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Regardless of your profession, you should be using LinkedIn. Why? Because it can serve as a virtual portfolio for you work and accomplishments. If you’re making out your New Year’s resolutions, may I suggest one? Spruce up your LinkedIn profile. Here are four tips to help you use your LinkedIn profile to the fullest.

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  1. Recommendations: Under each job position you can request recommendations from colleagues or supervisors. Even if you have a colleague just says that you’re a reliable person with a great attitude, that fantastic! Maybe a classmate who you worked on a project with? Or if someone can give you a character reference, that’s great too. Recommendations are a MUST, so find someone, somewhere who can share a good word about you.
  2. Work Samples: Under each job position you enter, be sure to include upload work samples. When you do this, you transform your LinkedIn profile to a virtual portfolio. If you’re a student, this can be a research paper, assignment or presentation. If you’re out of school, upload work samples frequently.
  3. Research: I love researching people and companies on LinkedIn. I like to type in the name of a company that I dream of working for, then look for who I possibly know that works there. If I don’t know anyone, a list of employees will appear. Search through those names for someone who does what you’re dreaming of. Click on their profile and check out their experience. How did they get there? Look at this to see how you can get there? Do they have a master’s degree? Do you need one? You can also send them a message and ask to meet. Utilize this for informational interviews. Research possible employers & follow them.
  4. Networking: LinkedIn can serve as a virtual business card holder. In October, I flew to the Midwest to see my migraine specialist. While on the plane ride home, I noticed the girl sitting next to me was reading a book about marketing. I inquired and we struck up a conversation. Turns out she’s the Director of Marketing for a Corporate Risk Management Service company. We talked shop and at the end of the flight we exchanged business cards. The next morning, I logged onto LinkedIn, found her and requested to be her friend with a personal note saying how nice it was to meet. After that, I recycled her business card. No need to save it now that we’ve connected on LinkedIn. (Tip: Always write personal invites and maintain new connections.)

How do you use LinkedIn?


What are your tips for success?