LinkedIn is a bit of a dark horse. Some years ago as a young college graduate I decided to do what all the professionals were doing and create a LinkedIn profile. At the time my opinion of it was pretty low; it was like Facebook but boring. I left my page untouched and over the years it amassed virtual cobwebs. As of late, I have become a real life working professional (only took me 6 post college years and lots of travelling to settle) and I have once again decided to tap into the possibilities of LinkedIn. And boy are they endless.
LinkedIn is much more than a depthless profile of your employment and merit – it has many different spheres to explore, from networking to training to even landing yourself another cracking job. This blog post gives an insight into LinkedIn and its many wonderful attributes. This post shall be therefore known as “LinkedIn for Dummies”.
You get out what you put in
It is all in the title. Like everything in life, the amount of effort that you invest in something equates to the level of return it will reap. This is applicable to your LinkedIn profile. Ensure that you invest ample time in developing your profile. Are all your skills listed? Have you given details of your education, extra-curricular activities, and volunteer work? Your history tells your potential employer your full story and highlights to them all of your merits. Do not scrimp on your achievements and certainly do not be modest. Sell yourself!!!
There is a lickle button on your LinkedIn page that says connections and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Choose this to explore possible LinkedIn connections, add people you know and even search by university that you attended.
Now that you have nailed your profile and made a few friends, it’s time to get deep into the job hunt. It couldn’t be simpler; select the jobs tab and search by any keyword to narrow down your selection. The beauty of job hunting on LinkedIn is the intimacy of the experience. The job seeking process is extremely personable. While job hunting on LinkedIn is becoming more popular, it is still a relatively untapped resource in comparison to the Seeks and MyCareers of the world. Use this to your advantage.
On LinkedIn you are competing with considerably smaller numbers of job seekers than other recruitment websites so you have a much stronger chance of making a lasting impression on employers. This is why completing your profile to its fullest potential is so incredibly imperative.
Are you interested?
There is a lovely little interests tab that allows you to follow companies that you might be intrigued with. Search by subject matter; personally copywriting is my focus so I keep an eye on a suite of companies that do just that. It is just another way of networking and keeping your ear to the ground. You just never know when a job opportunity might make itself known through these channels.
Overall, LinkedIn is incredibly user friendly and effective. It allows you awesome visibility to companies and contacts that otherwise might have not been available to you. Its gives you the chance to build a networking peer group, to keep in touch with old work colleagues and be savvy to new opportunities. If you do one thing today, let it be LinkedIn.