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Using LinkedIn to your advantage

How to Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage

LinkedIn is the most influential social media network and the largest professional networking platform in the world. It’s a giant ecosystem with about 756 million members; you can connect with people in your profession, similar skillset, or business niche.

The platform is majorly used for the following:

  • Connecting with business associates, clients, and co-workers
  • Compiling a work portfolio
  • For associating with members of an organization or professionally
  • Building brand awareness
  • Job Search
  • Company recruitment

The advantages of using LinkedIn for personal, professional, and organizational success are outlined below.

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1. Upgrade your LinkedIn account

We all know that we don’t get the best services when using a free version or a free account of certain applications. Some excellent features are kept off-limits, especially for the VIPs, simply because they pay for them and we don’t. LinkedIn is a platform where all the features are not made available for all but for the ‘genuine’ members who contribute a monthly or yearly quota to their purse.

If you’ve decided to start using LinkedIn properly, you may have to upgrade your account if you are still using the free access. After upgrading, more features will be at your disposal.

A basic LinkedIn account is free, but a premium account will offer more features. A Premium account for jobseekers costs $29.99 per month, and Premium Business $59.99 per month. Expect to pay more for the Sales Navigator and Recruiter packages.

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2. Complete your profile

If a portion of your screen is still covered up by “Complete your profile“, then this one is for you. Completing your profile to the best of your ability can strengthen your personal brand. By completing your profile, we don’t mean to lie; please. Don’t acknowledge things you didn’t do. It can come back to haunt you someday in the future.

Your profile needs to stand out to everyone; potential connections, followers, and recruiters. If you want to make your profile stand out, instead, do this:

  • Use a good-quality professional image of yourself. This is not Instagram or Facebook; keep your tongues in your mouth. Dress decent, and look approachable (smile).
  • Add a background image to your banner or cover, showing your skills, personality and profession.
  • Write a short and simple summary of yourself, what you do, and what you have to offer. Play around with the features they provide as well.
  • Detail your current position, work skills, previous work history, education, and interests.
Fact: LinkedIn's internal search algorithm only finds profiles that rank as "complete," and which are viewed more as incomplete profiles. Therefore it is important to complete yours. 

LinkedIn created the Skill quiz and endorsement features for you to defend your skillset to the entire public. Use it, and take advantage of it because it is the best shot to show everyone that you possess the skills you claim and are not bluffing (lying).

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Skill quizzes are challenging; the tests are tough. If you fail, you can’t immediately retake the test until a few months later. So be sure you are really what you say you are. LinkedIn offers you an opportunity to take a course for a quiz you failed.

LinkedIn Learning also allows you to take courses and get certified.

4. Get endorsements and recommendations

For endorsements, you don’t need to study for them. Your close connections can endorse you for a skill they know you possess, and you can do the same for them. This doesn’t hold much water as the skill quiz, but it’s worth something.

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Recommendations are personal testimonials from your connections and also on your professional abilities. This is better than endorsements because people write them for you. Asking your co-worker to write one for you is not a bad idea; however, make sure they highlight particular attributes or achievements instead of writing generic comments like, “Tunde was fun to work with.”

5. Connect with recruiters/like-minds

LinkedIn is not Facebook; you will not be everyone’s friend. You need to connect and be social but also have a focus. If you are a web designer, your concern should be about connecting to other web designers, companies, and brands you hope to work for.

Since LinkedIn is a professional community, you can search for jobs and reach out to recruiters for job roles you are interested in. You can sign up for daily alerts for positions that interest you, so make sure you have it on. If you are currently looking for a job, remember to use the “Open to work” feature on your profile to be visible to recruiters.

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This platform is a place that can help you also connect with people in the real world. After meeting potential contacts in meetings and conferences, you can seek them out on LinkedIn to connect for future collaborations.

6. Join professional communities

Offer advice, give advice, post advice, get noticed.

Communities are a place for you to gain visibility in your field. If you are a veteran in your field, you can join communities to help offer advice to others who are having challenges. This will help draw positive feedback and attention to your profile. Also, if you want to be a LinkedIn influencer, this is how to get started.

It’s also the same as a novice in the field, don’t be scared or embarrassed to show that you are still learning and developing. You may feel that everyone will keep a distance from you because of this fact, but that is false. Every field expert is looking for who they want to create content for. As a learner, you can also be an influencer.

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As you learn, you can create content about the advice, feedback, and help you received from other experts. You can help warn others about what works and what doesn’t. Times and things are changing; what was relevant yesterday might not be the same tomorrow.

7. Always contribute content to the LinkedIn platform

Lastly, LinkedIn is just one way to reach out to recruiters and make contacts, but don’t forget that it is also a social media site. And what does social media thrive on? Yes, Content!

By posting content to LinkedIn, you tell people and recruiters that you are active and still engaged with your industry. Imagine applying for a job through LinkedIn, only for your recruiter to go through your profile to see the last post you made was from 4 years ago. That would raise some eyebrows. How can they be sure that you are genuinely the one applying for the job and not a robot? LOL

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In other words, be consistent in posting content (relevant information); you mustn’t always post if you don’t have much to say, but you can simply share other people’s posts with your own opinions.

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Ngozi Nwaubani

Ngozi Nwaubani

She's usually found writing Sci-Fi and fun articles on entertainment and lifestyle.

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