LinkedIn Networking 101: Part 2

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Although you might have seen our overview on networking on LinkedIn, it's time to dive into the platform and get started. Just like joining a new social media platform like BeReal or TikTok and learning all the new features and buttons, it can be difficult to understand how to get the best results on your LinkedIn profile when you're first creating a profile. Many new users also don't know that LinkedIn has various insider tips and tricks that can help you get noticed by recruiters. 

Let's discuss how to best optimize your platform on LinkedIn and how you can implement some unique ideas to stand out. 

Optimizing Your Profile 

In order to get noticed, you need a good profile. We've already noted that LinkedIn profiles act as a longer resume, so structure your account based on that. 

Let's look at this example of Jane Doe, a junior at New York University who is studying English. 

As you can see here, LinkedIn prompts you with suggestions about building your profile. Just like how your connections build off each other to increase your access to other users, LinkedIn profiles do the same. As you transition from a beginner to intermediate to an all-star profile, you’ll see more profile views. Since you want a profile that is noticed by LinkedIn’s software, complete all of the steps they request. For example, to get an intermediate profile you can write a summary, add a profile picture, or add skills. The more unique and detailed your profile is, the more it can be noticed by recruiters. These steps also go through all the various aspects of the platform, such as adding work experiences or recommendations, so you don’t really need to do anything beyond that. 

You may also notice another section that prompts you to show that you’re open to work. This connects to the #OpenToWork banner and is one of the best ways to get noticed during the job search. 

After all, if a recruiter doesn’t know you’re actively looking for a job, then why would they message you about an opportunity? Activating this banner also prompts LinkedIn to suggest more job opportunities related to the job titles and locations you noted. 

Making Connections

Speaking of connections, you will also need to start building them. Even if you start with 0, it’s very easy to grow exponentially. Based on where you are located, you’ll have suggestions for different connections, mostly related to the university you attend. 

Since you already have these suggestions, start adding people. Don’t be afraid to add people you may not necessarily know at your university, the point of LinkedIn is to build a network after all. Also, the worst they can do is not respond, so be generous with your connection making. You can also connect with current employees or recruiters at your dream company to get a better sense of what the industry is like and to get informed in advance of new opportunities. However, if you’re still stumped, you can join groups or events to have that initial exposure before you send a connection request. 

You can also grow your network organically. Going back to your profile, you’ll notice a subsection where it asks you to toggle creator mode. 

This mode allows you to showcase your content even further. Although you can start posts on a regular profile as well, creator mode emphasizes the use of hashtags and followers to highlight your profile. If you’re looking to have more freelance work or grow beyond a single employer, which is especially useful when your industry has an increased rate of layoffs, this mode is great for showcasing your skills and products to an individual audience. 

However, even if you don’t want to become a creator, you can still get noticed by commenting. 

On your homepage feed, you’ll notice various posts from your connections or the pages you follow, which you can like, comment, or repost. Even doing something simple like supporting a post helps you to gain some attention if you configure your profile well. For example, if you like an NYU post, and you already have a #OpenToWork banner set, potential alumni recruiters could see you and be more open to a message you sent them. 

Targeting For Your Job Search 

Once you’ve made some initial connections and built your profile, it’s time to use all of your resources to get the dream job you want. Let’s say that you want to work at HBO, although you want to network with people at the company, currently your profile will look like this. 

To bypass these restrictions, all you can really do is continue to build your profile. By adding more and more connections, since you need around 500 connections to appear established, these profiles will then be unlocked. Another tip is to start adding people within those companies, because profiles that are close to certain individuals will naturally allow the profiles to open up more quickly. However, if you can’t connect to someone just yet, or they aren’t approving your request, you can also send an InMail. 

InMails are a free way to send a message to individuals, however they may have a lower rate of response compared to regular messaging. They are also limited to a certain amount of sends when you use the regular (free) version of LinkedIn (although it increases when you use LinkedIn Premium). 

No matter how you go about connecting to others, the main thing is that your LinkedIn page should be very personalized. It’s your choice as to who you connect to, how you interact with others, and how you utilize the social media platform. Just like with everything in the job search, it’s on you to take initiative and build your own opportunities. 

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