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Tips and Tricks to Turn You Into a LinkedIn Power User

Posted by Scott Kirsner  September 7, 2009 07:20 AM

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This week's Globe column is dedicated to making you a more effective user of LinkedIn -- even if you think you're already using the site well (as I did).

With the help of venture capitalist Lee Hower (part of the founding team of LinkedIn), David Gowel of Clearly Creative, and Pat O'Malley of Patrick O'Malley & Associates, I collected ten tips that'll make your profile more impressive, make you easier to find, and help you get more out of it as a research/sales/job-hunting tool. Do you know about all ten? Do you have others?

On Twitter, I asked folks for their LinkedIn advice. Much of it had to do with taking advantage of LinkedIn's thousands of discussion groups for people with common professional interests.

    @Kdmiller4: "Real value of LinkedIn is in joining the 'Groups.' The discussions & networking are great."

    @bcarcio: "The LinkedIn updates work. Likely because so few people use them that they stand out."

    @russellbesq: "Check the 'groups' link from your home page, otherwise you may miss changes, esp. [with regard to] new members."

    @markbaard: "Even if a light user: be generous w/ recommendations and praise for your contacts. those people will remember it."

    @Lin_Dolin: "LinkedIn allows u2 communicate via groups=>good 4 networking if handled properly."

    @minicooper: "The groups on linkedin are a great way to find people you are not connected to, but want to/should be."

What's your best LinkedIn advice?

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4 comments so far...
  1. 1 - You should subscribe to RSS Feed for the LinkedIn updates. This way you won't miss any.

    2 - Viewing all the updates, you can "mine" connection updates. When one of your contacts connects with some one else, you'll see that notification. Maybe you also know that person and you can generate a connection request of your own.

    3 - When one of your contacts provides a significant update, you can comment on that update enhancing your relationship with that contact.

    Posted by Steve Sherlock September 7, 09 12:16 PM
  1. If your name is often misspelled, or if you are a woman who has a maiden name or more than one married name, add a section to your LinkedIn Profile for misspellings of your name and your other, former, names.

    See this article on my Website for more details:

    Posted by Susan P. Joyce September 7, 09 12:59 PM
  1. I would add, "be a good citizen/neighbor", i.e.:
    * don't use groups for blatant self-promotion; instead, raise issues that fellow members of the group should find interesting
    * don't spam group lists

    Also, and I know this is a matter of some controversy, I would DISCOURAGE "open networking", i.e., establishing connections with people you don't know or with whom you have never had any contact. The value of LinkedIn is to be able to recommend or introduce people based on your own experiences - those who 'open network' are merely trying to either enhance their own self-importance and/or evade LinkedIn's fee structure for outreach to new contacts. The more people who pee in the pool, the less desirable it will be to swim in.

    Posted by Steve Kirstein September 8, 09 10:05 AM
  1. It is unwise to attempt to LinkIn with someone you do not already know in personal or professional life. The goal is to further your existing career through networking with people that can do you some good, or to get yourself into a new position. Keep it professional, upbeat, positive, and above all, TRUTHFUL. Getting a new friend in Facebook by being untruthful is typical... Getting a job through LinkedIn by being untruthful will likely get you fired, and also result in embarrassment and possibly punitive action for your LinkedIn buddies who give you recommendations.

    Posted by Kevin September 9, 09 03:11 PM


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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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