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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

Previously labeled as the app for grown ups with jobs and a mortgage, Linkedin has undergone a face lift. The networking site is now one of the most useful social apps in the market, specifically for young professionals. Whether you’re looking for connections, searching for a job or wanting to follow inspiring companies, Linkedin has got it all. So dust off that Linkedin account you made a few years ago and discover the wide array of tools the app has to offer. Learning how to utilize Linkedin will be beneficial for more reasons than you think.

For starters, you’ll need to spruce up your profile. Picking a professional photo, sleek background and eye catching intro are imperative to making a great first impression for anyone visiting your profile. When it comes to setting up your page, the more information you can comfortably provide, the better. Where you can always stand out is by going above and beyond in the experience, skills and education sections. When filling in experience, you can specifically refer to what skills you used at each position and describe your role, what you learned and what you contributed to the company. These help give context to employers when they’re taking a look at your page. With skills, you can personally ask any of your connections to endorse you in order to strengthen the credibility of your qualifications.

Aside from the basics, Linkedin has several sections that you can fill out for a well-rounded online portfolio. Awards, publications, projects and featured links are all sections the site offers, so if you’ve got more relevant work to show, show it. You can link to your personal website, a call to action or a post that you want to highlight. The sky is truly the limit in terms of creating and tailoring your Linkedin profile.

The second part of optimizing Linkedin is making connections. Find people from your program, job, club or organization and connect with them. The more people you add, the bigger your network will be and the more meaningful content you’ll be exposed to. The best part is, you don’t need to be in someone’s network to see their posts, so you will automatically bridge more connections based on the people you follow. 

It’s very important to focus on what each individual in your network can offer. Do they repost insightful news? Share information on upcoming events or positions in your industry? Once you’ve begun to add people to your network, Linkedin will start to do all the work for you by suggesting connections or recommending companies. It is all based on how much you modify your profile, so keep at it and soon your feed will be filled with suitable content.

One of the best aspects of Linkedin is the accessibility to information. Now this may be scary at first, being able to uncover an entire person’s career with one click. Yet, being in the “real world” is all about who you know and sometimes, what you know. Need to prepare for an upcoming interview? Look them up on Linkedin and see what similarities you can draw between yourself and your interviewer. Want to know who to go to at work for specific career advice? Look them up on Linkedin and find out what experiences you can ask them about. Knowledge is quite literally power, and when it comes to forging connections that are most beneficial to you and your career goals, Linkedin has got all you need to know. 

Sure, once upon a time Linkedin seemed like the most boring app on the market. However, as you start to grow into your career and have to go looking for the right people to help you, this app can come incredibly handy. With abilities in photo sharing, link embedding, hashtag following and so much more, Linkedin adapted flawlessly to the social media models of the digital age. Refining your Linkedin presence earlier on will only make it easier for you to find like-minded people and organizations and even lead you to the perfect job. It’s time to take charge of your career and Linkedin can help you get started.

I'm Sam and I'm a Media Production student minoring in Global Politics at TMU! You can usually catch me thrifting, running or buying too many books. I love to over analyze films and write about them.