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LinkedIn 101


Beginning the long and uncertain road to finding new job is as intimidating as it is exciting. The idea of a new city, a new role, a new boss or even a complete career change can certainly be nerve wracking, but thanks to technology, there’s now a clear place to start.
LinkedIn is a social media platform for your professional self and is the world’s largest professional social network.

If you’re trying to land your next job, the first thing you should do is make yourself attractive to recruiters and employers on your LinkedIn profile. This means making sure your profile is up to date, that you’re actively engaging on the site, and that you set up strategic connections. We’ve put together a few useful tips specifically to help the job seeker on LinkedIn.

 

  1. Select the right photo. According to LinkedIn’s own statistics, profiles with photos are 7x more likely to be viewed. So you want to make sure that you have a professional photo – and that it’s a good one. Ideally you should have a professional headshot, or at the very least a picture that is clear and of you are dressed in professional attire or whatever clothes best suit your industry. Obviously, cropped photos and/or images with pets or other people are no-nos.
     
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile. For a lot of recruiters these days, if you aren’t on LinkedIn you don’t exist. Developing a great profile and a strong presence will build your professional credibility and help you get noticed. While the Experience section looks exactly like a resume, the Summary is where you get to tell your professional story. Here is your opportunity to write a narrative that reveals your personality as you highlight what you do, who you are and what you can do. This is a great place to plant keywords to bring searchers to your profile, but make sure it still flows naturally.  
  3. Always spell check. Nothing quite says carelessness as blatantly as spelling and grammatical errors do. You should proofread your profile and summary multiple times before you publish. It’s even a good idea to have someone else read through it as well, to make sure it reads naturally. You can never be too careful when it comes to spell check.
     
  4. Grow your network. It’s never a bad idea to accept all the invitations you receive on LinkedIn, because you never know who might be able to help you. However, ff you’re in the middle of a career transition or have a lot of updates that you want to make to your profile, we suggest making sure your privacy settings are on. You wouldn’t want to ping the LinkedIn universe every time you make a change. Then, once you’ve finished your important updates, continue to connect with people and accept invitations.
     
  5. Be active. Your LinkedIn profile should really never be finished because then it will lose momentum. Try to add a status update at least once a week, which could include something notable that happened in your industry or a new professional accomplishment. Whatever it is, you want to come across as a highly engaged user on the platform.
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