LinkedIn is a professional social networking service for employees and businesses. Owned by the Microsoft Corporation, LinkedIn is the third most popular social media site after Facebook and Twitter (Lifewire, 2018).

If you are job hunting, LinkedIn is an essential tool. In fact, many potential employers will expect you to have an online presence. Here is how to get started.

1. Treat LinkedIn Like Your Resume

Open a LinkedIn account and spend time completing and perfecting your profile. Start with the images. Remember this is a professional network, so add a professional headshot not a picture of you on your latest vacation. And, don’t overlook the background image. Search “LinkedIn Background Photos” for ideas and free options. Next, fill out as much as possible on your profile. Although most employers will ask for a “paper” application, they are very likely to view your LinkedIn presence as well. This is an excellent opportunity to highlight items that may not fit on your one-page resume including volunteer work, publications and professional certificates.

2. Build Your Network With Connections

Click the My Network tab on the top header and send out invitations to connect with people you know. The goal is not to create as many connections as possible, but rather to foster meaningful relationships. Look for friends with whom you have professional ties, co-workers, mentors and experts in your industry. This is a good chance for you to meet people you may never have known about without an internet connection. If you use your network to your advantage, you may learn about job openings, give and receive recommendations, and ask for advice.

3. Exchange Ideas About Your Industry

The LinkedIn feed is a great space for you to learn more about your trade. If you have connected with thought leaders, you should have several interesting articles to read each day. This will keep you up-to-date on trends and developments. And feel free to share relevant information and add to the conversation. LinkedIn even offers a blogging platform.

4. Learn About Companies

Find and follow the company pages for places where you have applied or where you would like to work. This will help you learn more about an organization, which is always impressive in an interview, and to know if the job will be a “good fit.” In a best-case scenario, you may be able to connect with and gain additional insights from a current employee.

5. Look for Jobs

Not surprisingly, LinkedIn offers a job search feature. Click the Jobs tab to find opportunities by title, industry and/or location. In addition, you can delve into more advanced options such as the Career interests form that will match current openings to your requirements.

Are you trying to find employment and struggling with your online presence? The experts at a staffing agency can guide you through the process. United Talent has offices in Charleston, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Teays Valley and Huntington, West Virginia. Let us help you find the Right Job today!