LinkedIn 101

5 Ways To Advance Your Career Using LinkedIn

In today’s digital landscape, having a strong online professional presence is more valuable than ever. LinkedIn is one of the most popular job search websites, with over 1 billion active members worldwide. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site, and it allows you to update your resume in real-time, network with other professionals, search for job opportunities, and create posts to share your professional expertise. LinkedIn 101

A strong LinkedIn profile can help set you up for success when searching for a new job. East Ohio College brings you five tips for creating a compelling LinkedIn profile. Keep reading to learn how to use LinkedIn to land your next position! 

1. Optimize Your Profile

The first step to having a strong LinkedIn profile is ensuring your information is up-to-date and relevant. Your profile is your living resume, so keeping it fresh as you gain new skills and experience is important. If you don’t already have a profile, you can find detailed information on creating one in this article

Having a professional-looking and complete profile is essential when applying for jobs using LinkedIn. Some important things to include on your profile are: 

  • Headshot – Your profile photo is the first thing people see when they view your page, so you want to ensure it is professional and work-appropriate. Taking a photo in clean, business attire against a solid wall can make a great headshot for those who do not want to have photos professionally done. There are also online artificial intelligence services, like Canva, that can take an existing photo and make it more professional. 
  • Name – Add your first and last name to your profile and any post-nominal letters to show your level of qualification in your industry. For example, if you are a registered nurse, your LinkedIn profile will be “Jane Doe, RN.”
  • Contact Information – Include your phone number and email address and link to a virtual portfolio if you have one. Be sure to create a professional voicemail greeting and email address, as potential employers will likely contact you regarding the positions you apply for.
  • About – The About section on LinkedIn allows you to write a summary of your experience, education, career goals, and any other relevant information. Keep it short and sweet, but be sure to include any facts that make you stand out, including certifications* or licenses you possess and more.
  • Experience and Education – These sections are your professional experience and education timeline. The experience section allows you to include the company, job title, any promotions you may have received, dates of employment, and a short summary of your job responsibilities. The education section includes your high school and post-secondary schooling. 
  • Skills – Add the professional skills you have gained in your education and work experience. This is also where you can receive endorsements, which we will explain more thoroughly below.

As you update your LinkedIn profile, it is important to remember the specific keywords that recruiters in your industry are using to find candidates. Using keywords in various sections of your profile will optimize it and help you appear more in LinkedIn searches. 

2. Build Your Network

In addition to serving as your resume, LinkedIn is also a great place to connect with other professionals in your industry. If you are just starting out in your career, you may not have an extensive network yet. Build connections with people you already know, such as your fellow students, those you worked with during your externship, instructors, supervisors, and coworkers from previous jobs. You can also import the contacts from your phone and email provider to send connection requests to everyone in your contact list. 

Once you have started your network, follow profiles of companies you are interested in working for, industry leaders, and pages that post relevant content. You can also join LinkedIn groups for your field, allowing you to meet and build relationships with other professionals.

3. Ask for Endorsements

Endorsements are the positive, glowing recommendations that can make your LinkedIn profile stand out. They show potential employers that you are great at your job and people value your skills. People within your network can endorse the skills in your skills section, proving that you have mastered the skill. Asking for endorsements from previous employers, coworkers, instructors, other students, and anyone you have worked closely with can help strengthen your profile. If someone gives you an endorsement, be sure to visit their profile and give one back!

4. Share Content and Engage

Utilize LinkedIn as a social media network by sharing professional content, including articles, videos, and relevant photos to your industry. Engage with others through likes, comments, and messages. LinkedIn also notifies you when someone in your network changes jobs, has a work anniversary, or has other notable accomplishments, allowing you to congratulate them. Creating a strong profile on LinkedIn is only part of the equation; fostering positive professional relationships through engagement is a great way to get noticed. 

5. Search for Job Opportunities

LinkedIn also acts as a job search engine, allowing you to search for positions in your desired field, apply, and be in contact with the hiring manager, all within LinkedIn. Utilizing this tool can help you find positions you may not have known about. You can search for jobs using different criteria filters, such as job title, date posted, job type, education required, location, industry, company, experience level, benefits, and salary. 

When applying to and interviewing for jobs, use LinkedIn to research the hiring manager you will be speaking with. This shows that you have done your homework and can use your knowledge of the company and recruiter during your interview.

Additionally, LinkedIn has a feature that lets recruiters know you are open to new job opportunities. This can be helpful as you expand your network, showing that you are searching for new opportunities and can increase your chances of receiving messages from recruiters.

Let East Ohio College Help You!

Do you still need some assistance updating your LinkedIn profile? Luckily, the East Ohio College career management department is here to help all students and alums throughout the job search! 

Start your educational journey today by calling 833-EASTOHIO or Requesting Information to speak to our admissions team.