“It is just bringing me more work, work I don’t have time for.”

I recently worked with a client who was a human resources manager. During the consultation, we talked about LinkedIn Control.

He revealed that he didn’t even log in to his LinkedIn account. He said “It is just bringing me more work, work I don’t have time for.”

He talked about how his inbox was flooded with requests to connect, from people he didn’t know. Suppliers wanting his company’s business. People trying to sell him their product or service.

He saw LinkedIn as a medium that brought him more work and people wanting things from him. He didn’t know how to control his account so he could use it to his benefit.

This client is not alone.

A recent article on infoworld.com quoted professional developer Peter Wayner as saying this about LinkedIn:

“It’s sure cool and it’s fun to look at hierarchies, but I’ve never had much luck with using it for more than idle curiosity.”

David Linthicum, consultant and chief technology officer at Blue Mountain Labs, has a much more positive spin. He uses LinkedIn several times a day. He says: “I use LinkedIn to get the information on people I may want to work with, may want to hire, and may want to network with. Most people in IT have LinkedIn profiles, and you can understand a lot about them from their profile.”

He has a problem with the site, though: “I get many people asking me to join their network who turn out to be spammers. You have to be careful who you accept.”

Some ways to take control of your LinkedIn account and have it work for you include:

Control Your Settings

By controlling your settings, you can take control of incoming communication notifications and emails. Under the Privacy and Settings option, you will see you have five main areas you can manage. These include: Profile, Communications, Group, Companies and Applications, and Account.

Manage Your Current Connections

You can keep your connections private. The default LinkedIn setting is that your first-degree connections can see who your other first-degree connections are. By making your connections private, you protect yourself and your connections. You can also block a connection’s status updates if you still want to be connected. But don’t want to see all their updates.

Curb Your Connection Requests

Carefully review any requests to connect. Inadvertently connecting with a spammer can compromise your account. You can also control who can connect with you by stipulating that they need to have your email address to submit a connection request. When someone requests a connection, you will receive an email as well as a notification in your profile. If you click on the tick, the request will be accepted. If you would like to find out more about the person, click on their name.

By taking control of his LinkedIn account this client was in a position to have his account work for him. Not against him.