With its workaday reputation, LinkedIn is still the go-to social-media site for anyone trying to ramp up a career. Here’s how to best use the web site, according to other professionals:
1. Bulk up your LinkedIn profile. More content, rather than less, will make your profile more likely to come up in searches. List major positions, as well as internships. List all your skills. Relax privacy settings, so anyone can find you.
2. Ask people to vouch for you by writing recommendations. Recommend people you know, and they’ll be inclined to return the favor.
3. Network like crazy. Regular users of LinkedIn say a common newcomer mistake is to limit his or her network.
Krista Canfield, a LinkedIn spokeswoman, says that to reap the social-networking benefits of the site, you need at least 35 connections. (Just make sure those 35 connections don’t drag down your reputation.)
Tip: Deflect unwanted invitations with the Archive button, so no one knows you rejected them.
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4. Answer questions with authority and post helpful status updates. For example, Joe Rosenberg, a certified public accountant, recently posted a status update telling people about the deadline for quarterly taxes. By answering questions about tax matters, he estimates he’s received $10,000 to $15,000 in new business.
5. Join groups to hear about cool events for your industry or for the admin profession. Joanna Wiseberg, who launched a stylish handbag business, joined more than a dozen groups related to her field and participated in discussions on them. Wiseberg says the connections allowed others in the industry to discover her and invite her to events in Europe, North America and Asia.
— Adapted from “The Social Network That Gets Down to Business,” Miguel Helft, The New York Times.
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