What You Should Know About the New LinkedIn

Did you know that people with more than twenty connections on LinkedIn are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five. That fact came from Guy Kawasaki's blog in January of 2007. And while his 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn are still a good primer, much has changed since then.

In case you didn't know, LinkedIn has many new features for networking, job searching, and recruiting. This article contains some tips that I think are very helpful in getting more out of this powerful tool.

The first is an indisputable fact. You should be LinkedIn with me. Go to my LinkedIn Profile and invite me to join your network. Right now. If LinkedIn wants you to list my email address in order to invite me, here it is: craig@alistsolutions.com . I don't sell anything there, and I will never harass you. But I will answer questions, refer you to people with whom you wish to network (if your intentions are honorable), provide a plethora of great job search and networking advice, maximize your marketability, help you hire your next great employee, or help you find your dream job. And I will scratch your back whenever I can.

Now do you see how easy that was? Building your network is an important part of being on LinkedIn. It takes a little work, but it's worth it. Just ask the people with less than 5 connections. Oh, wait, you can't because you would probably never find them even if you did a search. I'm not saying that you should indiscriminately network with just anyone. But chances are, if you are reading this article, I want to know you, and you want to know me. Don't be completely generic when asking people to join your network. Give them a compelling reason or at least be friendly. "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" is neither, though that won't bother me.

Obviously there is more to it than just building up a great network. Participation is another key to good networking. Julius Solaris wrote a great piece on his blog entitled 10 tips to master the “new” LinkedIn:

10. Group Discussion not Q&A

After Linkedin introduced discussions within Groups, Q&A are redundant. Group Discussions are more specific and targeted to your interests.

You can see threaded conversations and, if you are lucky enough, you get some moderation from the group manager.

Linkedin Groups

9. Share your trip details

An interesting application is My Travel from Tripit.

One of the best uses of Linkedin is to find connections when you are travelling. I heard great stories of people setting up successful business meetings just by asking in the Q&A section.

My Travel brings the concept further and displays your network where you are and where you will be.

My Travel

8. Ask for opinions

The Linkedin Poll application achieves the simple task of asking for opinions.
Polls have been there forever in online communities, it was right about time to have that functionality in LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Polls

7. Update your profile, twitter style

The “Update” section is becoming key to Linkedin. Hopefully they will develop this feature even further with better search tools.

This section is a very powerful tool as it gives premium information such as “This person is hiring” or “Looking for a business partner”.

Keep an eye on this one.

6. Promote and attend Events

The recently introduced Events section helps in finding relevant events in your area.

If you are organizing both, formal or informal gatherings, this is also a great opportunity to promote.

Linkedin Events

5. Be informed with the News section

I actually really like this section, it gives you the chance to see relevant information, again according to your Group belonging.

This feature used to be reserved to companies, welcomed opening.

4. Blog to the top

If you don’t have a blog, you should get one soon.

Once you do have one, I strongly suggest you integrate either with the Blog Link or Wordpress app, the latter being my favourite.

Wordpress

Blog Link

3.Unleash your presentations

My beloved Slideshare.net released an application to show your slides in your profile.

Out of all the apps, this is the most relevant as it really serves the purpose of networking.

Presentations are indeed the most accepted form of business communication, a great match.

Slideshare Presentations

2. Collaborate

Huddle is a great service for online collaboration and sharing.

This is a great application which enables teamwork, really like the 1GB shared space.

Huddle Workspaces

1. Perform a better search

Linkedin focused on delivering an improved search experience.

Make sure you check below for few tips on how to perform better searches.

5 Tips on How to Search LinkedIn Like a Pro

LinkedIn for Sourcing

If you are a business owner, hiring manager, HR representative, or staffing professional, there are some great new tools on LinkedIn for you.

According to this article from Workforce Management about the upcoming LinkedIn tools for Recruiting, LinkedIn has recently been adding a million new members every two weeks, and officials say more than 829,000 HR professionals and 521,000 corporate recruiters now use the network.

LinkedIn will soon offer four additional recruiting-related upgrades for business customers, starting with customizable company information pages that corporate customers can configure to match a job opening to the profile of the LinkedIn member reading the material. will also offer an improved e-mail marketing campaign tool that lets corporate customers tap into LinkedIn’s existing InMail network to broadcast job openings or other messages to its 33 million members. Rounding out the new features are an expanded banner advertising program and a flat-fee annual subscription for job board postings. You can read the full article here: http://www.workforce.com/section/00/article/26/08/38.php

If you are not inclined to pay for such services, you have some alternatives. Irina Shamaeva posted a great piece on ERE.net about LinkedIn Sourcing with a free account. Many of the ideas are similar to the tips posted above, but are more tailored to recruiting. Irina is the creator of the Boolean Strings group on RecruitingBlogs.com and always has great advice.

Regardless of how you use LinkedIn, you should probably be paying closer attention to it these days with so many ways to improve your professional profile, your personal or career brand, your employer brand, or your sales and recruiting efforts.

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Comment by Craig Fisher on January 19, 2009 at 12:51pm
Jessica, you might find my new LinkedIn Group for Career Branding interesting. If features regular news and discussions like this one about using social networks and web 2.0 for business and career gain. Let me know what you think! http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1765067&trk=hb_side_g

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