How to Use LinkedIn
Presenting your best professional side in today’s job market can mean much more than a firm handshake and a well-organized resume. Online resources (like JobSpot) have become vital resources for jobseekers and employers alike.
LinkedIn.com is an online network of more than 30 million experienced professionals. When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments. You can add connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. It is free to set up a Personal Account on LinkedIn.
The Basics for Job Seekers
Keeping Your Profile Updated and Other Helpful Tips:
The first important thing you must do is create a complete profile. A partially complete profile makes you seem unmotivated, and not serious about your career. Remember to leave out personal information like your birthdate or marital status. It's also important to regularly update your profile to keep it current, and to update your status often. Make sure your profile is open to public view, which is the default setting, and best for active job seekers.
Join groups on LinkedIn to connect with people in your industry, other college alumni, and professional associations. Add your group URL to your profile and participate in them as much as possible; share articles, engage in conversations, and answer questions when possible. LinkedIn’s Groups Director allows you to find communities of professionals who share a common experience, passion, interest, affiliation or goal. As an example, here's some local LinkedIn Groups you could join:
- Greater St. Careers presented by Jobspot
- St. Cloud (MN) Connections
- CSB/SJU Career Connections
- St. Cloud State University Alumni
- St. Cloud Technical College Alumni
Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections (known as your 2nd degree of connections), and your 2nd Degree connections’ connections (known as your 3rd degree connections). This links you to thousands of professionals. Through your network you can:
- Be found for opportunities
- Search for jobs
- Discover inside connections to help you land jobs
- Get introduced to other professionals through the people you know
Start with people you know. Reach out to colleagues, friends, relatives and business contacts as the first layer of your network. Next, find people by common companies, industries, or college alumni.
Extras for Employers
While the general rules for a business profile still apply, there are some slight variations. Having a good headline, professional photo and banner and web references is still important. Include some testimonials from clients or colleagues in your field in place of recommendations. Include any organizations or charities with which the company is involved. Join groups, expand your network, and keep your profile updated with the latest company news and events.
Networking is the largest advantage to a company profile on LinkedIn. Developing a professional network is easier now than it has ever been.
- Post job listings and view a potential employee’s profile instantly.
- Stay in touch with former valued employees and colleagues. They could end up sending you some great tips or new team members in the future.
- Search LinkedIn members by using keywords. This is especially beneficial if you are looking for specific keywords, because only candidates who have actively completed their profile will come up in the search.
- Find potential employees or colleagues based on recommendations made by your connections. Employee referrals are valued in the professional world, imagine an entire network of referrals!
- Keep tabs on your LinkedIn analytics. Find out which updates are driving the most responses and impressions from your network.
- Create showcase pages for products or services. Showcase pages essentially act as an extension of your company page and can provide more in-depth information about your company and your services.