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Seven ways Obama can get the most out of joining LinkedIn

The ultimate thought leader is thinking about joining

There are just 213 days before Barack Obama leaves the White House, and our 44th president is turning his thoughts to the future. "In seven months or so, I'll be on the job market," he said at an economic summit today in Washington, according to The Hill. "And I'm glad I'm going to be here. I'm going to get on LinkedIn and see what comes up." Everyone had a good laugh over that one, but what if Obama is serious? The ultimate thought leader on the ultimate professional network?

No one should join LinkedIn without a guide — particularly someone whose internet browsing time has been severely limited over the past eight years. With that in mind, we've put together a handful of tips for getting the most out of Microsoft's new $26 billion employee directory.

1. Turn off email notifications. It's not unusual for tech companies to try to boost engagement by emailing you whenever another user glances in your general direction. But it is unusual for a company to send so many emails that the courts order it to pay a $13 million settlement. Obama may want to opt in to emails just for the prospect of some of that sweet settlement cash — he has two kids to put through college, after all — but otherwise he should disable them.

Opt in to emails for some of that sweet settlement cash

2. Turn off notifications. Most of the mobile revolution has taken place since Obama took office. That means the president might not be aware that even if he disables LinkedIn emails, the company can still ping him constantly via its mobile application. He'll likely be receiving hundreds, if not thousands, of connection requests every day. Better to disable notifications and focus on more pressing matters of his post-presidency. Maybe negotiate for the release of some missionaries from North Korea — missionaries are always being held hostage in North Korea. 

linkedin mobile update

3. Uninstall the LinkedIn mobile application. Even after he disables notifications, Obama may occasionally find himself opening LinkedIn out of sheer curiosity. Modern apps will be new and fascinating to him — the man still uses a BlackBerry, after all. That could lead him down a dangerous path — one minute he's wishing a happy birthday to Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack; the next minute he's tapping out a listicle about nine ways that targeting civilians with drones can help your business. Not a good look!

Nine ways targeting civilians with drones can help your business

4. You do not have to attend free webinars that people send you InMail about. If Obama checks his InMail, he may find that a marketing company has paid to send him an invitation to a free webinar. The president should know that webinar attendance is totally optional in all cases, and he should only participate if he is personally interested in the subject matter.

5. Your connections' phone numbers are at the very bottom of their profiles. A few years from now, Obama is going to have 98,000 LinkedIn connections, and will find himself in need of a phone number for former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy. He will download the LinkedIn mobile app (against our recommendation), search for her name, and scroll endlessly looking for contact information. Mr. President: her number is located just below Ms. McCarthy's suggested endorsements, LinkedIn activity, "highlights," experience, skills & endorsements, "accomplishments," and LinkedIn Groups. For some reason the first piece of contact information you will find for her is her LinkedIn URL, which you don't need, because you are already on her page! LOL!

6. Joke endorsements are the only reason to use LinkedIn. After using LinkedIn for three days, Obama will realize that it exists only so he can tack random endorsements onto the profile of Vice President Joe Biden, who Obama has also forced to join LinkedIn, against his wishes. Burp contests. Stargazing. Finger guns. "Losing to Obama at basketball." Obama is going to do this and just laugh and laugh.

7. Delete your account. If the president needs a new career in 2017, there's no need to make it complicated with LinkedIn. Just take a deep breath, relax, and write a Medium post.