Do You Want To Be A LinkedIn Rockstar??

LinkedIN is the underdog of all social networks. We all know it, most of us use it and yet only few of us utilize it to its full potential. Why? The main reason being that only few take the time to actually explore the network – we are too busy nurturing our other online profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous etc. I’m no exception. I rarely took the time to take care of my LinkedIN account and only logged on whenever I got an Email notifying me of a new contact request. Now that graduation is near and the job search is looming I started to see how stupid I was being. Therefore I took the time to explore the network and unravelled some tips and tricks which are going to turn every single one of you into a LinkedIN rockstar. And before you even think it, NO, they are not the most obvious ones such as filling out your profile and uploading your picture. ;) Sound good?

1) Increase your connections

Easier said than done you think? Noooo, it’s pretty easy trust me. Just like on any other social network you can connect your LinkedIN profile with your Email account. That way you will see all the people you know who are already on LinkedIN and can get right to it and connect with them. Also, once you have connected with a few people LinkedIN suggests people you may know. That’s an easy trick, you say? Yes it is. And besides me telling you that I won’t mention the most obvious ones, I felt like this one is important. The reason being that the more connections you have on LinkedIN the more visible you will become. In other words, you’ll show up in search results more often.

2) Help others by answering their questions

Now, why on earth would you do that right? Spend time answering questions and at the same time give away your knowledge for FREE? If you think that way. STOP it right now. Helping others is a nice thing to do.
Online and offline. (Life lesson! ;) Anyway, by answering other people’s questions you don’t only gain exposure but you also show others that you are a knowledgable person. A tip on the side: Do not answer questions you don’t know how to answer just for the sake of it.

When someone asks a question there are usually many people trying to answer it – depending on the subject matter. Don’t be intimidated by it. Give it a shot anyway. If you give a great answer and the author of the question selects your answer to be the “best answer” you will show up as an expert in that field. Thus, gaining further exposure. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or what job you have. There’re questions being asked regarding tons of different subjects. I’ll guarantee you, you’ll find your place.
If you want to get right to it (obviously after you finished reading this post ;), go to your LinkedIN profile and click on “More” tab, followed by choosing “Answers”. Alternatively, you can simply click on this link here: LinkedIN Answers.

3) Increase your presence with network updates
LinedIN network updates is an underused but yet valuable feature. You should consider it as your own professional billboard that does not only allow you to make yourself more visible but also gives you the opportunity to make a pitch or announce something special. Tip on the side: Do not update your LinkedIN the way you would update your Twitter or Facebook. LinkedIN is a professional network and should be treated as such.

4) Reorder your profile sections

By rearranging the sections in your profile you can highlight your skills and expertise that set you apart from others. LinkedIN itself has a pretty awesome “How to” for this so if you are planning on giving your profile a facelift I’d recommend you to check it out.

5) Pimp your profile

To really stand out from the crowd you should consider pimping your profile with apps. Those allow you to show off your expertise and knowledge and also give your profile a little bit of edge. Are you a blogger? Add the WordPress app to your profile that automatically synchs your posts. Would you like to recommend books for others to read? Add the Amazon Reading list app. Or did you do an amazing presentation on something that is just too good to not be shared with others? Then add the Slideshare Presentations app. There’s tons and tons of apps you can add to your LinkedIN profile. Although I’d recommend you to not use more than 3, simply because you don’t want your profile to look cluttered.

To get access to the applications select “More” from the navigation bar followed by “Application Directory”. Get creative :)

These 5 simply tips should help you utilize your LinkedIN profile a lot better than before. If you are one of the clever ones who has done all of this from the start, kudos to you. If you are like me and are still trying to figure out how to best use LinkedIN, I say lets get started.

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