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How To Use LinkedIn To Your Advantage?

In the modern digital age, one can hardly imagine a job search without utilizing the world’s biggest career networking platform – LinkedIn. The website, since its inception in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, has revolutionized the professional world with its notable features of networking.


the image displays how to use LinkedIn to your advantage

LinkedIn recorded over 650 million people on its database, including members from over 200 nations (as per a report 2020). In addition to job-seeking individuals, LinkedIn is also used by companies around the globe to spread awareness about their presence in the industry and recruit prospective employees.


Effective professional networking helps professionals from all fields to build profound connections with each other while simultaneously benefitting their respective industries.


Importance of LinkedIn


Let us dive deep into the significance of LinkedIn for a professional.


  • Increase your chances of hiring


Most recruiting managers employ LinkedIn to look for skilled professionals who can be hired for various vacancies in their companies. Therefore, building a personal brand can make you visible to these recruiters who are looking for the skills that you own. The more optimized your LinkedIn profile is, the better are the chances of you getting hired.


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  • Exhibit your integrity and competence


The credentials, references, and connections you build on LinkedIn go a long way to establish your credibility with prospective employers. You can also earn endorsements for specific skills from people with whom you have previously worked. This majorly contributes to building trust.


  • A place for new opportunities


Conventional job boards often lack a plethora of new job opportunities that LinkedIn provides. The website also offers the provision of saving job searches and applying directly via LinkedIn Apply.


  • LinkedIn Communities


Groups and communities on LinkedIn are an excellent way of interacting with people working in a similar industry as yours. You can take part in discussions to show your expertise in your field, ask questions, and get key insights into the working of different organizations.


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How to use LinkedIn (step-by-step procedure)


Let us look at the steps involved in building a stellar LinkedIn account that gives you maximum benefits.


  1. Get started


To get started for getting the most out of LinkedIn, create an account. This process takes a couple of minutes. You will need to specify your first and last name along with your email address. After that, create a strong password.


  1. Add an appropriate profile picture


Your LinkedIn photo can contribute towards making a good impression on your future employers as well as professionals you network with. Therefore, choose one that appears professional and not informal or overly fancy-looking. The background and lighting should be just right so that the picture is clear enough.


  1. Add an interesting profile summary


A short but crisp profile summary will make you stand apart among others on this platform, particularly if you are looking for new career opportunities. Keep in mind that there is a character limit, so you want to make the most out of your profile summary. Shorter paragraphs allow more white space and will thus ensure more interest from the profile viewer.


It is also advised to avoid technical words and keep the profile summary simple. You can write the profile summary in a way that reflects your personality. But refrain from using an overly casual tone. Proofread it carefully before posting to avoid any typos or spelling mistakes.


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  1. Enhance your LinkedIn Profile


Your LinkedIn profile is a record of your professional achievements, educational qualifications, and work experience. Adding relevant keywords is an effective way of ensuring that hiring managers can find you more easily. Include these keywords in the profile summary, skills, former job description, etc.


  1. Stand out in the crowd through recommendations


Recommendations from your previous employers can help make your profile trustworthy to hiring managers. The recommendations feature of LinkedIn allows you to request recommendations and add them to your profile.


  1. Get Endorsed


LinkedIn also allows you to earn endorsements for your skills by your connections. The more endorsements you can manage to receive for your skills, the more are the chances of you attracting the interest of hiring managers and recruiters.


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  1. Add your LinkedIn profile link to your Resume


During applying for jobs offline or through online platforms other than LinkedIn, you will be required to submit your resume. Make sure you include your LinkedIn profile URL to the resume so that your prospective employers can access the profile to know more about your professional experience. LinkedIn assigns you the URL after you create your account. You can even customize the URL by using the Edit URL option.


However, remember to update your LinkedIn profile before specifying the URL in your resume.


  1. Send out messages and contact invitations


After profile creation on LinkedIn, work towards building a network. Make sure that it includes your professional contacts, people you know on an educational basis, and other relevant contacts. Send out contact invitations to these people and accept their invitations if they happen to send them.


While sending messages to people outside your network, keep them professional and short.


After you have your LinkedIn account in place, it is time to tweak it further. Here’s how to use LinkedIn to make your profile more interesting.


How to Use LinkedIn to Create Content?


LinkedIn allows you to post content on it just like any other social networking website. You have the option to share text updates, images, videos, or relevant links to other websites. It’s always important to make sure that the content you post is appropriate and useful to your connections on LinkedIn.


Uploading videos can not only help you share your views and insights with the world but also enhance the brand image of your organization. You can improve these videos by using the available filters and stickers. Add captions so that viewers can understand the video even with sound off.


The LinkedIn Publishing Platform enables you to publish articles that are displayed on your profile. These articles may emerge in search engine results and are shareable. However, you own the original rights of the articles you publish. Posting well-written and in-depth articles is a great way of showing your expertise in specific areas of knowledge.


Including hashtags can make your content visible to more users.


Follow the companies you’re interested in

LinkedIn makes the complicated process of job hunt easy by allowing you to search and follow companies. All you need to do is make a list of the companies you’d like to work for and start following them. This will help you stay updated about company news and new vacancies.


How to Use LinkedIn Advanced Search?


You can use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search option to look for companies that you prefer. You can then contact the relevant people depending on how they are associated with the company. If you are reaching out to someone who works there, you can know about the company culture from them. Clients and service providers can enlighten you about the various business processes. Researching your favorite company can be both fun and useful if you do it the right way.


 How to use LinkedIn to connect with the alumni of your college?


Searching for your college or university is a great way to connect with alumni of your college. You can contact them and share your vision of landing your dream job so that they can contribute to it.


Being more active is the key

Be regularly active on LinkedIn and showcase your authenticity in the best way possible. Share interesting posts created by you that include articles, pictures, and other content forms. You can join groups and interact with other members.


Appear Professional


This is one of the major points in knowing how to use LinkedIn. Your image plays a big role in your professional success. You don’t want to appear frivolous in the eyes of your prospective employers. That is why building and maintaining a good reputation by following proper etiquette is crucial on LinkedIn.


Refrain from posting personal content that you might post on other social networking sites like Instagram and Facebook. Never engage in gossip in the comments or on your feed. Give a proper introduction while reaching out to someone for the first time. Avoid saying anything derogatory about your present or past workplace.


Be honest while communicating your accomplishments and don’t embellish them.


Adding comments


When you share a piece of content on LinkedIn, you can further increase its prominence by adding relevant comments explaining in simple terms why the shared post makes sense. When you add expressive comments on the shared content, more users are prompted to add additional comments and engage with the post. Including insightful comments can help you establish yourself as a thought leader.


Always keep in mind that you offer something useful and thought-provoking through your comments. It is always a rewarding experience to interact with people on LinkedIn and learn from them.


Follow significant influencers from your industry


Following eminent influencers can help you in enriching your feed through their content.


When to use LinkedIn so as to get more exposure


It is important to keep in mind that using LinkedIn after working hours is more fruitful as you will gain more exposure and social interaction at that time.  You can try posting at different times to get an idea about what works best.


How to use LinkedIn to highlight your skills?


Another notable attribute of LinkedIn is its Skills Assessment feature. It consists of an online assessment that helps you to evaluate your skill level. After the successful completion of the test, you are awarded a Verified Skills badge that is displayed on your profile.


The Verified Skills badge can considerably increase your chances of getting hired for your desired job profiles. Also, it lends credibility to your personal brand. However, it’s your call whether you want to display the results of the skill assessment on your profile or not. You can take the assessment multiple times before showing the results.


How to Use LinkedIn Learning?


If you are an entrepreneur, student, teacher, or just someone who is looking for some expert knowledge on a new subject, consider signing up for LinkedIn Learning. It is a customized learning platform with superior-quality content that can be easily understood. LinkedIn Learning has over 10,000 courses across a wide range of topics like technology, business, and creativity. You can even choose your preferred language.


After course completion, your profile will display a course certificate.


How to Use LinkedIn through the point of view of a Company?


How to use LinkedIn to Hire New People?


As a hiring professional, you can look for people with specific skill sets and qualifications to join your organization. LinkedIn is better than conventional advertising methods of recruiting.

The Advanced Search option in LinkedIn allows you to search for candidates based on criteria like location, industry, language, company, etc.


How to use LinkedIn to Build Your Organization’s Image?


When used effectively, LinkedIn can help in making your brand or its products and services more visible. You can showcase the journey of your company to strike an emotional chord with your prospective employees and customers.


Begin by creating a LinkedIn page for your company so that people can reach out to it to research your brand. You can even use LinkedIn Analytics to obtain an overview of people visiting the page to target the content accordingly.


LinkedIn can also help you in studying your competitors and therefore staying ahead in your industry. Its paid feature called Sales Navigator enables you to contact possible prospects.


LinkedIn Elevate


LinkedIn Elevate is a platform that enables companies to conduct employee advocacy programs. LinkedIn firmly believes that businesses that enable employees to share content tend to achieve more. Sharing interesting and smart content can help in expanding their reach, attracting talented hires, and promoting sales. It also enhances engagement. Elevate has simplified content sharing for employees.


LinkedIn can be quite a game-changer for your professional life if used wisely.


How to use LinkedIn along with its lesser-known features?


There are some features of LinkedIn that are unique. And yet some of these features might have remained unknown to some of us. Let us explore them.


1.       Hide your connections


LinkedIn gives you the ability to conceal your connections from your other connections and other people who visit your profile. Through this feature, you can control the privacy and visibility of your connections in your network. You can set this feature in two ways. You can either choose to make your connections visible to only yourself or your other connections.


Building connections takes a considerable amount of hard work and time, therefore it is reasonable for you to not want other people to connect with them.


To apply these settings, go to the upper right-hand side of your profile and choose ‘privacy and settings’. After that, tap on the ‘select who can see your connections’ section and click on either ‘only me’ or ‘your connections’ depending on your preference. Post choosing the option, save the changes.


2.       Keep yourself anonymous when visiting profiles


When you click the “who’s viewed my profile” box on the right of your LinkedIn page, you can see the particulars of the people who visited your profile. But sometimes, some profile visitors are shown as ‘anonymous’. This is so because of their privacy settings.


If you don’t want others to see your details like your name, current company, and other things on your LinkedIn page when you view their profile, you can utilize this feature.


To change your privacy settings, go to the settings page and tap on “Visibility of your profile and network”. A pop-up window appears to select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile. Select your preferred option and apply the changes.


3.       Include media files in your profile


You can insert a wide range of media files like photos, videos, links, and documents in your LinkedIn profile. You can increase the authenticity of your LinkedIn profile by adding relevant media files under your ‘featured’, ‘education’, and ‘experience’. Media files help in displaying your expertise in your past projects.


To include media files, select the ‘edit profile’ option. Then search for the pencil icon on the upper corner of every section, and click on it to look for options to include media in various formats.


4.       Exporting connections


This feature had been discontinued by LinkedIn for a while. The reason was businesses using the email addresses of people on LinkedIn to send them promotional messages. Many members, however, were not happy with this step and had requested LinkedIn to restart the feature. Finally, LinkedIn brought the feature back.


This feature enables the seamless transfer of your connections to other contact management systems. The contacts are easily downloadable in CSV or VCF formats. The names of the contacts, their current company names, and email addresses will be on the list.


To enable this feature, click on ‘Connections in LinkedIn’s “My Network”. Then choose the “Manage synced and imported contacts” in the top right and select ‘export contacts’ in the advanced action option given in the right.


5.       Create LinkedIn showcase pages


If you want to segregate your inbound LinkedIn traffic, you can make use of the LinkedIn showcase pages. Creating a showcase page will help especially if you are planning to target a specific audience through a business.


This feature allows you to aim for diverse buyer personas by providing single pages about specific products and services.


LinkedIn members can follow specific showcase pages without requiring to follow the main page of the business or its other showcase pages. The page can be changed according to audience behavior and preference.


Showcase pages were tailor-made for B2B companies with the aim of producing more leads.LinkedIn advises creating a Showcase Page when you want to characterize a brand or business initiative. These pages are needed for establishing a strong bond with a particular audience.


In order to generate a showcase page, choose “Admin Tools” at the top right of your company page and select ‘create a showcase page’. You can generate up to ten free showcase pages for every page of the parent company.


6.       Record the exact pronunciation of your name


This feature of LinkedIn is for the members with names that are often mispronounced. People with the same mother tongue or ethnicity won’t normally have a problem pronouncing such names. However, such might not be the case with people belonging to different countries. They might face some difficulty in pronouncing certain names.


Through this feature that allows you to record your name in your voice, LinkedIn aims to make this career networking website more inclusive. The duration allowed for the recording is 10 seconds. After you are done uploading the recording, people can access it by clicking on the speaker icon displayed near your name.


Also, you can utilize this feature to express more about yourself besides your name. You can greet people or say something interesting about what you do.


To record your name, tap on the first edit icon on your LinkedIn profile page. Then click on the ‘Add Name Pronunciation’. Click the record icon and record your name. Apply the setting or Retake if you wish to re-record.


7.       Combine all your inactive accounts through the Merge Account feature


Having multiple inactive accounts leads to wasting a lot of connections that could otherwise be useful. Many people might have more than one LinkedIn account due to some mistake of their own or by their team.


However, some of your connections might be trying to contact you through your dormant account or the email address associated with it.


The Merge Accounts feature of LinkedIn provides a convenient way of merging all your connections into your active account and deactivating your inactive accounts.


To use this feature, go to your “Settings” and click on “Account preferences”. This will open up the Account management section under which you can merge your accounts.


Gargi is an Arts graduate and an intern at IIM Skills. She is a voracious reader and is passionate about writing, cooking and gardening. Gargi lives in Raipur with her mother.

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