LinkedIn is a professional networking site, and more and more employers are now using it to search for suitable candidates. It’s an effective way to keep in touch with recruiters or people you meet at networking events, and allows you to quickly build up your network of contacts. You can:
- Showcase your CV, in the form of your online profile, which is searchable by employers
- Connect with individuals working in your chosen field
- Research people’s career paths
- Search for jobs
Our suggestions for getting started:
- Don’t be tempted to use LinkedIn as a professional Facebook page. Only write appropriate updates and comments.
- Complete your profile. Make it easier for people to find you by including your name, location, education, skills and experience.
- Have a profile image. A professional headshot is recommended.
- Add connections. Begin by searching for people you already know. Invite past and current co-workers and, where relevant, classmates, friends and family to connect with you. More connections gives you greater access to other users, by expanding your network.
- Get recommendations and endorsements. Ask people who have worked with you to give you a recommendation or endorsement, which is visible to anyone who views your profile.
- Become an active member of groups, share content and engage in discussions. They’re a good place to get advice and find industry professionals.
- Update your information regularly – you never know when recruiters might be looking at your page!
Top tips for using LinkedIn to network
- Find the right people: Search for companies and job titles that you’re interested in.
- Ask for help and be clear: Ask something specific like, ‘I’d like to know how you started out in your chosen career?’
- Personalise: Why are you reaching out to this person? Do you have a shared connection or admire their career path?
- Be considerate: Understand that time is very important and explain that you’d really appreciate as little as 10 minutes.
- Follow up: You might not hear back straight away, but do politely follow up about two weeks later.