Knowing how to use LinkedIn and find LinkedIn jobs can completely change your life. We live in an age where tech skills create huge opportunities that never previously existed, and offer massive advantages over your less computer-literate competition.
Not only are tech jobs like data analyst, information security specialist, and software developer all in high demand, but tech know-how is even useful for finding that work in the first place. We’ve already discussed the power of freelancing sites like UpWork and PeoplePerHour, but the daddy of them all is LinkedIn. More than just a freelancing site, this is a professional network where you can meet new business partners, display your experiences, and potentially find paid work.
Make yourself look and sound as impressive as possible, so that you come across as a superstar in your industry.
LinkedIn is a huge asset for those looking for gig work, but it’s also fundamentally important to full-time employees, traditional businesses, and recruitment firms. Knowing how to use LinkedIn is therefore a crucial skill for professionals in the digital age.
You can get a long way by sending out applications and attending interviews, but once you know how to use LinkedIn to the fullest, you’ll be able to leapfrog the normal career progression and potentially catapult your success into the stratosphere. All it takes is for the right person to notice you and see the skills, experience, and passion they are looking for (fun fact: I actually got this gig at Android Authority through LinkedIn!).
If you want to use your Android device for more than just popping candy and keeping up appearances on Instagram, here’s how to thrive on LinkedIn, future-proof your career, find amazing opportunities, and take your earnings to new heights.
Note: This is not a technical guide to setting up LinkedIn, but rather a general discussion on getting the most from it.
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How to get started on LinkedIn: Creating a strong profile
A LinkedIn profile is essentially an online CV. Your job is to make yourself look and sound as impressive as possible, so you come across as a “superstar” in your industry.
That means all of your relevant job roles, qualifications, and experiences should go here. In my case, I’ve been able to list the work I’ve done writing and presenting for Android Authority, the technical books I’ve authored for Springer Publishing, my work for various writing agencies, my own Bioneer website and YouTube channel, and my position as assistant editor at Writers’ News. I’ve also included some of the successful apps I’ve built, and my degrees and qualifications.
I’ve placed these job roles in the Experience section. And the books and apps go under Accomplishments > Projects and Accomplishments > Publications respectively. There’s also space here for Honors & Awards.
When you take all of this as a whole, it presents a fairly focused skillset. I am a writer, but I specialize in technology and development.
This is one of the most important things to understand if you want to know how to use LinkedIn effectively. Your LinkedIn should be focused, emphasizing the qualifications and experiences most relevant to the kind of work you currently want.
This also applies to the way you list your skills. On LinkedIn, you can choose to add skills, be they SEO, copywriting, or Java. From here, other users can then “endorse” you for those skills, providing testimony that you can indeed do the thing you claim.
Your LinkedIn should be focused and should emphasize the skills most relevant to the kind of work you are currently looking for.
The mistake many professionals make is to use an extremely scattershot approach: listing as many skills as possible to sound like the most highly qualified person on Earth! Intuitively this makes sense, but in practice it makes you appear unfocussed, and prevents you from appearing in searches.
Try to be clear about what it is you do and what you know about. That way you can appeal to a certain type of client and become the perfect fit for what they need. This should also be expressed immediately in the short bio at the top of your page. Who are you, and what do you do?
How to use LinkedIn by growing your skills
The real key to success on LinkedIn is not simply to list the correct skills you already have, but also to go out and get the skills you wish you had. In other words: it’s time to change the entire way you think about your career. Knowing how to use LinkedIn is also a matter of knowing how to use the opportunities in front of you.
Too many people rely on their employers to provide them with the experience and training they need to get the jobs they want. A few decades ago, we would move in a linear fashion through a single organization, and likely get trained along the way as we took on more responsibility.
It’s well documented that most people these days will change careers multiple times. We millennials just don’t show the same loyalty to employers, and so it is no longer in their best interests to provide us with lots of training.
Of course, this is especially true if you are in the gig economy as a full-time freelancer.
If you want to progress and demand increasingly higher salaries, you should go out of your way to bulk up your LinkedIn profile with more and more qualifications and experiences. Thanks to sites like LinkedIn and remote collaboration tools like Asana, companies now have the luxury of being able to select candidates from a near-limitless talent pool. You are going toe-to-toe with professionals all around the world, so if you want to stand out, you need to become a superstar in your niche. This also allows you to effectively design your own perfect job!
The web makes it easier than ever for us to gain these qualifications and certifications.
The web makes it easier than ever for us to gain these qualifications and certifications. If you want to get started as an information security analyst, there are a host of certifications like Pentest+ and CYSA+. There are courses you can take online such as Information Security Management Fundamentals for Non-Techies over at Udemy.
You can also use this strategy to open up to other new opportunities, or to switch to a different industry entirely. I’d like to write more about health and fitness in the future, so I’m currently taking an online personal training diploma course. It only takes a few hours a week, and by the end I’ll have another sellable skill.
I also recommend seeking out job opportunities and projects you know will look great on your LinkedIn. As a freelancer, it’s often worth taking on jobs for a little less if you think they will help you charge more in future. For me personally, having published books has helped me immensely with my authority in those respective niches — I can charge much more as a technical writer now! Make sure you provide screenshots, scans, and links to showcase your portfolio, rather than just talking about it.
This is all about building a personal brand, and learning how to present yourself in a way that will make you cat-nip for high-paying opportunities. The best LinkedIn profiles are constantly changing and growing.
Degrees of separation
Now you have the profile, it’s just a matter of getting the right people to view it.
If you really want to know how to use LinkedIn to its fullest, you need to be proactive. It’s not enough to create an amazing profile, you also need to ensure the right people see it.
The best way to do that, is to view LinkedIn as a giant game of “degrees of separation.” In other words: don’t just think about who you connect to, but also who they might be connected to, and who that person might know.
If someone from your work connects with you and they happen to know someone important, you are suddenly on their radar. Not only that, but using the network’s messaging system (InMail), you’ll be able to send them unsolicited messages. I’ve managed to gain a third degree connection with one of my favorite authors this way, and I’m just biding my time for the perfect reason to message them!
It’s in your best interest to add as many people as possible, especially within your industry. A great tool to help you do this is Rapportive. This Gmail plugin will allow you to see the LinkedIn profiles of people who contact you via email, letting you quickly add them as a connection. Knowing how to use a host of LinkedIn plugins and tools like this can help you get more from the platform.
Don’t forget to set your job seeking preferences up correctly either! Go into your settings and under Job seeking preferences set Let recruiters know you’re open to opportunities to “yes.” That doesn’t have to mean you’re unhappy with what you’re doing currently, it just means you are open to hearing about alternative or additional options! The best way to find LinkedIn jobs is to let them come to you.
LinkedIn can help you find amazing opportunities and further your career. It’s all about spreading your net far and wide by building a huge range of connections, and bulking up your qualifications and experiences to the point where you’re able to demand the best rates in your industry.
Amazing to think about how you can do all of that from the comfort of your phone!