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BY Hope Nunnelley

LinkedIn Tips for Beginners

LinkedIn for beginners can be overwhelming. I’ll even admit, there’s quiet a bit of self-imposed pressure to have your profile perfect like you would for a resume. It’s a professional social media platform after all.  LinkedIn currently has over 700 million members, worldwide. And although 40% of users are active users, they’re 100% of the people you want to be interacting with during a career search.

Someone once told me, “If you’re not on LinkedIn, you don’t professionally exist.” I flew into a flurry, banging away on my laptop until my LinkedIn profile was complete. However, you don’t need to throw yourself into a panicked frenzy. I’m here to help with some LinkedIn tips for beginners (and, perhaps, intermediate level users).

LinkedIn Tips

  1. Use a professional email when setting up your profile. I’ve come across a number of email addresses that were created pre-2005. Your email should be active (i.e. not an old school email) and likely include some form of your name. When you connect with other people on LinkedIn to build your network, they will have access to your email. You don’t want a future boss to see “soccergirlscoringgoals@aol.com”.
  2. Good profile picture. This is your first impression. Research shows that recruiters are more likely to click on a profile with a profile photo than one without. Make sure the photo has good lighting, isn’t cropping someone or something out of it, and you’re the main focal point (i.e. we love Fido but not in your LinkedIn profile picture).
  3. Be thorough. Try to fill out as much of your profile as possible! If you mention a study abroad program or volunteer opportunity, it could help spark a conversation in your network. ALSO – keywords in your profile could get pinged by Google. Google ranks LinkedIn’s SEO higher than other sites, because it’s a legitimate social media platform. The more you optimize your profile, the more likely you are to show up in a Google search.
  4. Double and triple check your educational and work dates. It’s helpful for recruiters to be able to review your profile as one succinct timeline. If your dates don’t line up, it can get confusing when trying to piece together work and location history.
  5. Add a headline. This will show up under your name in searches (without even clicking on your profile). It should include your current job title, company and/or your career aspiration(s). Mine reads as follows: “Recruiting Specialist | Cameron-Brooks, Inc. | Connecting Military Leaders with their Dream Career” for reference.
  6. Start exploring! Expand your network, follow thought leaders, take a LinkedIn Learning Course. LinkedIn is a great resource for many different topics.

I hope you find these LinkedIn tips helpful! Another tip: LinkedIn offers a free year of a LinkedIn Premium subscription for military officers. I’d highly recommend taking advantage of this offer. For more professional advice, visit our website and check out PCS to Corporate America. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.