Are you? I hope so.

If not, the first thing you need to know is that you can get LinkedIn for FREE. So, if you’re not LinkedIn, finish reading this post (and leave a comment), then use the link at the end of this post to go register at LinkedIn.

Set up a basic profile for yourself. I’ve seen people procrastinate on this, because they don’t have all their career information, need to write a paragraph about their responsibilities, blah, blah, blah. You don’t have to fill in every single detail to get started. Just do it.

LinkedIn has a meter that tells you how much of your profile is completed (measured in percent), but mine’s not 100% complete, and it works just fine for me. Check it out, if you want to some ideas to kick start your own profile.

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All you need is a your name, most current job info, and a business photo is a nice touch, especially in the design community (visual people.)

istock_000007356865xsmall_gold-starSo, what is LinkedIn, anyway?

It’s a social networking sight that helps you connect, and reconnect, with colleagues, power your career by discovering inside connections (especially important when you’re job hunting), and get answers from experts in your field (or share your own expertise to position yourself as an expert and a shining star in your own right.)


If you are already LinkedIn, is your profile just sitting there, or are you making it work for you?

A great way to make it work for you is to join some of the LinkedIn groups and forums. Search the list of groups and sign up for a half dozen that interest you, and ask for daily updates on new posts. Read the questions that others in the group post, and “lurk” until you feel like you want to post an answer or two. You know you  have something to share. You know you want to shine. If you have a question of your own, post it, and see who else answers.

You can showcase your knowledge and expertise this way, and the big thing to know is that headhunters and other money_treerecruiters read these posts watching for talent to match to jobs they are trying to fill. Jobs that are higher level and not advertised.

The next thing to know is that when you make yourself visible and informed and let your light shine, you will make connections. Every time I post a question or an answer, I get a half dozen e-mails from other members and new invitations to Link.

A colleague and I are planning to give a Lunch and Learn on using LinkedIn for our colleagues at Lawrence Group as a business development tool. We both have have found work for the company, and I have been approached by recruiters.

More on LinkedIn from me in a later post.

If you have any tips on social networking sites or strategies or tactics for them, please post your information.

Here is the > link < to the registration page for