Search
Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Professional Networking » Career Networking Tips: ...
Career Networking Tips: Get Started on LinkedIn

Career Networking Tips: Get Started on LinkedIn

Dos and Don'ts for Using LinkedIn to Network and Establish a Personal Brand

By Larry Buhl, for Yahoo! HotJobs

LinkedIn is fast becoming an important part of the modern "Job Search 2.0," a powerful way to build your network and your professional brand, according to Neal Schaffer, the author of Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn.

"Recruiters and hiring managers now see LinkedIn profiles as an alternate resume, and sometimes go looking for employees before they receive your query or even before there's a job opening," Schaffer says.

But many professionals don't know how to take advantage of its potential and therefore miss out on opportunities. "LinkedIn has a lot of potential to improve your sales and your visibility," says Arden Clise, etiquette columnist for the Puget Sound Business Journal. "But many sign up and then forget about it, or they don't use it in the ways they could."

Here are the dos and dont's of using LinkedIn:

Do Complete Your Profile

Experts suggest writing your profile in a way that demonstrates value. And you should include a photo, according to Clise. "People from the past contact me, but if I can't see them or if they haven't filled in their jobs or education, it's possible I won't know who they are."

Do Make Your Profile Unique

Liz Ryan, a former Fortune 500 human resources executive and the leader of AskLizRyan.com, advises using the LinkedIn profile to create a strong personal brand. "We already see way too many 'results-oriented professional with a bottom-line orientation,' so use your profile to tell us more about what makes you tick and what sorts of business situations you're looking for."

Do Write a Headline

Ryan adds that the headline field under the name is an important but often overlooked branding tool. "Put a human voice in it," she advises. "You don't need to put your current title in that headline field. Tell us who you are as a working person. 'B2B trade show marketer interested in the intersection of social media, content and trade shows' is a lot more interesting than 'Trade show manager, XYZ Plastics.'"

Do Ask for Recommendations

Well-written recommendations can be strong selling points. But use this feature judiciously, advises Schaffer. "Recommendations make sense only when they come from someone you've worked for, he says. "Friends who say you're great don't have much weight on LinkedIn."

Do Take Advantage of Groups and Advanced Features

Being active in LinkedIn groups is a great way to find connections and build your brand. Schaffer sees LinkedIn groups as a "virtual industry conference."

Do Give

"Don't start asking out of the blue for favors," Clise says. "Approach any network, including the one on LinkedIn, with the intent to give and serve others, so when you need a favor, others will be glad to reciprocate."

"There are a million ways to contribute, but a great one is the LinkedIn answers feature," Ryan adds. "Browse through the questions others have asked and lend your expertise there. It's a good way to get your ideas out there and make some contacts at the same time."

Don't Brand Yourself a Job Seeker

It may seem counterintuitive, but recruiters and hiring managers often prefer "passive" job seekers to people who are actively looking, according to Schaffer. "It's the issue of 'We want someone who doesn't need a job,'" he says. "You can talk about your experience, your expertise and your value on LinkedIn, but if you brand yourself as actively looking for a job, it may not have the effect you intend."

Don't Spam

Using the InMail function to send bulk messages only clutters up your contacts' inboxes and wastes their time. If you want to communicate, use the Q&A function, interact in groups or ask people to sign up to the auto-responder. If you join LinkedIn groups, don't flood members with emails like "See what I have to say on my blog."

Don't Ask for a Connection with Someone You Haven't Met

LinkedIn is about professional connections. The emphasis should be on quality, not quantity.

Don't Annoy Users with Extraneous Updates

Professional-sounding updates to your profile can be a good way to keep yourself in others' minds. Unlike with other social networks, however, updating on LinkedIn more than once a day is overkill. And irrelevant updates can hurt your brand more than help it. "I gave a presentation at a local small business seminar last week," is an appropriate LinkedIn update. But "I just had a yummy fruit smoothie" is the kind of thing that's better for other social networks. 

Latest Jobs

CertifiedSafety
Posted: 08/22/2014
League City, TX, 77573
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 08/22/2014
New York, NY, 10017
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 08/22/2014
New York, NY, 10017
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 08/22/2014
Deerfield, IL, 60015
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 08/22/2014
Melville, NY, 11747

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.45.50-223
eTrustLogo