What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the social networking site tailored specifically for the professionals. In what many may not know is that LinkedIn have been around since 2002, two years earlier than the highly popular social networking counterpart, Facebook. Though having a lot less users, at 690+ million members compared to Facebook’s 2.5 billion monthly active users, LinkedIn boasts a niche audience segment which is incomparable and a total essential for the professionals everywhere.
How to use LinkedIn
Here is an in-depth look at how you could take advantage of it:
1. Building your Public Professional Profile
I can’t stress how important it is to have a visible professional profile available publicly. It shows forward-looking, competitiveness and a personal commitment to professional excellence to every potential recruiters and business partners. Yes, you read it right. Through LinkedIn, you are not just building your profile by posting the usual name, jobtitle, current company, past employment history and so on and so forth.
Unlike job portals which are solely developed to connect recruiters to jobseekers, LinkedIn provides a suite of other useful functions that are developed to boost (not boast) your professional profile which you had so painstakingly build after your formal studies. Among the many functions, you can write a post highlighting your recent achievements and/or promotion. You can showcase a certain specialization that you have, supported by formal documentations of the work, photos and even videos. Also, take the chance to support, and “endorse” a fellow professional’s post on a professional initiative or social cause by “liking” and commenting it. You could even officially exchange recommendations for your colleague and ex-bosses as a show of good working relations and quality time together.
Start exploring on your own or see this LINK for 20 steps you could take! Oh, and after you had built your profile, give it one or two weeks and try performing a Google Search of your name. That’s how you know you are now ‘Public’!
2. Job Board
LinkedIn provides a Job Board in its site which is powered by its Artificial Intelligence. The job board suggests current relevant job openings to you on a regular basis. You can then either follow or apply directly with your LinkedIn profile. Of course, you can see available hiring companies and jobs. You can also make yourself available by having a label of ‘open to opportunity’ posted on your profile page to boost notice of hiring companies. This initiative had since been further upgraded to be directly posted on the profile photo instead with a green banner reading ‘#OPENTOWORK’. If you are a hiring manager yourself, then you could also post a position using the job board at a fee. LinkedIn allows you to reach out to a wide audience based on your targeting parameters. So again, if you are not using LinkedIn, you are simply losing out.
A HR Recruiter? Then read our Review of this AI-Powered Hiring Software.
3. Stay Updated with News Related to a Certain Professional Interest
Reading social media is like reading the newspapers nowadays. You just can’t ignore it and miss important news happening in your industry! Use the provided searchbar at the top corner of maybe every page. Search for a Group, page, person and even company. Subscribe to its posts by ‘following’ it. Log in daily if you can! Browse through the onslaught of news and updates from across your interests and needs. Then, help someone stay updated by ‘sharing’ the posts on your own wall or to a group or someone. You never know. Someone could end up in your debt!
4. Building Network
Sometimes, it’s just hard to go in and introduce yourself to a crowd. With LinkedIn’s various useful networking functions, you could check up someone’s professional profile in LinkedIn prior to meeting them in person at a seminar, or a business meeting. You could also ‘connect’ with them and send them a message of introduction – This would attempt to break the ice. After the meeting, you could also follow up with them via LinkedIn’s messaging’s platform. If not, you still gain from having them as your connection for future opportunities where you and him will be updated with each other’s’ post updates. How useful!
If you have a large base of connections with similar interest, you could ‘create’ your own group and invite these connections in. If not, you could always join a similar group and gain entry into lots of insights through group posts and connection possibilities with second-degree connections. Last but not least, LinkedIn respects your information and data! Anytime and whenever you feel the need to, you could ‘export’ your profile’s information as well as that’s of your connections. Although email addresses are excluded though to prevent email mining. This then brings to the next point.
5. Generation Leads for your Work Needs
Well yes, if you still do not feel the need for LinkedIn, then the next two pointers will make you agree. LinkedIn’s ability for two professionals to ‘connect’ triggers the signal for possible workings. You gain view to the personal information of your first-degree’s connections, subject to the connection’s privacy settings’, which makes generating business leads possible. Coupled with the powerful searchbar, as mentioned in point 3, you could literally target out a prospect. The rest is up to your ability. You could also via ‘LinkedIn advertising’, reach out to a wide group while specifying your targeting parameters. LinkedIn’s advertising is available at a costs.
6. Applying for Online Courses
Learning, re-learning, lifelong learning, how many times have these words come across during your career term so far? Well, one thing for sure is that we certainly need to keep learning if we do not want to get phase out by our job demands or lose a promotion opportunity! LinkedIn’s ‘Learning’ platform contains over 15,000 courses. They are available on a monthly paid subscription basis although some courses are free of charge. The courses are available online for the learner’s anytime access, and led by industry experts. Amongst those most popular topics are programming languages, leadership skills and data analysis. Upon completion of the courses, subject to the course’s conditions, you will receive a Certificate which you can publish to your LinkedIn Profile immediately. Nice!
If there is still anything still giving you doubts about using LinkedIn, POST A COMMENT below and let’s discuss. While there are tons of other features that you can use in LinkedIn, free or paid, most of the features described here are free features. No matter which stage of your career you are at now, whether you are doing well, excellent, or not so good, why not try LinkedIn?
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Afterall, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”, Albert Einstein.