I was scrolling through LinkedIn today and I had to wonder why am I on this platform? Am I using it right? I mean, it is not a fun place like other social media platforms so exactly what you or I are doing here. To understand it better, I have put together a guide for understanding what LinkedIn is? Moreover, what exactly LinkedIn is used for?
We know that LinkedIn is for anybody and everybody. Whether you’re a marketing manager at a major company, a business owner who runs a small shop or even a final-year college student looking for their first job after graduating, this professional networking site is designed to help people make business connections, share their experiences and resumes, and find jobs.
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Like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a dozen others, LinkedIn is a social network. But the difference between them and LinkedIn is that it is a professional networking site. Simply put, it is Facebook but professional. So let us delve into the what’s, why’s, and its’ main features through this guide.
What is LinkedIn?
According to LinkedIn, it is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. You can use the platform to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships. You can also learn the skills you need to succeed in your career. Plus, you can access LinkedIn from a desktop, LinkedIn mobile app, mobile web experience, or the LinkedIn Lite Android mobile app.
Furthermore, you can also use the platform to organize offline events, join groups, write articles, post photos and videos, and more. Now, it has its own platform and system different from other networks. But learning how to use it is as difficult as learning how to use any other social networking site. (Meaning, fairly easy.)
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As it is with every social network platform, one has to create profiles. But here a complete LinkedIn profile can help you connect with opportunities by showcasing your unique professional story through experience, skills, and education. Let us look at some of the main features of LinkedIn here once you’ve logged in:
Here are some of the basic features that this professional network offers. In addition, how they’ve been designed to be used by professionals.
This is similar to that of Facebook’s news feed. This is the first thing you see once you log in to your profile. Here you can see posts made by other LinkedIn users, and make your own posts that others can see, like, share, and comment on. Moreover, you can also limit your posts to just connections in your network, or share your thoughts with everyone.
It is where you can see your existing network of connections. You can also search for LinkedIn users to invite to join your network. You can also see existing invitations you’ve received from others. If you hover your mouse over this option in the top menu, you’ll also be able to see a number of other options that will allow you to add contacts, find people you may know and find alumni.
As the name suggests, this is where you can find your profile. Simply put, it is similar to that of your resume. Your profile shows your name, your photo, your location, your occupation and more right at the top. Here you customize various different sections like a short summary, work experience, education and other sections similarly to how you might create a traditional resume or CV.
Basically, this is a comprehensive career site. You can search for and apply for jobs, get information about companies you’re interested in and much more. Here you can set up notifications and get emails when there are new job postings. LinkedIn will also recommend specific jobs to you based on your current information, including your location and optional job preferences that you can fill out to get better-tailored job listings.
Like Instagram’s DM, and Facebook’s Messenger, LinkedIn has its own messaging platform. This is a place you can use to chat with people in your network. You can also use it to send messages to people outside your network with something called InMail if you subscribe to certain tiers of LinkedIn Premium.
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As other social networking platforms have it, LinkedIn also has a notification feature. This is the feature that lets you know when you’ve been endorsed by someone, invited to join something or welcomed to check out a post you might be interested in. In addition to this you also have:
Pending Invitations: When other professionals invite you to connect with them on LinkedIn, you’ll receive an invitation that you’ll have to approve.
What Is LinkedIn Used For?
Now, that we are well acquainted with the ‘what’ and its’ main features of the platform, let us understand what makes it useful for you. Here I will do my best to give you an understanding of how you can use it the best way possible for you. Because many users create an account and then abandon it because they have no idea how they should be using LinkedIn.
By now, it should be clear that LinkedIn is a tool you can use to enhance your professional networking and job searching activities. Here are some pointers to understand what LinkedIn is used for:
You can use the My Network section to find old colleagues, teachers, people you went to school with and anyone else you might think is worth having in your professional network. Just enter or connect your email to sync your contacts with LinkedIn. But what’s even better is that you have the opportunity to discover new professionals either locally or internationally that may be able to help out with your professional endeavours.
2. As a Research Tool
Having a LinkedIn account also means that you can use the site to research companies, interviewers, recruiters, and hiring managers. This is helpful before submitting applications and researching who’s interviewing you and conducting interview research.
3. Job Opportunities
Remember that LinkedIn is one of the best places to look for job postings online. You’ll always get recommendations from LinkedIn about jobs you may be interested in, but you can always use the search bar to look for specific positions too. New opportunities exist throughout that may not exist on traditional job boards. You can directly apply for roles using LinkedIn apply, save job searches, as well as a flag to recruiters that you are open to hearing about opportunities.
4. Participating in Groups
Groups are a brilliant way to meet people with similar professional interests. It helps you expand your network from other graduates to professionals already working in your industry. Groups allow you to take part in discussions. This is a great way to exhibit your knowledge on topics related to your industry, ask questions and start conversations with key people in key organisations. Other group members may like what they see and want to connect with you.
5. Writing your own posts
The platform allows users to publish blog posts and gain the opportunity to have their content read by thousands. Published posts will also show up on your profile, which will increase your credibility in related fields that are relevant to your professional experience.
The benefits of LinkedIn are almost endless with no downside to having a LinkedIn profile. Get involved in forums, join groups and meet like-minded individuals like yourself. Best of all LinkedIn is totally free except for some additional features. LinkedIn offers a Premium subscription service to its users who are serious about using it in the most advanced form.
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Upgrading to a Premium LinkedIn Account
Most of us can do just well and fine with the regular LinkedIn account. But those who are looking for more advanced features and are serious about it can use the Premium subscription service. Four of them are available for you to choose from:
LinkedIn Premium Career:
Majorly those who are looking out for opportunities in any field, opt for this option. The monthly subscription fee is Rs. 1,400 when billed annually (the earlier price was Rs. 1,900).
Linkedin Premium Business:
For businesses that are looking to grow and build a network. The monthly subscription fee is Rs.1,900 when billed annually (the earlier price was Rs. 2,400).
LinkedIn Premium Sales:
For professionals and businesses looking for targeted leads. The monthly subscription fee is Rs. 3,900 when billed annually (the earlier price was Rs. 4,900)
LinkedIn Premium Hiring:
For professionals and businesses looking to recruit and hire employees. The monthly subscription fee is RS. 5,000 when billed annually (the earlier price was Rs. 6,000).
If by any chance you’re not sure which plan to select then you’re in luck as LinkedIn offers a 30-Day Free Trial for all the above-mentioned plans. You can cancel at any time. They’ll remind you 7 days before your trial ends.
Marketer to the core, a writer from the soul. Engineer and an MBA turned budding tech writer - dabbling her hands in all genres of writing from tech to fiction. If not writing, you will always find me reading anything and everything. Otherwise, you will find me learning new languages.