LinkedIn is the social media platform of the employment world. In the same way that we use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect and stay up to date with friends and loved ones, LinkedIn offers users a way to showcase their best professional selves with opportunities to expand their network, learn about exciting job opportunities and share professional achievements and developments with their LinkedIn community.
There are many advantages to having a LinkedIn profile:
- It acts as a personal sales page that highlights your top professional skills and qualifications.
- Allows you to network and connect with professionals in your industry.
- It has its own job board that thousands of top employers post to regularly.
- It offers users digital courses and training opportunities that allows them to enhance their skills and further stand out from their competition.
- It is a great tool to help users build their personal brand.
- It has over 600 million users worldwide and continues to grow everyday.
Creating a LinkedIn Account
- If you’d like to create a LinkedIn account, visit LinkedIn’s Sign Up page.
- To get started, you will need a valid email address.
- You will then be asked to create a password and verify your account.
Start with the basics
Upload a headshot
One of the first things that LinkedIn users do when building their profile is upload a professional photo so that they can be recognized.
When selecting your LinkedIn photo, ensure that it looks clean and professional.
What to Avoid:
- Group photos.
- Busy backgrounds.
- Blurry photos.
- Hats and sunglasses.
Tips for Choosing a Photo:
- Choose a picture that clearly shows your face.
- Ensure you are wearing clean and professional attire.
- Go with a clear background, like a dark wall.
- Look directly at the camera.
Create your Headline
Your headline is like a mini bio that lets people know who you are, and what industry you are in. This is a chance to get creative and think about what area you want to specialize in.
Examples of good headlines:
- Business grad | Marketing | Product Management.
- Senior project manager specializing in relationship management.
- I help people find their dream jobs!
- Writer and performer | Making people laugh | Building Strong Communities
The ‘About’ section of your LinkedIn profile is an opportunity to share a more in-depth bio about who you are, what type of work experience you have, what motivates you and what type of role you ultimately hope to pursue. This is a great way to intrigue your audience, both with the skills that you offer, and your larger vision or hope. The ‘About’ section is the place where your personality can shine.
Things to consider when writing your ‘About’ summary:
- What are you most passionate about when it comes to your career?
- What is your proudest achievement to date?
- What are your top skills?
- What do you hope to achieve?
Be sure to use keywords that are relevant in your industry so that people will be able to find you easily. Keep your summary to a few short paragraphs that are no longer than 2-3 sentences, and feel free to incorporate bullet points to break up the content, which will make it easier to read and engage with.
If you have items that you would like to upload, you can add it to your media section to help you stand out and demonstrate your skills.
Examples of media to upload:
- A video you have created.
- A photo of an award or certificate.
- A visual portfolio in the form of a slide deck or powerpoint.
You will be prompted to share your work experience. Think of this as a more creative and dynamic way to tell your work story. While it is similar to building out your resume, LinkedIn is a less formal way to tell your audience how you got to where you currently are.
- Avoid copy/pasting directly from your resume.
- You can use first-person language to describe your proudest accomplishments in previous roles.
- If you have a visual component to highlight your experience like a poster you designed, feel free to upload it to the media section under each work experience.
Your education section is the part of your LinkedIn account that tells your audience what formal credentials you have that are relevant to your industry.
- If you’ve been out of high school for over five years, you don’t need to list your high school diploma.
- For post-secondary education, feel free to list specific courses you have taken that are relevant to your skill set, as well as any clubs and associations you were part of. For new graduates, this is especially helpful, because even with limited work experience, you will be able to demonstrate some of your top skills and interests.
The skills and endorsement section is a tool that allows you to hone in on your top skills. To make the best of this tool, think about 3-5 of your most useful and relevant skills that will stand out to employers and then list them under your skills.
The great thing about this feature is that once you have a network established, people will be able to go to your profile and endorse you for specific skills that will help you stand out – an endorsement on LinkedIn is like a reference from someone who has worked with you in the past and can vouch for your skills in a specific area.
- Focus only on skills that you want to be recognized for.
- Keep in mind that it will take time to accumulate endorsements, to have patience and enjoy the process.
Profile: A profile refers to a person’s individual professional landing page, which contains everything you have uploaded to it (photo, headline, experience, skills, etc)
Connection Request: A connection request is when somebody has come across your LinkedIn profile and would like to add you to their professional network. On LinkedIn, it is common to run into old classmates and colleagues, so you may get dozens of connection requests once your profile is completed.
Connection: A connection is anybody that you have already added to your LinkedIn network. Once you are connected, you can see each other’s updates and posts and message each other through LinkedIn’s messaging system.
Company Page: Just like on any other social media platform, companies and organizations can set up a LinkedIn page, where they share their updates and developments with their communities. In addition to connecting with people in your network, you can also connect to businesses and organizations that you care about.
Feed: Your LinkedIn feed contains the posts, updates and shares from people within your network, along with any companies or topics of interest that you follow.
Recruiter: There are recruiters whose role is to post opportunities on LinkedIn and search for qualified candidates that they want to hire. On LinkedIn, a recruiter may contact you directly after seeing your profile to let you know about opportunities that may be right for you.
Endorsement: The neat thing about LinkedIn is that once you have your network established, the people you are connected with can visit your profile and “endorse” you in specific skills you have listed. For instance, you may have listed web design as one of your skills. If there is someone on your list of connections that can vouch for your web design skills, you can ask them to endorse you in that particular skill.
Recommendation: A recommendation is a reference note in digital format. It is more detailed than an endorsement and usually provided by people you have worked with directly, such as a former teacher or professor, a manager from a previous position or a colleague that you collaborated with. Recommendations are a great addition to your profile, because it signals to potential employers that you are skilled and dependable. Once your profile is complete, you can start to think about whether you want to ask any of your connections to write you a recommendation.
All Star Profile: Once you reach 50 connections and have fully completed your profile, you will reach an “All Star Profile” which means your profile is in great shape to make the best of what LinkedIn has to offer.
When your profile is complete and you have added your experience, LinkedIn will generate a network of people that you may already be connected to via email, as well as people who have worked for the same companies that you have listed.
The “My Network” section at the top of the home page allows you to browse people you want to connect with. When you find people you know or want to add to your network, click “Connect” and they will be prompted to accept your request.
Similarly, connections can also add you if your profile is public and you are comfortable with being found.
If you prefer to keep your profile private, you can do so by following these steps:
- Click the Settings and Privacy menu.
- Click visibility.
- Next to Edit Your Profile, click Change.
- Under Edit Visibility, click the OFF button next to your profile’s public visibility.
Much like any social media platform, LinkedIn operates based on engagement and interaction, so using the platform some of the time is a good idea once you have set up a profile.
Tips to keep up with LinkedIn:
- When browsing your feed, try to engage with content that people in your network are sharing. You can engage by “Liking” or commenting on a post or messaging contacts to say hello.
- Whenever possible, share updates with your community. Maybe you’re participating in a conference about artificial intelligence, or you just wrote a blog post about a movie you saw. Posting professional updates for your network to see is a great way to stay connected and let them know what industries you are currently involved in.
- Tap into LinkedIn News, which can be found at the top right corner of your home page.
- If you’re interested in a certain topic or trend, search it using a hashtag, which will lead you to other posts on LinkedIn that are posting about the same topic. For instance, if you are into personal development, searching it with a hashtag (#personaldevelopment) can lead you to articles, videos, events and connections that are related to that topic.
We would love to support you on your journey to land your next job.
By taking a look at the information in this toolkit, we will be better equipped to help you by delivering tailored services that align with your background, interests and skills.
SCIO Employment Services is able to help you navigate your job search. By signing up for our program, you can participate in comprehensive workshops about resume and cover letter writing, job interviews, digital job search skills and the attitudinal aspects of job hunting that will make a positive impact on your journey.
Reach out to us today!
Our team of Employment Counsellors and Specialists are fully equipped to work with you individually to help you meet your goals and land meaningful work.
Contact us at 416-422-5644, ext. 245 or 250
1-877-422-1112 ext. 245 or 250