Using Linkedin

What is LinkedIn

LinkedIn is like Facebook, but for the professional world. LinkedIn is the world’s largest business networking website geared specifically for professionals. It has over 500 million members, in over 200 countries. You can use a professionally written LinkedIn profile to create a professional brand that helps you to gain exposure to opportunities and networks that you might not have found otherwise.

Your LinkedIn profile allows you to showcase your expertise, recommendations, and connections. When recruiters and employers search for candidates on LinkedIn, your profile will not only provide the first impression of you, but it will also demonstrate credibility in your industry and highlight your achievements. The importance of LinkedIn in the job search is often underestimated by many people, who are sometimes hesitant to utilize social media in their job search.

Why use LinkedIn?

So you’ve set up your LinkedIn profile, now what? Is it actually worth your time using the website, to is it just another social media platform to waste more time on?

  • It can help with networking: You can use LinkedIn to build a network of contacts. Business cards are easy to lose, but LinkedIn contacts are always available.
  • Recruiters use it: You might be happy in your current job but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a better one through LinkedIn.
  • Demonstrate your credibility: Employers and recruiters gain trust from LinkedIn profiles as they can see the recommendations and connections you have, as well as evidence of where you have contributed.
  • You can gain social proof for your skills: Other people on LinkedIn can recommend and endorse you for your skills and past work. Any person viewing your profile can see other individuals’ recommendations or endorsements, which proves you have other experts backing up your claims to have certain skills.
  • Groups offer peer support:  You can connect with like-minded people through LinkedIn’s interest-based and professional groups and share your thoughts, initiate a discussion or simply ask for assistance.
  • Informative News and Business Posts: As LinkedIn is focused on the professional rather than the personal life of users you’ll find business news featured along with motivational or educational articles on various topics. A daily scroll can be quite educational.

What to Include in Your Profile?

Filling in your LinkedIn profile correctly, and with a good amount of information will help the algorithm show your profile to the right people. We’ve broken down each section, and what you should write.

Getting Started

In order to sign up for a free account on LinkedIn, you will need a professional-sounding email address. You will be guided through the process of building your profile once you have signed up. Completing all sections of your profile will ensure that your profile appears in more searches and ranks higher. The best way to develop your LinkedIn profile and stand out to employers is to:

  • upload a digital photograph
  • create a headline
  • write a summary
  • add your work experience
  • show volunteering experience
  • add your skills
  • give details about your education

After you have set up your profile, you can then start to:

  • connect with people on Linkedin
  • be active
  • find out more about using Linkedin
Upload a photo

When choosing a photo, make sure it’s fairly recent, and that you’re well presented and professional in it. Try to avoid holiday snaps and night out pics. Your photo should:

  • be you on your own
  • be set against a plain background
  • have your face in the centre of the frame
  • look professional – wear the sort of outfit you’d put on for an interview
  • be a good quality picture, not blurry
Write your headline

120 characters are all you have to grab the attention of a recruiter. Use this opportunity to tell them:

  • who you are
  • what you do
  • what you want to be

It is important to demonstrate your skills and the job you want to employers.

Write a good summary

If the company is hiring, your summary on Linkedin may be your first chance to persuade and catch their interest. Your summary should include the following:

  • tell your story
  • show what you’re passionate about
  • talk about what your goals are

When writing your summary you should also make sure to:

  • write in the first person (use ‘I’ not ‘she’ or ‘he’ when talking about yourself)
  • use phrases that show you have some knowledge of the sector
  • include keywords
  • end your summary with a ‘call to action’ – if you want employers to contact you, you could say ‘email me at [insert your email address]’
Add work experience and education

You should include any internships, shadowing, or work placements you have completed on your LinkedIn profile. Make your achievements at work stand out by using the STAR method. It is also a good idea to provide online examples of your work if you have them. Make sure you highlight everything relevant to the kind of job you want. Demonstrate the value you have added to the things you have done.

Describe any volunteer experiences you’ve had that were professional, impressive, or related to your profession. Volunteering demonstrates commitment and can tell recruiters something about your values. When you describe the causes that are important to you, you tell a story about who you are. Employers are looking for employees who will be a good fit for their organization.

Employers will want to see what you have gained from your course of study as well as what level of qualifications you have.

Be sure to highlight any significant accomplishments or aspects of your education that relate to your career goals. Examples include:

  • winning an award
  • getting a scholarship
  • giving a presentation at a conference
  • projects you’ve done really well in
  • any positions of responsibility you’ve held
Start to connect

Linkedin should be used to build connections – the more you have, the more people will be able to find you. If you are still in college or university, talk to your friends, family, and professors.

It is important that you get endorsements from people you know who can attest to your abilities. Offer to connect with people you meet socially or at networking events. Soon, your network will grow.

Maintain an active presence

Maintaining your presence on Linkedin will help you get noticed by employers. You can do this by:

  • As with other social media sites, check LinkedIn every day.
  • You can get noticed by your connections by liking, commenting, and sharing articles and other people’s posts.
  • Raise your profile by creating your own content.
  • Join groups relevant to your chosen sector – your university career services may have created an alumni LinkedIn group to assist you when you graduate
If you have any questions please get in touch

If you have any questions please get in touch

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