10 Rules for Successfully Using LinkedIn

1. Verify the credentials of so-called “experts” by confirming their number of followers and first-degree connections, and viewing their profile.
2. Fraudulent endorsements, and especially recommendations, may lead to legal issues with the FTC or SEC since a profile with a recommendation may be considered an advertisement.
3. It may be illegal for employers and recruiters to view profiles when choosing possible candidates for employment, so focus on location, industry and keywords.
4. Profiles may be viewed once possible candidates have been chosen, so make your profile multi-media and do not include personal information.
5. Posts are the best way to promote yourself and to gauge your level of success by your number of followers, clicks, likes and comments. End posts with a blurb about yourself including links to websites. Include tags to help LinkedIn determine the relevant group in which to feature your post. Once the post has gone live, tweet it to your social media networks using a service such as HootSuite.com. Make certain that your posts are visible to the general public and not just to your first-degree connections.
6. After your profession in the professional headline, include a notice, such as “Open to New Opportunities” (for job seekers) or your tag line (for a company). If you are not looking for a job, and only representing yourself, only include your profession. Remember, your employer will be able to see this so don’t announce you are looking for a job if you don’t want the boss to know!
7. The more information in your profile, the easier it will be for you to be found.
8. Use your corporate profile to promote corporate activities.
9. Only share professional updates; personal or “cutesy” updates reflect poorly on you as a professional and are not suitable for LinkedIn.
10. The more people in your network the greater your visibility and influence.

Want to learn more?  Come to my presentation at the Science, Industry and Business Library, 188 Madison Avenue (@ 34th Street), New York, NY, Thursday, April 23 at Noon.  I’ll be speaking on  “Using LinkedIn to Get a Job,” but it will also be relevant for entrepreneurs.