begin connecting with others.
You have the options to join several unique forums and groups with peers in your industry. Join in the conversation that are relevant to your field and become an active part in each group.
When you are ready to take the next step to connect with new industry experts Careerealism.com has some great invitation tactics to pay attention to:
- A brief idea of how you heard about the connection. Networking is about building a relationship. Relationships are about give and take, not take and give if you can. Remember this very important concept. Never ask for something right away. Just keep it simple. And start building that relationship.
- A personalized message. A great example is, “I’ve enjoyed getting to know you on Twitter and appreciate your retweets. How about we connect here too? I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” This invitation got my attention and I am more likely to help this person if requested to do so.
- If we have met, how we met. If you are at a large gathering, your intended connection might not remember every person he or she met. It’s always a good idea to say, “I enjoyed meeting you at the breakfast this morning.”
- Attention to detail. Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct.
Make your LinkedIn experience meaningful and begin networking to grow in your career.
Be sure to follow the JDi Data LinkedIn Company Profile – http://www.linkedin.com/company/jdi-data-corporation