Local News

LinkedIn pays dividends for networking professionals

Posted June 26, 2009 4:18 p.m. EDT
Updated June 27, 2009 3:21 p.m. EDT

— Networking to get a job or get ahead in the business world is an art – even when it comes to brand-new networking tools like the Web site LinkedIn.

Gregory Brewer quickly learned one lesson in how to maximize his profile on LinkedIn: how to get a free, professional head shot.

"It's kind of almost a requirement that you need to showcase yourself in a professional manner," Brewer said. "I had a picture, but it was something that was cropped from a photo I took on a trip to China."

Another way to maximize your profile is to get recommendations from others and make sure you return the favor in kind.

"Those people that you're reaching out to get help from, what can you do for them? Like mother always said, it's better to attract bees with honey," Brewer said.

The site can also yield inside information about companies.

"I have an interview coming up next week, went on LinkedIn, found a person that worked at that company, got an introduction to them," Brewer said. "They were able to share some information inside the company and what it was like to work there, which was very useful."

Pathfinders, a Triangle-based group, has developed a training course in how to properly set up an online profile.

They shared some of their tips on the proper use of LinkedIn:

  • Don't use it as a social tool like Facebook.
  • Don't forget to spell check.
  • Don't decline people who request to link with you.

If someone gets declined five times, LinkedIn won't allow them to use the tool. "Instead, archive, so it looks like you ignored them," Brewer said.

Professionals, such as Brewer, know that the game of getting a job is all about helping each other.