LinkedIn has become the top online site for career, professional, and social networking. It functions as an online directory for organizations and individual professionals and offers the process of professional networking without the need to leave your home or office. In 2021, LinkedIn had over seven hundred million members across over two hundred countries worldwide, including executives working at all the Fortune 500 companies. Individual professionals can use LinkedIn for searching for jobs, connecting with companies and other individuals, and professional networking. Companies can also use this site to share company information with prospective employees and recruit new hires. Keep reading to get some tips on using LinkedIn more effectively to boost your career.
Why Use LinkedIn?
LinkedIn offers a range of useful resources and tools for job seekers. It can act as an online resume or billboard to highlight your unique value proposition and put you in front of more recruiters who may be looking to hire somebody like you. Along with this, you can also use LinkedIn to get more information on companies and positions, network with professionals who can help you find more job opportunities, and get recommendations from people who you have worked within the past.
How to Get Started with LinkedIn
The first step is to sign up for LinkedIn. Just visit the website or download the app to create an account, set up your online profile, and add a photo. You can choose to go with either a Basic or Premium account. Basic offers features such as profile creation, messaging and applying to jobs. At the same time, Premium comes with a range of additional resources and features designed to help you get more from LinkedIn and expand your online presence further.
Creating your profile is one of the first things to do once you sign up for LinkedIn. Remember that your profile will create first impressions. Your photo will have a big impact on this, so opt for a professional-looking photo rather than a casual photo of yourself. While you don’t have to get professional photos taken, it can make a difference if you pick a picture of yourself in a professional setting with the right background and lighting.
Once you’ve chosen a photo, it’s time to consider what you will write in your summary. This is an opportunity to make your profile stand out more, especially if you are looking for jobs. It’s recommended that you write three to five short paragraphs with plenty of white space. Keep it professional, but don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through too.
Request LinkedIn Recommendations
Recommendations on LinkedIn can be another way to make your profile stand out. You can ask previous employers, colleagues, clients, and others to write positive recommendations for your profile to show future hiring managers what you are like to work with and what your strengths are. You can request recommendations from any of your LinkedIn connections. Head to Placement to find out more about how to request recommendations, write a recommendation if a connection requests one, and some examples of LinkedIn recommendations. Along with examples of LinkedIn recommendations that you can use, Placement also offers a wide range of job-seeking advice and useful guides on making the most of LinkedIn for your career.
Put LinkedIn on Your Resume
With most companies today accepting online applications and resumes that are viewed on a computer, you can easily include your LinkedIn URL on your resume. Employers can quickly click through to find out more about you, read your recommendations and endorsements, and learn more about the companies that you have worked for in the past. LinkedIn will assign all users a URL or create a custom one for a more professional look. To do this
- Go to the ‘Me’ icon at the top of your homepage and select ‘view profile’ from the menu.
- On the right side of the page, you will find an option to ‘edit public profile and URL.’ Choose ‘edit your custom URL,’ and you will be able to change your URL to whatever you like.
- Your first and last name is the best option; however, consider adding a middle initial or even your full middle name if this is taken. Your first and middle initials and your last name are also good options to consider.
- Before you include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume, spend some time to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date.
Building Your Network
Once you have signed up for LinkedIn and created your profile, you can build your contact network. Start with people you connect with regularly on a professional or educational basis, such as your colleagues from work or fellow students if you are currently in school. Find people you either know or are aware of and send contact invitations to them. When it comes to the size of your network and how big it has to be to make it an effective tool for career networking and job searching, it really does depend on your goals. Quality is always better than quantity, so it’s always better to have fewer valuable connections than to connect with thousands of LinkedIn people who have little to offer. Ideally, make connections with users relevant to your industry that could provide valuable advice or lead you to new career opportunities.
Using LinkedIn to Apply for Jobs
If you are in the market for a new job, you can directly search and apply for jobs on LinkedIn. Along with this, you can also find new positions to apply to by viewing and contacting any LinkedIn connections which may provide a referral. Consider using targeted searches such as company finders or advanced people to help you find exactly what you are looking for. Advanced searches can be filtered by industry, location, number of employees, and more to help you get more specific search results when looking for the most suitable jobs for you.
You can also search LinkedIn company profiles as a good way to find more information on companies that you are interested in applying to or have already applied to a position with. When you search for company profiles, you can find out more information, such as any connections that work at this company, jobs they are currently hiring for, company statistics, new hires, promotions, related companies, and more.
You can take advantage of the ‘Public Profile Badge Builder’ that LinkedIn offers to allow you to create links with a custom badge for your LinkedIn profile. This is especially great for professionals with a business or portfolio website. It allows users to easily move from your website, social media accounts, or even your resume to your LinkedIn profile. Badges include relevant information such as your profile photo, job title, and where you work and can be added almost anywhere. You can find the badge building tool under the ‘Edit public profile and URL’ section underneath your LinkedIn profile picture.
LinkedIn provides a useful way to build your professional network and find more job opportunities. Keep these tips in mind to get the most from your LinkedIn profile no matter where you want your career to take you.
Featured Image by tiffany loyd from Pixabay