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LinkedIn is a Web 2.0 networking site that’s all about business. However, if you just slap up a quickie profile, send out a few invitations, then rarely visit the site, nothing much will come of it. Here’s how to get as much out of LinkedIn as you put into it.
TAG YOURSELF In addition to making sure your profile is painfully complete and up-to-date, consider the keywords someone might use to search for a person with your qualifications. Add these keywords to your profile to make it easier to find among the 10 million-plus others on LinkedIn.
GET RECOMMENDATIONS Ask people whom you've worked for and with to write short recommendations for you by going to the Request Recommendations page, and selecting the contacts from your network. According to LinkedIn, users with recommendations in their profiles are three times more likely to receive relevant inquiries and offers of work.
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE Include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your email signature, so people can quickly check your resume and recommendations. Allow your LinkedIn profile to be indexed by the major search engines too. Go to Profile, click Edit My Public Profile, then create a Public Profile URL (type your name in the field provided and make sure "full view" is selected).
EXPAND YOUR NETWORK Establish your own guidelines for accepting invitations too add people to your network, and keep your own guidelines in mind when you send invitations to others. Most people won't accept invitations from total strangers. If you want to be added to someone's network because you think that your connections could be mutually beneficial, search their network to see if you have a friend or associate in common who can introduce you via LinkedIn.