For many professionals, LinkedIn serves as a powerful networking and business development tool. The first step is to complete your profile and aim to get it as close to 100% complete (according to LinkedIn’s measurement) as possible. Then you are ready to add connections and build your network.
LinkedIn offers a tool to integrate your Microsoft Outlook contacts to your LinkedIn account. This creates an automatic mechanism for you to invite those in your Outlook database to join your network. This may seem like a great way to double the size of your network with the click of a button; however, there are both pros and cons to this system.
While there are those in your Outlook address book you want as part of your LinkedIn network, there are probably those you don’t just because you don’t really know them, or even remember who they are. Including someone in your LinkedIn network is your implicit endorsement. You may be asked to make an introduction or asked about that person. That’s the much of the purpose of linking.
While searching for and adding contacts requires a bit more work than simply uploading a list, it demonstrates that you are serious about hand-selecting who you include in you professional network.