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How to get started on LinkedIn as an individual and make the most of it

Source: Life Letter Cafe

First of all keep in mind that LinkedIn is a social networking platform/app for professionals that allows you to interact with individuals and businesses all in one place, follow companies, create company pages, and share interesting thoughts, which is exactly why you can NOT put your spouse’s picture on your profile where yours should be.

Here’s a step by step guide to getting started on LinkedIn if you’re a newbie:

  • Download the app first or go to www.linkedin.com.
  • Sign up using your email address and create a password for your account.
  • Fill in the required fields about yourself and your work experiences, as well as academic qualifications and interests.
  • Most importantly, upload a not too serious but professional picture of yourself as your account’s profile picture. Don’t upload an old picture. Ever! Replace it with the most current photo you have as often as you can. If you thought you can get hired for your real looks, you’re right. Most recruiters may like just what they see, not in a sexual way I may add.

The last point is important because LinkedIn acts as your CV online. People may find you within their ‘connections’ (which is LinkedIn speak for ‘friends’) and connect to you because they possibly want to do business with you or are considering you for a job.

LinkedIn is for professional interaction so do not bring your personal issues on there. There is a huge world of difference between showing your personality and showing your personal life. Imagine LinkedIn as a huge business networking conference. Your potential employer or next client does not need to know that you were late because you had an “epic night”. Do not share pictures that are too personal either.

Your connections on LinkedIn have the ability to endorse you for skills which can be viewed by other potential clients/employers on your profile. To get more endorsements for the work you do, make sure to endorse others worthy of it as well.

You can search for jobs on LinkedIn and apply for some of them via the LinkedIn site/app itself. This is becoming a very informal but efficient way of employment lately because once you apply, your potential employer can see your profile and determine if you would be right for the job. See my point on not writing about that hangover?

If they do look you up on other social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, there is a little more tolerance with the type of posts they may find because those are not meant to be highly professional social networking sites. These platforms may have businesses on them or even important people that you may communicate with, but they are not too formal.

Lastly, connect with as many people as you can. You never know when you might actually meet them in person and do business together because well, you more or less know each other.

Got other tips that work for you? Feel free to share them in the comments section below 🙂


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