LinkedIn fans say – Facebook is for fun. And tweets have a short shelf life. If you’re serious about managing your career, the only social site that really matters is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site that has over 75 million users. The purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain an online CV and a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. It puts the emphasis on connecting with people professionally.

How LinkedIn works:
• A contact network is built up consisting of your direct connections.
• You can then use your network to find jobs, people and business opportunities.
• Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.
• Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.
• You can post your own photos and view photos of others to aid in identification.
• You can now follow different companies and groups, get notifications about them, offers available etc.

Some facts:
• A new user joins LinkedIn every second.
• Oracle head-hunted CFO Jeff Epstein via his LinkedIn profile in 2008.

LinkedIn is all about you and your career, your credentials, and your achievements… so here are my top tips for LinkedIn:

• Present your professional skills as attractively as possible, packing your profile with keywords, for example, ‘Marketing Manager’, ‘Global Sourcing Specialist’, or even ‘President of the United Stated of America’ (yes, even Barack Obama has a LinkedIn profile).
• Your aspirations.
• Maintain your connections – be attentive to your inbox activity.
• Get recommended – it is the equivalent of a testimonial.
• Ask questions and give answers – and link to your blog articles.

LinkedIn has largely replaced the normal paper-based CV, so make you keep making regular updates to your profile. When someone Googles your name, your LinkedIn profile is probably going to be in the top 3 results.

You never know who might be checking you out!

If you’re interested, my LinkedIn profile is here: