Why Use LinkedIn?

According to LinkedIn, 9 out of 10 LinkedIn members are open to new opportunities.
LinkedIn Jobs matches roles to the most relevant candidates.
LinkedIn offers useful resources for job seekers.
LinkedIn provides information by acting as billboards to highlight unique value propositions.
LinkedIn makes your information public for recruiters.

Sign Up for LinkedIn

Navigate to LinkedIn.com, enter your first name, last name, and email address in the indicated area, and create a password. LinkedIn.com offers two membership tiers: Basic and Premium. The Basic account offers messaging, profile creation, and job postings application features, while the Premium tier offers four subcategories with added features and resources, each at its own cost: Premium Career, Sales Navigator, Recruiter Lite, Premium Business, and LinkedIn Learning to expand your online presence and let you get more out of the service.

Choose a Professional Photo

Make a good first impression on anyone who views your profile by choosing a professional-looking photo rather than a casual shot. The picture does not necessarily have to be an expensive headshot, but care should be taken when selecting the right clothes, lighting, background, etc., for your LinkedIn profile picture.

Write a Good Profile Summary

Create a LinkedIn profile summary, particularly if you are interested in new job opportunities as a great chance to highlight your profile and put your best foot forward. The LinkedIn profile summary section has a character limit, therefore make the best of it by writing three to five short paragraphs about your background. I recommend leaving plenty of white spaces to enable the section to be readable, otherwise, visitors to your profile may glaze over the section when viewing your page. Avoid using jargon, controversial or unprofessional statements as well as typos and sloppy writing as they will send the wrong signals. Rather use short and tight sentences.

Improve and Tweak Your Profile

Besides the character-limited profile summary, your LinkedIn profile should include your work experience, education, skills and licenses, endorsements and recommendations from others in your network, and any voluntary experiences. The information you post about yourself in your profile contains searchable keywords that search engines and recruiters look for, therefore, include buzzwords in your profile summary, current job titles, former job titles, skills and interests that can help you stand out and get found on LinkedIn.

Request LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn allows you to request recommendations directly from specific LinkedIn connections. Therefore, ask for recommendations from people in your network as they are a great way to boost your LinkedIn profile and make it stand out. Recommendations from Positive recommendations written by previous employers, clients, or colleagues are particularly powerful because they show recruiters your strengths and what kind of employee you are.

Use LinkedIn Endorsements

Use endorsements to quickly and easily show viewers of your profile and your professional contacts where your expertise and strengths lie.

Include Your LinkedIn Profile Address on Your Resume

LinkedIn assigns a default URL that can be customized with something more meaningful such as your full name; first and last name. To customize your LinkedIn URL, click the “Me” icon at the top right-hand of your LinkedIn homepage and select “View profile” from the drop-down menu. On the right-hand side of the page, click “Edit public profile & URL.” If the URL that contains your first and last name is unavailable, try including your middle initial, your full middle name or a number. Include your LinkedIn URL on your resume because it makes it easy for recruiters and prospective employers to visit your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you, your qualifications and skills.

Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Updated Regularly

It is critical to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is regularly updated to increase visibility. However, I do not recommend updating your LinkedIn profile to reflect that you’re unemployed even if you are, because it might have a negative impact on your job search. DO NOT state things like “Actively seeking …” or “Currently unemployed…” Rather, presenting yourself in a positive light to networking contacts and prospective employers might boost your chances of getting hired or considered for a job. It is important to have a proper LinkedIn headline whether you are happily employed or not. Therefore, if you are happily employed, simply state your current job title. If you happily employed but looking to transition to a new role; state your current title and 2 other titles you might be interested in transitioning to. However, if you are unemployed and actively looking; state three job titles you might desire. For instance, Director of Business Development, VP of Information Technology, Chief Information Officer. LinkedIn has an optional section where you can include these 3 titles to show that you are “Open to New Opportunities”. You can also add #ONO to your list of hashtags. It is very important to make it clear to recruiters and potential employers, the type of roles you are looking to fulfill to avoid recruiters spamming you with unwanted or undesired job advances. Show that you are SERIOUS and mean BUSINESS.

Sending Messages and Invitations

Upon successfully signing up for a LinkedIn account and creating a complete profile, begin building a network of contacts, for example, with work colleagues, classmates, professional contacts, anybody of interest, etc. Send out connection requests to people who meet your objectives. Keep connection messages professional and on point to increase your rate of acceptance or response.

How Big Should Your Network Be?

The size of your network depends on your objective. However, it is more important to focus on the quality of your connection than the actual number of connections. In other words, focus on using your LinkedIn network as an effective tool for job searching, career networking, or business prospects. I recommend connecting with people that are relevant to your line of work and could potentially lead you to a job opportunity, provide endorsements, recommendations, or valuable advice.

Applying for Jobs on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a job board that allows job seekers to search and apply for jobs directly. You can perform targeted searches using the company and advanced people finders to narrow your scope to exact or close matches. The search filter also allows you to search by location, industry, dated posted or experience level to get more specific search results. You might be able to contact the recruiter directly to get further details about the advertised position or ask your LinkedIn connections to recommend or refer you for a job.

Searching Company Profiles

Visit LinkedIn company profiles to find out more information about companies of interest. LinkedIn will show you connections that work at those companies, their statistics, affiliated companies, jobs posted, insights, and company news.

Using the LinkedIn Mobile App

LinkedIn has a Mobile App for when you are on the move with great features that include searching and viewing personal and company profiles, inviting new connections, browsing LinkedIn posts, asking for recommendations, profile update capabilities, sending and receiving messages, and resume uploads to job openings.

Avoid Scammers

As with other networking sites, please, watch out for scammers!

Dr. Vivian Lyon, DIT, MSIT, MSc.IT, MBA
CIO & Founder, Plaza Dynamics
Connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/vivianlyon/
Email: vivianlyon@plazadynamics.com