1. LinkedIn is about more than making friends on the Internet
LinkedIn is not the most popular, most attractive, or most accessed social networking site, but it is one of the most important ones for people focusing on their career. The social networking site has more than three hundred million users, with Singapore having an average of 152 connections per member.
How you can use LinkedIn: Three hundred and fifty million LinkedIn users across the globe is a lot of people. That means that you have more than three hundred million possible professional connections that might help you progress in your career.
Remember, LinkedIn caters to professionals and wants to help you improve your career. LinkedIn is not just another social networking website. Learn to use LinkedIn to sell yourself to possible employers and to connect with professionals just like yourself so that you can take full advantage of the social networking site.
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2. Create a complete profile and update it regularly
One of the ways LinkedIn can help professionals is by letting recruiters and possible employers gain access to your professional profile. They can see your work experience, education, career goals, and employment profile. These potential employers want to see profiles that provide a lot of detail into your professional life. They will make judgements and decisions based on what they see on your profile and how you sell yourself on LinkedIn.
How you can use LinkedIn: Remember to fully complete your profile when you create you LinkedIn account. Do not spare any important details and provide all relevant information that possible employers might look for. Use display pictures and words that make you look professional for the best results. Try and put relevant updates on your profile as much as you can so that everyone following you can see what you are doing in your career. This is the best way to take advantage of your LinkedIn profile.
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3. Do not forget about your network
Just like with Facebook, you can have a lot of connections on your LinkedIn account. Many people have a tendency to connect with other people on LinkedIn and forget about them after a few weeks, months, or years. Remember that your relationship with these people should not end after a few days of inactivity or after you resign from a job; maintaining these connections can help you in the future. You never know when a former colleague might be looking for someone to fill up a job opening at a prestigious company. LinkedIn is about networking in a professional atmosphere, and you cannot network if you always forget about your connections.
How you can use LinkedIn: Go through your list of LinkedIn connections now and then to maintain a professional relationship with the individuals on your list. Try to look at the quality of people you are connected to instead of how many people you are connected to. Pay close attention to the people in your network because they might be able to help you with your professional life.
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4. Go beyond the Internet when the time is right
While getting connected to people on LinkedIn is important, meeting your contacts in person can give off a more professional and at the same time personal vibe compared to just sending messages online. Meeting face to face will make you a more memorable and influential contact to other people in your network. Many people tend to disregard actual physical meetings with their LinkedIn contacts without realizing that setting up an actual meeting can benefit them greatly.
How you can use LinkedIn: After spending some time going through your contacts and focusing on improving your professional relationship with these people, it might be a good idea to meet some of the more important contacts in person.
Remember that timing is key when you invite them to meet with you. Think about how much your relationship has progressed on LinkedIn and whether or not your contact is game to meet you offline. An offline relationship might open you up to more career-related opportunities and other contacts you might not find on LinkedIn.
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5. Recommending professionals is a great way to improve relationships
One of the most popular features you can find on LinkedIn is its “recommend” feature. The recommend feature allows LinkedIn users to give commendations and to recommend some of their contacts to other people. It is a useful function because it lets other users, including potential employers, know the opinion of other people on a certain person. Also, remember that recommendations can be seen as favors by other people on the social networking site; and whenever you do someone a favour, there is a chance that that person might repay you in the future with a recommendation of his or her own.
How you can use LinkedIn: Recommendations are a very effective tool when used properly. Try to include specific details about the person you are recommending; talk about what the person did, how he or she is effective, and a couple of useful abilities they possess. Giving a recommendation should not be an unsubstantial ego rubbing that contains no useful professional details.
You should also try and create short and informative recommendations even if the person who requested it is not a close contact. This will save you the trouble of explaining why you did not give a recommendation and might convince your contact to give you a great recommendation sometime in the future.
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