By Lindsay Gallmann

ProfessionalIt is time.  You’ve put it off long enough. It’s time for you to get that new-you feeling- LinkedIn.  A profile on LinkedIn will re-identify your professionalism, expand your network and fine-tune your interconnectivity.

-LinkedIn membership includes executives from all 2010 Fortune 500 companies.

-According to Jesse Noyes, Corporate Reporter for Eloqua, LinkedIn’s hiring solutions – which includes recruiting, job posting and subscriptions services – represents 41% of its net revenue.

Expansive

-LinkedIn’s membership grew by one million new members every ten days since fall 2010.

-Its 100 million members reside in over 200 countries, and over 50% of these members live outside the US.

Interconnected

– LinkedIn uses information on the site to acquire data about your companies listed on your profile.  Your job listings will automatically reveal links to profiles of all those who have been and continue to be involved with the particular company.

-With options to display business presentations, upload and manage files, link your Twitter account and synchronize your blog to your LinkedIn profile, third party applications on LinkedIn keep your colleagues close and your customers closer.

How to begin?

Your profile will be the first thing people associate with you.  Upload a crisp headshot to prove you are a credible source and list all areas of experience to promote your qualifications.

Optimizing your profile will increase relevance on search engines. When you hyperlink URL addresses to your company’s site or your personal blog site, make the default display text the name of the actual site (“Dezinsinteractive” for example.)  Also, using keywords in your experience descriptions will make your profile more searchable.

Recommendations from co-workers and employers will reveal how others value your expertise. Utilize the option to ask select contacts to recommend you on LinkedIn.  Simply click on the blue “Ask for recommendation” button on your profile, and follow the directions.

Build your network by adding connections! You can either browse your e-mail address book to find contacts already LinkedIn or search for people you know in the box on the top right.

Post your profile URL address to relevant Web sites, blogs, cards, email signatures, Facebook pages, etc, in order to promote your LinkedIn identity.  Don’t forget to update your profile regularly.  The less you update, the less likely people are to interact with you.

Create a company profile following the same steps for creating a personal profile. To leverage your company’s likeability, share information about your industry by creating a group LinkedIn and inviting others to join.