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New! Professional Networking Tips in LinkedIn for 2012 by Bernie Borges  1-10-2012    printer  

If you know me, you know that I have long been a proponent of using LinkedIn for professional networking. You may remember my post about staying in career shape. My point is that even if your career is going just fine, you still should stay in shape, just like an athlete never stops conditioning to stay in shape even after reaching peak conditioning.

This infographic from Mindflash depicts a terrific visual representation of what I call getting the basics right in LinkedIn. It’s a must see. In addition to the basics described in this beautiful infographic, I want to offer three simple and powerful tactics you can use in LinkedIn for career advancement. I strongly believe that even if your career appears to going strong, complacency is risky.

Professional networking in LinkedIn is not just about finding a job. Finding business partners or clients through professional networking in LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways to use LinkedIn.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile?

On the lower right side of your home page there is a link to Who’s Viewed Your Profile where LinkedIn displays the people that viewed your profile in the past 3 days. You’ll probably notice that some people do not display their full identity.  In your settings, you have three options of display when you view someone’s profile; 1) yourself with full transparency, 2) semi-anonymous, which displays your role and your industry, but it doesn’t reveal your identity, 3) completely anonymous.

I review who’s viewed my profile daily and sometimes I take follow up action. Sometimes, I send an invitation to connect with me on LinkedIn. Sometimes, I leverage the opportunity and ask for an offline conversation if I think it’s warranted. When a semi-anonymous user views my profile, I click through and LinkedIn displays a list of people, one of whom is the viewer. In some cases, I can guess at who viewed my profile based on recent activities that allow me to put 2 + 2 together, but not always.

Don’t hesitate to use these valuable insights to network and make offline connections. My point of view is that this is an open door. It’s up to you to go through it or not. Like anything else, sometimes it’s worthwhile and sometimes it’s not.

Saved Search

In the upper right, LinkedIn provides a search function. You can create searches and save them. If you have a free LinkedIn account, you can only save 3 searches, but you can change them anytime. If you have one of the premium accounts, you can save more searches. Consider creating and saving searches around keywords, jobs, companies or people you want to follow closely. LinkedIn will email you results of your saved searches daily or weekly, depending on the setting you choose.

Follow Company Profiles in LinkedIn

One of the least known features of LinkedIn is Company Profiles. Go to the Companies menu and search for companies you know and start following them (just click the follow button). LinkedIn will suggest other similar companies to follow, which can give you ideas of other companies to follow that may interest you.  You can gain valuable insights about companies you follow through their company profile. How many employees are you connected to? Review the products/services section of a company profile. Sign up to receive weekly LinkedIn updates from companies you follow to learn about new hires and departures as well as other company news. Don’t hesitate to follow your competitors. You can even click on the number of followers in a company profile to see who is following a company. You may find interesting people that way.

These are just three ways to raise your professional networking to another level in 2012 using LinkedIn to stay in career shape.  If you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments section.

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