Your LinkedIn Profile: How to Choose Contact Settings

Before you dive right in and start updating your LinkedIn profile, stop and think about what kind of profile you want to construct and show to the world. Specifically, think about how you want to use LinkedIn. For example, some people just want to add to their network, but others are actively looking for a job.

You can have many reasons for using LinkedIn, and you can identify yourself through setting up your contact settings on LinkedIn. The settings you choose mainly depend on how you plan to use LinkedIn. You can always go back and update your contact settings as your situation changes.

You can select from eight main contact settings in your LinkedIn profile. Each describes a type of opportunity that lets other people know how to approach you on the site:

  • Career opportunities: You're looking to augment your skill set so you can advance your career, or you want to network with people who could approach you with a career opportunity now or in the future.

  • Expertise requests: You're available to provide expertise on your main subject areas to someone with a question or opportunity.

  • Consulting offers: You're open to receiving offers for consulting work.

  • Business deals: You're open to doing a business deal, either for your main job or an entrepreneurial venture. Deals here could range from supplier/vendor requests, launching a new line of products, or doing a joint venture.

  • New ventures: You're interested in participating in a new company as an employee, co-owner, financier, or anything else.

  • Personal reference requests: You're open to providing references for your first-degree connections.

  • Job inquiries: You're open to receiving job offers or interests.

  • Requests to reconnect: You're interested in old friends, colleagues, and classmates and wouldn't mind if such folks sent a request to connect with you on LinkedIn.

After you select your settings, they appear as a bulleted list on your profile. In addition, they help determine (and potentially block) the type of communication that you receive on LinkedIn. For example, if you aren't interested in job inquiries, you shouldn't receive any direct solicitations to apply for a job.

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