6 Essential Do’s and Dont’s for Using LinkedIn.com to Advance Your Career (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

If you are not among the over 65 million professionals (worldwide) who currently have a profile on LinkedIn.com, or if you have explored the web site, but you have yet to fully embrace it as a dynamic career-building tool, you are putting yourself at a tremendous professional disadvantage. 

Every day, LinkedIn is used across the globe (for free) to (a) generate leads, gain referrals, and drive revenue, (b) strengthen relationships with current contacts and former colleagues, (c) form brand new relationships, (d) enhance one’s credibility and/or position oneself as an expert in a given field or on a given topic, (e) find new part-time or full-time job/career opportunities, (f) stay updated on relevant industry news and trends, and (g) conduct “market research,” exchange ideas, and tap into expertise from others.  Here is a very short list on the best and worst ways to unleash the site’s potential.

Do: Determine what you want to achieve by using LinkedIn.com (see above for major benefits).

Don’t use LinkedIn without first establishing your objectives.

Do: Invest at least a few hours into creating a thorough profile that represents you as positively as possible.  Include a professional headshot, quantifiable educational, professional, or charitable accomplishments, your specialties, a concise professional summary, papers, articles, or presentations you have created, and recommendations from colleagues, clients, and partners.  Think of LinkedIn as your online professional identity and make sure your profile is always fully updated.

Don’t create a partial or uninspired profile.  How do you think that reflects on you professionally?  I would argue that it’s better not to use the site at all (even though that would be a tremendous mistake) than to create a profile that is incomplete or unnecessarily modest.

Do: Maximize LinkedIn’s “Groups” feature which allows you to participate in up to 50 “networking” groups at any given time.  You should also add value to your groups by posting well-constructed responses to questions posed by other members, and you should start thoughtful discussion threads of your own as well.

Don’t spam members on a group or individual basis to promote yourself or your company’s products or services.  Such a strategy will turn off potential prospects or partners, and it’s against the “rules” of most groups. 

Do: Connect with EVERYONE you currently know (or previously worked with), while also using LinkedIn to expand your professional network. 

Don’t assume that it’s pointless to connect with someone with less experience than you or someone where there appears to be no immediate benefit.  You never know who/what someone else knows now or who/what they might know in the future.

Do: Engage in actual discussions with your connections. 

Don’t connect with someone just for the sake of increasing the number of connections you have.

Do: Devote certain times each week to using LinkedIn and track your progress based on your objectives.

Don’t allow yourself to wander aimlessly on LinkedIn without any direction.

When used correctly, LinkedIn.com can help advance your career to new heights.  Make sure you are maximizing its potential today!

-Pete Leibman

College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

www.IdealizeNow.com

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Explore posts in the same categories: LinkedIn, Networking, Personal Branding, Social Media

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