Networking at Indoor Classic Car Review & Auction

Networking at Indoor Classic Car Review & Auction
3766 Boston Rd Bronx, NY 10469
Date: 31 July 2010, Saturday 02:00 PM

Sponsored by Savvy Intrapreneur and iPower Global Solutions, experience a different type of networking venue with excellent opportunities to meet liked minded business professionals. Travel back to yester year when life was simpler. An egg cream was 5 cents, a movie was 10 cents AND cars were built to last. CELEBRITY CLASSIC CARS INCLUDE REGGIE JACKSON'S's 1992 Ford Mustang 5.0 and 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger previously owned by Illusionist "CRISS ANGEL OF MIND FREAK".

Get more details and RSVP on LinkedIn at Networking-Indoor-Classic-Car- Review/pub/379575

More information and online registration: Networking at Indoor Classic Car Review & Auction

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4 Career Networking Tips That Work

Many of us look at networking the way we look at going to the dentist. We know we're supposed to do it, but we really don't want to. So we put it off until, one day, something goes wrong and we have no other choice.

The way networking is usually presented makes it seem incredibly unappealing. It defies our natural tendencies: it seems insincere and sycophantic, and for introverts in particular, it seems to require becoming a whole new person--one who is fearless and gregarious, and who never encounters an awkward silence.

But networking isn't really about forcing yourself out the door to attend networking events where you'll present your elevator speech and hand out your business card to as many people as possible. It's about developing genuine relationships with people who will be there for you even when you don't need them. So how do you do that?

1. Become the type of person other people want to meet.
This is the key message of "Guerrilla Networking," by Jay Conrad Levinson and Monroe Mann. This strategy may be particularly appealing to introverts, who can be put off by traditional networking tips that seem to require being outgoing.

"Why work your butt off to meet people when you can put that same energy into becoming an interesting person within your field, and then benefit again by having the same people you want to meet ... come up to you?" the authors ask in their book.

"Meeting people can do nothing for you if you yourself have nothing interesting to offer," they add. (If the idea of networking makes you anxious, check out "Networking Tips for Shy People.")

Some of their networking tips take time to achieve--you can't become an expert in your field or attain media exposure overnight--but others you can implement immediately. Offering to help people, smiling, and sending an email are easy for anyone to do.

2. Be more interested in other people than you are in yourself.
Almost everyone is much more interested in themselves than they are in you. And almost everyone, given the chance, will talk about themselves rather than really listening to you. So set yourself apart by following Dale Carnegie's time-tested advice from "How to Win Friends and Influence People": become genuinely interested in other people.

There's something truly interesting about everyone. That being said, what do you do if you can't find that something about the person you're talking to? Move on. The beauty of effective networking is that quality is more important than quantity. You don't have to click with or be friends with everyone. (Social networking can be a valuable job-search tool and a serious liability. Find out how to keep Facebook from ruining your job prospects in "6 Career-Killing Facebook Mistakes.")

3. Be more concerned with collecting business cards than with handing them out.
If you think handing out your business card is a great way to make new contacts, you're dead wrong. When you hand someone your card without getting theirs in return, the ball is in their court. You have no way of contacting them again.

In "Guerrilla Marketing," Levinson recommends that when you get someone else's card, you jot down notes about what you talked about on the back and follow up the next day. With your quick follow up, that person will be more likely to remember who you are. Remind them what you talked about and show them that you were actually paying attention to what they had to say, and you'll really make a great impression.

4. Join clubs.
Don't just join clubs for the sake of meeting people for networking--people will see right through your insincerity. Join clubs that do things you are genuinely interested in. You'll already have at least one thing in common with everyone else in the group, and you'll have a much better chance of developing a relationship that could one day lead to a job than you will by attending random networking events. New people are always visiting and joining clubs, and there are plenty of clubs to join, so your network will never get stale. Best of all, you will probably have fun and make friends, so building your network won't feel like drudgery.

The Bottom Line
It's not a bad idea to always have your elevator speech in mind and a business card in your wallet, but those strategies alone aren't going to get you very far. The same goes for staying in touch with people even--or especially--when you don't need something. Yes, you should do this, but you should do it because you really care about those people, not because you hope that your investment in birthday cards and postage will pay off one day when you're unemployed. The real secret to networking is to be sincere and to be the best version of yourself.

by Amy Fontinelle,
Posted on

Seven Steps That Could Change Your Life © By Rod Colon

It is a procedure that’s been tweaked to near-perfection over the past five years but will undoubtedly be tweaked many more times whenever improvements are discovered, tested, and evaluated.

To do this, your CEO business brain must think in four dimensions, i.e., remember that each component (networking, CEO mind-set, value proposition, and methodology) becomes supercharged when combined with the other three but has ample horsepower to stand on its own when the situation calls for it.

This will be challenging work and at times you may become frustrated. But the payoff is substantial: You will cut yourself free from the grip of The Black Hole. Instead of being dependent on people who don’t know you to advance your career goals, you will learn to network your way to an interview, job or contract by leveraging the power of advocates — people who not only know you, but like you, trust you and will gladly help you to “connect the dots.”

Decision Time: Do It Right or Don’t Do It at All

The 7-Step Job Search Methodology comes with a few caveats. Please make sure you understand them because each has a critical purpose. The omission of any one of them may nullify your best efforts.

· This is a 7-Step Methodology. Not four. Not six. Seven. You must execute all seven steps for the methodology to work. If you skip a step, the methodology will not work. If you forget a step, same result.

· Think of the methodology as a giant loop: When you reach Step 7, you must go back and start the process all over. Do not expect to achieve success by stepping yourself through the procedure a few times, getting discouraged, then abandoning the effort. Keep working the process. There is momentum and magic in the repetition.

· You need to make a genuine effort to understand each step. You must say to yourself, “What’s going on here? What is Rod really asking me to do?” You can take your chances on following the steps blindly, but if you’re not sure why you’re doing them, what good can they serve?

· The “7 Steps” are listed in sequence. Do Number 1 first. Do Number 3 third, and so on. Arbitrarily changing the sequence renders the methodology useless.

· You cannot afford to be indecisive. At various points in the methodology, you’ll need to make tough decisions. Make them! You’re the CEO of a business!

· The “7-Steps” provides strong probability — but no guarantees. There is a far greater chance of finding a job with this system than through The Black Hole.

· Thoroughly familiarize yourself with the use of LinkedIn. It is an integral part of the procedure. If you think you’ll need assistance with LinkedIn, please find a good reference or browse through some online bookstores.

Seven Steps: High Level Overview

Step 1

First, you will determine what your core skills are. Everyone is good at something; so what are your skills, talents, and abilities? What would be a suitable title for someone who does your kind of work?

Step 2

You call your work by a particular name; now it’s time to find out what the marketplace calls it. Are you a Java Developer? A Financial Analyst? You’ll make good use of a web site called to perform this task. You’ll also get a first look at opportunities that may be a good fit for you. The importance of this step is that it helps you determine the market demand for your skills (i.e., the spot market; a snapshot of what the prevailing market conditions look like).

Step 3

Now, using LinkedIn and your networking skills, try to identify advocates; these are people either in your network or in the networks of friends, business contacts, etc… who can “connect the dots” for you within a targeted company to get your name circulated among key decision-makers. At this step, you are performing “networking research”, that is, you are not actually reaching out to these advocates yet, just identifying who they are.

Step 4

You will then develop your value proposition consisting of: 1) a targeted resume; 2) a cover letter (or T-Letter), and 3) the job description itself. In this step you are building your case for the job. Since these documents will either make or break you, you will want to have them as close to perfection as possible.

Note: Although the value proposition consists of 1) the job description, 2) the targeted resume, and 3) the T-Letter, you will only actually submit the resume and cover letter. Decision-makers don’t need to see the job description. We include it as part of the value proposition to make sure that we keep ourselves properly tracked with its requirements while engaging advocates.

Step 5

Once you’re SURE you understand the position for which you’ve identified suitable advocates, prepare to connect with them. For advocates who are in a decision-making role, you'll place a call to them and sell, i.e., your “Sales & Marketing Team” swings into gear. With advocates who are friends, or friends of friends, you'll network to establish a communications chain to the decision makers (your “Research & Development Team” manages this). In all cases, you will document all contact with advocates to ensure timely and appropriate follow-up.

Step 6

After that, you will submit your value proposition as instructed and set up a specific follow-up schedule. You will track your contact with all advocates to ensure that no follow-up calls or e-mails are forgotten.

Step 7

Finally, you will repeat the process. As the CEO of a business, you never settle for having just one client. When you’re in transition and actively looking for work, your goal should be to find at least one new client a day.

Contact me for further details on how these seven steps will change the CEO of ME, Inc in you.

Best wishes and keep networking alive,

Rod Colón, Career Coach / Professional Speaker / Author


Empowering Today’s Professionals Network

Running the Business of "ME"


Win The Race For 21st Century Jobs Video

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Don't Miss These Upcoming Events At The Charlotte Business Journal

You Have To Register with The Charlotte Business Journal

Mid-Year Economic Update

Join us on July 29 for an update on the economy from a national, regional and local perspective. SunTrust Chief Economist Gregory Miller will address the questions everyone is asking.

Gain an insider's view on the state of the Charlotte region's economy and a forecast of what's ahead. A question and answer session will immediately follow Mr. Miller's address.

Mid-Year Economic Update
When: Thursday, July 29, 2010 11:00am - 1:30pm
Where: Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, 201 E Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Suggested Dress: Business

Smart Reader Leads Generation Workshop

Supercharge Your Sales

Join Ollie Chandhok, Circulation Sales Executive of Charlotte Business Journal, as he guides you through the Charlotte region's premier source of business news and sales leads. In addition to learning how to identify new customers, increase your bottom line and stay ahead of the competition, you'll learn how to obtain contact information on over 1,600 companies in the Charlotte region. He'll also share with you behind the scenes information on stories, daily email updates and upcoming Charlotte Business Journal events. We even share ideas on how other businesses and professionals use the Charlotte Business Journal to get customers and increase their business! This seminar has great value for subscribers and non-subscribers alike.

Smart Reader Leads Generation Workshop
When: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 8:00am - 9:30am
Where: 1100 S. Tryon St., Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28203
Suggested Dress: Business Casual

From WSJ Careers

If the economy has affected your employment prospects, consider applying your skills in a new industry. The health-care, high-tech, energy and life-sciences sectors of the economy continue to drive demand for professional and management talent, according to some recruitment-industry consultants.

But before leaping to another field, you’ll need to first identify the right industry and reposition yourself as a legitimate candidate.

Find an area that interests you. A hobby or personal interest may lead to your next career. For example, if you are in financial services and are a technology buff, consider looking at in-house finance positions at tech companies.

Learn the landscape. To assess opportunities, research the market for your functional areas of expertise and the relative health of any sector you might go into. Look beyond research on compensation and industry trends by educating yourself on how a company or industry runs and any pending legislation that may affect the employment outlook in a field. Review analyst reports, scour RSS feeds, and set up Google News Alerts by keyword once you’ve narrowed a field of interest.

Examine your experience. Identify transferable skills and value. It’s not uncommon for professionals to cross industries. In those cases, you’re hired not as an industry expert but as an innovative leader with potential. Try working with a career adviser to identify your strengths and figure out what differentiates you and what might put you above others with experience in your targeted field.

Develop a communications strategy. Create a core message that shows your value and identifies your point of differentiation. Use your resume, cover letter and networking sites such as LinkedIn to build visibility and credibility. To refine your message, consider, an interactive site that will help you create a summary statement.

Consider a recruitment agency. Some agencies will present clients with candidates who aren’t industry insiders. Many clients are willing to consider cross-over talent in industries where the demand for talent exceeds the supply. To find firms that work with “cross-over” talent, check out recruiter directories such as,, and

Be prepared for compensation adjustments. A change of industry may affect your bottom line; prepare your financial strategy in private and show that you can adjust. “Demonstrate that you are willing to put your own skin in the game,” says one recruiter.

Carl E. Reid, Chief Savvy Intrapreneur | Tel: 201.222.5390 | Develop a Career Insurance Backup Plan
Connect with me: | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Google Me | YouTube | Savvy Intrapreneur
Savvy Intrapreneur is a proud sponsor of the new book
"Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs" by Rod Colon - watch book video trailer
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Empowering Today’s Professionals Network

The ETP Network (Empowering Today’s Professionals) is a networking training organization that teaches its members 1) how to network effectively and continuously improve their networking skills; 2) how to adopt a CEO-like mind-set for managing their careers; 3) how to create a powerful and compelling value proposition to make themselves as attractive as possible to decision-makers; and 4) how to fuse the three preceding skills into one megaskill while following a well-engineered and precisely targeted 7-step job search methodology.

As part of this training, we teach members how to leverage the power of advocates, individuals who know you, trust you, and are willing to “connect the dots” for you if the circumstances warrant it. We leverage the power of these advocates to help you “network your way” into organizations or companies of interest. Let's start with our mission.

The ETP Network Mission
Our mission is to encourage, train, support, mentor and advise fellow CEOs in all areas of responsibility to their Personal Board of Directors.
The key to a successful CEO enterprise is accomplishing these five goals:

1. Secure a job/business where passion and income intersect
2. Build a trusted personal network of 200+ people
3. Create a career backup plan
4. Generate multiple sources of income not in conflict with the primary source
5. Become a networking leader

Our Guiding Principle: Own Your Career — Run It as a Business
You take ownership of your career when you make the decision to run it as a business, complete with CEO (you), a Board of Directors (your family) plus R & D (networking and business intelligence), Sales & Marketing (interviews) and all other components that make up a fully functional organization.

At first, many individuals struggle with this paradigm. They think it’s silly, uncomfortable, or inconvenient; some actually believe it’s all three. But once they begin to apply it in real-life situations, they quickly see its value because it forces them to take responsibility for their actions. Suddenly, there is no room for excuses, no blaming others for bad decisions or errors in judgment. It finally hits them: Success or failure is totally in their hands.

Knowing that the safety and security of a Personal Board of Directors is your “corporate responsibility” every day is a powerful motivating force to keep you relentless in your job search and focused on your objectives.

Are you too tired to draft a targeted resume? Look at the faces of your children and think about how much they depend on you. Maybe you’re too weary to track down one more well-matched opportunity? Listen to the voices of your loved ones and read their body language. You owe it to them to be successful.

Own Your Career. It’s a powerful, emboldening statement. In three short words it captures the essence of the ETP Network’s philosophy and serves as a powerful differentiator between the ETP Network and other more traditional networking groups. It also represents the difference between Black Hole thinking and CEO of ME, Inc. thinking.

It’s easy to see why I chose it as the ETP Network’s tagline!

Best wishes and keep networking alive,

Rod Colon, Career Coach

Empowering Today’s Professionals (ETP) Network

Four Things Employees Need From Leaders by Cleve Stevens

Thursday May 6, 2010

In 2000, Cox Communications' Arizona branch hadn't met a budget for three years, their P&L was in shambles and morale was in the cellar. Today, the branch models organizational effectiveness, and is the U.S.-based company's largest and most successful region. A $1.6 billion operation blanketing the state, it is envy of cable systems industry-wide. What caused this dramatic change in success? All it took was a reevaluation of leadership style, and the profits followed.

Steve Rizley took over Cox Arizona at this pivotal time. A caring but tough, naturally gifted leader, Steve immediately went to work focusing on the people in his organization. In wise hands, this transformational style of leadership yielded staggering growth — like growing from $700 million to $1.3 billion, in little more than two years. So what's at the heart of their version of leadership?

The traditional or transactional leader says "I'm the leader — you're the follower; I have something you need (money) and you have something I need (labor). So let's make an exchange." Transformational leaders like Steve understand that there is something bigger at stake. He not only challenged his people to grow professionally, but also personally — emotionally and intellectually.

Within this new paradigm, there are four non-negotiable human needs that the transformational leader recognizes must be satisfied if he and his people are to succeed:

First, and arguably most important, is the need to love and be loved. It sounds touchy-feely, but people who are not both receiving and giving love — and by love I mean focused concern and action directed at another exclusively for that person's good — cannot be fully healthy, biologically and psychologically. We usually think of love as beyond the pale in the work-a-day world, but the transformational leader vividly understands that tough-minded caring is essential to leading and developing a powerful, fully expressed workforce.

Second is the need to grow. The only alternative to growth is death and decay. The transformational leader recognizes that stasis, or maintenance, is a myth that only exists in the human imagination. Nowhere in nature do we find such a thing as stability. Even in a balanced ecosystem, there is either expansive, unfolding growth, or degeneration, decay and ultimately death. By creating a culture that allows our people (and ourselves) to grow, we are expanding our capacities as leaders, as employees, and as human beings.

Third is the need to contribute. Like a battery, this need is best understood when we think of it as having two distinct poles. The negative pole reminds us that that which does not contribute is eliminated. We see it in nature all the time, and at a primal, pre-conscious level we all seem to know this fundamental fact. Failing to contribute in a significant way yields a gnawing, just-beneath-the-surface anxiety of which we are usually only vaguely aware. The other pole, the positive one, answers this anxiety. When we are contributing in a significant way we have an inexplicable peace of mind. We know we belong. The simple principle at work here goes something like this: life works when we forget about ourselves and contribute to others. To feel fulfilled and empowered, employees must know they are contributing to the whole.

The fourth and final need to be met for full leadership, effectiveness and happiness, is the need for meaning. We are meaning-seeking creatures. If our lives lack a clear sense of meaning, if we are not engaged in some larger purpose, we will not be fully satisfied, regardless of whatever else we may have.
The transformational leader understands that satisfying all four of these needs may not be easy, but when they are being met in the day-to-day affairs of his or her people, something magnificent begins to emerge: people instinctively play a bigger game, and show up in a more passionate, creative, engaged and effective way. The consequences are difficult to argue with — hard, measurable, and in many instances, astonishing results.

Have you ever worked for or known a leader who addressed any of these human needs? Did his or her leadership style improve the performance of the organization?
Dr. Cleve Stevens is a transformational leadership consultant to CEOs in the Fortune 500. He is founder and president of Los Angeles-based Owl Sight Intentions Inc. You can reach him at

(The above was sent by Sam Anson)

Sam Anson
Business Development Executive
TechnoSphere, Inc.
155 North Washington Avenue
Bergenfield, NJ 07621
201.384.7400 main office

609.882.2998 direct
fax: 201.385.8243
cell: 609.658.1421

Institute for Entrepreneurship

Start Your Business Now

SBX 7525-501
What do you really need to start your own business? Much more than luck! Come listen and learn about the key business elements that are critical to your success. Free.

Date: Thursday, August 26
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Institute for Entrepreneurship

Market Research Tools
SBX 7813-501

Discover the variety of market research tools such as statistical websites, questionnaires, focus groups and observational research that give you critical information about potential opportunities and threats in your industry. Get the data you need to test feasibility of a new business or interest in a proposed new product or service.

Date: Monday, August 30
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Institute for Entrepreneurship

Nonprofit Trends SBX 7884-501

Nonprofit organizations are an integral part of today's society. Trend analysis is critical for start-up and established nonprofit organizations and helps them prepare for sustainability and growth. Stay "in the know" to plan and prepare for your nonprofit success! Free.

Date: Wednesday, September 1
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: North Campus

To register for seminars please call 704-330-4223

Naomi's Notes:"Don't Give Up"


It is known in the business world that 10% of companies will go out of business each year. Not everyone is meant to own a business, and that is okay. Many have tried and have realized it is easier and better for them to work for someone else. If you don’t want to deal with the risks and pressures of so many responsibilities of running a business, don’t stress yourself out by doing so.

How will you keep from being part of the above mentioned 10%? There are many factors that keep someone in business.

1. If you do commit to running a business, take it serious and do it right. It will take a lot of capital, time, sweat, tears, and working a whole lot more hours than you would working for someone else. However doing so over a long period of time can be a very rewarding experience. Think positive all of the time.

2. Having a clear sense of focus and a purpose are two of the keys to get through the daily challenges. When we have a purpose, we will give it our all and even lose a lot of sleep trying our best to make it work.

3. Being able to foresee any obstacles, which there always are, gives us the ability to plan and manage profit and loss.

4. Marketing your brand, product, or company is critical to anyone staying in business. Look at Coca- Cola as an example. Everyone knows what the taste of a Coke is and clearly knows the brand name. Coca- Cola does not stop reminding you of their name. It is imperative for them to keep this marketing in their budget no matter what.

5. Have a daily system to present your product or service to produce revenue.

6. Be honest. Others will learn to trust you and respect you.

7. Make mistakes. We all do! Learn from them and strive to do better the next time. Work smart.

8. Think on your feet quickly. Sometimes we have to make immediate decisions that can either cost us or help make a profit, depending on the choice we make.

9. Spend time growing yourself. Learn from books, seminars, other successful business owners, or anyone that can give you positive guidance. Don’t ever stop learning.

10. Networking. Let others know about what you do and work to also help them. This takes time and practice, but can be very beneficial.

11. Pray. God can give us strength to make it through anything.

12. Love what you do, including the business side of it.

There are many other things that could be added to this list, which include constant budgeting, employees, training, insurance to protect your business (general liability, workmen’s comp, employer’s practice liability, business auto, hired/non- owned auto, etc.), taxes, office space, managing overhead costs, brochures, promotional items, coming up with new ideas, and many more. We will try to cover some of these in a later newsletter.

The main ingredient for anyone serious about staying in business is to never give up. Yes, it does mean that you will be working hard. See challenges as opportunities to learn something. Keep working smart and see yourself as a winner!

by Naomi Hulme

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone by Chip Hartman

To all …

Not long ago I had lunch with ETP Network COO Carl Reid. During our conversation, Carl shared his thoughts on the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone in order to make progress in any endeavor. Long after Carl left, the message reverberated in my brain and it does so today still.

Because I believe this principle may be far more relevant to ETP Network members than first recognized, I will soon be writing an article about the various ways in which job seekers are giving new attention to this axiom in order to break free of their comfort zones and make true progress.

Then I had a better idea. Why not invite ETP Network members to submit their own stories about how they willingly abandoned the comfort of the familiar to embrace the challenges of the unfamiliar? It sounded like a good idea, so …

If you are interested in being “profiled” in the upcoming article, please send me a paragraph or two summarizing what you did to escape the dead-end tug of your comfort zone. Please be sure to answer the following questions in your write-up:

1. What did your comfort zone consist of? (What kind of a rut were you in?)

2. What did you do to “break free” of it? (What obstacles did you overcome?)

3. Were you successful? If so, can you positively link the success to your courage in confronting the unfamiliar?

4. Did you learn anything about your capabilities as a result of your experience?

If interested, please send me an e-mail message with your story. By sending the story, you will be giving me permission to use it as part of the article and allowing me to edit your words.

I must receive your e-mail message by Mon., June 21 in order to include your story in the article.

Thanks for your interest.

Best regards,

Chip Hartman
ETP Network, Editor-in-Chief

973.331.0948 (tel)

973.331.0937 (fax)

862.207.9504 (cell)


Guy Kawasaki's article Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn

Although a few years old, Guy Kawasaki's article Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn, is even more timely now.

For our Twitter users
RT @guykawasaki How to Change the World: Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn

Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn

* The average number of LinkedIn connections for people who work at Google is forty-seven.

* The average number for Harvard Business School grads is fifty-eight, so you could skip the MBA, work at Google, and probably get most of the connections you need. Later, you can hire Harvard MBAs to prepare your income taxes.

* People with more than twenty connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five.

*All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and above employees.

According to my inside sources, the person with the most pending LinkedIn invitations is…Guy Kawasaki. (Though I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed of this factoid.)

Most people use LinkedIn to “get to someone” in order to make a sale, form a partnership, or get a job. It works well for this because it is an online network of more than 8.5 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries. However, it is a tool that is under-utilized, so I’ve compiled a top-ten list of ways to increase the value of LinkedIn.

1. Increase your visibility.
By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results (which is a major plus if you’re one of the 52,000 product managers on LinkedIn), people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.

2. Improve your connectability.
Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities.

You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people to see all your credentials, which would be awkward if not downright strange, as an attachment.

3. Improve your Google PageRank.
LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you.

To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web> For example, when you comment in a blog, include a link to your profile in your signature.

4. Enhance your search engine results.
In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicize websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website,” “My Company,” etc.

If you select “Other” you can modify the name of the link. If you’re linking to your personal blog, include your name or descriptive terms in the link, and voila! instant search-engine optimization for your site. To make this work, be sure your public profile setting is set to “Full View.”

5. Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks.
LinkedIn’s reference check tool to input a company name and the years the person worked at the company to search for references. Your search will find the people who worked at the company during the same time period. Since references provided by a candidate will generally be glowing, this is a good way to get more balanced data.

Companies will typically check your references before hiring you, but have you ever thought of checking your prospective manager’s references? Most interviewees don’t have the audacity to ask a potential boss for references, but with LinkedIn you have a way to scope her out.

You can also check up on the company itself by finding the person who used to have the job that you’re interviewing for. Do this by searching for job title and company, but be sure to uncheck “Current titles only.” By contacting people who used to hold the position, you can get the inside scoop on the job, manager and growth potential.

By the way, if using LinkedIn in these ways becomes a common practice, we’re apt to see more truthful resumes. There’s nothing more amusing than to find out that the candidate who claims to have caused some huge success was a total bozo who was just along for the ride.

6. Increase the relevancy of your job search.
Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work experience like yours to see where they work. For example, a programmer would use search keywords such as “Ruby on Rails,” “C++,” “Python,” “Java,” and “evangelist” to find out where other programmers with these skills work.

7. Make your interview go smoother.
You can use LinkedIn to find the people that you’re meeting. Knowing that you went to the same school, plays hockey, or shares acquaintances is a lot better than an awkward silence after, “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

8. Gauge the health of a company.
Perform an advanced search for company name and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This will enable you to scrutinize the rate of turnover and whether key people are abandoning ship. Former employees usually give more candid opinions about a company’s prospects than someone who’s still on board.

9. Gauge the health of an industry.
If you’re thinking of investing or working in a sector, use LinkedIn to find people who worked for competitors—or even better, companies who failed. For example, suppose you wanted to build a next generation online pet store, you’d probably learn a lot from speaking with former or WebVan employees.

10. Track startups.
You can see people in your network who are initiating new startups by doing an advanced search for a range of keywords such as “stealth” or “new startup.” Apply the “Sort By” filter to “Degrees away from you” in order to see the people closest to you first.

11. Ask for advice.

LinkedIn’s newest product, LinkedIn Answers, aims to enable this online. The product allows you to broadcast your business-related questions to both your network and the greater LinkedIn network. The premise is that you will get more high-value responses from the people in your network than more open forums.

For example, here are some questions an entrepreneur might ask when the associates of a venture capital firm come up blank:

*Who’s a good, fast, and cheap patent lawyer?

* What should we pay a vp of biz dev?

* Is going to Demo worth it?

* How much traffic does a TechCrunch plug generate?


These additional ideas came in through comments:

1. Integrate into a new job.
When people start a new job, ordinarily their roots aren’t that deep in the new company. However, with Linkedin, new employees can study fellow employees’ profiles and therefore help them get to know more people faster in a new company. (contributed by Vincent Wright)

2. Scope out the competition, customers, partners, etc. This seems like it’s a no-brainer, but you can use LinkedIn to scope out the competition’s team as well as the team of customers and partners. For example, your competitor’s vp of marketing came from Oracle…she’ll probably believe that business is war. (Kev)

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