“I think almost everyone is on LinkedIn these days,” says Nadia Loumbeva, a LinkedIn user, advocate, and occasional adviser. “If you care for your professional growth and image, you should get on LinkedIn.”
“Many jobs are posted on LinkedIn nowadays, and if used correctly it will save you from checking portals and websites yourself when researching your next career step.
“The site displays role vacancies based on user profiles and expertise, which is an invaluable feature. Keep in mind recruiters may check out your LinkedIn profile when you apply for jobs.”
Nadia has eight years’ experience with the site and has previously given web tutorials on LinkedIn at the University of York. She has used it for job searches and for networking, while making her CV, expertise and career interests visible to interested parties.
We asked her to share her advice on how the site can be used to its full potential.
“A profile picture is a MUST.”
“The picture needs to show you in a professional manner but should also reveal the person you are. If you want to work for a corporate the picture should be inside, not outside, or should be in black and white. I strongly recommend getting a professional photographer to help with your picture.
“Keep in mind that what you think is your best picture might not be the best picture for your LinkedIn profile. I chose a black and white picture over a picture in colour because I want to work for a corporate and stay connected to business. Meanwhile I am also founding a business, so that way a good compromise choice.”
“Write a clear, readable heading”
“Your LinkedIn heading is what describes you in a few words. In needs to describe you well, and clearly communicate what you work and the way you work.
“If you have had lots of experience, merge it. I have worked at different organisations including business opportunities and internships. I had a long line of experiences which I had to merge for easier readability.”
“Ask for recommendations, meanwhile offer recommendations back, and give them when asked (if you feel the person asking has something to be recommended for). Be truthful, professional and positive in your recommendations.”
“Make use of your connections”
“Connections are your network. You can ask them questions and use them for networks. You can also see their connections and ask to connect with those as well.
“It is always a good time to use it. Networking is the best way to use your connections. Meeting people, being interested in what they do, ask them questions, discuss business deals. This is what creates opportunities.”
“I use LinkedIn in premium mode, which means I can send a message to whoever I want. This doesn’t mean I am sending lots of messages every day, but it means I can whenever I see an opportunity.
“You can apply with your profile and attach your CV to your profile. The one important thing to remember when you use LinkedIn is do not use for the sake of it – use it to support your goals by networking with other people.”