Finding Connections on LinkedInIf you created a LinkedIn profile six months ago or a year ago and never use it, you are not alone. Or, you may only have ten connections and haven’t used LinkedIn for quite some time. If you are someone that has a stagnant LinkedIn profile, it is time to broaden your horizons and utilize this wonderful social media tool.

The first step in utilizing LinkedIn is to ensure that you are connected with people and potential business contacts. There are several methods for finding contacts within LinkedIn. In fact, LinkedIn makes it rather easy to search for those people you may already know. More importantly, the site lets you see the connections of those you are already connected to within the site. If you have an e-mail contact list, you may be able to import that list and match it up to those who are already using LinkedIn. Chances are, if these people are those you connect with via e-mail, they will be more than happy to connect with you via LinkedIn.

Secondly, you can ask a current connection to introduce you to one of their connections. This is a great way to get to know someone that could potentially lead to additional business, job opportunities, or a mentor within your field. Be sure to be specific when asking for a connection; people want to know who you are and how you found them. Mention that you have a mutual contact and hope to connect on social media through LinkedIn.

Finally, try to search by company or organizations. These can be companies where you have worked in the past or companies where you wish to work in the future. If you can connect with both current and past employees, you may find very valuable information about the organization. Also, connecting with past managers and co-workers gives you a great opportunity to ask for recommendations.

The most important thing to remember is that quantity may not necessarily outweigh quality. While it may be impressive to have 500+ connections, it is also imperative that these are quality connections that can be beneficial to you. When you agree to be connected with someone, you are also saying that you agree to help them as well. Connecting on LinkedIn is vital to your success on this social media site. Get started connecting today – search “Heather Rothbauer-Wanish” on LinkedIn and mention you saw this blog post. I look forward to connecting with you!