Most professionals could gain more value from LinkedIn and here are seven simple techniques for reinventing the way you use the social network:
1. Provide updates.
2. Study status updates and share resources.
3. Get to know those you know.
4. Study the people looking for you.
5. Explain why you are connecting.
6. Send a follow-up note after connecting.
7. View profiles to get profile views.
I discuss these points in greater detail in my recent column here, and ultimately conclude that technology has made it much easier to add context to what was otherwise a cold call or e-mail just a few years ago. Take advantage of that new level of familiarity. LinkedIn makes networking universally accessible, since it is both practical and strategic without requiring you to be bold or outgoing.