Last week I posted on an article about using LinkedIn that I saw at Chris Brogan’s blog. A few folks e-mailed me for more information on how and why I use LinkedIn. The answers are actually quite simple, and I’d like to share them with the rest of you here.
First, I started using LinkedIn like most others, because I was looking for a job. As I worked on completing my profile, which I initially saw as just an online resume, the service asked me to look for contacts already using LinkedIn by uploading my e-mail address book.
I was quite surprised to learn that many of my contacts were already using LI, and I had a chance to ask them to connect. As of this Monday, I have 125 connections!
As you can see, I did manage to find a job, and LinkedIn played a role. A recruiter had found my resume posted online, and there was a link to my LinkedIn profile. She checked it out and saw the recommendations and list of connections. Because I was connected to other professionals and many of them were in marketing and sales she decided to give me a call and set up an interview.
LinkedIn – Not just for job-hunting
That part of LinkedIn is pretty obvious. The less obvious part of the platform deals with the question regarding “What is LinkedIn good for when you are not looking for a job?”
The short answer is: a lot!
The long answer is found in this list of articles in a group writing project started by Brandon Hull of SalesTeamTools. I found this list some time ago and definitely suggest checking it out: 100+ Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn (from the LinkedIntelligence blog). There are many useful ideas from actual LinkedIn users.
- Business Development / Marketing / Sales
- A Tool to Help with Reference Selling – Dave Stein
- Getting More Than Just Answers – Diane K. Danielson
- How to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Business – Liz Ryan (via The Virtual Handshake blog)
- Market Your Company on LinkedIn – Gordon Choi
- Using LinkedIn for Market Research – Loren Baker / Jason Calacanis
- Secrets LinkedIn Can Tell You About Your Customers – Matt Asay
- Using LinkedIn to Make the Sale – Al Chase (excerpt from The Virtual Handshake)
- Warm Calling via LinkedIn – Alex Iskold
- Career Management / Personal Branding / Resumes
- Becoming a Recognized Subject Matter Expert on LinkedIn – Barbara Rozgonyi
- Brush Up Your Resume – CarlenLea
- Enhance Your Resume with LinkedIn Testimonials – Harry Joiner
- LinkedIn and Career Management – Jason Alba
- LinkedIn as Resume 2.0 – Scott Sehlhorst
- Your Reputation: Create a Permalink – Todd Defren
- Job Search
- Best Practices for a LinkedIn Job Search – Konstantin Guericke (via Dave Taylor)
- How Do I Use LinkedIn to Find a Job? – Dave Taylor
- How to Use LinkedIn to Find a New Position – Eric Mariacher
- How to Find a Job Using LinkedIn – Liz Ryan (via Dave Taylor)
- LinkedIn and Your Job Search – Alison Doyle
- Following Up on Inside Connections at Potential Employers – Scott Allen
- Searching the Hidden Job Market for Opportunities – Debra Feldman
- Using LinkedIn to Prepare for Your Job Interview – Darlene McDaniel
- Companies Use LinkedIn to Find Top Talent – Desire Athow
- Growing Your Network
- Keeping in Touch
- Borrowing the Expertise of Others – Eric Eggertson
- Meeting Face-to-Face
- Breaking the Ice at a Meeting with LinkedIn – Pete Johnson
- Using LinkedIn to Fill Out Your Business Trip – Scott Allen
- Using LinkedIn for Travel – Marc Freedman
- Connecting with People in Your Network When Traveling – Stewart Rogers
- Organizing and Extending Groups
- Specific Jobs / Industries
- 10 Ways Journalists Can Use LinkedIn – Penelope Trunk
- LinkedIn for Startup Entrepreneurs: 5 Reasons to Join – Dharmesh Shah
- Five Ways IT Managers Can Get More Out of LinkedIn – Shane Schick
- Five Ways Authors Can Profit from LinkedIn – Mahesh Grossman
- How to Change the World: Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn – Guy Kawasaki
- 20 Ways to Use LinkedIn Productively – Web Worker Daily
- Making Your LinkedIn Business Network Pay Dividends – Tatsuya Nakagawa & Peter Paul Roosen
- Top Reasons to Use LinkedIn – Various, compiled by Chris Pirillo
(List compiled by Brandon Hull)
More than an Online Resume
As you can see, Linked in is much more than just a futuristic resume, it is a tool for connecting. Here are three more things that I to do with LinkedIn:
- Focus on connecting. Whenever I get a business card from someone I enter them into my Highrise HQ account, then search for that person on LinkedIn right away. Because I have their email, I can send them an invitation to connect.
- Increase your visibility. Don’t add people to your network and then forget about them. While everyone you meet may not be a “business” contact, they may be a referrer. How will you know? Use the Question and Answer function on LinkedIn. Also, make sure your public profile is complete. I like to recommend people in my network, I also ask them to recommend me. Every time I do one of these activities, LinkedIn posts updates online and in weekly updates to everyone in my network.
- Make LinkedIn your homepage. Whenever I open my browser, I can immediately review my “LinkedIn Home Page” which shows what others in my network are doing and who they’re connecting with. I also check every 2-3 days to see “Who’s Viewed My Profile.” Just as you can use web statistics to see who is looking at your website, you can also see who’s been checking out your profile.
Recently I used the Question and Answer feature for doing some research on a post about working from home. This is something that I have been struggling with for some time now and it occurred to me that I had a large base of people that I know that have been working from home for years. Who better to ask for tips?
I asked a question, and a lot of people answered! In fact, many more than I expected. I consider myself blessed to have so many contacts that are so engaged and willing to help. One of those that chimed in with an answer was Grant Griffiths from Home Office Warrior, who graciously offered to host the collection of tips as a post on his blog. Click here to see this amazing list of tips for working at home.