LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. It’s also the social media platform most useful for individuals actively seeking to advance their career. When using LinkedIn for job searching, think of it as your one-stop resource: your online resume, your network of colleagues, and your real-time database of job postings, networking events, tips, and professional development opportunities.

With so many resources in one place, it’s crucial to be in the know and use LinkedIn to its full potential. Here are 5 great ways to make the most of LinkedIn and power your job search!

1.)  Put Your Best Foot Forward

Your LinkedIn profile needs to represent you the way you want connections and potential employers to see you. Make it robust and thorough—showcase your qualifications as well as your greatest professional and academic achievements. Consider it your online resume.

Include a picture that clearly shows your face and is professional and friendly. Your summary is your sales pitch – make it concise yet detailed. What are you most proud of? What makes you truly unique? Include those points. Include all work experience and be detailed in your description of duties, achievements, and recognitions. The same goes for education and awards & honors. Shout out your accomplishments!

  • Power User Tip: Don’t forget the “additional interests section”! This is the building block of your LinkedIn network. Each interest is a link for finding other professionals with similar interests, so choose your list based on your professional goals.

2.)   Join As Many Groups as Possible

Groups, such as Strayer University’s, are one of the best ways to connect with new people on LinkedIn. Joining groups that are aligned with your professional goals and interests will expand your network and opportunities and groups tend to post relevant job listings, events and industry news. Here are some great groups to join:

  • Join your college or university’s group
  • Join the groups of companies you’re interested in working for.
  • Join topical groups to hear what experts and other professionals are saying.
  • Power User Tip: Utilize the “Jobs” section of your groups to see what openings are available. Inquire about applying. Job postings on LinkedIn also show you similar job postings.

3.) Be an Active Participant

It’s not enough to simply join a group on LinkedIn – you have to interact with the members. There are millions of LinkedIn users and groups can have anywhere from several dozen to several thousand members, so be as vocal as possible to make sure you not only get noticed but remembered!

Join discussions you are interested in. Comment actively by sharing your own unique perspective. Remember to always conduct yourself professionally and endorse your connections. The fastest way to gather endorsements is to endorse other people.

4.) Utilize LinkedIn’s Own Resources

As an online professional network, LinkedIn has resources dedicated for professional development and ways to improve your job search and hireability. The “Jobs” section lets you search for job postings without being a part of a group. You can refine your search by industry, keyword and job type.

The LinkedIn Help Center is a resource to answer all of your job and work-related questions.

“Do you offer webinars?” or “how do I build my resume?” Everything you need to know if there.

And if you want to take advantage of additional features, you can upgrade your free account to a Premium subscription. LinkedIn Premium unlocks several enhanced features that basic users can’t access like in-depth webinars, increased visibility in search results and even a “featured applicant” option to get in front of employers.


5.) Don’t forget to Apply

The most important part of any job search is to apply! Job postings on LinkedIn are the real thing. They take you to the company’s website to complete your application and oftentimes you can apply using your LinkedIn profile with just a click!  Remember to double check all information before applying.

The job application process is more responsive and interactive than ever before. With LinkedIn, job seekers now have more access to potential employers, greater insights into the job market and more opportunity to hone their skills. LinkedIn is no longer just a “good idea” to help you connect with people: it’s a crucial way to advance your job search.

Disclaimer: “Neither Strayer Education nor Strayer University has a promotional relationship or is in any way affiliated with LinkedIn. Students should conduct their own research on how they can best utilize LinkedIn.”