I read a book over Easter called Let's Connect: Using LinkedIn to get ahead at work written by Ajay Jain, a blogger and journalist.
The book is not a manual about LinkedIn and how to use it but a book about the principles behind using LinkedIn as a networking tool and the philosophy behind it. In it Ajay talks about how you can make the most of LinkedIn, the worlds largest network of professionals with over 17 million participants, for your professional career. Let's Connect is based on his research and interviews with participants on LinkedIn and is full of great quotes and real examples of effective use of the LinkedIn network.
I signed up on LinkedIn in September last year and it has turned out to be a great move. I have learned a lot from Questions and Answers, got to know great people and got projects and business opportunities I would never have imagined. Part of it is thanks to Ajay Jains white paper on how to use LinkedIn which was the start of this book.
This new book, Let's Connect, is full of great tips on how to make LinkedIn work for you. I realized there is still so many opportunities on LinkedIn that I haven't fully utilized yet. Business is all about communication between the right individuals and LinkedIn is the place to start that communication. As Ajay asks at the beginning of his book, "Do you want to be Linked In or Linked Out?" The choice is yours. It's a network of professionals on all levels, including executives from almost all the Fortune 500 companies, known authors and specialists. One of Ajay's examples of users of Answers is Barack Obama who posted the question: How can the next President better help small business and entrepreneurs thrive? A smart use of the LinkedIn network.
The most valuable chapter, and by far the largest, is chapter 5 "Ten ways to get LinkedIn to work for you". There Ajay covers these ten topics:
i Your Ever Expanding Rolodex
ii LinkedIn Answers: A Global Focus Group
iii Networking Plus
iv Branding and Marketing Yourself
v Hiring People
vi Finding a Job You Love
vii Finding Vendors and Service Providers
viii Running Background Checks
ix Entrepreneurs: Get Opinions and Investors
x Selling & Brand Building
I would have liked to see more on using LinkedIn for personal branding, but then again, personal branding is one of my special interests. Other chapters where eye opening for me about subjects I had not given much thought before.
If you are serious about advancing your professional career and making the most of your personal brand and your network, LinkedIn is a must and Ajay's book "Let's Connect" is your guide, whether you're new to LinkedIn or not.