6 Things You Aren’t Doing On LinkedIn

Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 in Professional Development | 24 comments

linkedin

Are you In? LinkedIn is a great networking tool and powerful career resource, and many professionals and bloggers aren’t using LinkedIn to it’s full potential.

Maybe you’re perfectly happy exactly where you are in your career or with your current blog activity. If you are, good for you! Work-life balance and career satisfaction are not measured by job title, page rank or status. Then again, very few of us find happiness and success standing still. If you want to grow your blog or your career, LinkedIn can be a great resource!

Here are 6 ways LinkedIn has empowered my professional development:

1. Reconnect with old contacts.
Did you cringe when your old high school nemesis friended you on Facebook? LinkedIn can be used to reconnect with former professional contacts that are far less cringe-worthy.

I have used LinkedIn to reconnect with former classmates & teachers, co-workers & supervisors, and business partners. I’ve found valuable contacts I lost track of, and I can maintain my professional network as colleagues and classmates move, change jobs, phone numbers and email addresses.

2. Get personal recommendations.
Ask for personal recommendations from your network for job opportunities, promotions, business opportunities and more.

When I was job hunting, my LinkedIn network provided the opportunity to request a personal referral to a company I wanted to work. After an interview with a great company, I found my interviewer on LinkedIn and discovered we shared a connection. I contacted our shared connection, a former service provider, and he was glad to contact my interviewer to provide a personal recommendation on my behalf.

3. Build credibility around your expertise.
If you want to be known as an expert in your field, LinkedIn Answers can help you build your reputation.

LinkedIn Answers shaped my blog niche. When you answer questions on LinkedIn Answers, the questioner can rate one answer as the “best answer”. I was repeatedly rated “best answer” on the topics of work-life balance, career management, and related topics and thus my niche was born!

4. Find your audience.
Use LinkedIn Answers to gain insight into your professional industry and to stay informed and knowledgeable on your career path.

LinkedIn Answers helps me tune into my audience. I have written several blog entries based on questions other professionals are asking on LinkedIn.

5. Learn from the experts.
Asking questions on LinkedIn Answers allows you tap into a huge network of experts.

When I wanted to create business networking cards, experts from LinkedIn responded to my question and I was able to create a killer networking card that have consistently impressed at networking events.

Don’t forget to rate the “Best Answer” when your question closes.

6. Interact with your professional peers.
LinkedIn Groups provides a venue for valuable discussion and information sharing on your professional interests.

LinkedIn Groups provided tips, tricks and support when I started my blog. I’m a member of The Blog Zone group on LinkedIn and I participated in discussions for months before and during the creation of my blog.

There’s a lot of great information being shared on LinkedIn Groups!

Where to get started on LinkedIn:

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, or signed up ages ago and don’t know what to do next, please check out these awesome videos from my good friend, Adrienne Smith at adriennesmith.net!

How To Get Around In LinkedIn

How To Make Your Links Stand Out On LinkedIn.

I love your comments! How are or aren’t you using LinkedIn? Did you learn something new from this post?

Image courtesy of Jerry Luk

24 Comments

  1. Hi Chrysta,

    I like the tips here regarding LinkedIn. I can’t say I’m a pro on LinkedIn, but I have found it a highly valuable tool for expanding my reach and also showcasing some of my professional talents and accolades.

    I love the recommendations on LinkedIn. These are so visible and having them is one sure way to demonstrate our viability by way of 3rd party recommendations.

    Cat Alexandra

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Cat!

      I agree LinkedIn can be as valuable as any social media platform, but only if you use it! I often see professionals ignore LinkedIn completely until they are looking for a job or business opportunity and then become frustrated when it doesn’t promptly generate leads. It may not be for everyone, but hopefully I’ve offered some useful ideas for different ways to use LinkedIn.

      I love the recommendations, too! In fact, you’ve just inspired me to write a few. Thanks for the inspiration!

      Chrysta

      • Hello Chrysta,

        You’re most certainly welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed my comment! :)

        I’m glad you are inspired to get some recommendation juice flowing with your associates. I have been collecting and giving quite a number of them myself, over the years.

        And you’re right, LinkedIn is one of those things that should be used with a level of care and attention. Nothing worthwhile usually happens overnight. Most things worth doing are worth working for. :)

        Hope you have a lovely weekend!

        Cat

  2. Thanks for this. I’d never even heard of LinkedIn Answers, but it sounds fun! I used LinkedIn a lot while looking for my current job, but I’ve forgotten about it lately. Seems like I should be making it a part of my daily social media rounds!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Katie! I apologize for the delay in replying to you; I have been dealing with a family emergency the past few days.

      LinkedIn Answers can be fun, though I often prefer to browse by subject than browsing all open questions. There are some strange questions posted on LinkedIn Answers!

      I think it’s fairly common for people to forget about LinkedIn when they aren’t actively job searching, though I have found it’s a great resource not only to stay connected to your network, and also to drive professional development. Active and self-motivated professional development has given me many opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to meeting you at BlissDom. Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  3. Great inspiring article. I have to admit that LinkedIn is my most neglected social media network. I come and go on it. I need to do everyone of these suggestions that you offer! Thank for sharing and encouraging. Time for me to become more active on there. :)

    • Thanks for your comment, Joanne! I’m glad I’ve inspired you to get more out of LinkedIn, it can be a truly valuable resource and it’s so often overlooked.

      Writing about LinkedIn is a bit drier topic than I usually write about, but personal and professional development is about more than work-life balance and personal inspiration. Taking an active role in my success online and offline is essential to growing as an individual and professional.

      Thanks again for stopping by, I hope you’ll come back soon!

      Chrysta

  4. Hi Chrysta,

    I have been using linked in to keep up with contacts, promote my blog and read what my connections are doing. But due to privacy concerns I have kept very less portion of my public profile open. Of course if I am connected to someone, they can always view the profile.

    Linked in does send me good number of visitors when I share the post. Most of my old contacts have reestablished contact with me to know what I am doing these days.

    Great post and definitely strong learning points.

    • Thanks for your comment, Ashvini! I’m pleased to hear you’ve enjoyed some success using LinkedIn- it can be a powerful resource for career and business growth.

      I have kept my profile public since the last time I was job searching. I had heard many recruiters use LinkedIn to find good candidates so I went ahead and made my profile public and haven’t changed it back. There are so many important security concerns with almost every website these days and it’s definitely a challenge to manage security settings and what content is and is not appropriate for public view.

      Thanks again for your comment! Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  5. Hi Chrysta,

    Now I am one of those people who has a LinkedIn account and does precious little with it!

    I do have always understood that it is a more professional platform compared with Facebook. What you have presented here Chrysta further confirms its value so I will definitely have to make some time to become better acquainted. I have watched all of Adrienne’s videos which are excellent. Thank you for yet another nudge… :)

    ~ Marcus

    • Thanks for your comment, Marcus!

      LinkedIn definitely has value that is untapped by many professionals and business owners, and even bloggers- anyone trying to make a living, which I assume is most of us.

      I really embraced LinkedIn 2 years ago when the situation at my former employer showed signs of instability. Looking for work after 5 years at the same company was quite an eye-opener and I realized the professional landscape had changed dramatically in that time.

      Now I have stable employment again, and I am working on my own side projects and I want to keep my momentum! I see so many people spending so much time on Facebook and just a fraction of that time on LinkedIn can reap great rewards.

      Good luck in your LinkedIn venture, if you choose to dig deeper into it’s benefits!

      Chrysta

  6. Hello, I am just getting started in LinkedIn so I really appreciated this post.

    Thank You!!

    • Keith, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I’m pleased my experience on LinkedIn can help people like you who are just getting started. There’s a lot there, and I didn’t even cover all the benefits from fully using LinkedIn. It’s truly a valuable resource for professionals.

      Have an awesome day!

      Chrysta

  7. Great information here Chrysta. Thanks for passing it along and explaining the various benefits of Linked-In. I probably don’t spend enough time on Linked-In so I appreciated hearing how you have it working for you.

    • Thanks for your comment, Sibyl!

      One of the reasons I wrote about LinkedIn is because it’s been a great resource for me, and a resource many people aren’t using as much as they could. All this talk about social media and I feel LinkedIn can be as beneficial as Twitter or Facebook- especially for anyone who is looking to be seen as a professional in their field- including blogging. Like all things, it’s another great tool that’s great if you want to use it.

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  8. P.S. CONGRATULATIONS for breaking the 1,000,000 mark. Give yourself a big pat on the back.

    • Janet,

      Which 1,000,000 mark? I wasn’t aware I’d passed a milestone! Go me? :)

      Have an amazing day!

      Chrysta

  9. Chrysta, aloha. Terrific post on LinkedIn. Very interesting that you feel you would might not have this blog were it not for what you learned there. So glad you were inspired to create otherwise we might not have met and, Chrysta, interacting with you enriches my life.

    LinkedIn is a wonderful, wonderful resource. Each Tuesday night I participate in a tweetchat called “#LinkedInChat at 8 pm EDT. What you learn and what you can do with it is so amazing. It is led by Viveka von Rosen, LinkedINExpert. Chrysta, I am thinking you told me you heard her speak; Viv lives in CO.

    Anyway, here is a link to her site which contains a wealth of information with how to advice and tips.

    Well said, Chrysta. Best wishes for a Spectacular Sunday. Until next time, aloha. Janet

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Janet! And thanks for mentioning the LinkedIn Twitter chat again. I’ve been meaning to get in front of the computer for it.

      I did meet Viv when she came to present to one of my professional associations. In fact, Viv’s presentation on social media pushed me a step closer to starting my blog. At the time of Viv’s presentation I had already been considering starting a blog, and hearing what she had to say about it made it seem more appealing to me. She’s a wealth of information on social media!

      I am very grateful for your friendship and the many wonderful resources and support you share.

      Have an amazing day!

      Chrysta

  10. Great stuff here :)! Makes me realize how far behind I am in all of this. I am super involved in FB and somewhat in Twitter.

    I don’t know what it is, but I really need to dig in. These are great tips that I SHOULD be applying!

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Thanks for your comment, Brock!

      LinkedIn is the professional equivalent of Facebook and there’s just as much to do and see on LinkedIn. It can be a truly amazing resource for networking if you use it as such.

      I don’t think I would have this blog if it weren’t for LinkedIn and everything I learned there that led me here. I’m really grateful for the resources on LinkedIn.

      Thanks again for commenting! Have an amazing day!

      Chrysta

    • Brock, aloha. Since Chrysta told me before I could share links in her comments section, here is one for you. Each Tuesday I participate in a tweetchat about LinkedIn. The link is to the site of the moderator. On it, Brock, you will find an absolutely wealth of information including how to advice and tips.

      Here’s the link:

      http://linkedintobusiness.com/

      Enjoy a Spectacular Sunday. Aloha. Janet

  11. I’m really enjoying LinkedIn Chrysta, here is so much to it I didn’t even realize. The answers is really cool. I had a good time just going through that to see what types of questions people were answering. You can get on there, answer a few of those questions that you are very familiar with and start building up some attention for yourself.

    I’ve already met a few really key players over there and some that I’m thrilled to have in my corner.

    Thanks for these tips and for sharing my videos. Hope others will find them as helpful.

    Adrienne

    • Thanks for your comment, Adrienne!

      LinkedIn really is a valuable resource if you use it right. I know quite a few people that signed up and do nothing with their account. At the very least you can keep in touch with contacts but there’s so much more you can do!

      I’m certain there’s even more great things to do with LinkedIn beyond the 6 things I mentioned and I’m still exploring and learning new things.

      Thanks for inspiring me to write about LinkedIn!

      Chrysta

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