Careers Advice Blog

LinkedIn: The professional social network

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If you are serious about your career, you should probably be on LinkedIn. Unlike any other social network, it is a place for professionals to share ideas and network. It is also a brilliant place to look for new work, or if you have a good enough profile, you may even be headhunted. You may be asking yourself, what is a headhunter? Simply put, a headhunter will approach you with a job prospect, rather than you having to apply. You may be offered something you have never thought of, but which matches your skills and offers you an exciting opportunity.

Once you have created a LinkedIn account, you need to make it work for you. You need to make sure that you have a powerful profile and that you are active on it regularly. Here are some tips for making the most out of LinkedIn.

Have an excellent profile

Perhaps you are looking for new opportunities, or perhaps you just want to connect with other professionals. Whatever your reason for using LinkedIn, your profile is important. A good profile will connect you to the right people and encourage people to want to work with you.

  • Your profile picture should clearly show your face and it should look professional. You don’t need a professional photographer for this, simply get someone to take a photo of you in front of a white wall. You also have the option to upload a banner image. Choose something relevant, such as your business banner.
  • Next, you need to decide on a tagline that shows up under your profile image. Tell people what you do in a few words, this will help you be found by others.
  • Your ‘about me’ section comes next. LinkedIn is all about your personal brand, so tell people about yourself – what got you into the industry you are in? What are your hobbies?
  • Have all the other sections completed as this will strengthen your profile, including work, schooling, etc. In the work section, explain your accomplishments in different jobs. You should also make use of all 100 skills. It sounds like a lot, but this will help you to be found by the right people.
  • Wherever you can include links to relevant videos, pictures, and websites. This will make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Ask people to recommend you.


Build connections

Now you have a profile which you are proud of, you need to start building up your connections. To do this quickly you may want to send lots of blank invitations. When you have a mutual friend with someone, they become a ‘second level’ connection which means they are more likely to accept you. Therefore, having lots of relevant connections is a good thing. However, if there is someone you really want to connect with, send them a private message with your invitation.

  • Join relevant groups.
  • Search for job titles.
  • Look at your recommended friends.


Be active

Now that you have good connections you need to be active with them. Spend some time on LinkedIn every day or every other day. You can also download the app to your phone to make it easier.

  • Interact with other people’s posts; like, comment, share.
  • Find relevant information to share or create your own.
  • Write statuses, ask questions, encourage conversation.

Has LinkedIn been helpful for your career? Let us know in the comments.

Career CamelLinkedIn: The professional social network

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