How to use LinkedIn to your advantage

LinkedIn is the biggest professional networking platform in the world. You can use it to stay connected in your field and keep in contact with old and new colleagues.

It's a fantastic tool for job hunting and hiring, as well as a wonderful method to keep up with industry news, improve your career and reputation, and raise your brand's visibility.

With 756 million users, it's also one of the most powerful social media platforms.

Users who have signed up on the platform can utilize the site to communicate with colleagues, clients, and business acquaintances. But it can also help you raise your profile, increase brand awareness, and find the appropriate people to hire.

LinkedIn is one of the fastest-growing and most important things to access when it comes to networking and career advancement. LinkedIn had 645 million accounts in 2019, with 40% of them logging in every day.

There were more than 20 million open job posts in 2019 alone, and this is as a result of the platform's over 30 million organizations.

What users on LinkedIn can gain

There are so many benefits users stand to gain from this huge platform. For some others who have taken advantage of the platform, it has offered them great rewards and it continues to do so.

Why most people may not take advantage of LinkedIn, is because they don’t know how to, for some it is a struggle.

It is like an entirely new world on its own when compared to other social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, and the rest.

But just like other platforms, LinkedIn has its peculiarities and there is so much one stands to gain from this platform.

Though the platform seems to be very professional, that doesn’t make it any difficult to navigate through or to benefit from.

Here are a few steps you can take to use LinkedIn to your advantage

1. Complete your profile. Your LinkedIn profile can be a valuable component of your personal brand. It will be visible to all LinkedIn users who have signed up for the service, except you set it to private mode.

You can also have a public profile that can be accessed by external search engines, allowing it to be seen by those who aren't LinkedIn members.

The search algorithm on LinkedIn only discovers profiles that are complete, which can receive more than 20 times the number of views as incomplete profiles. As a result, it's critical that you finish yours.

In completing your profile there are some key things to do, such as

  • Include a high-resolution picture of yourself, ideally shot by a professional. Look smart, smile, and make sure there are no distracting elements in the image.

  • In your headline, specify your industry and region. For this, you have up to 120 characters.

  • Provide a brief description of who you are, what you do, and what you can contribute. You have 2,000 different characters for this.

  • Include your present role and a brief description of what it entails. Don't be unclear with this.

  • Include information about your previous employment, education, and at least four competencies or expertise.

2. Make contacts and build a connection with other users. LinkedIn allows you to connect with folks in your profession as well as professional groups.

This is an excellent method to keep up with current events and share information with others in your industry.

LinkedIn keeps track of your connections in a list called My Network. When you create a new connection, you receive access to not only that user's profile but also to their publicly visible connections.

3. Engage in conversations. After you've established connections on LinkedIn, you can use the Messaging feature to communicate with them in real-time.

Look for the green dot beside your connections’ profile images to see if they're online, the green dot tells if a person is “Active”.

There is also a smart reply function that helps you respond quickly to messages.

4. Give and receive endorsements and recommendations. The connections you have built can submit recommendations for your profile and endorsements of your skills and areas of expertise, and you can do the same thing for them.

Recommendations are like testimonials that can be gotten from people you have worked with. You can ask those you have worked with to put in a few words for you, as this can help boost your chances of landing another job or contract.

In getting recommendations, you can tell them to be precise with it and not just give a general recommendation. Let them state what stood out for them.

Endorsements are confirmations that you are competent in a particular area. It may not be in a written form like recommendations but it will definitely be an added advantage for you.

5. Join LinkedIn groups. It is a social network for a reason and if you want to get the best from it, you will have to “network” and you can do this by joining groups that are relevant to you.

You can locate new groups by searching for them in the search box at the top of your profile page, or by looking through the ones you've already joined.

Once you've joined a group, you can participate in discussions, ask questions, and send messages to other participants.

LinkedIn groups are a great place to get information, share ideas, and get support. When you share your knowledge with others, they will most likely reciprocate.

6. Develop engaging content. It is basically the same thing you do on other social networks where you post written content, images, videos, or links.

You can do just the same thing here, but ensure that what you are posting is useful, relevant, and informative to your connections.

LinkedIn's Publishing Platform allows you to publish articles. Your profile includes the articles you've written.

Other users can share the articles and they may appear in search engine results, but any original content you submit remains your own.

7. Search for new hires as well as new opportunities. According to LinkedIn's statistics, 20,000 firms in the United States use the site to hire new employees.

LinkedIn enables you to find employees with the particular talents and experience you require for your team. Based on your sector and the position you need to recruit for, it may even be able to completely replace traditional recruiting advertising.

You can also utilize LinkedIn to search for jobs. Some users are using it as a research tool in addition to looking through job adverts.

8. Develop an organization profile. Think about creating a LinkedIn page for your business so that customers, suppliers, and future hires can learn more about you. Your page administrator can also use LinkedIn analytics to get a picture of who visits the page. This can assist you in better targeting your content.

You can utilize the website to learn more about your competitors, possible partners, and new suppliers.

9. On LinkedIn, follow professional etiquette. If you want to be successful on LinkedIn, you need to have a good reputation. It is in your best interest to always appear professional.

LinkedIn might be a social network but it is not like every social network out there, the content you put out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may not be suitable for LinkedIn.

Whenever you ask for or make an introduction, be mindful and only do so if you believe both parties would gain. Always be cautious about what you say concerning your company.

Always remember to be honest in your dealings with people.

LinkedIn Account Types

Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn can be free and then also paid for.

Free LinkedIn Account

With the free LinkedIn, you can have extremely great benefits which were listed above. That you are not paying doesn’t mean you can’t get the best from it. Some of those who have taken advantage of LinkedIn are making use of the free version.

However, you will not receive any credits for outgoing messages if you use a free account. You can only store a certain number of searches. Aside from that, the LinkedIn free account is an incredible bargain.

Premium LinkedIn Account

If you’ve tried the basic account and want to grow your connection and get the most out of LinkedIn, a premium account would be for you.

The exciting thing is that all of LinkedIn’s paid options, including a premium account, come with a one-month free trial period. Before choosing to upgrade, you may try out the free trial option.

For a paid subscription, you can gain access to information about jobs, wages, and even who checks your profile. Each month, you'll receive 5 InMail credits and a maximum of 1000 results from advanced searches.

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