What is LinkedIn and How Do I Use it Effectively

LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for business and professional networking. LinkedIn is unique and different from other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in the sense that it focuses on the professional lives of its members and serves to provide business opportunities for them.

Signing up for LinkedIn is free, but you can upgrade to a paid account to get additional functions or communication options. Once you sign up for LinkedIn, you can create your professional, resume-like profile from where other LinkedIn members can view your previous work experience, educational qualifications, professional membership, and other professional information about you.

After you’ve created your LinkedIn profile, you can start connecting with other users and doing other things to grow yourself professionally. Below are some tips to help you use LinkedIn effectively.

1. Complete your profile. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete to increase your visibility.
2. Know why you are on LinkedIn. Are you on LinkedIn to promote your services, to connect with recruiters, or to find new employees? Your goals and objectives should guide your activities on the site.
3. Always stay professional on LinkedIn. Your profile information, your profile picture, and all your activities on the site should be professional. Use Facebook, Twitter or other similar sites for personal posts.
4. Find and join relevant groups. Joining relevant groups on LinkedIn is way to expand your reach, grow your network and create more leads for your business.
5. Get involved in group discussions. Participate and contribute to group discussions to get noticed and improve your LinkedIn presence.
6. Get more LinkedIn connections. Getting more LinkedIn connections will get you noticed by a broader audience and increase your prospects.
7. Follow up with your connections on a regular basis. You can follow up with your connections by forwarding interesting articles to them, commenting on their status update, sending congratulatory messages when necessary, etc.
8. Get recommendations. Getting recommendations from business partners or influential people in your profession will add credibility to your Profile.
9. Keep your profile information up-to-date. Update your LinkedIn profile regularly to keep others abreast of what you’re doing and what changes you are making in your professional life.
10. Use the LinkedIn publishing platform to build your influence. You can build your influence in your niche by posting articles about projects you’ve worked on, notable developments impacting your industry, or some other career related topics.

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