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LinkedIn Is A "Recession Happy" Service - Are You Using It?

It's interesting to watch the growth of LinkedIn during these troubled times (ie, redundancies). I can almost detect those that have lost or think they're going to lose their job by the flurry of activity as they connect themselves to those around in order to cushion the change.

But merely connecting to others you already know on LinkedIn misses out on a larger audience - those seeking you because of your skills.

A while ago Chris Brogan wrote Write Your LinkedIn Profile for Your Future that is of the same mind:
It’s an opportunity to stay connected to people, and to demonstrate where you are now, and where you plan to go next.

Chris then outlines a stack of very practical tips to achieving that:
  1. Review your LinkedIn profile. Look at it as if you’re a prospective new boss, or a client. Would you hire YOU to do something? If not, rewrite it. Keep it tight. Do as much editing as you can.
  2. Enter your blog’s RSS feed on the profile page. People want more color.
  3. Add a photo. Not one of those weird grown up versions of a school class picture. Find a good candid. If you don’t have one, go to a social media meetup. Someone will snap you a good one. Worried about discrimination? Guess what: they’ll figure it out eventually. Get it out of the way up front.
  4. Start writing quality recommendations for people you can vouch for. If they can do the same for you, ask for one back. If not, hold off. No sense making someone feel awkward.
  5. Grow your network. LinkedIn and I don’t agree on this. I say connect to whoever. It helps you build a network. (I only recommend people I can vouch for, and to me, that’s where who you know or don’t know really matters).
  6. Keep looking at your profile as it applies to your future.

The one insight I would share is that true, deep and ultimately useful connections are not made in the panicky moments surrounding a redundancy (although I most certainly understand why we all do it) but during the more solid and smoother times. Take the long view on the use of LinkedIn and start small, stay with it and make sure you're consistent.

Good luck everyone that currently needs it.

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