8 Tips for Making the Most out of this Great Resource
If you are in career training school, you have probably learned about the importance of creating a LinkedIn account. If you haven’t created a profile yet, now is a great time to start. For advice on creating a strong profile, try 8 Tips for Creating a Strong LinkedIn Profile.
Once you’ve created your profile, it’s time to start taking advantage of the many opportunities that LinkedIn offers for making professional connections, searching for a job, and learning about your career field. Try these tips for making the most out of LinkedIn.
1. Reach out and connect with others
Similar to Facebook, you can make LinkedIn connections with people you know by inviting them to connect with you. All you have to do is go to the person’s profile and click on Send an InMail/Connect. While it’s okay to connect with your friends, it’s even more important to try to connect with people in your career field. You might connect with classmates from your career training classes, your instructors, or an internship or job supervisor. Try to be connected to at least 50 people. Being connected with others helps your LinkedIn profile to look more active, which could be important if a prospective employer looks at it.
2. Follow organizations and companies that interest you
LinkedIn allows you to follow companies, which allows you to see their LinkedIn feed. You might follow your own employer, or, if you are looking for a job, you might want to follow the feeds of companies where you are hoping to work. Companies sometimes post job openings or other information that could be useful to you. To follow a company, look under the Interests tab.
3. Join groups related to your career field
There are thousands of different groups on LinkedIn. Groups are a place for people to converse and share ideas with others in their career field. To find a group, search the name of your career field, such as “Medical Assistant” or “Massage Therapist” and see what group names come up. Joining a group and participating in the group discussions can increase your knowledge of your field, and may alert you to job openings or job-related tips.
4. Post articles on your feed
People who are active on LinkedIn often post articles, videos, or links that are relevant to their career field. This is a good way to show others that you care about your field. Be sure that you only post articles that you truly believe are useful articles. (Posting something just for the sake of posting something is not a good idea.)
5. Pay it forward and endorse others
LinkedIn allows you to endorse your connections for their career skills. To make the endorsement feature meaningful, make sure you only endorse your contacts for skills you truly know they have. As you endorse people, you may find that they endorse you too. Having endorsements helps your profile to be more marketable. There’s no need to go overboard with endorsements—too many might not look genuine.
6. Use the “recommend” feature
The “recommend” feature on LinkedIn is similar to getting a job reference. If you’ve worked with someone and admired their work, you may want to write them a recommendation. A recommendation is more personalized than an endorsement. Writing someone a recommendation is a generous thing to do, and the favor may come back to you.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Once you have endorsed and recommended others, don’t be afraid to ask others to help you boost your profile too. It’s okay to ask someone to write a recommendation for you. Try asking a former co-worker, a mentor, or an instructor to write a brief recommendation for you. They will probably be honored that you asked. Having positive recommendations can really make your profile stand out to potential employers.
8. Create Job Alerts
Are you using LinkedIn to look for job postings? If so, have LinkedIn do the work for you by setting up an automatic job alert. You can narrow down your search with specific keywords, salary requirements, and geographic location. You can also set up more than one job alert, in case there are different parameters you are searching. Linked in can send you a notification when new jobs are posted that meet your search terms.
We hope this short guide has helped you understand the different ways that LinkedIn can benefit you. Remember, LinkedIn can be a useful tool throughout your career—not just when you are looking for a job. So make an effort to keep your profile up-to-date and to get involved in the many features this networking site offers.
These tips were provided by the Harris School of Business. Our school offers career-focused training in fields such as Medical Assistant, Massage Therapist, Dental Assistant, and Health Claims Specialist (medical billing and coding). Find out more about becoming a student at the Harris School.