Tips for Using LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an important networking and job search tool all in one. Use LinkedIn to seek out contacts in your professional area of interest. Develop your LinkedIn profile (much like a resume) to build your “online presence” so that recruiters can easily find you. LinkedIn also allows you to identify companies by industry and location, search for internships and jobs, and find contacts in companies that interest you. Below are some suggestions for how to maximize LinkedIn for your professional network and job search.
Your Profile is similar to your online version of your resume. Use your profile to describe your jobs, internships, volunteer positions, or personal interests. Completed LinkedIn profiles are one of the first results in a Google search. If your name is searched, be sure your profile looks its best. A completed profile will be 40 times more likely to be seen by employers when they search for you.
- Summary: Many people suggest this can be a little less formal and more “real” than your resume Summary.
- Specialties: Enter all the buzz words for your field which might appear in other sections of your resume. Don’t be redundant with your Summary.
- Applications: Search the applications to find ways you can share additional information via LinkedIn. Eg: Slideshare allows you to upload PPT presentations that show off your work and WordPress allows you to sync your WordPress blog posts with your LinkedIn profile.
- Experience: Years are required. Once you are a junior in college, high school experience should start to diminish. For alumni, include no more than 10-15 years of experience. Enter a couple of powerful accomplishments for each experience. Format them in Word first, then cut and paste into LinkedIn so that you can maintain the bullet format. Again, this can be shorter than your resume. Be careful to select the organization/company name from the list to match existing spellings.
- Education: Pick from state and list of schools. You may also list your college activities.
- Recommendations: Users with recommendations on their profiles are three times as likely to be found in searches. Peer-to-peer recommendations are discounted (avoid “I’ll recommend you if you recommend me”). Seek out recommendations from supervisors and subordinates if you’re a manager. You can approve recommendations before posting them on your profile, but you can’t edit them. The writer can withdraw a recommendation at any time or edit it.
- Additional Information: You may mention activities, interests, awards, professional associations, etc. here. To protect your privacy, leave the “personal information” blank.
Account and Settings
This tab in the upper right hand corner of LinkedIn allows you to control your privacy settings. Familiarize yourself with all settings so that you can control what others view and how you wish to be contacted.
- Public Profile: Use this tab to determine how much of your profile you want to be publicly viewed by people outside your network. You can also customize your public profile url to include your name. Put this url on your resume to show you are tech-savvy.
- Profile Views: If you’re actively looking for contacts, you can prevent others from seeing what you’ve viewed. Set the profile views flag to “don’t show users that I’ve viewed their profile.”
- Seniors and alumni should consider joining the Loyola University Chicago's Alumni group, school specific groups, and the LUC-Alumni Sharing Knowledge (LUC-ASK) group.
- All Loyola students are welcome to join the LUC-ASK "advisor" group to search for alumni willing to provide career advice.
- Be sure to also check out groups by industry, organization, interest, etc. There are more than 200,000 groups, so use the keywords appropriately to narrow your choices. It can be a quick way to gain visibility and increase your contacts.
- “Send InMail” is a feature that only appears for those outside your network. Do not use this feature because it is for those who pay the extra money and there’s no reason to do so. You can make contact in other ways.
- For those who are within your three degrees of separation, the most effective way to add a contact is to get an introduction from a connection you already have.
- Be careful of directly inviting people through “add to network” without getting an introduction from a mutual connection. After a handful of declines, the feature to directly invite people will be turned off.
- Browse to see what’s open in your industry or in a targeted company.
- For college students, it may be helpful to type the word “Internship” or “entry-level” along with the type of position you are seeking. Notice the tab that allows you to search for LinkedIn jobs versus jobs posted on the web that are pulled by Simply Hired. The listings provided through SimplyHired provide you access to the Job Insider.
- Use Job Insider to find who you may know at the company that interests you. Use this feature appropriately! You may initiate an introduction to gather information about the person’s job or experience with the company.
- Jobs are posted by members only, but a good number of HR departments and recruiters are on LinkedIn by now. The cost is $200 per job listing which is much cheaper than most online job boards. Hence the growing popularity for this site.
- Members of the LUC Alumni, school specific, or LUC-ASK groups can also post jobs (for free) within their group's "jobs" tab. **Note: LinkedIn automatically deletes postings after 14 days, to keep the tab current.
- If the job is posted by a recruiter or hiring manager within your network you may view the person’s full profile. Often recruiters list their email at the bottom of their full profiles.
- Post questions and get answers. Be professional and concise.
- By providing the best answers to questions, you earn expertise. Experts are featured on the 'Answers' drop down menu on LinkedIn.com. This is a great way to gain additional visibility with your online presence.
- Click on 'Bowse All Industries' to see a comprehensive list. Next, select an industry to view all the companies on LinkedIn in that industry. Most companies are on LinkedIn, so the list is quite comprehensive. (Note: All displayed statistics are based on LinkedIn information only and may not be accurate overall.)