Using LinkedIn to Get Hired
Since the pandemic, our world has changed in unimaginable ways. One change that many employees have undergone is a transition into the virtual workplace. Where there are many innovative benefits of the virtual workplace, there are also downfalls. The lack of social interaction and in-person networking that stems from working virtually has made the job search process less than ideal. However, networks like LinkedIn help us stay connected and network virtually. According to TopResume.com,
“It’s more relevant now than ever. Why? Because it hosts more than 600 million professional profiles, which means nearly an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities. From seeking a new job to maintaining your personal brand, using LinkedIn is an important part of being a full-fledged professional in any industry these days.”
LinkedIn provides an array of tools and resources for professional development such as job postings, ‘LinkedIn learning’ courses, news, messaging, and more. Though navigating a new platform might seem daunting, it is never too late to learn. With that in mind, let’s dive into 5 fool-proof steps for setting up and using LinkedIn like a pro.
1. Creating your profile
When creating a LinkedIn profile, the first and most important step is choosing your profile photo. Try to select a professional photo that shows your face clearly, straying away from selfies and/or filters. If you are hiring or open to work, LinkedIn has a feature similar to Facebook where you can add a ‘frame’ around your profile photo in order to advertise what you are searching for.
Next up is your headline. The headline is your way to stand out from the crowd. Include a brief, eye-catching headline about who you are and/or what you do. For example, “Sales Representative at XYZ Company”, or “Marketing Student at XYZ University”. This helps employers and other LinkedIn users know who you are.
After you have chosen a photo, you will want to personalize your profile with work experience, education, skills, and more. Personalizing your profile is a chance to show your personality, and gives a more in-depth look into your experience. The first step in personalizing your LinkedIn profile is uploading your work experience. Here, you can add what companies you have worked for, what position you held within the company, and the specifics of what you accomplished in that role. It is important to note that all experience is good experience. Worked at a fast-food chain? Include how you gained excellent customer service, teamwork, and multitasking skills!
Now, include any past and/or current education you may have. Where did you get your degree(s), and what was your major? Below that, you will see licenses and certifications. Here, you can include anything from a CPR certification to a food handler’s license. This can closely tie into skills as well. In the skills section, you can include both soft and hard skills; this entails any skills from teamwork and communication to Excel and Google Analytics.
Below that, you will see courses, where you can upload any courses that are relevant to your field of work. For example, if you are looking for a job in education, you can list courses you have taken through iteach or any other teacher certification programs. Another helpful segment to boost your LinkedIn is projects. In this segment, you can upload any special projects or volunteer work that you have taken part in or are currently working on. Next, the honors and awards segment shows any notable recognition that you have received, such as scholarships, grants, etc. The very last segment is organizations, where you can include any clubs and organizations you have taken part in or are currently in.
2. Find Your Interests
Expanding your interests is important in all areas of life, so why should it not be important in your career as well? There are so many different areas of education to explore, so take time to explore what areas interest you! Luckily, LinkedIn has a feature to browse company and organization pages alike. If a certain company or organization catches your eye, give them a follow! The pages that you follow will be visible on your profile below ‘interests’. These interests will play into what jobs, news articles, and updates appear on your feed.
3. Be Active
Just like any other social media platform, being active and posting updates shows people what you are up to. Being active on LinkedIn is a great way to show employers that you are also active within your career. However, with LinkedIn being a business platform, there is a sense of professionalism that should be present in posts. Some ideas for LinkedIn posts could include posting graduations, recent certifications, milestones within your career, or interesting academic/business-related news and articles.
4. Apply for Jobs
If you are reading this article, chances are that you are in search of a job. Though applying for jobs can be intimidating, LinkedIn has made it unbelievably easy. Your first step in applying for jobs is going to be the search. Under the jobs tab, you can narrow down your search with filters. These search filters include the date posted, experience level, company, job type, and on-site/remote. After applying filters, applying to jobs will be as easy as 1, 2, 3! (But literally, it only takes 3 clicks to submit an application with LinkedIn Easy Apply.)
5. Stay Connected
Congratulations! You have successfully created your profile, found your interests, and applied for jobs. The very last step to becoming a bona fide LinkedIn pro is by staying connected. Now that your profile is customized and ready to go, you can connect with friends, family, coworkers, and most importantly: recruiters. You can find recruiters in many ways; the first would be to simply search whatever field you are interested in followed by ‘recruiter’. The second way to find recruiters is to directly connect with whoever has posted the job position that you are applying for. You can personalize your connection with a message as well! No need to worry if you find yourself at a loss for words, because LinkedIn has you covered with auto-generated messages. A simple “Thanks for connecting!” will also do the trick just fine.
When it comes to getting a job these days, many employers look at your LinkedIn profile so make sure that it is professional. LinkedIn can be a place to discuss any topic, as long as it is business-related, or directly ties into networking and work. Also, your profile picture, portfolio and bio are all things that recruiters will look at – sometimes before they even review your resume, so be sure to always put your best foot forward on LinkedIn.
Good luck and happy job hunting!
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