LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools for networking, searching for jobs, and furthering your career. It’s so useful that over 850 million users have joined the social media platform and 6 people get hired every minute using it. While most people know how to use LinkedIn, they usually just set up their profile and accept connection requests from others. They don’t take the extra steps to get the most out of the platform and put themselves in the best position for success.
So, what do these extra steps entail? Here’s how to effectively use LinkedIn and make your profile work for you:
- Keep It Up to Date – A simple—yet often overlooked—part of getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile is keeping it up to date. This means uploading a recent profile picture, updating any changes in your employment, adding any new skills you’ve picked up, and being active in your account. You don’t want to present inaccurate information to people who may be interested in connecting with or hiring you.
- Be Unique and Tell Your Story – Instead of using common buzzwords that have lost all their meaning to describe yourself, your talents, and the work you do, be unique and tell your story in an interesting way that will grab people’s attention. For example, don’t use the headline simply to list your job title, but expand on what you do, why you enjoy it, how you view your work, etc. Similarly, you can turn your summary into an interesting narrative of your professional career path instead of just listing off the jobs you’ve held.
- Grow Your Connections – This may seem like an obvious thing to do since using LinkedIn to network is one of the platform’s biggest benefits. However, most users simply add or accept requests from individuals they know who are recommended on the website. Work on growing your connections by syncing your email list, searching for people interested in the same industries, companies, roles, and areas you are, and connecting with people you’ve personally done business with. You don’t just want to add anyone. You want quality connections with individuals who are in your field, who are serious about their careers, who you’ve worked with, and who will be able and willing to help you.
- Take Skills Assessments and Utilize Endorsements – Two great ways to make your LinkedIn work for you are to take LinkedIn Skills Assessments and utilize Endorsements. Skill Assessments are short tests on LinkedIn that grade your proficiency in a certain area. After taking a test, you can include a badge for a specific skill on your profile if you pass. Then, users you are connected with can endorse that skill, effectively sharing that they confirm you have that skill. Receiving endorsements is a great way to validate your capabilities, but you should also give endorsements to your connections to help them out as well.
- Use LinkedIn Learning – One of the benefits of using LinkedIn that users often overlook is LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn Learning is a branch of LinkedIn that offers courses in many different areas. Utilizing this resource can help you learn new skills and build upon the ones you already hold. Doing so proves that you are always interested in learning more and bettering yourself, which is what many employers look for.
- Share and Interact With Content – As the new-ish adage goes, “Content is king.” Content is all around us every day. We read it, we watch it, we listen to it. It’s how people get traffic to their website, and it’s also how others stay up to date on industry trends. That’s why you should share content that you find useful or relevant to your network, and interact with the content that other people share. This shows that you are knowledgeable, staying current on what is happening in your industry, and learning new best practices when they are first revealed.
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