How To Effectively Use Linked In

With unemployment continuing to remain high, recent grads need to do everything in their control to assist them in landing a career. Included in this category is using Linked In. Unfortunately, many people using Linked In do not use it to its fullest potential. Make sure you aren’t committing any of the below mistakes with your Linked In Profile.

Use Linked In to Get a Job

Incomplete Profile

A completed profile should have a picture of yourself (ideally a professional looking one, not one of you doing a keg-stand), along with a detailed job history. Also make certain that you have the education section completed along with and awards or achievements you have received. If you are unsure what all to include, look through others profiles to get an idea of what to include and exclude.

In the education section be sure not to overlook listing any certifications and or licenses you received.

Build a Network

This isn’t something that is too terribly difficult to do. First off, many colleges and universities have groups. Make sure you join the group as an alumnus. From there, reach out to past employers and supervisors and connect with them. Third, reach out to friends and family.

Some people may not recommend reaching out to friends and family, because Linked In is more for your career than for socializing. I still think you should connect with friends and family because you have no idea who they are connected to. They may be one or two connections away from the person that hires for the job you want.

Keep Your Profile Updated

If you land a job, make sure to update your profile. Human resources personnel log on to Linked In daily to try to find potential employees. I get emails all the time from them telling me about a position that has opened up in my area. I don’t go out seeking them, they find me.

Be Active

Linked In allows users to ask and answer questions in group discussions. While it may seem to be a waste of time, asking thoughtful questions and responding to others questions with intelligent responses can help you stand out in a crowd and increase the likelihood of making connections with more professionals.

Ideally, the groups you join should be in the field where you want to find employment. If you are looking in the finance industry for employment, it wouldn’t make much sense to join groups for architects. Unless of course, you have a passion for architects and it is a hobby of yours.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Linked In is a great social media site to help you find a job. Even if you are still in college, I recommend completing your profile as it could help you stand out against other applicants for internships.

While it is important to have the education needed to qualify for most jobs, connections go a long way. The old saying of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” applies here. If you and ten other applicants all have the same education and experience, what gets you in the door? Many would say luck. Another way to say luck is to say you had an “in”, meaning you know someone to get you an interview. It isn’t luck that you knew this person. Most times, it’s through making connections and meeting people. So go complete your Linked In profile and meet some people!

7 Responses to How To Effectively Use Linked In

  1. I think LinkedIn can be a great tool to use, assuming you’re using it correctly. With so many groups on it, it can be easy to build up a good network. I like to try and connect with people I meet with at networking events and the like within a day or so of meeting them as a way to continue to stay in touch.

  2. LinkedIn is such a crucial tool in todays world for any professional across just about any industry/field. I have had numerous interviews strictly gained from LinkedIn and have consulted for many individuals assisting them with their profiles and resumes. Online presence is key and the way you present yourself online is the new first impression meeting.

    • My girlfriend works in the staffing field and when people approach her for open positions, she always asks about their LinkedIn profile. Many people who have been employed for years don’t have a LinkedIn page but now need one for networking purposes.

  3. Great post Don. When used correctly LinkedIn can be a HUGE benefit in the job hunt. One piece of advice I think makes a lot of sense is to make sure you are actively helping your connections on LinkedIn. Whether this is in the form of writing recommendations, endorsing skills, or assisting in others’ job searches, helping others out will come back to you in the end.

  4. Too often, we approach job search backwards. Students should acquire the skills, experience and accomplishments to make themselves attractive to employers. Grades is one aspect, but did they take advantage of other opportunities such as internships, summer jobs, and extra curricular activities. As a former employer, I wanted someone who showed me through their resume they were good at what they do and gained experience.