Monday 27th July, 2020
Many people have heard of LinkedIn and it has actually been around a lot longer than many of the popular social media platforms. Despite this, most people overlook the benefits of having a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that can help you stay connected with colleagues, companies and other people within your industry. LinkedIn can be a great source of information, networking and job opportunities. Since many people still aren’t utilizing this platform it can give you a great professional advantage which is why you should be on LinkedIn.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is basically a networking website for professionals. Rather than being based on keeping in touch with friends or family like most social media networking websites, it’s focused on professional networking and employment. You can use LinkedIn to keep in touch with employers, clients, co-workers and others in your network as well as use it to look for jobs.
Who should use LinkedIn?
If you have a career or a job, you should be on LinkedIn. Anyone with any type of career or job should be on LinkedIn. Even if you aren’t currently working or searching for employment, it can be a great tool to keep connected with current and former colleagues for future reference.
Why should you use LinkedIn?
While LinkedIn does have a paid option available, simply creating a profile and being on LinkedIn doesn’t cost you any money at all. While you can definitely pay to upgrade your account to access the premium features, a free account is perfectly acceptable and still allows you to have a profile and connect with your professional network. Most people can get along just fine with the free option on LinkedIn.
It doesn’t take long to set up or maintain
One great reason to use LinkedIn is that it doesn’t take a lot of time to set up or maintain a profile. Signing up for an account and getting your profile set up will likely be the longest amount of time you’ll need to spend on LinkedIn. Unless you’re actively searching for a job and need to spend extra time on the website, once you have everything set up all you really have to do is check-in periodically to keep the information updated. It doesn’t take up much time and the reward of keeping in contact with your colleagues and having a place to look for employment is well worth it.
But LinkedIn can be much more than this. I have learned and shared so much on the platform and have developed true relationships. So, LinkedIn can be a place where you spend maybe 30 min a day on, taking from some of that other time you spend on those “other” social media sites.
Recruiters and hiring managers are on LinkedIn
One of the first places that many recruiters and hiring managers will check when they’re looking to fill a position is on LinkedIn. This is just one more avenue to be found by a potential employer looking for someone just like you to bring into their company. If you’re not on LinkedIn you could be missing out on opportunities that you wouldn’t find out about otherwise.
Even if you aren’t actively looking for employment, having a LinkedIn account that you have been maintaining to connect with others in your industry will be helpful if or when you are looking for a new opportunity in the future.
Keep in touch with your professional network
If you want a way to keep in touch with your professional network, LinkedIn is the perfect way to do so. Most of us don’t want to add professional contacts on a social media website like Facebook, but might want another avenue to stay connected.
If you want to keep things professional, but still be able to have them in your network LinkedIn is the perfect platform. You never know when an opportunity will come up and if you’re connected to past clients, employers or like-minded professionals via LinkedIn you just might get that opportunity.
How to Get Started Using LinkedIn
Fill out your profile
The first thing you’re going to want to do after signing up is to make sure that your profile is filled out completely. Your LinkedIn profile is similar to an online resume. No, you may not be looking to submit your resume to anyone right now. However, having it filled out will help you network better on the platform and your account will be ready to serve you when you are ready to start looking for a new position.
When filling out your summary use it to truly showcase your experience, skills and accomplishments so that when people come across you they can clearly see what you do and what your strengths are. This is where you want to sell yourself in just a few sentences.
Add your photo
You know the saying that a photo is worth a thousand words. Before uploading your photo to LinkedIn consider the platform you’re on and who you’re hoping to attract to your profile. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, you’re going to want to stick with a professional photo of yourself.
While it’s common to use photos of pets or landscapes on many other platforms, you need to add a photo of yourself on LinkedIn. Keep in mind a professional photo doesn’t mean that you need to wait until you can get a head shot taken by a photographer. A current, clear photo of you with a simple background will do just fine.
Right under your name is your Headline. When writing this section think about writing the shortest elevator pitch. Don’t include the company that you work at. What you do and why you do it.
Recruiters and hiring managers go to your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you. In this section think about writing it as if you are having coffee with a new colleague at a coffee shop. What would you tell them “About” yourself? It’s perfectly OK to write in first person in this section. Tell the world what it is you have done, what you’re doing now, and why you do it. Give people a reason to reach out to you.
Connect with your network
One of the major features of LinkedIn is to be able to network with other professionals in your industry. You can add contacts such as previous employers, current employers, clients and other professionals in your field that you have connected with in the past.
You might be wondering if it’s a good idea to connect with anyone and everyone who requests to connect with you on LinkedIn. This is purely a personal choice and up to you. The whole point of using LinkedIn is to network and connecting with others within the same industry or field can really grow your network.
Fill in details and keywords that others might be searching for
One of the great things about LinkedIn is that others are using it to search for people to fill positions or to connect with on a professional level. The best way to make sure that the right people can find you is to make sure that you are detailed in your profile and use plenty of keywords that are related to your position, industry or career.
Keywords can be anything from skills to qualifications to job titles. To do this don’t necessarily just list a bunch of words in your profile that you think might be related, but just use these words in context within your profile.
While a lot of people tend to overlook LinkedIn, if you use it correctly it can truly be a gold mine. Being able to quickly interact and keep tabs with others in your professional network can be a huge benefit whether you’re currently looking for a job or not. Anyone who has a career, or is starting a career, should be on LinkedIn. Are you?