As a LinkedIn power user, I tend to be on the site all day, every day. This is because the network is so readily available for information, advice, connections, introductions and to keep up with those in transition.
It is a quick way to connect in a professional way anywhere in the world or just across the street. LinkedIn can provide a significant amount of information when used with intent and understanding of what it can do.
Here are 10 ways you can use the system to benefit you in your career search or in promoting your career.
1. How to use InMail like an email
Keep up with peers, companies you may be interested in or old friends. It’s easy to go to a page and review the information or to message those who are connected to you on LinkedIn.
The good news is that you don’t pay for InMail messages to individuals you are connected to on a 1st basis.
So, the message here is, "Connect with more people to build your network."
2. Start researching and investigating
You can research industries or individuals when prepping for an interview, looking for target companies or find someone from a specific company in which you need to connect.
It is a key source for investigation research within business today.
3. Stay connected with former colleagues
LinkedIn is a fantastic way to stay connected to work friends once you depart a company. You can even stay friends with peers and colleagues from years ago.
It is even possible to connect with people in other countries. If you need a recommendation or reference from that old boss from 25 years ago, find him on LinkedIn.
4. Here’s how to make Introductions on LinkedIn
You can introduce or get introduced through LinkedIn. All you do is message the person you want to introduce while adding the person of interest to the message.
Write a nice note about the person you are introducing and a thank you to the one who you want to help the individual.
Once everyone is talking you can leave the conversation. Allow them to continue the conversation. Think of it as a new way to make friends and influence others.
5. Easy connection to email
One of the remarkable things about LinkedIn is that it will connect to your personal or work email, so you do not miss any messages.
You do not have to keep LinkedIn open or watch the profile for emails. They just appear on your email scroll like all others. You can click and respond to return messages.
6. Congratulations and notifications
Have you ever discovered a friend or old colleague received a promotion or a new job a year ago, but you never wished them well? Use your notifications link to keep up and send congratulations in these situations.
If connected on LinkedIn, you do not have to worry that you will not see a change in status. If the person makes the change you will get the noticed.
The only issue is in cases where the connection has the notification button turned off. I have used it extensively to send messages of congratulations, good wishes, and even condolences to those in my network.
7. Finding general help and instructions
Under the Work icon at the top right of your screen, you will find a host of additional business service and product options for the professional user.
You can even get quotes from pros in a large listing of specialties right from your desktop.
If you are a pro, consultant or want to get on the list you can apply for consideration. There are many special webinars and LinkedIn connections here.
8. Finding learning options
Next to the Work Icon, you will see a LinkedIn Learning icon. This is where you can get additional training on a variety of topics right on your desktop.
No need to go searching for a training on body language, interviewing candidates, listening to top execs on specific topics or general business topics. Just click and listen.
9. Pay attention to your metrics and views
When in transition being viewed is vital.
With LinkedIn, you get a summary of those who have viewed your page so that you can reach out for a connection.
It is a great marketing tool even for those with their own business.
10. Always watch the jobs listings
While there are many job boards to view and keep up with when in transition I find the job listings on LinkedIn to be very robust.
Not that other job boards are not worthy, but LinkedIn allows the viewer to see the job, “easy apply” in many cases and then connect to key people in the organization all in the same place.
No other site gives the ability to research, apply and connect in one.