Some of you may have been directed from Getting the most out of LinkedIn, if so, thanks for sticking with me.
For those who have just joined us, this section is a quick guide on how to use LinkedIn effectively once you’ve got you’re profile and everything else set up. Even if you have it may be worth having a quick glance just to see if you’ve already done everything. Don’t worry, it’s pretty much all in bullet-points.
LinkedIn. Now what?
There’s quite a bit going on in LinkedIn, more than it immediately appears as some of the really useful features are tucked away.
I’ll go through the majority of things for you but as is my style, I’ll only go into them briefly so the points I’m trying to make aren’t lost. Now see the menu bar at the top? We’re heading there. I’ll point out the navigation to certain areas from there. Onwards…
MORE > ANSWERS
This is probably my favourite part of LinkedIn. Be warned, it’s very easy to get addicted to it and spend far too much time here. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding your way around here. What you should be starting with is the ‘Ask a Question’ box, and the advanced answers search.
1. Put a short question here, and then hit next
2. Clarify your question. make sure other people can make sense of it
3. Add relevant categories. It can be removed if it isn’t
4. Make sure it’s not recruiting, promoting or job seeking. Sometimes a grey area if you’re asking for advice about one of those things.
5. Ask your question
6. If you like, send it to your contacts. I prefer to just open it to everyone.
That’s it. With any luck you’ll start to receive useful responses and maybe a tiny bit of spam.
Your question will then be open for 7 days (you can extend this) at which point it is closed. You then have the option to choose a best answer, several good answers or just be done with it. Good etiquette to award people with good/best answers if you feel they’ve earned it.
Right, haul yourself over to ‘Advanced Answers Search’, it’s to the right of ‘Answers Home’. Here you can perform searches for certain questions by keyword or category. If you’re a true Renaissance man you can just hit search and it will return everything. If you’re gunning for those expertise points try ticking the ‘Show only unanswered questions’.
Alternatively, subscribe to individual category RSS feeds and let them come to you. You can do this by going to the Answers home page and selecting a category on the right-hand side and you’ll spot it, again on the right-hand side.
Glad you asked. You can earn expertise by answering questions with helpful, considered answers. You’ll notice this when you start taking part yourself.
Here you can see which questions you’ve asked, and those you’ve answered. If stats are your thing there’s a mini display on the right-hand side.
Some answers to Q&A FAQs
– You can ask 10 questions per month
– Answer 50 questions per day
– Yes, the system is open to abuse but your professional reputation is at stake
– You can clarify a question you posted but not directly edit one
– You can’t delete it either, but you can close it.
– You can delete your answers and you can clarify them
MORE > SKILLS
Still in beta, this tool is to enable you to list all your skills. Admit it, we all have things we occasionally forget about and this is quite good at jogging your memory. As you search for skills it suggests new ones, lists related companies, jobs, groups and people. Neat.
MORE > GET MORE APPLICATIONS…
This feels as though it hasn’t really taken off all that well. There’s only a handful to choose from, but there again that is maybe a good thing. The Behance.net Creative Portfolio Display is quite good.
Here you can search for various companies and see a list of any you’re affiliated with. Find companies that interest you and follow them if you so wish.
Another great feature is the groups. Some have privacy settings enabled so you may have to submit a request to join. Useful to keep the riff-raff out.
Check for alumni groups and other professional groups, sign-up and get involved. it’s not simply enough just to have the badge on your profile, you should be really taking part. It’s quite fun. Share an interesting piece of news or ask for some feedback on a project.
You’ve Forgotten Something
Well I really just skipped a few things. There’s enough to keep you going for quite some time. I can suggest that you check out the jobs section, though currently the number of geographic areas where the jobs are based seem to be focussed around major and capital cities. I’m sure this will change in future.
Have a poke around and see what you can find.