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February 14, 2023 - 5 minutes

How to Use LinkedIn to your Benefit

LinkedIn is a powerful tool: are you using it correctly?

Juliette Erath - Tech Writer

Careers

We’ve all had that moment when we created our LinkedIn account, thinking it would be an instant key to success. The reality is, however, that many of LinkedIn’s benefits go unused; did you know that in addition to being one of the main sites for job offers worldwide, LinkedIn can also help you make connections, learn about upcoming networking events, and learn from like minded professionals? So why are so many of its benefits going untouched? Let’s dive in. 

LinkedIn and its Benefits 

LinkedIn boasts over 600 million professional profiles; this is an absolutely huge number that shows its potential reach. And if you’re looking to grow your brand, find a new job, seek advice from industry experts, or simply learn more about the business world, this is where you need to be. 

Job hunting

Are you recently unemployed and looking for your next job? Or maybe you’re content in your current role, but are interested in what’s out there. LinkedIn not only serves as an incredibly large and globally used job search tool, but you can also configure alerts for interesting roles in your area or field and be the first to know when one is available. 

It’s not just one-sided either; recruiters can use LinkedIn to reach out to you (yes, it happens!) after viewing your profile on their searches. With LinkedIn Premium, you can also directly message recruiters and HR professionals, see how you compare to other applicants, view salary information, and see who’s been checking out your profile. 

Networking

Depending on your area of interest, it may be hard to keep up with sector changes or even know what kind of roles are available. LinkedIn can serve as a huge advantage for those looking to build their connections. Are you looking for advice from an experienced professional in your industry? Do you want to see what people with a similar profile are doing? LinkedIn can give you all this information, thanks to its connection tool and powerful search bar. 

Your personal brand 

Companies aren’t the only ones trying to advertise on LinkedIn, you should be advertising yourself as well. Just like we do, recruiters use the search function on LinkedIn to find what they’re looking for. This means that you should use LinkedIn to sell yourself to potential employers; not only can recruiters find and message you, but they can also look at your profile and make their first impression. Try these tips: 

  • Choose a professional photo. Although some people use LinkedIn as another social network, it’s a professional site. 

  • Write a description that describes your professional achievements. 

  • Keep your profile up-to-date and add any new roles or certifications you’ve earned. 

Transparency 

Although it's not a social network in the traditional sense, LinkedIn allows users to post a status and share their experiences, which can help you gain information about working for different companies. It also boasts a hashtag feature, so you can search by a company name or role and see what people are saying. 

News 

Companies laying off lots of employees? Sector changes? LinkedIn’s news feed status helps you stay up to date with what’s happening in the industry, with your colleagues, and with your connections. Users also share when they have completed a new course, gained a new skill, and more; with LinkedIn, no opportunity will slip by. 

Groups 

It can be hard to find like minded professionals who have the same skillset as you, are in the same location, or have the same goals. That’s when LinkedIn’s groups come into play: groups can help you connect with alumni from your university, other job seekers, organizations, recruiters, and practically anything else you want!  

Tips for Creating the Ideal LinkedIn Profile 

LinkedIn is a tool with incredible reach; let’s check out some of the most important areas to address and the key to making the most of it.

  • Profile picture: your profile picture is the first thing people see when you apply for a job or visit your page; the photo must be a headshot so your face is clearly visible and professional. 

  • Our tip: Not sure about the photo you have? Browse through LinkedIn, check out the photos your colleagues have, and try to make sure yours fits. 

  • Title: when you search for someone or someone posts on your feed, their title is listed right below their name. This is the first thing that recruiters will associate with you and it must be accurate, attention grabbing, and versatile. 

  • Our tip: make your title as open and inviting as possible; in today’s day and age, many roles take on many different hats and if you limit yourself to just one description, recruiters may assume you’re not a good fit. 

  • Description: when someone looks at your profile, your personal description is where they’ll get the most information. This means it’s absolutely essential to share important information like your education and professional experience, show off your skills, and peak their interest. 

  • Our tip: anyone can call themselves strategic, focused, and creative; use actual numbers and facts to back up for experience and intrigue recruiters. 

  • Additional profile content: LinkedIn allows you to enter employment and educational information, skills, licenses & certifications, languages, recommendations, and interests. 

  • Our tip: recruiters want to know what it’s like to work with you; take advantage of all of LinkedIn’s options to fully sell yourself, showcase all your skills, and convince prospective employers that you’re the right fit. 

Common mistakes on LinkedIn

It’s not all simple and easy on LinkedIn; many make simple mistakes that can hurt their chances at landing their dream job. Try to avoid these three main mistakes

  1. Using LinkedIn like Instagram or Twitter: LinkedIn isn’t a place to share updates about your personal life or recent vacation; it’s a professional site. However, many tend to overshare and treat LinkedIn as just another personal network. Make sure you set boundaries between your personal and professional lives and keep your LinkedIn clean and professional. 

  2. Unprofessional private messages: it may seem like a no-brainer, but reaching out to recruiters or hiring managers with impersonal messages asking for help or a job opportunity won’t work and comes across as unprofessional. When privately messaging, try to introduce yourself, explain why you’d be a good fit for the role, your experience, and where to reach you. 

  3. Incomplete profile: you may think your employment information is the only thing that interests companies, but they want to know what you studied, any additional certifications or courses that you’ve added over the years, what past colleagues have to say about you, your photo, and your personal description. Incomplete profiles don’t convince recruiters the same way that detailed ones do. 

If you’re using it right, LinkedIn can be the key to propelling your career forward and helping you land your next role. Follow these tips and we’re sure you’ll reach success.

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