We live in a world that revolves around the www, everything is sharable, and everything is connected. But there’s an abundance of people who don’t properly utilise social media sites, like LinkedIn, for professional networking purposes.

The key point to remember: don’t just build yourself a profile and then do nothing with it. The whole idea of networking sites such as LinkedIn is to connect with others. Post content, links, discussions and offer answers to others’ questions.

Take a good look at the way you use LinkedIn and consider the following:

  • If you have a profile containing the minimum details it may look worse than having no profile at all. Fill in your skills section and make sure your title conveys, to people viewing your profile, what you actually do and not just which sector you work in.
  • LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing, connecting and discussing; so don’t just use it as a job hunting tool. If you are looking for a job, you’ll be more prominent if you’re always active anyway.
  • The groups are an effective way of finding and connecting with professionals in your industry. Join relevant groups and post discussions or answers regularly.
  • If your organisation produces blogs, or any other content, make sure it all gets posted on the company profile page and then share it with your own connections.
  • Building connections is an ongoing process, so don’t simply ignore it until you find you need a bigger network for your job search and add a load of connections in one go. Be careful who you add too, you should only connect with people you know or are introduced to. Don’t forget LinkedIn is a professional network.
  • LinkedIn ‘Answers’ acts as a forum for profession-related topics, people who give regular (good) answers have a better status than irregular users.

Be careful who you recommend on LinkedIn too, it’s best practice to endorse those that you have worked with for a minimum of a year, or even two.

LinkedIn is a tool that is increasingly becoming a key part of job searches. Utilised properly and for the right reasons, it can provide you with all the necessary tools to get noticed by professionals in your industry.

For more advice on searching for a job take a look at our articles on moving for work and using social media in your job search.