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Understanding LinkedIn

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Just about everyone knows about Facebook; it’s a popular social media platform that makes it possible to connect with friends, family and even strangers on a moment-by-moment basis with photos and updates. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is gaining popularity, and it’s been in existence for 10 years. LinkedIn is very different from Facebook. LinkedIn caters to business people, working professionals and business owners who are interested in making connections that can help advance their careers or businesses.{{more}}

Focus on quality. On Facebook, many people strive to accumulate as many “friends” as possible for a number of different reasons. With LinkedIn, the goal is not to collect and connect with large numbers of people; instead, the goal is to make quality connections you can call on to help advance your professional aspirations and whom you can help.

Your electronic résumé. Many employers use LinkedIn as an electronic résumé and take the time to learn about potential candidates through their profile. Therefore, it’s very important to take the time to construct a proper professional profile. Definitely include the information from your résumé and use the summary section as a way to sell your skills and talents in a concise manner that will encourage potential employers to read more.

Only a headshot. Facebook makes it possible to post lots of pictures. On LinkedIn, you only need a headshot that reflects a very positive image of you. Keep makeup and jewelry to a minimum, and remember, the emphasis is on looking businesslike.

Be selective. Your LinkedIn network should be made up of people you know or people who were recommended to you. Accepting someone into your network just so you can have lots of connections is a waste of time and energy, and it dilutes the power of your network, as you will not receive a warm reception and help from a stranger.

Join groups. LinkedIn makes it possible for members to join groups of like-minded people or those who may share an affiliation with a company, school or along industry lines. Join a few groups and participate in group discussions to raise your profile on LinkedIn.

Get endorsements and recommendations. LinkedIn makes it easy for others to recommend and endorse you. Ask former supervisors and colleagues to write a simple recommendation with a few sentences which can attest to your professional abilities. On the other hand, you can select a number of skills you believe you possess and ask others to endorse you simply by clicking that skill to agree with you.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to info@workplacesuccess.com

Visit online at www.workplacesuccess.com

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