I have been using for so many years, I can’t tell you when I started. What I can tell you is that I wish this had been available when I first entered the workforce. I have lost track of so many coworkers and friends. And it fascinates me to see how the careers of my family and friends have progressed. I even have a vanity URL for my profile at

Update from Liz: "Great article and tips for new users. All my professors while at university made sure students had a page set up, it's a great interactive way to show your resume work and network."

image has become the standard for promoting yourself in the modern workplace. No one passes paper resumes anymore unless they are applying for minimum wage jobs. I use LinkedIn profiles on the CRM Team blog as the sigline for our contributors. And I when I was a hiring manager, I used the profiles to review candidates for my open positions.

Here are my suggestions for the new user.

image1. Be crisp about who you are. Poorly written job histories, with different spellings of your name and weak job descriptions won’t help you sell yourself to a potential new company.

2. Use the SUMMARY to indicate what you are especially good at that might not be reflected in your job history.

3. If you run a non-profit, teach at a local college, or have other after work activities, consider including them in your work history. Some of my hobbies like running a globally recognized Saxophone forum helped me get the job of my dreams.

image4. Consider including EVENTS and Reading Lists on the profile. I attend worldwide conferences every year, sometimes as a speaker. This might be interesting to my next employer.

5. Take queues from people in your industry and friends to help you tailor your profiles. If you like something on their profile, adapt it for yours.

Take the time to recommend your friends and coworkers who really are good at what they do. I have done that for years, especially has a manager. I really appreciate good employees and want to thank them in many different ways. This is a good way to do just that.

Join the 21st Century and use the social media tools that are available to you. I like to use and promote the best in class sites, especially when they are free. But don’t wait until you need it, start now and build the profile over time to be a fair representation of you and what you can bring to the table.