What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social networking site that focuses on making professional connections. LinkedIn helps users create professional profiles and search for other users to connect with.
Top 3 Reasons to Use LinkedIn
- Get noticed
- LinkedIn profiles rise to the top of Google search results, making it easy for employers to find professional information about you.
- Grow your professional network
- Use LinkedIn to search for people based on name, position, company, industry, educational background and more. Connect and grow a network specific to your career goals.
- Explore job opportunities
- Many employers post openings on LinkedIn. Viewing these job postings also provides the opportunity to see if you have any connections at the company.
Steps to Setting up a LinkedIn Profile
- Go to linkedin.com
- Fill in the required information under Join LinkedIn Today (First and last name, email and password).
- Add your basic information (country, postal code, current status and details).
- Add contacts.
- LinkedIn will list people you may know that are already on LinkedIn and you can use the search function for people you know.
- Import contacts from your email accounts or skip this step for now.
- Use personalized invitations. Delete the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” and personalize the message by explaining how you know them or why you want to connect.
- Choose the basic (free) or premium (paid) plan. The free version is sufficient for most job seekers and professionals.
- Complete your profile. This can be a working document but eventually it should be 100% complete.
- Upload a photo. Make sure it is current, professional and doesn’t include other people.
- Update your experience, education, skills and expertise and any other relevant information. Keep the information consistent with your résumé.
- Create a compelling headline: consider your target audience and your unique selling points, include relevant and technical keywords, and make it memorable.
- Summary: Your summary defines who you are, what you do or want to do, and why you are unique. Highlight 3-5 of your most relevant and impressive achievements.
Key Features of LinkedIn
Contacts/Connections: The people who are part of your network are called your “connections”.
Groups: LinkedIn groups allow you to discover, share and participate in a number of professional conversations happening in your industry and areas of interest. Groups include discussion questions and answers, polls and a forum for advice and networking.
Company Pages: Members can follow companies to find job opportunities, see company updates and news, research products and services and learn about a company’s culture.
Job Postings: LinkedIn helps you search jobs postings by location, industry, keywords, etc. Save job searches to have the results emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Homepage: Your LinkedIn homepage provides an overview of what’s going on in your network with updates, current news and job opportunities. Post updates or share links that your connections can see on their homepages.
Recommendations: Recommendations are brief references provided by your connections and visible on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations reinforce your professional identity and are easy to request from connections.
Endorsements: Skill endorsements are completed by your connections and give other a better sense of your strengths and areas of expertise.
Enhance your job search with LinkedIn
- Save time by signing up for job alerts and let the site do the searching for you.
- Take initiative. Don’t be afraid to ask a connection for a call, meeting or an informational interview.
- Clearly articulate the value and impact you have made in current and past positions.
- It’s okay to show you are looking for new opportunities. Label yourself as what you would like to be, rather than limiting yourself to your last job title.
- Personalize the URL for your profile and include your URL in all online communication.
- Connect your LinkedIn profile with the other sites you use (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.)
- Use spellcheck!