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How to Use LinkedIn Effectively

Omkar Phatak
If you are looking for some tips on making the most of LinkedIn, this story is a must read. Here's how you can further your career through the premier business networking site.
Just when you think all great online business ideas have been used up, another website pops out of nowhere on the Internet and creates an impact world over.
LinkedIn is such an idea, brought to fruition by fulfilling the fundamental need of every person engaged in a business, which is professional networking. With 90 million registered users worldwide, it is fast emerging to be the most popular professional networking site.
LinkedIn is all about making business connections, displaying your resume online, getting recommendations, finding jobs, getting help for your business from field experts, and furthering your business or career. It is an organically growing network of professionals worldwide.
There are many ways in which you can benefit from the site, if you only familiarize yourself with all of its features. Every user can view the profiles of the immediate connections (called first degree connections) and the people connected with his first degree contacts.
Every user can view up to third degree connections. This provides a kind of 'gated access' to other business contacts, which is aimed at developing trusted relationships.
With 660 million users spread over 200 countries, LinkedIn is a hotbed of global job and business opportunities, that you should take advantage of. With a tagline that says 'Relationships Matter', the ultimate aim of the website is to attract professionals worldwide and make it a global business platform.

Using LinkedIn to Your Advantage

Business networking has been considerably simplified by sites like LinkedIn. By bringing job seekers and job offering companies on the same platform, it has made it easier to spot talent and increased the visibility of professionals in any specialized field. Here are some tips for using the site to find jobs and further your business.

Develop a Classy Profile

One of the keys to increasing your visibility on LinkedIn and ensuring that your profile ranks on Google search is to create a detailed and classy profile. List your educational background details, your job history, and also your list of achievements.
Put up your best picture on the profile, which can make a good first impression. Such a detailed profile makes it easier for job offering companies to check you out, providing more job openings, as well as business opportunities.

Connect With Professionals From Your Field

Avoid adding anybody and everybody on LinkedIn that you may know, by spamming invitations. It's not about how many connections you make, it's about how many connections you make in your professional field. It automatically creates a connection pool of people working in your field, which you can tap for your business benefit or job search.

Recommend and Get Recommended

One of the biggest advantages of having a LinkedIn profile is the 'Recommendations' feature. Using this feature, professionals you have worked with and colleagues can recommend you and vouch for you. To get recommendations, it's a good idea to start recommending other people, who are bound to reciprocate the gesture.
Good recommendations from your previous bosses and colleagues make an impression on prospective employers when they check out your profile.

Post Jobs and Search For Them

LinkedIn lets you post jobs and search for them, according to sector. You can also apply for jobs through the site. An increasingly high number of human resource managers prefer screening candidates via LinkedIn.

Research Companies

As a job seeker, you can research the company profiles and statistics made available by LinkedIn, which can help you decide where to apply for jobs. You can also check out the profiles of high ranking managers of a company when preparing for interviews.

Join Groups and Discuss Issues

You can create groups related to your personal business interest or join existing ones to discuss issues and seek help from experts. You can answer questions on LinkedIn Answers feature and create an impression as an expert in the field.

Join Networks

Connect with networks that are related to your company or field of work, to increase your exposure to a wider contact pool and develop new business relations.
The site is an excellent medium for creating important business connections or developing your online resume. As a job seeker, you can find a range of new openings. It provides you with a global platform to showcase your resume and create global opportunities for your business through networking.