Four ways to maximize your LinkedIn experience

John Lindberg
John Lindberg

A dozen years after its launch, LinkedIn continues to be one the most effective networking sites for business professionals.

To maximize that effectiveness, however, you have to put in a little work, according to LinkedIn expert Wayne Breitbarth. In his book “The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success,” Breitbarth advises users that, once they have built a great profile, started growing their contact base and joining LinkedIn groups, they should take their networking to the next level.  LinkedIn has developed several advanced tools and techniques that can help on many levels including promoting a business, targeting sales opportunities and/or looking for a new job.

  1. Professional Gallery allows you to promote your past work and build credibility by sharing hyperlinks to various media such as presentations, documents, images or videos. The gallery is visually appealing and has an intuitive interface.
  2. Endorsements take your listed skills and expertise one step further by allowing your contacts the ability to endorse you for your particular skills. This creates additional activity within your contact group and increases exposure and credibility. This also helps drive your search ranking.
  3. Advanced People Search lets you find out who in your network knows someone at a company you may be targeting and gives you the ability to make a virtual introduction to the person you are targeting. You can also find people who have similar interests or organizations by clicking on these and searching “key words”. Searches can be saved for future reference.
  4. LinkedIn Alumni Feature allows you to search for alumni by specific year they attend school and also lets you sort by company, job function and city they live in. You can also target alumni from any school, not just the school you attended. Finding a common bond with someone you are trying to network with is a great way to build rapport.

With over 332 million members, LinkedIn offers global connections and exposure. By taking advantage of the tips Breitbarth suggests, users can take full advantage of the nearly limitless networking opportunities universal access presents.