LinkedIn can be a helpful tool to help you find a new job or make long-term career plans. But to take full advantage of all the social network can give you should spend some time and get to know the web. You may want to make sure that your profile and work description is correct, and that you are aware of all the features of the site.

Whether you’re a job-seeker or a recruiter, LinkedIn has far more to sell to its members than just a company link cataloging program. Here are three features you may not have learned that can turn you from a casual LinkedIn user into a powerhouse for industry.

1. Skills and Expertise Searches

Skills and Expertise Searches

You’ll find a link for “Skills and Knowledge” under the “More” tab at the top of the site. This function is designed to help members see where their skills fit into the over 100 million members of LinkedIn’s grand scheme, and get ideas for more professional growth.

For example, in this feature a search for Twitter gives a long list of related areas of expertise. It also includes web related companies as well as some of the top professionals listing Twitter on their profiles. You can also see demographic details on the subject, with a chart showing Twitter professionals’ ages, the number of people listing the network as a talent, and Twitter’s relative growth as an expertise.

This feature will provide you with some insight into the situation of your specific skills in the wider business world, as well as some ideas for other topics that might be helpful. Via this app, you can add skills directly to your profile, and it also has a “See Suggested Ability” option, which provides personalized recommendations. Different skills can be found on your profile as well as the number of members listing the experience and how much the number has improved in the past year.

2. Third-Party Apps

LinkedIn has a wide range of in-house and third-party applications to extend basic product capabilities. Its purchase of SlideShare, for example, means members can use the SlideShare Presentations software to display presentations and videos on their profiles. It will make your profile special and encourage showcasing your past work.

Other third-party solutions include Box.net file sharing applications and Manymoon project management platform; these applications will help improve the LinkedIn productivity. Other apps are built to create the social connections required for successful business. You can take a screenshot of a business card using the Cardmunch app and automatically convert it to a contact on LinkedIn. In the paper trail it cuts down on the potential human mistake of losing a card at a major networking case. LunchMeet is another framework that emphasizes the social interaction. Sign in with LinkedIn and post your location and availability for lunchtime, then search for other users with whom you might want to catch a snack.

Third-Party Apps

3. Premium Account Features

If you are a serious member of LinkedIn, upgrading to a premium account will open up some additional features which will help you create connections. The Profile Organizer is among the most useful. It helps you to organize profiles and links into folders. You may also add contact information and profile notes. Different accounts send you specific folder numbers, so that an Executive member can organize contacts into 50 folders.

Other features allow paying members to receive messages through OpenLink from every other user on the network, making you available for communication without sharing your contact details. You may also apply for incorporation inside the companies that you are targeting. With advanced filters it can also make your quest more accurate. Such premium features will especially make hiring an easier task.

Did you try out any of those features? Know any other lesser established features of LinkedIn that pack a punch? Tell us in the comments!

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