Because LinkedIn has made quite a few changes recently, this is a good time to update my "LinkedIn hidden features" list. When I tell audiences about these features and tools, the reaction is typically, "I didn't know I could do that on LinkedIn!" And I'm confident you'll find several of them that you'll want to start using immediately.

1.  Give them a shout-out. Here is a really cool but simple way to get someone's attention when either sharing or commenting on a status update.

Just type an "@" sign prior to including someone's name in an update. When you find that person in the list provided by LinkedIn, their name will be hyperlinked to their profile. At the same time LinkedIn will send them a message notifying them Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 3.32.23 PMthat they were mentioned in your update. You can do the same thing with company names.

When you have multiple people in your network with similar names, this can be more challenging. Therefore, enter the person's last name if they aren't found correctly when using their first name. The extra effort is worth it.

2.  How many connections is 500+? You can now get reasonably close to the actual number by going to the person's profile and scrolling down to their Activity box, where you'll see how many followers they have. That number includes their connections plus people who have clicked the Follow button on their profile. Thus, you can't get the exact number, but it should be pretty close to the number of connections they have.

3.  What are they talking about? While you are at their Activity box, click See all activity to see what the person has been sharing in their updates for the last six weeks or so. If you want to get their updates automatically going forward, just click Follow. 

4.  I'm not really interested in what you have to say. If someone is sharing updates that are really not in your areas of interest but you don't want to disconnect with them, just scroll over to the top right-hand corner the next time you see one of their updates and click the Unfollow [their name] option. Then you will no longer receive their updates in your feed.

5.  Find the experts and see what they are writing about. You can search the entire LinkedIn database of long-form published posts (articles), even those written by people you are not connected to. Just use keywords in the search box on the top toolbar, and then select Content from the toolbar that's displayed just below your main toolbar.

6.  Who went to your school and where do they work now? LinkedIn refers to this as Career Insights. It enables you to see a complete list of all the people who attended or are attending your school, and you can filter by:

  • Where they live
  • Where they work
  • What they do
  • What they studied (major)
  • What they are skilled at
  • How you are connected

You can access this by entering the name of a university or school in your top toolbar. Choose the school page when it appears on the drop-down, and then click the blue See alumni button. This is a great tool for recruiting. Trust me—you are going to love this one.

7.  It is your data. Get this one done ASAP. You can request a CSV file from LinkedIn that is a complete list of all your first-level connections, including first name, last name, current company, current title, primary LinkedIn email address, and the date you connected with them.

Get yours by going to the Me icon on the top right of your toolbar and selecting Settings & Privacy. Choose Privacy, and then scroll down to Download your data. Click the Connections box and then click the blue Request archive button. Within 24 hours, you will get your file.

8.  Who doesn't love to save $10? Here is one that may save you lots of money. In order to send a direct message to a person you are not connected to, you have to purchase an InMail or use one of the InMails you get with your premium account—unless, of course, you share a LinkedIn group with that individual. Yes, that's right. If you are both in the same group, you can message them for free—with only one exception; that is, if the person has changed their settings and chosen to not accept messages from fellow group members. However, this rarely happens because the default setting is Allow members of this group to send me messages via LinkedIn.

To do this, when you're on the profile of a person you'd like to message but who isn't a first-level connection, scroll down to their groups and see what groups you can join. Join the group, go into the group itself, click (Number of) Members, and then put the person's name in the Search box. When their name comes up, select Message, and then send them a message.

Nice job! You just saved $10 or saved one of your InMails for someone who doesn't belong to any groups or at least any groups that you have permission to join.

I hope you found a few goodies on this list. If you did, be sure to share this article with your LinkedIn network by clicking the In button below. They're sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness.

If you want me to perform a detailed critique of your profile and help you develop strategies to skyrocket your business and career, then take advantage of my special $175 LinkedIn consultation. This consultation will take place on the phone, and I'll share my desktop screen with you. I will email your marked-up profile to you prior to our session. Click here to book your time.

Here are a few comments from my recent clients:

"Great job offer received via LinkedIn only two days after consulting with Wayne!"

"I highly recommend Wayne's 1:1 Linked In coaching session. Per Wayne's guidance, I reached out to the SVP of Client Success for a company I saw a suitable role. I used language Wayne provided in our 1:1 session to initiate the contact...Since then I've had an initial interview and interacted with the SVP multiple times."

"He made the learning experience fun, interesting, and was a big help to me. It has increased my exposure almost two-fold in a couple weeks."

Don't miss your chance to get results like these. Book your time now by clicking here. Space is limited.