brand named youPersonal branding has become one of the hottest topics in the professional world, and when combined with the hottest business social media platform, LinkedIn, some really interesting synergies and strategies can be developed.  ..

I was asked to write a special article on this topic for the 120,000+ members of ASQ, the "global community for people passionate about quality." The article is called "The Brand Named You: Develop Your LinkedIn Profile to Open Doors and Find Career Success." Regardless of your current job situation, you will find some helpful information for your own personal development. .

You can download a pdf copy of the full article in the Free Resources section of my website..

Here is a short excerpt of what you will find:
In general, I suggest you build the largest network you can assemble on LinkedIn, but with the caveat of including only those individuals you already know and trust, plus those you have strategically decided to include. Strive to develop a rich and diverse network that includes people you can count on for help, as well as a diverse cross section of people in various industries, disciplines and geographic regions.
Invite people to join your network by using the following LinkedIn tools:
* Imported contacts - Upload your contact database, and LinkedIn can find connections for you.
* People you may know - LinkedIn suggests new connections based on your current relationships, schools you've attended and experiences you've listed in your profile. 
* Outlook social connector - This add-on allows you to perform certain LinkedIn functions, including finding new connections, while using Microsoft Outlook.
* Alumni - Search your classmates by region, company and job function.
* Advanced people searching - By using LinkedIn's wide array of search criteria, such as keywords, company, school and industry, you can identify potential new connections.

* Colleagues - Find past co-workers who are LinkedIn members and may be interested in connecting with you. 
Join and be active in LinkedIn groups. It is a great way to meet new people, and you can directly contact anyone in these groups. Join discussions to show your expertise and raise your visibility. Look for these types of groups:
* Those related to your industry
* Those related to your customers' industries
* Birds of a feather (alumni, clubs, religious groups, political organizations and hobbies)
* Those based on a city, state or region
* Those related to new skills 
Enjoy the rest of the article, and feel free to pass it on to your friends as well.