Unleashing the power of LinkedIn

by Jo Wood
Published: Tuesday, 23 May, 2023

So, you’re not using LinkedIn yet?

Well, if that’s the case, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to advance your career, showcase your skills, connect with others, and learn more about what’s happening in the professional world. That’s because LinkedIn has become the go-to platform for the working world, being the largest professional social media site, boasting over 740 million users worldwide. That’s one heck of a lot of people! 

Ok, maybe you want to make better use of it, but you don’t know where to start. Don’t worry because we’re here to help! In this article we’re going to explore some of the key benefits of using LinkedIn and provide tips for getting started on the platform.  

A comprehensive guide

So, if you're not already using LinkedIn, it's time to take a closer look. Some benefits of using it include: 

  1. Networking: LinkedIn has become an essential tool for networking as it allows you to connect with such a wide range of people across any industry or field. Professional networking is important for career success, but networking can sometimes offer more meaningful connections too. Thresholds participants tell us the connections they make whilst on the programme, often with people they wouldn’t normally interact with, are invaluable and can last a lifetime. LinkedIn can help you to make these types of connections too– so what are you waiting for? Networking has never been easier! Use the platform to reach out to new people and start to build some new relationships - you never know where they could lead, maybe to new opportunities or collaborations. Reaching out to people on LinkedIn can be especially useful if you’re thinking of a change in career direction and want to forge some connections in a new field.
  2. Professional development: LinkedIn is a great platform to learn about trends, best practice and emerging technologies across various industries and fields. You don’t need to look far to find a vast collection of articles, posts, and other content created by industry leaders and experts. Many companies use LinkedIn to share updates about their products and services, as well as industry news and events – at Thresholds we always share our news and updates and of course post about all our free events on LinkedIn, so be sure to follow along!
  3. Branding: LinkedIn can be an incredibly valuable tool for building and promoting your personal brand. You can use your profile to showcase your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Then by creating and sharing content, networking with others, and engaging with your connections, you can establish yourself as a thought leader, increase your visibility and build your reputation. If you completed the Thresholds programme, then why not re-visit your career action plan as it's likely there’s a way you can use LinkedIn to work towards some of your career milestones.
  4. Job search:  According to a survey conducted by Jobvite, a recruiting software company, LinkedIn is one of the top job search platforms, with 77% of recruiters using it these days to find potential candidates. There are over 20 million active job postings on the platform at any given time – that’s a lot of jobs! If you’re looking to progress your career in the civil service then LinkedIn wouldn’t be your first choice for job opportunities as you’ll no doubt be glued to civil service jobs, but for those of you that are actively looking for a role outside the civil service or are just interested in what opportunities are out there, then this is a good place to start! Whilst it’s not the only job platform out there, it is significant, and its job search features make it an excellent tool for finding new career opportunities. You can search for job openings, apply to jobs directly on the platform, and set up job alerts. It’s also great for recruiters so you can share roles with a wider and more diverse audience of potential candidates – we’ve seen many civil service jobs vacancies promoted on LinkedIn by the vacancy holder – this gives you a great forum to promote your vacancy to people who might not be actively looking at jobs but would make a good fit. Also, feel free to share your vacancies on the Thresholds alumni page – the personal touch will often encourage people to apply who maybe wouldn’t otherwise.
  5. Business opportunities: LinkedIn is an excellent tool for business development. Maybe you’ve got entrepreneurial aspirations or you’re pursuing a passion project or side hustle. If so, you can research companies and connect with decision-makers, potential clients, partners, and suppliers.  

Hopefully you’re now itching to get started and jump into the LinkedIn world!

Here are some tips to help you get started and make the most out of the platform: 

  1. Optimise your profile: Your LinkedIn profile is your digital CV, so it makes sense to keep it up to date. Have a profile photo that looks professional and make sure your headline and summary accurately represent your skills and experience using clear, snappy and easy to understand language. Additionally, you can list your work experience, education, and other relevant information on your profile. For Thresholds’ participants, this is an ideal place to share your personal brand and/or your elevator pitch.

  2. Connect with peers and colleagues: LinkedIn is an excellent tool for building your professional network so reach out and connect with people! You can do this by following or connecting with an account (the latter needs the account to agree to connect). Then engage with your network by liking and commenting on their posts. Not only will this help you stay informed, but it will build and deepen those relationships - you never know when that could lead to new and exciting opportunities. Reach out today and invite someone for a virtual coffee! 

  3. Participate:: Join groups and discussions that you’re interested in so you can learn from others and share your expertise. The more you share interesting and engaging content (either your own thoughts or reposting interesting topics you think others will benefit from) will help you establish yourself as an expert in your field and increase your visibility on the platform. You might want to create your own group and connect with like-minded people on a certain topic. If you’ve been on the thresholds programme, then check out our alumni group, a network of nearly 2k incredible supportive women for you to tap into whenever you wish!

  4. Showcase your expertise and experience: Share articles, posts, and updates that demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and passion. Writing articles and creating videos will increase your visibility even further. Be sure to engage with your audience by responding to comments on your posts and thanking people for sharing your content. This will help you to create a positive reputation on the platform.

  5. Research and learning: Use the platform to research companies and job opportunities -you can usually get a feel for a company’s values and culture and see what it’s actually like to work there from a bit of digging on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to take advantage of LinkedIn Learning; it offers thousands of courses (many free) on various topics, including leadership, communication, and project management. 

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you to build your professional network move forwards in your career. So, if you’re not making the most out of this free platform, then why not log on and make a start today?

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