Claiming to be “the world’s largest professional network,” LinkedIn has become a valuable tool for young professionals and job seekers. Allowing you to create a separate professional social network, LinkedIn has many opportunities to promote yourself while making connections with others in your field. To better utilize LinkedIn, follow the basic steps below.
Setting Up a Profile.
Before you can use LinkedIn you need to create a profile. Use the profile to define yourself while showing what you have already done and what you are looking to do in the future. Do not be afraid to share more than your work experience, such as a blog or volunteer positions, as long as they correspond to your professional ambitions. Remember to keep the information clean and well edited.
Beyond your profile, here are 5 simple tips for using LinkedIn effectively:
1. Use a Professional Photo
Keep your LinkedIn photo personable and professional. Potential employers like to put a face to the information in the profile. Use a headshot, no larger than 80 x 80 pixels.
2. Optimize Your Profile.
Make your profile search-friendly by using keywords in your headline and skills. Taking time to add this extra element will make your profile more accessible to potential employers and connections that are searching for others with specific skills.
3. Build Up Your Network
One of the great advantages of LinkedIn is the opportunity to create professional connections in your field. Choose your connections wisely by making sure they are individuals you feel comfortable giving a call. You can also make more connections online by joining LinkedIn groups that focus on your interests.
4. Get Recommendations and Endorsements.
Once you have a network, ask individuals to give you detailed recommendations or endorse your skill set. Recommendations and endorsements will lend credibility to your profile. However, do not spam your connections with constant requests. You want to be personable with your connections and not overbearing.
5. Keep Your Profile Up-to-date.
Make sure you continue to use your LinkedIn profile after you have set it up. An out of date profile will only negate the effort you used to create one. Use it or lose it. Continuing to use the different tools on LinkedIn will keep you active in your virtual network leading to potential jobs and further connections. The only way to do that is to check LinkedIn on a regular basis.