Starting Your LinkedIn Journey

Starting a job search can be daunting at any stage in your career, but effective online and offline networking strategies can help give you an upper hand in the hyper-competitive job market. One popular and highly effective tool for online networking is utilizing LinkedIn’s power. The ubiquitous career platform has over 800 million users in 200 countries. The platform is frequently cited as the number one tool for companies and agency recruiters to source new talent.  

Are you new to LinkedIn? Don’t worry, it’s never too late to show off your abilities and experience, and the sooner you sign up, the more benefits you will generate from this platform and the more meaningful connections you will acquire. According to Jessica Miller-Merell, Founder of Workology, “Being a modern recruiter means being more flexible and finding new ways to locate the best and most qualified talent before the competition gets their hands on them. LinkedIn is crucial as an effective tool for job seekers and recruiters alike.” 

Getting started has never been easier, and after downloading the app, you can effortlessly customize your LinkedIn profile page. It is crucial to your success to remind yourself that with a LinkedIn profile, professionalism is paramount, and specific steps should be followed. 

According to best-selling author Bernard Marr, “Filling out a profile isn’t difficult, but you should follow some important best practices to make sure your profile is as powerful as possible.” After reviewing multiple profiles and seeking advice from recruiters nationwide, here are some tips to set you up for success:  

  • Use a professional headshot. Ensure you are dressed professionally and have an uncluttered background, for example, basic white, as this photo is the first chance to make an impression on networkers and recruiters. 
  • Compose a powerful headline. Speak to who you are as a professional and be mindful of used overused buzzwords. Here is an example of a powerful headline for a new graduate, “A bilingual international business student looking to add value to your company.” 
  • Complete the “summary” section with your most significant achievements. If you have little to no work experience, highlight your other successes. Don’t be shy about using data. “I was the leading salesperson on my team of 17 with an 80% increase in sales over 12 months.” 
  • Add visuals to your profile. You can add photographs and documents such as your resume to your profile for added exposure. Think of your graduation pictures or a class project. 
  • Finish your profile. In order to increase your views, highlight your skills, volunteer work, education, licences, micro-credentials, and short courses, your profile should be complete. 
  • Ask for written recommendations. Endorsements are acceptable, but recommendations show a recruiter that people will take the time to recommend your work and your character by writing proper references for you. 
  • Share industry-relevant content. To get noticed, share, like and comment on industry professionals’ content and their postings. 

 

How to Make LinkedIn Work for You 

After you’ve improved your profile, you’ll need to expand your network. This can be accomplished by setting up informational interviews with industry specialists in order to learn more about the field you want to enter. The ideal strategy to arrange an informational interview is to first research firms of interest and contact employees. Join communities for interior designers to network with professionals in the field, such as influencers, recruiters, and management, if you’re in the BID program. If you’re interested in a career in accounting, contact the top firms and smaller businesses in your area. If you’re an MACP student, start reaching out to practitioners in the field and joining counselling and psychology groups. The larger your network becomes, the easier it is to add new people to it. 

Building your Network 

The next challenge many LinkedIn users face is connecting with people. It is highly recommended to personalize your connection request instead of using the default LinkedIn request to connect. Once the person has accepted your request, send a personalized follow-up message as a way to initiate a professional relationship. Try these simple approaches: 

“As we both work in marketing in Canada, I would value your connection here on LinkedIn.” 

“I enjoyed your article on trends in fashion in Canada, and I would value the opportunity to be part of your professional network. 

Celebrating your Success 

Congratulations, you now have a one-of-a kind profile and access to a platform with 750 million professionals! It’s time to expand your professional network and make yourself known to recruiters in your selected field across Canada and around the world. Remember to hunt for high-quality contacts rather than connecting or accepting connection requests on the spur of the moment.  

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