Thursday, August 8, 2013

Linking In and Reaching Out

Kevin mentioned LinkedIn during the Go Show this week, here are some tips on using LinkedIn to build your network.

Use LinkedIn’s mobile applications
After launching its iPad app, LinkedIn became available on all mobile platforms, including Android, iPhone and Blackberry. This makes the site that much easier to use when you’re traveling for work or attending a conference. LinkedIn has also added a handy tool called “CardMunch,” that lets you take a picture of a business card with your phone, which then automatically adds the person to your connection list and immediately sends them a connection request.  (I have been playing with this app the last few days and it's worth the download!)
Make use of company pages.
This isn’t a new feature, but many people don’t take advantage of the fact that there are more than 2 million companies on LinkedIn. Go to the grey bar at the top of any LinkedIn page, hover over “companies,” and you will be able to search any company you like. Once you find the company, you’ll instantly see all the connections you have who work there. LinkedIn also gives you a list of company employees who went to your alma mater. You’ll see both first degree connections, who are on your contact list, and second degree connections, who are connected to people you know. These lists present you with instant networking opportunities.  (FYI, Go Realty has a page and the Go School will have one next week.)

Look for contacts at your alma mater
This is another feature not everyone knows about: Under contacts, you can search directly for people who went to your school. This presents yet another networking opportunity. 

Add volunteer work.
Especially for students and younger workers, volunteer work can augment a profile. If you’ve organized a fundraiser, written a catalogue for a school auction or built homes for Habitat for Humanity, do add it to your experience. Just note in parentheses that you volunteered your time.  Gives you a great reason for a soft touch with someone who has had a similar experience.