This Is Why You Need LinkedIn and How You Can Get Started

This Is Why You Need LinkedIn and How You Can Get Started

LinkedIn stands out among social media sites. It’s a place where professionals connect, employers seek potential new employees, and where men and women can interact with other like-minded professionals. But what is the best use of LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a site for professionally minded people. It doesn’t mean you must have a management position or a degree to use the site, but you should be mindful of what you post. LinkedIn users are not interested in last night’s party, who you’re dating, or what you had for lunch. Snippets of your personal life are acceptable, but save the fun and the drama for Facebook and Instagram. (Don’t miss this article by a former corporate recruiter on the topic of social media affecting your job opportunities!)

Building your profile is the first crucial step in creating your LinkedIn page. Include your current position and the name of your employer in your profile. Be as specific as possible about your role when listing what you do without using too many superfluous words. Be sure to include any degrees or certifications you’ve earned, including letters after your last name when appropriate. If you include a photo, use a picture of yourself that represents who you are at work or a headshot if you have one available. Many companies have employee directories with photos, so look into using your directory photo if possible. At the least, ask a friend to take a photo and upload it.

LinkedIn allows space for information about your school, your interests, and volunteer activities. Make sure to build that out. Employers want to know that potential employees are actively involved in meaningful activities outside of work.  You can also include previous employment and former positions held.

Beyond the basics, LinkedIn can provide a trove of information and advice. Use the site to ask questions that would improve processes at work, for recommendations on various systems, or how to handle a tough situation at work. Be discreet and keep your questions and answers to the point. You may even want to join a discussion group with other individuals working in the same field as you or who have the same interests as you. Remember to endorse skills with people whom you know to be excellent at their work. This will lead to people endorsing you as well. Endorsing links your skills and abilities to job searches by potential employers and matches your skills to employment openings.

LinkedIn can be used to search for employment as well. Many employers will post openings on the site. As your skills are matched to openings, it will eliminate culling through openings that hold no interest for you or for which you are not qualified. You can also request introductions to potential employers. You can see the last five people who viewed your profile, which will give you insight into who is searching for someone with your skill set.

Purchasing a subscription to LinkedIn Premium will provide more options for matching skills and openings as well as other benefits such as creating a greater profile search, ability to see more people who have viewed your profile, expanding search listings, and other benefits. There are various Premium options and all are purchased through a monthly subscription.

LinkedIn can prove to be a very valuable resource for you whether you are an employee, an employer, or someone seeking employment. Remember to keep your profile up-to-date, clean, and useful for connections and employers. It can lead to many successful outcomes when used to its full potential.

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