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Use LinkedIn to Boost Your Career

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Summary: Though once ignored by most, LinkedIn is making a comeback with useful updates to its mobile apps.

Add serious value to your career by using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn may not be as hip as Facebook and Instagram, but it can add some serious value to your career, the Wall Street Journal reports. Around 61 percent of users only check in to the website once every few weeks, likely due to its tedious design and somewhat annoying features (how many “Join My Network” emails have you received this week?).



However, you may want to download the website’s app and log in more often. You can find out how to improve your business, find new leads, and may even come across a job you didn’t know you wanted.

What’s so different with LinkedIn? The site has added significant improvements to its iOS and Android apps over the last few months, with more updates coming to the iPhone just this week.

The article encourages avoiding the LinkedIn website itself. The design is a bit dated and seems to have a few issues—for example, stating that there are messages in the inbox when there aren’t any.

However, the mobile apps are much more streamlined and user friendly. You can edit your profile, send messages, and manage your contacts from the app.

The personalized feed of job advice and industry news is a great feature of the app. The feed provides a steady flow of insights that may be valuable to one’s career. Articles and information tidbits are targeted to each user, based on their profile information. You can also improve the quality of your suggestions by customizing your feed and choosing which topics are most interesting to you.

To strengthen your network, you don’t actually need to accept every single person that sends you a request. This leads to clutter in your inbox. In addition, by adding everyone and their brother to your LinkedIn, you risk adding scammers or phishers who may be trying to steal your personal information.

To remove contacts, in the app, go to the contact’s page and select the three dots in the upper right hand corner. You can then select “Remove Connection.” Your contacts will not receive any sort of notification if they are removed.

If you want to stay connected, you can simply remove updates from certain contacts by unfollowing them. You can also tag contacts with certain keywords, but bear in mind that you can only do this on the LinkedIn website.

How can you figure out which contacts are best? Victoria Ipri, an independent LinkedIn consultant, suggests, “You should keep it to people in your industry who you think could be of assistance, and to people you know and have done work with before.”

When sending an invite, include a personal note as to why you’d like to connect. In the app, you’ll have to go to the connection’s page, click the three dots, and select “Personalize Invite.”

Rather than reach out to your contacts when they get a new position or celebrate a job anniversary, focus instead on posting status updates and links to articles. This will make you stand out. In addition, sharing articles can often lead to insightful discussions about certain industry trends.

Your LinkedIn profile is often one of the top pages to pop up in Google search results. In addition, 87 percent of recruiters use the service. Ipri advises thinking of your LinkedIn as a cover letter instead of a resume, with the most important section being the summary field. Ipri says, “This needs to describe you to everyone, including the people who would be hiring.” Therefore, explain your job in a creative and smart manner. Profiles with summaries actually get seven times the views than ones without a summary. Add a photo, and your profile will perform 14 times better than profiles without one.

Endorsements can also be helpful. LinkedIn examines your endorsements, and then uses these connections to help others find your profile. Therefore, endorse a colleague once in a while.

If you really want to upgrade your profile, you could pay $30 a month for LinkedIn Premium’s service for job seekers. This allows you to see who has viewed your profile, and how you rank among your peers.

What are some things you should avoid doing on LinkedIn? Business2Community.com has some suggestions.

First, make sure you have clear goals for LinkedIn. Are you looking for a job, or are you just exploring your industry? When creating and updating your profile, keep these goals in mind.

Additionally, it probably goes without saying, but remain professional on LinkedIn. Leave the bachelorette photos, the pictures of your dessert, and updates on your cat’s latest antics for Facebook or Instagram. Similarly, avoid negative updates—keep your tone positive at all times.

Don’t forget to look around in your network. Reach out and make new connections.

Therefore, though Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can be fun, can they help you pay the bills? Unless you’re “Instafamous” or a social media star, probably not. Therefore, get going on updating your LinkedIn profile to improve your career as soon as possible.
   
Source: Wall Street Journal

Photo credit: LinkedIn
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