LinkedIn Basics



LinkedIn is the Facebook of business professionals. Each and every day, recruiters are turning to LinkedIn to fill their hiring needs. When used properly, LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for both recruiters and job seekers alike.

Those who utilize LinkedIn are able to showcase their professional accomplishments, past work experiences, education, volunteer work, recommendations from colleagues, and a professional headshot. I must stress that LinkedIn is a professional network. Drunken pictures from your Facebook should NOT be a part of your LinkedIn. Below, you will find a few tips and tricks to best utilize what LinkedIn has to offer.

Getting Started:

  • First things first, you must create a LinkedIn Profile. It is an easy process and should only take a few minutes to get the profile up and running
  • DO find a professional headshot of yourself for the picture. DO NOT use a picture from your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter unless you can crop it into a professional headshot.
  • Populate your profile as much as you can. Be sure to include the following items: education, past job experiences (with bullet points describing what you did at each position), volunteer work (try to include dates/hours if you can), organization involvement (examples: fraternities/sororities in college, Business Professionals of America, American Marketing Association), and a summary of your current position or what you are passionate about (your “elevator pitch”).
  • Recruiters may ask about specific items on your profile, so be honest. Do not fabricate anything on your profile. You wouldn’t lie on your paper résumé would you? Think of LinkedIn as a more detailed, digital résumé.

Finding Connections:

  • Similar to adding someone as a “friend” on Facebook, you can add connections on LinkedIn. Different from Facebook, your connections on LinkedIn are not typically someone you met at a party, but most likely a professional acquaintance or someone you would like to join your network.
  • Start by adding your friends who have accounts, professors, co-workers/boss, and student advisors. If you are applying for jobs, I would encourage you to connect with the HR Managers you will be interviewing with. It would also benefit you to connect with your future manager and colleagues.
  • When you request to connect with someone, you can send them a personal message. Try to make it a habit to include a personal message with each connection request. Something as simple as “I wanted to connect with you to discuss and learn more about opportunities with company” is a nice start.
  • Remember, the more connections you have, the bigger your network is, and the more opportunities you will have to find out about different positions.
  • Find different groups you are interested in and follow them as well. For example, I am part of multiple sales and marketing groups because I find the articles and information to be informative and allow me to grow in my current position.

Finding Jobs:

  • Recruiters oftentimes use LinkedIn as the main vehicle to advertise and post the positions they are hiring for.
  • You can find job postings by searching for specific companies or using the “Jobs” tab at the top of the home screen. Based off what you search, there will even be “jobs you may be interested in” which is a great place to start.

Remember when your parents told you that employers might check your Facebook or other social media when you apply for a job? I can’t guarantee that a recruiter will dig through your social media but it is likely they will research you on LinkedIn. Keep it informative, keep it professional, and keep it populated to ensure your profile stands out. Here is a link to my LinkedIn, feel free to reach out to me or check out how I formatted my profile!

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