Like many other social networking sites, Linkedin brings out the competition in people: we race to get more connections, race to get more recommendations and even race to post and re-post interesting articles that make us look smart. If used right, Linkedin can be less about numbers and more about building true business relationships. Here are some tips to help you make the site work for you:
- Make your profile public: What have you got to hide? You want potential clients and employers to know about you, your experience, and your network. Blocking your account makes it hard for them to snoop.
- Post a picture: This gives people a sense of who you are. It doesn’t have to be the traditional corporate picture either. A picture of you with your pet, children, on vacation, or volunteering gives people a sense of your interests, personality and lifestyle. Employers include these factors into their hiring decisions.
- Comment on interesting articles: Posting or re-posting an article gets people’s attention. Actually commenting on it and adding to the discussion keeps their attention. You may not have time for a thorough read but at least skim it, get a general idea of the meaning, and weigh in.
- Be nosy: Dig around in your contacts’ info. If someone states they are working on an interesting project, ask them about it or give them some suggestions. If your peer has recently led new marketing initiatives at his/her company and you want to test out the same tactics at your company, don’t be afraid to initiate a lunch meeting. People love to talk about what they’ve accomplished.
- Don’t hide your nosiness: If you allow people to see when you’ve looked at their profile you nudge them to remember you and you’re letting them know that you’re keeping up with them. (Just don’t get creepy with it.)