LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, has been valued at £2.63 billion after selling shares at the top of an already-raised price range in its first public offering.

7.84m shares were sold for $45 each, to raise a total of $352.8m. Investors are obviously seeing the potential for the networking site that links companies with their customers and to seek prospective one. It is also an excellent online area for networking with fellow professionals.

With this in mind, here is a list of do’s and don’ts to ensure you are making the most of your LinkedIn account…

– Do customise your LinkedIn profile page URL name
Go to ‘edit my profile’ in your LinkedIn account and click on ‘edit’ next to ‘Public Profile’ a little way down the page. Change it to suit you and what you think will be both professional and memorable.

– Don’t invite everyone to connect
You may want to increase your connection list but it is important not to invite the world to be your friend. Be sensible about who you accept invitations from and equally give a reason for someone to accept your invitation.

– Do add your LinkedIn profile page to your email signature
For outlook click on ‘settings’ in the upper right hand corner and in the text box half way down the page labelled ‘signature’ enter a custom signature including your new Public Profile URL.

– Don’t oversell your self
Be honest when giving details of where you have worked, what you have done and qualifications. It is important not to be modest – it is important to sell your self to a point but just don’t exaggerate, just be honest.

– Do connect with your existing contacts
Click on ‘add connections’ on the left side of the screen and follow the process of letting LinkedIn scan your outlook or other contact lists. By doing so you will be able to invite your contacts to connect using the very easy process provided on the site.

– Don’t post unprofessional photos
Save photos of nights our partying and dancing for Facebook. Ensure that your photo is a simple head and shoulders shot with your smartly dressed – first impressions are important.

– Do use the Browser Toolbar.
The most important feature of the browser toolbar is that it adds a LinkedIn icon next to email addresses. This icon enables you to see a LinkedIn summary (job title, position in your network, number of contacts, etc) of any person who emails you. It also enables you to invite people to LinkedIn from your email account – making it easier to connect with people.

– Don’t forget to update your profile
By regularly updating your profile you will be kept at the top of your network’s minds as you will show up on their homepage. A few updates each week if sufficient but don’t over do it.

– Do use the Outlook Toolbar
This application integrates into your outlook and is useful in a few ways. Firstly, it adds a LinkedIn icon that is similar to the one described in the browser toolbar. It also enables you to update your outlook contacts based upon changes that people make to their LinkedIn profiles – keeping your contacts up to date.

– Don’t let staff loose on LinkedIn without a plan
You need to create a professional flow between all the profiles of the staff within the firm, which can then be linked from the main firm profile. Create a set of guidelines for them to keep to, this will ensure all profiles are professional.


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