Your boss is on it, your coworkers are on it, but you've yet to take the jump. If you want to expand your professional network, be updated about your favorite company's new open positions or have access to articles from industry professionals, LinkedIn is the social media platform for you. Whether you're searching for a job or not, LinkedIn can be the perfect tool to build your professional skills and lead you to your next opportunity.
1. IT'S YOUR RESUME, DIGITALLY
LinkedIn gives you the option to add your work experience, volunteer experience, projects, awards, languages, and more to your profile. The great thing about this is that you can provide more in-depth information than your physical resume allows. Many employers turn to LinkedIn after reviewing a potential candidate's application. Make sure your profile has the extra details that'll land you the interview. Beware, just because LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to provide several details of your experience, it doesn't mean that you should include that summer you were a lifeguard or your high school honor society experience. Keep your profile relevant and specific to your industry.
2. YOUR NEXT JOB MAY BE WAITING FOR YOU
Many companies list their open positions on LinkedIn rather than on job search databases. Following your favorite companies gives you the upper hand when it comes to finding out about new opportunities and making an impression. You can even search for jobs on LinkedIn. The platform even lets you know if you have connections within the company based on your profile. You can make your search industry or region specific and save the positions you want to apply for.
3. ENDORSEMENTS, ENDORSEMENTS, ENDORSEMENTS
When you list your skills on LinkedIn, your connections can endorse you, letting others know that they validate particular skills of yours. There's even a feature where connections can leave detailed notes about their experience working with you. When crafting your skills section, make sure you are specific and strategic. For example, if you're skilled in editorial writing, don't list 'writing' on your profile. In addition, before you list generic skills like 'Microsoft Office', think about how counterproductive it might be if your connections endorse you 20 times for this skill rather than 'marketing', 'social media', and 'public relations', the skills that directly relate to your field.
4. IT'S AN INSPIRATION HUB
When scrolling down your homepage on LinkedIn, you're sure to see articles shared from your connections that tackle topics that relate directly to the workplace. Taking time to read these articles before you head into the office can be just the boost of inspiration you need to get through the day. Whereas other social media platforms are saturated with noise, LinkedIn can be a fresh breath of air for the working professional.
5. IT SUPPORTS PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with colleagues and peers as you navigate through your industry. You can stay in touch with peers as you celebrate work anniversaries and gain new positions, with the simple click of a button. LinkedIn also gives you the option to find people you may know, find alumni and add contacts from other platforms.