Your Network Is Your Net Worth: LinkedIn Edition

Networking is one of the most important aspects of being in the business world. Communicating your experiences and qualifications is vital to obtaining the jobs of your choice. However, because of our current society and the role that technology plays, applications are currently available, including LinkedIn, that allow businesses, people, and employers to connect online, which can lead to future potential job opportunities.

LinkedIn, for those that don’t know or don’t have an account, is a social networking site, designed specifically for the business community. The goal of LinkedIn is to allow members to establish and document their accomplishments and then network with people they know and trust. Most businesses have their companies online, as well as most current people in the workforce today. More and more students are also making accounts, as employers tend to look there first when checking out a potential candidate for a job. LinkedIn is a fantastic resource to connect, showcase, and communicate yourself to/with others.

Some general tips to improve any LinkedIn profile include having a custom URL: It’s much easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL (i.e. linkedin.com/yourname), without the numbers at the end- it’ll make you easier to find. Another great way of improving your profile is to message/make potential connections. When you message someone on LinkedIn, make sure to take a look at their profile. You both benefit because you’ll be more prepared after researching their job and they’ll get the notification that you viewed their profile, so they know they’re not being spammed. Finally, any good LinkedIn profile uses keywords. Use keywords throughout your profile, so when employers use relevant search engines, your profile will appear. Use them throughout your profile, as it’s one of the most effective ways to appear after a search.

Finding employers is one of the most valuable features that LinkedIn provides, as it’s a great way to try and network and/or apply for a job. There are a few basic characteristics that employers look for on profiles that every good LinkedIn profile has. One characteristic is simply to have a completed profile. Make sure to have your profile completed, including filling out all of your skills, tools, experiences, and adding headlines, a photo, and working on expanding your network. An incomplete profile will get skipped by employers over half of the time. Another important part of successful profiles is being aware of red flags. Red flags include differences in information on your profile vs. on your resume, spelling/grammar errors, and too much jargon in descriptions or job detail. Editing these to ensure a better profile will not only make you look more professional but help you better network with your connections. Finally, have a headline. Having a headline is a space for you to showcase any specialties you have, it doesn’t necessarily have to be your job title or company name. Having your “so what”, will make you more valuable than the competition, and will immediately draw employers, as you are easily accessible and are clear with your profile.

LinkedIn is easy and navigating the website should not be a stressful experience. It’s a great way to build your professional profile, as well as to give yourself the opportunity to succeed in the business world.