For many years, it seemed like LinkedIn cruised along without making many changes. As a result, many people, both on a personal and business level, set their accounts up and then left them to stagnate. Over the past year, however, LinkedIn has made a lot of improvements to the site, so if you haven't updated your profile in a while, now is a great time.
One of the first things you'll want to do on LinkedIn is freshen up. How recent is your profile picture? Is the info about your company still accurate? Is your listed skill set up-to-date? These things change over time, so if your information isn't current, it's time to update it. Doing so will not only help more of the right people connect with you, it will also give you a boost in profile visits, as people are more likely to click on profiles that get regularly updated.
The second thing you'll want to do is nurture your connections. You probably already have a few (or a lot) of connections on LinkedIn, but how often do you really connect with them? Sending out a few messages and getting some conversations going can be really helpful, and can also alert you to the presence of others who may be good connections. Now's a better time than ever to expand your network, so don't be shy about it.
Lastly, take advantage of LinkedIn's ability to make you a go-to kind of person. If you're an expert in a particular field, show it by answering questions, talking to others in the field, associating yourself with the best of the best, and networking with people whose skill sets are complementary to yours. This is where the true magic of LinkedIn happens, because as you show yourself to be a true expert, others will endorse you for your skills, and this in turn helps make you more visible as well as more credible. You can also endorse others as a way of acknowledging their skills and building further connections.
LinkedIn lagged behind for a while, but now it's the social network for business that it always had the potential to be. If you're not making the most of it, you're missing out, so log in today and see what features have been added and updated since last you visited the site.