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Ninja Tips for Using LinkedIn to Advance Your Career

find a job Apr 23, 2020

You know that loungewear set from Target that every single fashion influencer in the world just can’t stop talking about right now?

(Yes, that one).

And even though you do an eye roll every time you see it posted, you start to secretly wonder whether you should get it?

And then you add it to your cart?

All because you were told you needed it again and again and again…?

(Sneaky, right?)

Since I just proved to you the magic of constant repetition, I’m back here again to tell you about how essential LinkedIn is for you and your career (even if you’re not job searching right now).

I know I’ve talked about it before, but I’m so convinced that it's worth your time to know how to use LinkedIn that I begged marketing consultant and LinkedIn expert Ash Kennedy of Creative Freedom Social Marketing to share with me her best LinkedIn strategies so that you’d have everything you needed to make your profile stand out.

Before we dive straight into her top three tips, I want you to know that Ash offers 1:1 LinkedIn workshop sessions in which she tells you exactly how to overhaul your specific profile. So if you're more of a "please help me" and less of a "DIY" girl, go check out her instagram and then head right here to fill out the form for her workshop!

Tip 1: Fill out every single section on your profile with as much information as possible.

Even if you just graduated from college, you can fill out most of the sections if you get a little creative and think outside the box. That “work you’ve done” section? Link to your honors thesis or an article you wrote for the school newspaper. Add in volunteer or internship experience – there are so many options.

You might also find it helpful to look at the profiles for other people in your industry and see what they’ve included.

Here are a few of Ash’s tips for what to include in some of the specific sections you'll see on your profile:

Intro section: If you use the LinkedIn app (and not your laptop) to fill out the headline under your name you get to use MORE words and characters (is that a ninja trick or what?) Ash suggests using key words in this section that recruiters might be looking for (detail oriented, event planner, project manager, etc.) to make your profile really stand out.

Featured section: You want to showcase what you’ve done and can do here. Add in a link to your honors thesis, a website you designed, a blog post you’ve written, a newspaper article that was published, etc.

Skills section: Select skills that pertain to the job you want. Choose three to feature at the top of the list – and make sure these skills are ones that are mentioned often in the jobs you’re looking for. (Do you want to be an event planner? Maybe “attention to detail” is a skill they often use – make sure that’s one of the top three).

You’ll need to get endorsements for the skills you select and the best way to do this is to give other people endorsements. As you faithfully endorse other connections, they’ll return the favor and head back to your profile to endorse the skills you’ve listed.

Recommendations: These are super important and should speak to your character and what it’s like to work with you. Again, write descriptive (not generic!) recommendations for others and many will be happy to return the favor.

Tip 2: Snoop (aka: look) at recruiter’s profiles

LinkedIn allows you to see who looked at your profile (sneaky, yes?) and many recruiters and leaders use this feature to see who’s interested in them… and then they check out that person’s profile.

Use this to your advantage and read through the profiles of recruiters and directors at the companies you’re interested in. Comment on articles they post. Be as engaged as you can be – you never know, they might reach out to you!

Tip 3: Pay for LinkedIn Premium if you’re actively job searching

Premium gives you the ability to direct message more people each month and shows recruiters that you’re actively looking for a new role, without broadcasting this fact to the world. It is a little expensive, but you can pay for it on a monthly basis and Ash highly recommends it.

**

As always, I’m here if you have any questions – [email protected]. And if you want Ash to analyze your profile and tell you exactly what you need to do to make it better, generate more leads, etc., just head here. This isn’t at all sponsored – she’s just that good!

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