How to Use LinkedIn to its Fullest Potential
How do you find jobs online?
How do you research companies and employees of a company?
How do you connect with professionals in a professional way?
Where can you learn about your industry, business, and career development?
How can you share your experience, education, accomplishments, skills, etc.?
I see a trend here. Do you?
LinkedIn is not another social media platform.
It is not just a job posting site.
It is not just an online portfolio.
It is SO MUCH MORE … if you allow it to be.
I encourage EVERY SINGLE student and professional to CREATE a strong LinkedIn profile for a number of reasons:
To create an online portfolio of your professional experience
To be found online. Because whether you like it or not, they will search for you! You might as well control the content they find!
To place ALL of your career information in one place because your one-page resume can’t fit it all.
Use this FREE LinkedIn Check List to create or update your account. If you need help with your profile or would like me to review it in one my career coaching sessions, email Eloise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once I help clients to create their profile, I encourage them to UTILIZE LinkedIn. Most people are convinced a LinkedIn profile is necessary, but few know HOW to utilize it inside AND outside the job/internship hunt.
Here Are 4 Ways You Can Utilize LinkedIn On The Daily:
1. To Connect … With Other Professionals
Not only should you connect with new acquaintances or people you want to know in your industry, but you should be connecting with EVERY professional you have known since college. You never know when a connection could help you!
I believe that relationships create opportunities and that our careers need to be based on relationships with human in order to find a fulfilling career. The traditional online search and application route can be time consuming, frustrating and produce no results (i.e. a job you want).
That is why we say “its all about who you know.” (I always say “It is all about who knows you” - but that is for another blog post entirely!)
If you are on the job or internship hunt, network and utilize the connections you already have to find opportunities or to be recommended for an opportunity. It makes a HUGE difference when someone passes your resume along to the right person or introduces you to someone with hiring power. They can’t do those things if they don’t know you are looking. It is your job to reach out.
How do you do this? You can look through your list of connections on LinkedIn, message them through LinkedIn or find their email. Tell them about your situation and what you are looking for. Be specific and grateful. You will be surprised who can help!
Remember, be grateful and appreciative of any help or advice they can provide. Leave it open ended (“I would appreciate any suggestions or advice you can share as I am extremely interested in ABC company.”) if you don’t know the person well or haven’t spoken to them in a while.
Make sure you are not just using your connections. Answer your emails and LinkedIn messages. Help others. Encourage and congratulate your connections when they get a promotion or post about a success. So when the time comes to ask a favor or question, they will want to give freely!
2. To Follow … Companies & Organizations
The more you follow … the more will come up on your LinkedIn news feed … the more you will know!
Following companies and organizations keeps you informed and aware of any opportunities available. LinkedIn will send you notifications and emails when articles or jobs are posted by the companies you are following – smart!
Also, if you want to work for a company, you should show interest in the company. Follow them on all of their online profiles! Prove your interest!
3. To Find … Opportunities & Future Employees
The Professional Searching for Opportunities:
1. Use LinkedIn as one of your top job/internship search engines. You can search key words and location. Once you have started searching and saving jobs that you are interested in, LinkedIn will make suggestions for other jobs. SO HELPFUL!
2. You can also allow recruiters to find you on LinkedIn. You can turn this on or off on your profile. LinkedIn will keep this private so don’t worry that your current employer will find out!
3. If you are seriously searching for jobs and using LinkedIn, you may want to purchase LinkedIn Premium. It provides you with more search capabilities and allows you to privately message people outside of your network.
The Business Owner Searching for Future Employees:
1. Create a complete business profile. Your employees can add your business to their profiles with a link to your page = more marketing and recognition for you!
Your business appears more legitimate if there is a LinkedIn page and logo associated with it on your employees' personal pages.
2. Utilize LinkedIn to post job and internship postings.
3. Once you have a business LinkedIn page, you can click on "Work" in the top menu to access a drop down of options. One of the options is "ProFinder". This helps businesses find and hire freelancers. There are other Talent and Marketing Solutions in this drop down that you can explore.
4. Connect with people, view their profiles, and find your perfect future employees without having to comb through endless resumes and applications. Don’t wait for them to come to you – search for them!
4. To Learn …. As A Professional
Once you have created your profile, connected with professionals, and followed companies, your LinkedIn news feed will be full of interesting and educational articles, posts, and discussions.
Instead of mindlessly scanning news feeds of peoples’ babies or what they ate last night, scan a feed that is educational, inspirational, and professional. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing people’s baby pictures and I LOVE those Tasty recipe videos, but let’s fill our minds with quality professional content as well.
I challenge you to get on LinkedIn at least twice a week and scan your LinkedIn news feed. Like, comment, and engage in posts.
Take it a step further – post or share an article, book, review, etc. yourself! You can also post about your accomplishments!
Which brings us to our last point…
5. To Build … Your Personal Brand
Allow LinkedIn to be the place where you build your personal brand and professional reputation..
We don’t all have websites, online portfolios, or blogs. But we all have access to LinkedIn. A complete and updated LinkedIn profile is a great start, but it won’t tell the whole story. Post your projects, accomplishments, articles, achievements, etc. on your profile.
For the eager: Share and post educational content so it shows up on your connections’ news feeds. Be known as an intelligent, active and generous professional.
If you are a business owner or a professional in the sales or marketing field, be careful how much you “sell” in your posts. Create a balance of serve, serve, sell in your post content.
Keep in mind, this is a professional platform. It is best to keep your political opinions and rants to yourself. Be respectful of others and hold your fingers (or your tongue) when someone doesn’t follow the same professional rules.
There are many other functions and benefits of LinkedIn. I encourage you to take some time and peruse LinkedIn.com to see all of the resources and offerings.
If you have any questions on how to utilize LinkedIn, click on your profile picture, a drop down will appear,
click “HELP CENTER”.
Need more LinkedIn Help?
1. Contact me to review your profile with you during a career coaching call.
2. Consider taking the Personal Branding for Professionals Online Course that dives deeper into LinkedIn.