Are you LinkedIn?

Remember when status updates, tweets, hangouts, pinning, and being linked in didn’t mean anything to us? Now they are staple words in our everyday life and if we haven’t yet joined the party, we are going to get left behind. Professionally at least, we have to be LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the professional in the midst of the social networks, and gives you a space to highlight your talents and skills, while keeping your personal life out of it. LinkedIn is kind of the nerdy uncle that always seems to be at the party. The nerdy uncle who seems to know everybody and the one that just happened to introduce you to the CEO of XYZ company, because they were “old chess buddies.”

It’s a place where you don’t need to be “friends” with someone to be “connected.” It’s an online cocktail mixer without the drinks and the hors d’oeuvres, just the networking.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use LinkedIn: check out the profile of someone you are about to meet for a business lunch (if you see that their hobbies include golf) you have already found a conversation topic you know they will be interested in.

Pay attention when people make changes to their title, skills, or expertise. One of your connections may have just made a move that could ultimately benefit you.

Share interesting links and videos from your profile page. It keeps your name coming up in people’s feeds and if you share the right content, can give potential employers a good idea of who you are.

Lastly, use it for job searching. There are many jobs listed on LinkedIn, and even if you have a connection or a 2nd or 3rd connection that is somehow related to that job, you might just be able to get to that decision maker via LinkedIn.

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