Follow these tips for using this powerful networking tool
LinkedIn is a social media networking tool that allows professionals in all industries to showcase their experience, share knowledge, search for job opportunities, and connect with each other. Whether you are looking for your first job or are an experienced professional, maintaining a LinkedIn profile can open the doors of possibility for you.
Sign up for a LinkedIn account! It's free, but you also have the option to upgrade to several premium accounts which start at $59.99 per month.
If you already have one, congratulations on completing the first step! But, when was the last time you updated your profile or status or posted a link? Was it when you were in the middle of a job search? Is the profile only partially completed? Has it become stagnant? If so, now may be the time to turn an editing eye to it and then invest time on a regular basis to stay updated, active, and engaged.
Do some research
A quick search on the Internet will find a good amount of information on how to get started and use LinkedIn. Do some reading and jot down tips you find helpful.
This article by Bernard Marr on LinkedIn is a good source to get your profile building started. Some of his suggestions include:
- Writing your profile in the first person, but also remember your audience as you write the content. (You are writing about your professional experience, but it also needs to grab the attention of those viewing your profile.)
- Include a photo, but make sure it is professional-looking. (Don't use a photo taken on your family vacation.)
- Consider moving away from the default headline (your job title and current company) and spend some time writing an attention-grabbing headline. But keep it to 10 words or less. You can stick with industry keywords here or try something different.
- Use the summary section to list your biggest accomplishments.
- List previous work history that is in line with your current professional goals. (There's no need to include your restaurant server experience during high school.)
A few more words of advice
Be honest and thorough when adding content to your LinkedIn profile. Consider using keywords related to your field on your profile to strengthen your chance of being included in a search when potential employers are looking for individuals with your experience. Also, make sure you complete each section of the profile. A half-empty profile is not appealing to those who are looking to hire.
Let your personality shine through while also always maintaining a sense of professionalism.
Once your profile is up and running, you might want to try the following:
- Start connecting. Find friends, current (and former) coworkers and students in your field to send invitations to connect.
- Recommendations and endorsements. You can recommend and endorse coworkers for their skills and experience, and in turn, they can do the same for you. These may help your profile stand out to potential employers.
- Engage in conversations. Participating in conversations about industry trends and information can lead to you making positive, professional connections. You can also make comments (keep them positive) on posts and updates. These can all lead to you making long-lasting professional connections that may impact your career path in the future.
Whether you are looking to stay current with industry news, starting a new career, searching for a job, or simply want to stay in touch with other industry professionals, LinkedIn is a useful tool to help you navigate your career and professional connections.
This post is part of the Salter College weekly blog. Contact us today to learn more about applying to our various career training programs, or to request more information. We look forward to hearing from you.