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Getting Ahead with LinkedIn

Published On: January 10, 2014

Social Media is here to stay. Facebook has been around for over a decade now, and there are no signs of its immediate departure from popular usage. Likewise, sites like Twitter and Google + have firmly cemented themselves in our zeitgeist.

The challenge then comes, not in deciding whether or not you should jump on the social media bandwagon, but the way in which you should participate.

At first glance one might look at “social media” as a homogenous entity capitalized by millennials wanting to share their every meal with the world. Social media is far from trivial, however, and is as multifaceted as the Internet itself.

With our hyper-connected world the image that you create for yourself online is just as important as a first impression in real life. Understanding the difference and the method behind using each social media platform is essential.

One of the most important, but less understood, social media platforms is LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be tricky for both rookie and seasoned social media users because it requires a different approach than is traditionally used on Facebook or Twitter.

LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals and so is decidedly less casual. Likewise, the use of popular social media jargon and practices such as hashtags (#), and tagging (@) are seldom, if ever, used. While you can share status updates and information with your connections, it should always be professional and work related. No one on LinkedIn wants to know what you had for lunch that day.

Here are five useful tips to help you navigate the precarious world of LinkedIn and professional social media networking.

  1. Endorsements

One of the neat things about LinkedIn is that you can endorse the skills of those you are connected with. You can also leave “reviews” or “testimonials” which act as mini reference letters.

However, while there are many positive benefits of endorsements you need to keep an eye on them to make sure that they are reflective of your true skill sets and that they improve your overall image. You can remove skills and specific endorsements from your profile if the need arises.

  1. Profile Picture

LinkedIn reports that adding a profile picture to your account makes you seven times more likely to be viewed. Your LinkedIn profile picture should be a professional looking headshot. It is important to make yourself stand out and remember to leave your vacation and birthday group shots on Facebook.

  1. Language & Keywords

Keep the language of your profile simple. Recruiters are not as likely to search “passionate wordsmith” as they are “writer”.

Filling your profile with common key words will help it move to the top of the list. A great way to ensure that you are using the proper key words is to go through the postings of jobs that you want to be hired for and pull frequently used words to use on your own profile.

  1. Privacy Settings

Being mindful of your privacy settings is key when you are job hunting with LinkedIn. Every time you view someone’s page, whether it is a connection or a company, a notification is sent to the page owner.

If you go into your privacy settings you can chose to appear along with all of your information, just your name, or as “LinkedIn User.” Chose the one you feel most comfortable with.

  1. Apply on the Go!

Within the last year LinkedIn has made some great improvements to their website as well as launching a new mobile app. This app not only allows you to browse job listings and connect with new people, but it also allows you to apply for jobs on the go.

With today’s high unemployment rates it is crucial to apply for jobs as soon as you see them. More often than not, companies are looking for that perfect fit and would want to hire their idea candidate sooner rather than later. You don’t want to miss out on your dream job because you took too long to apply for the position!




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