LinkedIn lets you digitally "network," but what exactly does that mean? Is it just a professional Facebook? If you ask the people who know it really well, the answer is no. We asked a LinkedIn employee to share some ideas about how to use the network and its features to its fullest.
In the LinkedIn app, there’s a function listed in the "Add Connections" section that lets users sync their personal calendar to their LinkedIn account. Mark Hull, a senior product manager, explains that before an appointment, you’ll get a push notification with background information about the person you’re meeting.
Hull uses the site’s notifications to practice what he calls "lightweight" networking: Congratulating someone on a promotion, adding a comment to an insightful post, or recognizing a work anniversary, all based on news that’s pushed to him, rather than the mix of updates that show up in his feed. "As small as it is, it shows you care," he says.
When Hull wanted to work more effectively with his data science team, he used Lynda, the online-learning service acquired by LinkedIn, to take a course in the programming language Hadoop. And Lynda’s not just for work. Hull spends his downtime "learning how to produce electronic music with a course on beat-making," he says.
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A version of this article appeared in the December 2016 / January 2017 issue of Fast Company magazine.