As someone who prefers the lines of personal and professional to stay as clear cut as possible I find myself utilizing LinkedIn a lot more than others in my Generation Y group. LinkedIn provides so many great opportunities for both businesses and individual professionals to make the connections necessary to grow your business, as well as find resources based on your industry, position or other professional interests.
For those that don’t know what LinkedIn is, it’s the “World’s largest professional network” or a chamber of commerce on digital steroids. Below are some tips on how to use it and features of the site.
• Be informed when someone changes positions or companies
• Follow influential business leaders and learn from their updates
• Receive regular updates on your Home page regarding areas of professional interests
• Have an online resume
• Apply for a new position
• Grow your recommendations with an easy request recommendation feature
• Stay up to date on industry trends
• See who has viewed your profile, which may indicate an interest in your products or services
• Have a virtual rolodex
• Network with your connections online or contact them to set up something offline
• See how you’re connected to someone you are interested in meeting then ask your mutual connection for a warm introduction
• Set yourself up as an expert with informative posts about your industry or position
• Join online networking groups that relate to your position, industry or professional interests to grow your connections
Networking is not dead, but rather has been reinvented. Certainly chamber mixers, educational seminars and lunch meetings are still a necessary part of life, but they aren’t our only options any more. Through LinkedIn you can save time, create warm introductions and fast track some connections that may have taken you years to make otherwise. LinkedIn does not replace face time or phone time, but it is a great complement to those activities and is a resource I highly encourage one takes advantage of.