What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a business social networking site that allows you to post your resume, connect with colleagues, business acquaintances and friends from school, past & present employers, and other organizations and groups you associated with in your life. You can also get recommendations from them about yourself which would give prospective employers an idea of who you are, your work ethic, any projects completed, etc. You see, 40% of the U.S. is searching for a job. That number is probably higher considering all the recent layoffs and our current state of economy.  So it is natural to want to have a competitive edge over others..and that includes your LinkedIn Profile. Here are some tips you should follow:

1) You need a Profile picture! Do not send out generic invitations when asking for connections! People want to see a face--yours!

2) Write the most compelling headline possible! Tell everyone what you do in your headline..for example, "I Consult with Small and Medium Companies in Social Media" instead of "Social Media Expert". Tweak your headline every month.

3) Get Recommendations! This will build credibility and add value to yourself. Do not have zero recommendations! Just imagine an employer looking at your zero and someone else's 10 recommendations. Who do you think that employer will focus on?

4) Create your custom URL in your public profile. Put your first and last name after LinkedIn/.

5) Under websites, use "phrases" instead of the actual domain name. For example, "Save 75% off Luxury Travel" instead of GRNTravelClub.com. This will brand you.

6) Use Niche words such as Online Marketing when describing your Current/Past work experiences.

7) Add a lot of Connections. Go ahead and spam your connections! It will show on the left side below your picture. The key to networking on LinkedIn is to get not only First Connections, but Second and Third Connections as well. Usually someone from your First Connection introduces you to someone they are connected to (who would become your Second Connection). Then your Second Connection introduces you to someone they are connected to (who becomes your Third Connection).

8) Join Groups. It is on the left side on the home page. Use niche words such as "online marketing" or your product or service when browsing for Groups, then join. Not only do you get to belong to a targeted Group, the members of the Group will check out your Profile. In addition, if you have your Twitter and FaceBook info posted, you may gain some "followers" and "friends" as well!  Another thing to consider is to start a Group and be the Group Owner. You will be perceived as an Expert.

These tips were presented by Lewis Howes, LinkedIn Expert.

Please feel free to check my Profile out: