LinkedIn 101: How to Advance Your Career Using LinkedIn

In today’s digital and social world, LinkedIn is more valuable than ever for advancing your career. According to LinkedIn, there are over 645 million users in more than 200 countries worldwide, so regardless of where you are, or the type of job you are trying to get, LinkedIn can help make it happen!

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network and a combination of your living resume, a place to network with other professionals, a search engine for job opportunities, and a platform to show your professional expertise. Read on as we share exactly how to advance your career using LinkedIn!

LinkedIn 101: How to Advance Your Career Using LinkedIn

Create Your Profile

The first step to advancing your career with LinkedIn is to create your profile. Your profile serves as your living resume and allows you to show off your education, experience, skills, and more. Having a professional looking and complete LinkedIn profile is essential when applying for jobs using LinkedIn. Here is a list of things to include in your LinkedIn profile to optimize it for advancing your career:

  • Photo – Add a professional looking headshot to help you stand out from others.
  • Name – Add your first and last name so you can be easily found.
  • Headline – Add a headline that describes what you do or want to do, such as “Medical Assistant”.
  • Location – Add your current location, or the location of where you’re trying to get hired.
  • Contact Information – Add your email address, your phone number if you want to, and the link to your website or portfolio if you have one.
  • Background Image – Use a professional background image that is relevant to your career and field, such as a photo of you with happy patients if you’re in the healthcare field.
  • About – Write and include an about section that tells the story of where you are in your career, including your experiences so far and where you want to go in your career.
  • Experience – Add all relevant experience including the company, job title, dates you worked there, and a short description of your job.
  • Skills – Add all your professional skills, including both hard and soft skills.
  • Education – Add the school, degree, and years attended for each degree you have earned.
  • Licenses and Certifications – Add the name of the credential, issuing organization, and dates valid for each license and certification you hold.
  • Volunteer Experience – Add volunteer experience you have, including the organization, your role, and a short description.
  • Accomplishments – Add professional and personal accomplishments, including courses, projects, published articles, awards, and any additional languages you speak.

As you’re creating your LinkedIn profile, you must optimize it for the specific keywords that recruiters and hiring managers would use when searching LinkedIn for job candidates. Use these keywords in various sections of your profile to make yourself appear more in LinkedIn searches.

Build Your Network

In addition to serving as your living resume, LinkedIn is a great place to build your network and connect with other professionals. If you’re just starting out in your career, you may not have a huge network yet, so begin by adding people you already know.

Import the contacts from your phone and email provider, such as Gmail, and send connection requests to everyone on these lists. Connect with your teachers, other students, and alumni of your school, and with supervisors and coworkers from previous jobs.

Follow companies that you’re interested in working for or that operate in your industry, so you’re first to see the jobs they post. Join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your field, as this allows you to meet and build relationships with other professionals in your field.

Ask for Recommendations

Positive, glowing recommendations are the shining star to your LinkedIn profile. They show potential employers that you’re great at your job and people value you as a professional.

If you’re just starting your career or don’t have a lot of professional experience yet, there are still people you can go to for recommendations. Ask previous supervisors and coworkers that you have positive relationships with, even if the experience was in another field.

If you’re currently enrolled in school, ask your teachers, people at your externship site, and other students to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Other students can vouch for your work ethic, positive attitude, teamwork skills, and more.

Share Content and Engage

LinkedIn gives you the perfect opportunity to share your professional expertise with the world. Articles you write, videos you create, photos you take, and any other relevant content is great to share. You can share content from other people and pages as well, such as sharing a post from your school.

Liking, commenting, and engaging on LinkedIn will help you build positive relationships with other professionals. Other ways you can engage are congratulating those who get promotions or change jobs, and reaching out to people individually. For example, you could reach out to hiring managers with questions when applying for jobs, which can start a relationship and show your enthusiasm.

Search for Job Opportunities

Using LinkedIn to search and apply for job opportunities can get you on the fast track to your career. Job seekers can search based on many different criteria, such as job title, keyword, date posted, job type, location, company, industry, job function, experience level, and benefits offered.

When applying and interviewing for jobs, research and connect with hiring managers and recruiters. This shows you have taken time to do your homework and you can use the information you learned about them in your interview.

Under the Career Interests section in LinkedIn, click the button to let recruiters know you’re open to new job opportunities, and complete your job preferences including the title, location, and job type. Doing this makes your profile stand out to recruiters when they’re searching for candidates and increases your chances of receiving messages from recruiters.

Put Your Career On The Fast Track

Now that you know how to advance your career using LinkedIn, get the education and training needed to begin your career. Request information or call (330) 385-1070 today to get started!