What Is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social network that enables users to participate in professional networking opportunities and develop their careers. People can find jobs by posting their CVs. Businesses can share job openings and connect over similar interests or skills.

You can use LinkedIn to display your resume, search for jobs, and enhance your professional reputation by posting updates and interacting with other people. 

What’s more, the platform is free. Still, a subscription version called LinkedIn Premium offers additional features to users such as online classes and seminars, as well as insights into who's searching for and viewing your profile.

That aside, LinkedIn has quickly become an essential part of business and career development, and to improve your professional position, you must make a profile and keep it updated.

Let’s explore how to use LinkedIn and what you can get out of it.

How to Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn has its platform and system different from other networks, but learning how to use it isn’t too tricky. To start, all you have to do is create a profile and add your resume. You can then connect with people you may know (as well as making new contacts) and build your profile over time.

The more visible your profile is, the more likely you will connect with the right people or jobs.

It’s important to remember that LinkedIn is a site for professionals, so everything is geared toward careers and business. As you build your profile and seek out connections, endorsements, and recommendations, you'll want to be professional in your approach.

Create a LinkedIn Profile

All you need to get started is to create a LinkedIn login. You can also upgrade to one of the paid LinkedIn subscriptions: Premium Career, Business Plus, LinkedIn Learning, Sales Navigator (three levels), and Recruiter Lite. However, even just the essential free services are sufficient for many employees and small business owners as you can access features such as:

  • Having a professional profile of skills, experiences, and more
  • Limited insight into who's viewed your profile
  • Ability to see 1,000 profiles per search
  • Ability to save three searches

Upgrading LinkedIn to premium can certainly increase some of these features, such as seeing who's viewed your profile, the number of profiles per search, the number of searches, etc. But for the most part, a basic profile will be enough for you to build a professional identity on the platform to grow your network.

The Benefits of Using LinkedIn for Business

LinkedIn is a great platform to use for growing a small brand or business. It provides you with an opportunity to communicate and collaborate with other professionals interested in sharing company and industry knowledge. It can also help you find similar people (or potential employees) who may help contribute to the success of your business.

Here are some of the benefits that LinkedIn allows you to access:

  1. Have an online resume and business card where potential clients, customers, and joint venture partners can learn about and connect with you.
  2. Get online endorsements and recommendations for your professional abilities and character.
  3. Get introductions to potential clients, customers, and colleagues.
  4. Search available job postings placed on the LinkedIn website by members. While you can also search the web for jobs, the difference is that many job posts are exclusive to LinkedIn, which means the applications will be limited. Those postings often have a requirement that you have one or more LinkedIn recommendations. Moreover, if you’re connected to people in the same network, they can help refer you and increase your chances of getting hired.
  5. Join various groups that align with your interests and participate in discussions. Having a group in common with another LinkedIn user is one way you can invite others to your network. Each group discussion contains its job listings. What’s more, it's a place to share your expertise and build the trust and rapport needed to cultivate new clients and customers.

Key Takeaway

LinkedIn is an industry-changing professional tool used for career development, seeking out new opportunities, and connecting with like-minded people. If you can take advantage of all that the platform offers, you can progress your professional reputation and open more doors for yourself. And it’s also an ideal space for small businesses to build their brand.