Al Davis used to welcome reporters into his office and say, "sit down and let me tell you some lies." You don't need to come up with lies but to reach out to friends and connections.Here are a dozen checklists of what you can do on LinkedIn.
1. Use a recent picture and your real name.
2. List a profession, even if you're out of work at the moment. If you don't list your company's name, the assumption is you're seeking new opportunities.
3. When you reach out to someone, know what they and their company do. Don't assume you already know.
4. If you want a contact to forward your info, write an email that is easy to forward and helps you through. An email with typos won't make you look good.
5. Don't say that you'd like any job in the field. Know your skills and explain how they match a particular job or opening.
6. Do not send job requests in an email with multiple cc's at various companies. Court your contacts. Make them feel special.
7. Write in a language the contact speaks. Do not assume they speak your jargon.
8. NO ALL CAPS PLEASE. Really. Nobody likes a computer yelling at them. This holds true for getting an interview, job, date or even booking a restaurant reservation online.
9. Don't ask for recommendations from people you haven't worked with closely. LinkedIn recently added an "endorsements" section with fast and quick choices, but it's still presumptuous to request endorsements without significant job experience with a potential endorser.
10. Unless you worked with someone before, do not send surveys asking for feedback on your job performance. They won't provide useful commentary on your strengths and most likely will ignore it.
11. Please don't use LinkedIn to try to sell them a policy or product and get them to subscribe to your newsletter or blog.
12. If you wish to congratulate them on a promotion or new venture, do it in real language.