Overlooking the sheer power of LinkedIn is a mistake. More than 930 million professionals in 200+ countries now use the social network. If you’re looking to elevate your career, the popular platform has a selection of features that can support your goals. But let’s take things back to basics and answer a simple question: What is LinkedIn used for, anyway?
If you’re new to the network or you’re thinking about setting up your profile, you may be wondering about the core LinkedIn benefits. It’s not simply about connecting with like-minded professionals and building your network. When you hack the knack, you can use it to expand your career, find new jobs, and even become known for your craft. In the following guide, we will take a look at how you can start taking full advantage of LinkedIn.
1. Building your professional brand
Every professional needs to build their brand. That doesn’t necessarily mean having your own logo or website — although it can mean those things if you want to go down that route. Instead, building a brand is about showcasing your professional expertise in the right light. Every part of your online presence needs to be telling the same story about you.
One of the biggest benefits of using LinkedIn is that it allows you to strengthen your brand. Before you get started and work on your profile, consider what message you want it to convey. Everything from the way that you write to the media you include on your page needs to align to make this work. When recruiters browse your page — and they will browse your page — you can offer up an in-depth rundown of your professional feats.
2. Become an expert or thought leader
If you want to boost your chances of landing a new job, it’s worth positioning yourself as an expert in your field. When we talk about the benefits of using LinkedIn, it’s important not to overlook its publishing features. Yes, you can post on the general feed. These social media posts will be seen by your connections and any followers you have.
However, if you want to take things a step further, you can write articles on LinkedIn too. At the top of your home page, there’s a button that says “Post an article” and when you click it, you will see a very simple form that you can use to create your content. You can also add imagery to bring the piece to life and format it using the tools provided. Think about what value you can bring to your community. What advice or information can you share? By using this LinkedIn feature, you show that you are fully engaged in your chosen industry.
3. Reaching out to recruiters
Looking for a new job? If you’re ready to take on a new challenge, recruiters could be your secret weapon. These professionals are in the business of connecting you with employers. Don’t forget to utilize them in your next search. Reaching out to a recruiter on LinkedIn is easier than you might imagine. You should start by sending a connection request. Include a brief message covering your USP, experience, and the fact that you’re a job-seeker.
4. Showcasing your recommendations
Reviews provide hiring managers with social proof of your experience. When they are reviewing your application, they will want to know what your employers and managers thought of your previous work. If you want to take advantage of LinkedIn, you can ask these professionals for some recommendations ahead of time.
Simply go to their profile and click “More” and then choose the “Request a recommendation” option. If the person accepts and writes you one, the review will be displayed proudly on your profile.
5. Learning new skills (and proving it!)
When you ask “What is linkedin used for,” this answer may not spring to mind. Believe it or not, you can use this platform to learn new talents and prove it by highlighting them on your page. LinkedIn Learning allows you to upskill through a series of online courses. The premium feature has a wide library of options from which to choose. Once you’ve knuckled down and done the work, you will get a digital certificate on your profile.
6. Networking with professionals in groups
Networking is one of the benefits of LinkedIn. If you want to expand your professional network, you can use this platform to reach people in your field. Of course, you should kick things off by connecting with people you have worked or collaborated with. However, it doesn’t have to end there. Should you wish to take things further, check out some groups.
Find industry-specific groups by using your search bar and then selecting “Groups”. You can request to join a selection of these online communities. Once you’re in, you will be able to see people’s posts, comment on them, and take part in the conversations. While many people overlook this aspect of the platform, it can be a highly valuable feature.
7. Staying up to date with the latest news
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s vital that you stay up to date with the latest happenings. When you have used LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your sector, you will be able to see everything that they post. Chances are, they will post details about new laws that affect your industry, trends, updates, and everything in between.
Changing your habits will help you to keep your figurative finger on the pulse. By scrolling through LinkedIn in your down time — rather than using TikTok or Instagram — you can effortlessly be on top of what’s going on. For extra kudos, you should take the time to comment on and interact with each of these posts. The more active you are on this social network, the more likely you are to gain the attention of hiring managers and recruiters.
8. Accessing an extensive jobs board
Eight people are hired every minute via LinkedIn. So, when we ask “what is linkedin used for,” the simple answer is finding jobs. When you’re searching for a new role, you might check the obvious places — jobs boards and company websites. That’s all well and good. However, you could have more luck by checking out the extensive jobs board on LinkedIn.
The feature is easy to use. Click the “Jobs” button at the top of your feed and then type in the title you want to look for. You will get a load of apt results in a matter of seconds. What’s more, the tool tells you how many people have applied to each role and whether your profile matches the criteria. In some cases, you can apply directly on LinkedIn (with “Easy Apply”) but in others you will have to click-out of the site and apply elsewhere.
By this point, you should be well-versed in the benefits of LinkedIn. The social network is one of the strongest tools you have, and so you had better not neglect it. If it’s been a while since you last updated your page or you haven’t joined the site yet, what are you waiting for? Take this guide as your sign to get started and boost your online presence.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool you need to use in your job search. However, to land your next role, you need the complete package. Make sure that your resume hits the mark with our free resume review tool. Learning how to upgrade your applications is a simple way to land more interviews and potentially get hired faster than ever.
Charlotte Grainger, Editor & Content Writer, Charlotte Grainger, Editor & Content Writer
Charlotte Grainger is a freelance writer living and working in Sheffield, UK. She has a passion for career development and loves sharing tips and advice. Follow her on Twitter