LinkedIn is a professional social media platform
Whilst most social media platforms are associated with connecting socially, LinkedIn is a professional networking social media platform that has been around since 2003. The key word here is ‘professional’. Essentially your profile is a replica of your CV which is posted online. Individuals are able to seek out each other online and form virtual connections. You can search, link up with and follow organisations, groups, friends, colleagues or other people of interest.
Why should I be on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn allows you to seek out and create virtual networks of people by connecting with individuals, groups and organisations who you might not otherwise have met for reasons such as geography. You can find people who have the qualifications and expertise to answer questions or provide advice. Having a LinkedIn profile allows others to find you based on your skillset. You can research organisations and individuals who you might want to contact before a job interview or for business opportunities.
Who uses LinkedIn?
Many organisations have a LinkedIn page where they share relevant news about their business or their industry. They may also share available vacancies at their company.
Recruiters and hiring managers actively search LinkedIn to find potential candidates for vacancies. Even if you are not in the market for a new position, you may come up in searches for positions and sought out for a position that could be better than the one you are in.
Jobseekers can view and apply for vacancies through LinkedIn and, as this platform is regularly used by recruiters, you may find that you are headhunted for vacancies.
You don’t have to be a jobseeker to have a profile on LinkedIn. You can use LinkedIn to find out about networking events and conferences of interest, find out about organisations and industry. Join groups of interest and ask questions and provide advice to others in your network. Follow news and business posts or build up your own personal brand.
What else should I know about LinkedIn?
Maintaining your LinkedIn account
Like any social media account, you do have to actively maintain it. After setting up your profile, you should check your LinkedIn account periodically and update your profile with significant career milestones or when you accept a new position. You should also reply to any messages from others on LinkedIn as you would an email.
Building LinkedIn networks
LinkedIn works on the basis that you connect with people, groups and individuals so you do need to spend some time building and connecting with others to increase your network and reach. You will get more out of LinkedIn if you are connected to more people.
It is free to set up a basic LinkedIn account and for most people this will be enough. However, if you want to be able to send messages to those outside of your networks and use advanced search filters you can choose a paid option. Read more about free accounts and premium subscriptions.
LinkedIn works on the basis that you share information about yourself online. The more you share, the more value will get out of LinkedIn.
Remember what LinkedIn is for
Like any social media platform, be thoughtful about what you post and share. The person reading your post might be your next client or manager so don’t be drawn into posting negatively. Also, remember that LinkedIn a professional network – keep your cat video posts for Facebook.
You can connect with Wings Recruitment on LinkedIn. We post regular updates, job vacancies, links to our blogs and more.
By Anna Milne
Anna is the Recruitment Manager at WINGS Recruitment. She enjoys making connections over LinkedIn and believes in networking as an essential recruitment tool.
Connect with Anna on LinkedIn.