How To Use LinkedIn To Its Full Potential
Most of us have heard of LinkedIn, but very few of us use it to its fullest potential. LinkedIn is basically a social media platform that allows you to highlight your professional – rather than your personal – life, so whether you are still a student or a working adult, this platform can definitely be useful to you!
Not only does LinkedIn allow you to connect with future employers or potential candidates, but it also comes with a lot of wisdom. So how can you tap into some of the platform’s features to build your online presence? Read on.
LinkedIn is one of the most reliable job-searching platforms and has a very user-friendly interface. The job-hunting features are pretty straightforward and easy to navigate around: If you’re looking for a specific salary range, job type (internship, part-time, full-time), or location, you can key them in to act as filters.
The benefit of keeping your LinkedIn up to date is the option to use the “Easy Apply” button. This is where you can apply for certain roles with your existing LinkedIn profile, rather than filling in the application form again (and again and again). Those who have gone through it understand how much of a struggle this tedious process is, and that job-hunting is a full-time job in itself, so this button really does make things easier and faster!
When scrolling through job availabilities, the detailed job descriptions provided also give you a much clearer understanding of what you are actually applying for or what you want for yourself. This is especially helpful and acts as a guide as you prepare for the interview stages. Even if you are not actively seeking new employment, this page allows you to see what is in trend or demand so you can upskill or reskill yourself accordingly. For example, there is an increased demand for soft skills and communication skills in general – even for technical and non-managerial roles!
- Have a decent photo – This also depends on the industries you’re looking into: a creative industry would prefer a smart-casual photo, whereas the finance industry might prefer a more professional portrait.
- Update your profile and don’t be shy with the details – Under the “Experience” segment, you should fill it in with your previous job experiences, which is something recruiters especially pay attention to. So, spare no detail!
Instead of just relying on your resume, your LinkedIn profile allows recruiters to see other sides of you. Whether you like it or not, recruiters would often try to Google you to make a better judgment of your character. As such, it is important for your online presence or branding to be in good shape and give off a good impression. How can you do that?
There are a lot of courses or videos on personal branding and why it is important. For example, there are courses on how to get posts of yours to be “trending”, how to write better LinkedIn posts or how adding emojis can increase your engagements. It is not about being an “influencer” or creating content just for the sake of it, but using LinkedIn as your platform to show off your portfolio.
At the end of the day, you reap what you sow. You have to remember that you are competing with thousands of candidates, and your personal branding on LinkedIn might just give you an extra advantage.
- Think about your “unique selling point” and be intentional about showing it – For example, if you are a graphic designer, post some of your designs.
- Post regularly – You don’t have to post every single day, but keep your followers and connections up-to-date on your professional progression. Make sure to also create original content and not just copy and paste stories without crediting them!
You don’t need to sugar-coat – People enjoy honest stories about the challenges you face and failures you have overcome or are overcoming in your career.
We used to attend physical events for networking opportunities. However, COVID-19 has introduced a “new normal”, and networking can now be done online! This also allows us to first groom our communication skills and practice for when we’re allowed to meet face-to-face again. No more awkward pauses in conversations or fear of saying the wrong thing, you can now think twice or thrice before clicking “send”.
The amazing thing about online networking is the opportunity to connect with people from a multitude of industries and countries too, whom we would not have been able to meet as easily for in-person events. This has allowed us to expand our horizons and know what is happening on a global level.
- Include a message when you send a connect request – When you request a connection, there is an option to leave a personal note – which is always a good idea if you want to leave a good impression. It can be something as simple as, “I enjoyed your talk at a webinar I attended” or even “I really enjoy your content”.
- Comment on other people’s posts – this actually helps increase your visibility and let them know you’re genuinely interested to engage with them.
Just DM them – If you want any advice, tips, or even want someone to mentor you, just send them a message. Professionals on LinkedIn are genuinely willing to help if it is within their abilities to do so, so just do it!
LinkedIn Learning is another product that LinkedIn offers and comes with a variety of professional courses. Although it is a paid service, you can try the 30-day trial and test out the Premium features to see if it is your cup of tea. Even if you would rather not pay the hefty fee to access the official training sessions, LinkedIn is still a wonderful platform to learn from other professionals.
You can use the “search” function to find content, groups or people that inspire you.
- Join “Groups” – these are pages where you can gain more regular updates on topics you’re interested in.
- Attend webinars – there has also been a lot of meaningful webinars recently that are being promoted on LinkedIn (search #webinar)
LinkedIn comes with many benefits that can help you to kick-start or improve your career and groom you to be the professional you want to be. All these resources, connections and lessons are at your fingertips just a few clicks away. Don’t hesitate, go snap a few nice photos, update your profile and be part of the LinkedIn community!