How to Use LinkedIn for Beginners: A 5-Minute Guide

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to find genuine jobs, connect with your colleagues, promote your business, and stay up to date with industry trends. It’s the most compelling professional networking site today. If you’re not on it yet, this guide will teach you how to get started and how to add value to your LinkedIn profile.

Getting Started! Building a Successful LinkedIn Profile

The goal is to create a LinkedIn profile that is authentic and appealing – authentic enough for workers to want to connect with you from across the world, and appealing enough for potential employers to flood your inbox with interview invites.

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Step 1: Sign up to create a free LinkedIn personal account.

To create a free account, you need to go to the official LinkedIn website (or download the app) and click “join now”. Enter your full name, email address or phone number, and your desired account password. After double-checking your details, press the “agree & join” button. You will need to confirm your registration by clicking the link that was sent to the email address you used for registration or by submitting the authentication code sent to your mobile number. When you have these done, congratulations! You are one step away from successfully creating an impactful LinkedIn profile.

Along the way, LinkedIn may require additional information from you that you will need to provide (e.g. date of birth, country of residence, etc.). Make sure to use your real name and provide uncompromised personal details. LinkedIn has strict policies with fake accounts, they utilize advanced technologies to identify ingenuine profiles. Once your account is identified as fake, your profile may be restricted or permanently deleted.

Step 2: Use the right profile picture! Make sure to add a summary about you.

Now that you have your LinkedIn skeleton, it’s time to weave some clothes for it! As you reach this stage, you have successfully set up your account, but it’s still bare. It doesn’t show any information apart from the details you have initially provided during the registration process. Employers and coworkers check people’s profiles to see if it matches their interest. If they find your profile empty during their 1-3 seconds viewing, highly likely they will pass through without saying “Hi” and you will know that your opportunity to expand your network or get a new job is lost.

Make your LinkedIn profile catchy by using the right profile picture and adding necessary additional information such as contact information and a short description of who you are and what you do. Your profile picture must be clear with a clean background (Tip from LinkedIn! Put on the same outfit you’d wear to work). Your about section should give a brief summary of you. This is your chance in making a good first impression, for example:

“Hi, there! I am James who has experience in the truck driving industry for 10 years and counting. I am particularly passionate about diesel and electric automotive. Currently, I work as a company truck driver in one of the leading enterprises in Quebec, Canada. My goal is to become the operations team lead in the next 2 years”.

In your brief summary, you may choose to be as straightforward as you want or as creative as you want. Ask yourself about your goals, your experiences, and your principles that you want to share. Turn it into a cohesive paragraph and add it to your LinkedIn profile.

Step 3: Add your work and volunteer experiences, educational background, special skills, and accomplishments.

There are multiple sections that you can add to your LinkedIn profile to showcase your talents and abilities such as work experience, education, licenses and certifications, volunteer experiences, skills, publications, patents, projects, honors and awards, languages, and test scores. You can also request a short recommendation from your previous colleagues whom you have worked with to boost your credibility.

Choose the right section that will showcase your skills. If you passed the French language test, add it to your LinkedIn test scores or language skills. If you have certifications in plumbing or crane operations, add them to your LinkedIn certificates or education. If you have a license in medical practices, add it to your LinkedIn licenses. Whatever field you are in and whatever genuine work you have (office work, truck driving jobs, health-related work, kitchen jobs, and more!), you are free to utilize LinkedIn in expanding your network, opening more opportunities, and boosting your credibility.

To wrap things up, this 5-minute guide should have given you a better understanding of how to get started on LinkedIn. But, of course, a successful LinkedIn profile does not end with you creating a WOW-worthy account. You will need to learn the art of networking and connecting to people through LinkedIn. Make sure to post the right posts (Remember! It’s not Facebook, don’t post your rants), and to respond and interact with anyone respectfully. Find that formula that works for you. Happy networking and exploring!

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