I’ve said it time and again to clients that when it comes to LinkedIn: what you put in is what you put out. It’s not enough to make a gorgeous profile—although that’s important. In fact, I created a 16-page guide in my online store that walks you through all of the possibilities for writing a killer profile! Check it out here:

Beyond the profile though, you need to use LinkedIn as a tool in your job search and career. I’ve laid out six ways you can actively use LinkedIn to advance your career, in the short and long-term.

  1. You have access to over 650 million people. LinkedIn is the number one social network for professionals — and, arguably, the most important website for jobseekers — with more than 650 million members worldwide. Not only are people you know already on the site (friends, family, co-workers, colleagues), but so are people you should get to know — recruiters, hiring managers, and your future co-workers.

  1. You’ll strengthen your offline network. LinkedIn helps you keep track of people you know “in real life” — what they are doing, where they work now, and who they know. This information is useful in a job search or career change.

  1. You’ll reconnect with former colleagues. Sometimes it’s hard to stay in touch with the people you used to work with — making it difficult to find them when you need them (say, to use as a reference in your job search). LinkedIn allows you to search contacts by employer, so anyone who listed that company in their profile can potentially be found in the search. Plus, when you’re connected to them, you’ll get updates when they change jobs, so you know where they went!

  1. You can establish yourself as an expert. One of the ways to be seen as a thought leader in your industry is to increase your visibility. A great way to do this is to write articles using LinkedIn Publishing. Anytime you post articles or a status update, these updates will be available in your profile, so people looking for you can see that you are actively engaged in this online community. Write articles, or even just short posts, on issues that are relevant to your industry and showcase your knowledge. This is a great way to attract like-minded individuals.

  1. You’ll be found as a passive candidate. Having a robust LinkedIn profile — filled with your accomplishments and strong keywords — will lead prospective employers to you, even if you are not actively looking for a job. (This is especially true if you are in the tech field!) Recruiters especially are always searching LinkedIn to find candidates to match their search assignments.

  1. You’ll be found elsewhere online. It’s common practice for hiring managers and recruiters to “Google” job candidates, and your LinkedIn profile will likely appear high up in their Google search results. A strong LinkedIn profile can enhance your candidacy, especially if you have a solid network of contacts, at least a few Recommendations, and you’ve supplemented the basic profile information with things like lists of your certifications, languages you speak, honors and awards, and/or your professional portfolio.
Share this Post: