How to boost your career with LinkedIn

The social network that’s not for socialising, LinkedIn has more than 250 million professionals connecting with each other. But are you making the most of it?

LinkedIn can be so much more than just an online CV; it can help you forge business relationships, learn new skills and even give your career a shot in the arm when it needs it most. Here are our top tips for making the most of LinkedIn.

Optimise your profile

Your profile is the first port-of-call for any potential employer or business connection, so it needs to be professional, concise and easy to digest – not to mention easy to find!

Think of your profile as a website that you’re trying to get as many people as possible to visit. How do you do that? By using the right keywords, listing the right work experience and making your profile as complete as you can.

The best place to really increase your profile’s visibility is in the summary at the top. Underused by many, the summary is your chance to really sell yourself and hit those all-important key phrases such ‘project management’ or ‘sales experience’.

Be sure to only include roles that are relevant when listing your experience, and don’t just include your job title – listing your main responsibilities is another opportunity to hit those key phrases!

Join groups – and leave comments!

There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn, covering just about every sector, discipline and subject you can imagine. They are great way to access advice on working in your industry, build connections with the right people and boost the number of people looking at your profile.

The more you put into a group, the more you’ll get out of it. So don’t be afraid to comment on posts, answer questions from other members and ask for advice if you need it.

Check out our Alumni Association LinkedIn group here.

Ask for recommendations

Adding some personal, ‘real world’ influence from people you’ve worked can really bring your profile to life and validate your claims. But we’re not talking about endorsements!

While there’s no harm in having lots of endorsements for your skills at the bottom of your profile, they aren’t going to make it really stand out. You’re far better off asking a former boss or a client to write you a recommendation which you can display prominently on your profile.

This will show potential employers that your skills and experience have real value, and that you’re able to build strong connections with the people you work with.