It will come as no surprise to anyone to learn that in today's world, where our day is spent mainly in front of screens of various sizes, a presence in the digital space is more than a necessity. Just as people use Instagram and Facebook to share news and details of their personal lives, LinkedIn is used for all professional achievements. LinkedIn has long taken the prize for the most popular professional social network, yet there are still many who do not use this opportunity to its full potential or even have a presence on it at all.
LinkedIn offers many positives for people who are in the process of looking for a job or want to take a new career path. The platform helps people build relationships with professionals with similar backgrounds and interests, former and current colleagues, people from companies of interest, and more; it's handy for keeping up with various professional events, business trends, and market news; and it provides an opportunity to develop and hone knowledge and skills.
In this article, we'll look at the benefits of using LinkedIn and why anyone looking for a job is doing themselves a great service by developing their profile there.
1. Recruiters and managers are there
When you have a LinkedIn profile you become visible to attraction specialists from multiple companies who are looking for the right professionals for various open roles on a daily basis.
It is for this reason that developing your LinkedIn profile and updating it regularly could increase your chances of finding a job severalfold, as potential employers would contact you because you meet their criteria, even if you yourself don't know there is an open position at the company and without the need for you to be the person actively seeking contact with each company.
2. A LinkedIn profile builds credibility and trust
When you care about the way your LinkedIn profile looks, it doesn't go unnoticed by employers and positions you as a credible potential employee. Whenever you apply for a job, you should keep in mind that recruiters often check if you have a LinkedIn profile and use it to validate that the experience on your resume is real and credible, to check references about you.
3. Offers the opportunity to make new connections
Regardless of where you work and what level in the hierarchy you're at, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to make connections with professionals who can help you advance your career. Add former classmates and classmates, current and former colleagues to your contacts. This way you can see who is thriving in what environment and if they could help you with a recommendation for your dream position or company.
4. Keeps you up to date with current vacancies on the market
Through your LinkedIn profile, you will be able to constantly monitor open positions in the companies and sectors that interest you. Nowadays, the majority of employers post their vacancies right there, especially for expert and managerial positions.
Now that you've understood the main reasons why having a presence on LinkedIn is a huge plus, it's time to share some useful tips on how to build an attractive and memorable profile and make the best use of the platform.
Your picture is the first thing that your next potential employer will see. That's why it should be professional. This doesn't mean that you need to invest in a professional photographer but rather to avoid uploading selfies or cutouts of group photos. Photos on a neutral background would be great. A good thing is the photo is recent.
The title is located just below your name on your profile. This is the official introduction that people will notice first when they come across it. The title should be short and clear - it could be the current position you're in, your main expertise, your biggest professional interest, and the industry you want to develop in. When choosing what to write in the headline, it's best to think about who you want to attract with it.
The description is another essential part of your profile. It comes before your list of experiences. The purpose of the description is to present yourself in greater detail in a few sentences. This is the time to mention what field you are in or want to retrain in, and what your skills and interests are. If possible, use figures and data - they usually build credibility to the information presented.
This of course applies to the other parts of the profile as well, but is especially important here. Your profile should show where you are now (professionally) and where you are going.
Describe the experience you've gained so far, don't limit yourself to your current position, but mention everything you've done professionally in your life - some of the skills you've gained can have a big impact on a potential employer. In addition to listing all the positions you have held, it is advisable to describe what your job duties consisted of. When you start a new job, be sure to reflect this in your profile. If you've acquired new skills, certifications, and honors also share them with your professional network by updating your profile.
As mentioned at the beginning, networking can help you succeed and transform your career. It's important to start introducing yourself to people only when you already have a profile with a photo, title, description, and experience to make a good and memorable first impression. Although your network grows, the more contacts you have, the more significant are those of value to you and your career development.
When sending an invitation to someone you don't know personally, it is good practice not to leave the invitation blank, but to take the opportunity to introduce yourself and share why you would like to make contact with the person.
LinkedIn allows its users to be part of up to 100 different groups. A good idea is to be involved in as much as you can relevant for you and your career, groups. Through your membership, you can build additional contacts, stand out more, and be up-to-date with the tendencies in your industry.
Use targeted keywords that match your interests and experience to find the most relevant groups for you. You can also sift through groups that some of your contacts are already members of - if one is interesting and useful to them, it might be to you.
To be able to position yourself well in the platform and use its full potential, it is important to be active. This doesn't mean scrolling through the site or from your phone every hour, but logging in and engaging with content a few times a week is a good idea.
The content you upload to Facebook and Instagram is rarely suitable for sharing on LinkedIn. When sharing information on LinkedIn, make sure it's relevant to your audience, offers added value, is informative, and sparks interest or critical thinking. An easy way to judge that any piece of information is worth posting is if it passes the "So what?" test, ie. would the people who will read the post ask themselves the question "So what". If so, consider whether you should adjust it or even omit it.
Don't be shy about congratulating your contacts on their successes. Like their posts, congratulate them on a job well done or a work anniversary. Congratulations on their holidays. This way, you are sure to make a good and lasting impression.
LinkedIn enables users to write recommendations to their contacts. Ask your manager, colleague, client, or university professor to write you a letter of recommendation in which they talk about your skills and the time spent with you.
Don't forget to return the gesture or take the initiative by writing a referral yourself to people in your network that you would like to refer.