LinkedIn is the social tool for the business world — and having a holistic understanding of how to best use it can catapult you ahead. We’ve got the BoardroomPR dish on all things LinkedIn: from building your personal brand, to growing your business, to expanding your network – here are our favorite hacks to ramp up your LinkedIn experience.

– Whenever you make a new connection in a professional scenario, whether it be over a drinks or in a conference call, establish the synapse in your brain to follow up with a LinkedIn request. Being tapped “IN” to an expansive LinkedIn network grants you incredible access to possible connections and new relationships for you, and your peers. Try to make this a habit.

– Follow brands, companies and influencers that inspire you. You can keep track of them in your feed and who knows? Maybe you’ll be the first to see that your dream workplace is hiring, or have an opportunity to attend a reading of your favorite CEO’s new book.

– Complete your profile. It sounds simple, but many people leave gaping holes in their profiles – from their education to details on employment. Having a full profile is the best way to make you searchable to recruiters, future employers and colleagues, and the like. You want to present the most fleshed out, best version of yourself. And most importantly, remember that although many of the features are similar, this is not Facebook. Make sure your profile picture is professional and contextually appropriate.

– Write and receive recommendations. When you exit a job, ask your former boss or colleague to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn upon giving your two weeks notice. It’s a nice, tangible touch and asking at this time – should you be leaving on a good note — will make their referral fresh and authentic. It’s helpful for hiring managers to see positive referrals right off the bat, and makes the process that much more efficient.

For an example of a rockstar LinkedIn profile, check out our very own Julie Talenfeld’s page! She’s got it all going on – a great photo, 500+ connections, a full profile, recommendations both given and received, and is a frequent poster and participant in the “conversation” online.

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