Learning how to use LinkedIn for professional development is a great step toward improving your network, keeping in touch with colleagues, and making new connections that offer exciting career opportunities.
Learning the rules of engagement, so to speak, can help ensure that your use of LinkedIn is as effective as possible. LinkedIn allows users to create profiles, (i.e., a good summary, relevant background info, a professional picture, and a customized URL), that you can use to manage your career.
Here are three ways LinkedIn can help:
Networking is about building relationships. And when it comes to advancing your career, expanding your network is worth the time and effort. In fact, studies have shown that 85% of jobs are found by leveraging a professional network.
Your network should include your co-workers, classmates, boss, people you met at conferences, etc. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with the people you already know through certain search features (all of which are found under their My Network tab):
But part of expanding your network is connecting with people you don’t know, and using the advanced people search can help you find individuals you’d like to have informational interviews with – and identify companies you might not be aware of. You can search using keywords and a variety of different criteria.
LinkedIn makes it easy to stay in touch with those who are valuable and important to you. Under the “Relationships” tab, you can also add a note to remind yourself of what a particular connection is interested in. In addition, an occasional “hello” or “happy holidays” can serve as a simple way to keep in touch.
As the top professional social networking site, LinkedIn has over 133 million users in the U.S. and reaches 200 countries and territories around the world. Per the Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey, 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their candidate search. As a professional or student, it’s clearly the popular place to look for job opportunities.
Recruiters have noted the following four tips to maximize the potential of your LinkedIn profile:
- Keep your profile up to date
- Be comprehensive about current skills and objectives
- Highlight your recent experience
- Be honest with background information
When you’re ready to start your job search, reach out to those in your network that might be able to help. Another useful feature is using the saved job searches – you can save up to ten searches – which can be for a specific company, title or geographical area. And the nice part is that LinkedIn will suggest companies for you to follow, which you might have not known or considered.
Groups: Keeping Up with Your Professional Field
LinkedIn is often the first place people get their industry news. Along with the following companies you’ve targeted, you should also join groups.
Active groups can be a great resource to learn about a certain topic or career path. Professional groups in a wide variety of categories can provide information about current trends in the field and challenges the industry is facing. Or they can simply help you identify thought leaders you should connect with. In addition, joining groups can help build your online presence and establish your credibility and passion for your career path.
Lanmark Staffing provides over 40 years of combined human resources, recruiting, temporary placement, sales and management, and temp-to-hire services. Visit our website and learn how our team of experienced professionals can help you find the right job and prepare for success.