Web Exclusive: Work LinkedIn Like a Pro

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Web Exclusive: Work LinkedIn Like a Pro

ASK AND ANSWER LinkedIn's Answers service allows members to pose or answer questions. Providing solid, helpful answers to the queries posted here is another way to extend you network. Asking interesting questions could spark a meaningful conversation as well. Self-referential questions like, "How can I find a job?" are frowned upon, for obvious reasons.


LinkedIn's Answer section is a great source of information and a good way to connect with people in a specific industry.


GATHER 'ROUND If you belong to a professional or alumni organization, look into LinkedIn for Groups, which has special features that allow members of an organization to expand their personal networks within and beyond the group. Browse through the Groups section to see if there is a LinkedIn group that you’re qualified to join. Or, if your group qualifies - it must have an "existing member base or affinity (and) serve a business or professional purpose" - start your own LinkedIn group. Go to the LinkedIn FAQ and click on Groups for details.


You can even hook up with other professional service providers - lawyers, doctors, plumbers, contractors - recommended by people in your network.




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There is a lot of idiotic advice here, such as "include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your email signature". The idea behind LinkedIn is that there is a level of trust in your network. Following this advice devalues the whole concept. Sooner or later, there will be no difference between an email address and a linkedin profile.

The real issue, however, is what is what LinkedIn is doing with all this information. The answer is: selling it. Anyone in a position of authority should be concerned that that information about his/her network can effectively be used to influence decisions. You can be manipulated through this by competitors and such ... which is the reason many people are avoiding it.

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