Sometimes one gets the feeling that LinkedIn is like the poor cousin whom everyone forgets to invite to the party. Then it comes in late and stands at a corner…a bit aloof from the razzmatazz of Pinterest, the extroverted Facebook, and the one-everyone-needs Google Plus. But ignore LinkedIn at your own peril. LinkedIn might be dressed in a staid suit and tie, but with luck and hard work it could be cut in Saville Row.
Look at it this way – you definitely have more Facebook contacts, but I am pretty sure it is the LinkedIn contact you would put with to get that career recommendation. LinkedIn has a more focused audience for all that you do in your professional life. It still is your best online resume. So, without further ado let’s check out ten LinkedIn tips that help you make it more relevant…and fun. And perish the poor cousin thought – LinkedIn shares are doing better than Facebook at the moment.
Don’t forget to read: Learn LinkedIn: How To Build Your Living Resume
Network With Cloak Of Security
A simple setting change and you can browse LinkedIn more securely with HTTPS especially on public computers and in public hotspots with unsecured Wi-Fi connections. Go to Settings. Head below and select the Account tab. Click on Manage security settings and check the box that comes up (see screen)
Your Own LinkedIn News Daily
You might not realize it but there’s some serious curation done by LinkedIn Today which brings you top headlines from around the world. LinkedIn Today aggregates the top headlines and stories related to your profession and also on what your connections share. You can tweak the stories to get more content from your specific interests, save stories to read later and then share ones you like with your connections.
Go Text To Speech With LinkedIn News
Tap the blue flame button on SpeechIn (a LinkedIn app) and it grabs the LinkedIn headlines for you and plays it back with voice. You can use the arrow buttons to go forward and backward. Tap the flame button again to pause the voice.
Make Contact Without Making a Connection
The straight route to touch base with someone at LinkedIn is by first making a connection. The person whom you are trying to befriend may not press his accept button (especially if you haven’t been introduced). A workaround is to join a common group and then send a message as members of the same group can send messages to each other even if they are not directly connected. You can use InMail of course, but then we are talking about free here!
Browse In Stealth Mode
LinkedIn will cease to hold any value if you choose to enable strict privacy settings and go under the radar. But there are special occasions, for instance, when you are researching a client or a company and don’t want your profile to come up under Who’s Viewed Your Profile. Dive into your Privacy Controls (Settings). You can click on Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile and pick any from the bottom two options (see screen). Do remember to switch it back to the default when you are done with your stealth browsing.
Set Up A LinkedIn Search (Email) Alert
To save a search, first search by title or keyword, then click “Save” at the top of the results. For job searches, you can do an Advanced Search and then click on +Save (appears above the first result and toward the right side of the page). Type your Search Name and select how often you want get email alerts before saving the search. You can save three searches.
Find The Right Group To Join
LinkedIn has a vast Groups Directory. The last time I checked there were 1305496 results. The usual way is to follow your interests and join where like-minded connections have gone to. But to fine-tune your choices, use the Group Statistics feature on each group’s page. You can use information like the group’s comments and discussions chart, demographics, and location information to pick one closer to your calling. From here, you can also use the Similar Groups function that comes up under the dropdown next to the group’s name in the Directory.
Map Your LinkedIn Professional Network
Log into InMaps (a LinkedIn app) with your LinkedIn identity and take a color coded overview of the relationships you share within your professional circle. The color codes represent different associations from your career, taken from your previous work history, college friends or industries you’ve worked in. Zoom into the map and the visual changes to display color codes and names of the people you are connected to. Each color code stands for a specific relationship.
Export Your Connections
You can really mine your connections by taking them out from LinkedIn and adding them to your preferred address book. Click on Contacts – Connection. Click on Export connections located on the bottom right of the contact box. Then, in the next page choose your preferred address book format.
Waste Time With Tetris
A Tetris like game was the first social game brought into LinkedIn. DropIn is Tetris with another name. Instead of tetrominoes, you have faces of your LinkedIn contacts dropping down. The remaining gameplay is similar to the way you use arrow keys to rotate and arrange the cascading ‘contacts’. You can click on the DropIn squares and see what they have shared last.
LinkedIn remains a goldmine of information and a very relevant tool to further your professional career in the right direction. These tips will hopefully give a fillip to the way you use LinkedIn. Send in your favorite tips too. With ten, we could be scratching the surface.