LinkedIn is the premier professional networking tool on the web. By using LinkedIn, you can find former colleagues and supervisors, classmates, teachers, and even connect with old friends who may welcome the opportunity to interact with you on a professional level.

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Impressive LinkedIn Stats:

  • Over 100 million members
  • In 200 countries and territories
  • 170+ Industries
  • 130,000+ Recruiters
  • All Fortune 500 companies are represented on LinkedIn

Most professionals have a LinkedIn account and at least a partially completed profile. But are you using it to its full advantage? LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to help you find a job, grow your business, or increase your presence on the web and in the business world.

Best Practices for Effectively Leveraging Your LinkedIn Account:

1. Fully complete your profile

2. Use a professional-looking headshot for your photo.

3. Write a solid summary. Often, the summary is all that people will look at when viewing your profile.

4. Link to your blog, website, or Twitter.

5. Give recommendations. People will recommend you in return. LinkedIn serves as a virtual resume and application, with references already in place.

Use LinkedIn to find solutions. If you have a specific issue, you can post a question to the Questions and Answers to either your personal contacts or the entire LinkedIn network.

Answer questions that others post. This not only helps the person who asked, but also builds your credibility and reputation as an expert in your field.

If you’re an employer and you’re hiring, leverage your LinkedIn network to find employees.

9. Use the apps. WordPress, MyTravel, Amazon Reading List, and Slideshare are just a few of the dozens of apps that can be used on LinkedIn.

10. Ask people in person to connect to you. When you’re conducting business, or at a networking conference, ask people if they have a LinkedIn account and tell them that you’d like to connect with them. Send requests as soon as possible after you meet a person. This increases the likelihood of them remembering who you are and being as eager to connect as you are.

11. Personalize your URL on LinkedIn. LinkedIn sets a default, but you can change this. Go to “Edit Profile” and click on “edit” beside the Public Profile link.

12. Make sure your profile is set to full view, not private. To adjust these settings, click on the down arrow beside your name near the upper right corner of the page.

13. Keep your status up to date. It lets everyone know what you’re working on.

14. Use the status update to link to your blog or other articles.

15. Join groups relevant to your industry and participate in them by posting comments or starting discussions. Being an active member on LinkedIn will increase your visibility.

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