LinkedIn doesn’t have to be just a virtual Rolodex or a place to make business contacts. The social network has among its more obvious offerings a few hidden gems that are useful to both the novice networker and the power player.
Create a printable résumé
Many LinkedIn users have already uploaded their work history and contact information to the site, so it seems only natural to be able to create a résumé you can print and take with you. To get started, visit LinkedIn’s Résumé Builder. Just tweak a couple of options like the template and the content and you have a nice printable CV that you can hand out to potential connections.
Plot your career path
LinkedIn’s Career Explorer is a great service for help in determining how to make the next step in your career. The online tool will show you what others with similar experience and education to yours have done in the next phase of their careers. The Explorer also has lots of other goodies like national data and trends, literature you should be reading, and recommends people in your network that you should connect with.
Export your LinkedIn contacts
You can easily transfer from contacts from LinkedIn to another service by visiting this page and selecting from the available options. You can save your address book in one of several spreadsheet formats tailor-made for Outlook or Yahoo! Mail or as a VCF file which is compatible with a Mac OS Address Book.
Job seekers and avid networkers will appreciate this tool that allows you to quickly and stylishly link to your LinkedIn profile from your email. There are several templates to choose from and you can customize the info that you include in the signature. You can also can include an image alongside your contact information.
Build a “career tree”
Newsweek.com provides a way for you to visualize your life and career, the result of which resembles a family tree. You can test it out using your own LinkedIn profile or the profiles of people like Jon Stewart or Barack Obama (below). The site also offers the option of building the tree from scratch sans LinkedIn and to share the results on Facebook or (you guessed it) LinkedIn.