Learning how to use LinkedIn for professional development is a great step toward improving your network, keeping in touch with colleagues, finding that perfect job and making new connections that offer exciting opportunities. LinkedIn is one of the fastest-growing and most valuable assets to access. In 2019 alone, LinkedIn had 645 million accounts, and 40% of those users actually logged on every single day. With over 30 million companies now active on the platform, there were over 20 million open job postings in 2019 alone.
Use LinkedIn for career progression:
1. Build an Outstanding Profile
LinkedIn provides a vast set of internal tools for building one’s profile. Make sure you fill out all areas and provide enough value in order to demonstrate your skills and qualifications in the best possible manner. Use a specific headline that corresponds with your core skill. Craft a genuine summary that outlines your top accomplishments and your main focus. Update your skills, the job experience (in details), communities you participate with and certificates that you hold. You can use a trustworthy photo which showcases your best self. Apply that same photo to your other online accounts so that people can connect the dots. Upload any SlideShare presentations or additional assets applicable to LinkedIn.
Remember first impressions matter, and not just in person. Before ever meeting you, 41% of recruiters have admitted judging candidates by their photos. Your profile picture is your calling card on LinkedIn.
2. Use the app to your advantage.
When you are on the job hunt, find companies you want to work for, and make it a point to follow their accounts so you can stay aware of the company’s current happenings. The “companies” tab will display updates, employees and job postings, all in one central location that will then make its way over to your news feed. Once you land an interview, you will already be well up to date on their latest product releases or corporate announcements, and this makes you stand out more than you realize
The app also contains a pulse tab, which allows you to see personalized articles and topics related to your industry and target audience. Dedicate a little time each morning to sift through the app. With your morning cup of coffee, spend 10 minutes finding articles worth sharing, or work towards building content around your industry (articles, blog posts, etc) so you can establish yourself as a thought-leader in your niche.
3. Produce Regular Valuable Content
Out of the 645 million LinkedIn accounts, less than .5% are actually contributing new content. This place is a goldmine for sharing content and being seen. Low competition means high view opportunities, a recipe for success. If you find an article you liked within your realm of subject matter, read the comments section to find questions that other viewers may have posed as a way to search for and address gaps that weren’t covered on the topic. Tag other people who will get notified once mentioned – especially if you discuss more active LinkedIn members.
Recording daily educational videos (or every few days) will most likely receive more attention than standard textual posts. If you want to build your portfolio for work purposes, make sure your topics are closely related to your speciality. You want to end up with a complete profile that screams “professional” and is focused on what you do and are eager to do.
4. Connect with the right people
You met someone a few years back in college doesn’t necessarily mean you want to connect with them on this professional platform. Your level of reach depends largely on how social and engaged you are on the platform, not necessarily how many people are connected with you. Start by connecting with existing professional and personal contacts in the industry you are working in, or want to move into. If you meet a new coworker or connect with a professional during a networking event, seek out their account and send them a LinkedIn request that contains a short personalized message.
Join LinkedIn groups and interact with people. Comment on discussions, share topics on your own feed, mention other team members. Most people would be sending invitations every now and then and don’t be afraid to ask for a connection request after a couple of interactions.