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Why use LinkedIn?

LinkedIn in a sense is the reverse of job posting sites like monsters.com, where we list ourselves for employers to search. However, LinkedIn has more than just employers that we can connect with. We can create a professional network with people in similar fields, recruiters, former/current co-workers, friends, etc. It allows us to showcase ourselves better than mere words on a resume.

Also, LinkedIn sometimes has even more opportunities than job posting sites since the connections on LinkedIn maybe current workers of the companies or recruiters that are hiring for the companies. It not only helps us expand our network but, also gives us more job opportunities.

Building your LinkedIn Profile

1.      Use a professional E-mail address

Do not use a silly or unprofessional email address to register for your LinkedIn account. Create an email address for professional use if you need to. This should be the same email address you put on your resume. Employers should get a professional first impression when using the email address to contact you.

2.      Use a professional photo as the profile picture

The best LinkedIn photo would be a photo studio-quality photo with business attire. If you could not afford a photo studio photo, ask your friend or family to take a picture of you with your smartphone. The photo should be taken at a well-lit location and plain background. You should be dressed as business casual or business formal.

3.      Write a summary that shines a light

This is different than the objective area of your resume. The summary can be a several line paragraph that tells a short story about yourself. You can talk about what you are passionate about and why you do what you do. Use this to grab employers’ attention and lead them to read on to your profile.

4.      List work experience aligned with your resume

List work experience in the same order as your resume. People normally use the chronological method for listing past work experience. You can list more detailed bullet points for each work experience. Make sure to use action words for these bullet points.

5.      Education

Start listing your education with the highest degree or the most recent degree, whichever makes it more relevant to your career goal. You can also list continuing learning outside of school, such as Bootcamp and training programs that show your desire and commitment to develop yourself.

6.      License and Certification

Certification is another very valuable qualification in the hiring process, especially in the field of IT. Many classes in MATC, such as CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+, prepare us to earn the entry-level certifications in the IT field. MATC also offers discount vouchers for many certification exams. Students with minimum past IT work experience should take advantage of that as many IT jobs would prefer to hire experienced professionals or certified individuals.

7.      Skills, Endorsement, and Recommendation

Endorsement and recommendations are like Amazon’s reviews. Hearing it from someone besides the seller makes it more believable. Therefore, asking your co-workers, peers, managers for recommendation makes your LinkedIn profile look even more legitimate.

Maintain your LinkedIn Page Regularly

You should update your LinkedIn profile whenever you have an update about your experience, certification or education. Your latest update might get you a new employment opportunity as it shows up on your connections’ feeds.

You should also share professional content that’s relevant to your field. Sharing the content with a customized comment shows more effort. Make sure to interact with others’ posts.

You might also want to update your LinkedIn profile base on the job you are currently searching for as employers are very likely to search for your online presence, which includes LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and so on. It’s important to maintain a professional image of yourself and not post anything that would jeopardize your career.

Reach out to Connections

Reach out to old connections and connect with new connections. You should communicate with connections before you need a recommendation or reference from them. It’s nice to check up on people in general anyway.

Join Groups and Follow

Try to find professional groups and groups that represent your interest/passion to join and follow. The Association of such groups shows that you want to stay updated in the field. These groups often post interesting and useful content on LinkedIn as well.