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The LinkedIn Guide to Building A Successful Career

Updated on Nov 30, 2020 8668 views

Do you wish you could learn how to use LinkedIn to build a successful career? Do you wish to access unlimited life-changing job opportunities?

Do you want to build your professional network?

Then think LinkedIn!

LinkedIn can be a goldmine of potential job opportunities if properly utilized, but the major challenge is that a lot of people have not yet come to terms with how to effectively use and take advantage of this platform when it comes to using it as a job-hunting tool.

LinkedIn primes itself as the go-2-place for effectively building a professional network that can help you build, start or scale your career.

So now the big question is how do you use LinkedIn effectively?

To help you use LinkedIn effectively, we have put together this resource guide to leveraging LinkedIn in your professional career whether you are just starting your career or a passive candidate, you will definitely find something here to help you;

  • Understand how to use LinkedIn better
  • Use LinkedIn to get a new job offer
  • Build your personal brand using LinkedIn

Ready to unravel? Then follow this ultimate LinkedIn career guide;


How to Get Started on LinkedIn

Unlike all other social media platforms, LinkedIn has become an indispensable tool to help you build your online presence and professional network. If you are new to LinkedIn you can sign up here and follow these steps to optimize your account;

  • Profile Picture: After signing up, you would have to upload a profile picture to increase your online visibility. Choose a simple professional looking picture (your picture tells so much about you).
  • Create a Headline: The next thing to do after uploading a profile picture is to create a catchy and professional headline. You have 120 characters at the top of your profile to describe what you do. It is advisable for you to use descriptive keywords that will help the right people find you.
  • Draft Your Summary: Drafting a summary is like giving a bio about yourself. When writing your summary, it is important for you to make it unique and highly captivating. Ideally, this section should give the reader a strong idea of who you are. You can use your winning CV summary as your summary here also.
  • Experience: You will need to showcase your experiences in the body of your profile just like you do in your professional CV. You will need to give details of your work experience; the places you have worked, how long you have worked, and what roles you performed. When writing about your experiences, you don’t need to put down every place you have worked, you only need relevant ones. If you have a work-related blog or portfolio, it is important for you to make use of the three URL’s you are allowed and link them to it.
  • Connecting with People: When you are done setting up your account, you can now connect with people. You can ask someone to join your professional network by sending them an invitation to connect. If they accept your invitation, they will become your first-degree connections (it is advisable for you to invite people you trust and know).

You can invite people to connect by using the following;

  1. A member’s profile: You can do this by clicking the ‘connect’ button on the member’s profile page.
  2. Search research: Click the ‘connect’ below the person’s information.
  3. The add connections page: You can do this by inviting contacts using their email address.
  4. Use the people you may know page: To do this, click the connect button under the person’s page.
  • Ask for recommendations: You can reach out to past colleagues, and associates and ask them for a recommendation. Ask each person to speak about a particular skill or highlight certain experiences with as much detail as possible. Endorsements give people viewing your profile a quick visual idea of what you are valued for.

The recommendation is a step forward ahead of endorsement. Recommendations are personal testimonials written to illustrate people’s experience of working with you. It is important for you to think of who you would most value a recommendation from, and personalize your request.

According to LinkedIn, your profile will appear many times in search result if it is complete.


Further Suggested Readings


How JobSeekers Can Successful Network On LinkedIn

LinkedIn appears to be the winning social media tool for business networking. Whether you are trying to grow your brand, find resources or explore opportunities, this platform is the one-stop place for business people across the world. To access amazing opportunities on LinkedIn, you would need to network effectively.

Follow these steps to network effectively;

  • Find groups and connect with them: To effectively network on LinkedIn, it is important for you to interact with groups and people that you feel will be of great impact to you. When you join a preferred group, post thought content to network and share your ideas with other people.
  • Sustain a relationship with your connections: When you have successfully created a connection with people of your choice, it is, however, important to continue to maintain the relationship you have with them. The more people see and hear from you on regular basis the more you will get remembered by them when opportunities arise. When it comes to networking, familiarity is very important.
  • Avoid sporadic networking: The essence of networking is to meet and connect with like-minded people. So if you are not benefiting or affecting people in your group, then you are not networking effectively. To network effectively, you will have to avoid sporadic network and create well-calculated networks.
  • Grow you network: Simply adding people to your network will not help you build a relationship and good network with them. You will need to engage your connections regularly. You can engage them by providing;
  1. Regular status update: Updating your profile regularly will help you stay visible within your community.
  2. Like and comment on LinkedIn posts that you find valuable.
  3. Share content you find on other websites: You can share a content that you found really interesting on other websites by stating your view about the post.


Further Suggested Readings:

  • Networking Rules for Job Seekers: The Good - LinkedIn
  • 5 Tips for Networking Your Way to A Job on LinkedIn - Success
  • Face to Face Networking Tips for JobSeekers - CareerSideKick
  • Job Search Networking for Introvers - JobHunt


Landing Your Dream Job Using LinkedIn

As one of the top professional website, LinkedIn allows job-seekers to search and apply for the jobs of their dreams. You can land your dream job on LinkedIn using the following tips:

  1. Update your profile: The more complete your LinkedIn profile is the greater chances you will be found by prospective employers. Make sure you use your profile like a well-branded resume so that prospective employers can have access to the details they need about your skill and experience. A well-drafted summary and headline will also attract the right people to you.
  2. Engage you connections: the more engaged connections you have the greater probability that you will find someone to help you with your job search. Most employers these days often look for referrals from friends or employees before opening up their positions to the masses. While you are trying to have more connections, it is also important for you to connect with people you know.
  3. Search for Jobs on LinkedIn: You can search for jobs on LinkedIn by using the search feature to search and apply for jobs on LinkedIn. You can search for jobs on LinkedIn by clicking the ‘’jobs” tab at the top of the home page (entering keywords). You can use the advanced search option to refine your search to search for jobs by date posted, location, company, and industry. The LinkedIn jobs feature allows you to save job searches and receive emails about new listings.
  4. Use LinkedIn company profile to search for companies and employers: LinkedIn company profile is one way you can get at-a-glance information about a company or employer you would love to work with. Company profile provides a sharp glimpse of the company’s projects, promotions, and vacancies. LinkedIn can provide a great insight into the company’s culture.

    Following your dream company on LinkedIn will help you keep up with their events and achievements and will also keep you abreast of job openings. 


Further Suggested Reading:

  • 40 Career Experts Shares Their Top Secrets - MyJobMag

How to search companies on LinkedIn

People often search for companies on LinkedIn to build their connections and get the company’s update. Company pages on LinkedIn allow you to explore companies you are interested in, get the latest industry news and update and learn about new job opportunities.

Before you can locate a company page on LinkedIn, you would need to search by;

  • Simply typing the company name into the search bar at the top of your LinkedIn home page and click.
  • You can then follow the company after getting the desired result you expect to get the latest company update and news.
  • You can also view your company page and study your connections. You can study the information on a page before deciding to follow that page. You can also view how you are connected to the people on that page. Hover your mouse over the right-hand side of the page under the ‘’how you are connected” header to see how many people in your connection are connected to that company. When you click the see all link in that section, you will get a list of how you are connected to people in that company.


How Recruiters use LinkedIn to find the best job candidates

In today’s corporate world, many recruiters and employers use LinkedIn as a tool to get the best talents for their teams’. If you want to be found easily by these employers, then it is important for you to find out how they source for talents.

Recruiters find talents through;

  • Industry groups: many recruiters and employers find great talents to join their company by visiting industry groups they are interested in and singling out active members that contribute and ask intelligent questions in the group. Recruiters notice members that usually share something informative to other members.
  • Other company’s’ search: Some recruiters look out and search other companies with similar interest to view their employees. Some recruiters target people that perform similar positions at another company. To find these people, they will search by company name associated with titles and skills.
  • Observing endorsements and recommendations: any time you endorse or recommend someone on LinkedIn, the notification goes to your profile and that of the other person. Some recruiters search for people that endorse and recommend others. Recruiters see people that recommend and endorse others as people that respect and value others work, it also shows that the person is a great team player.
  • Alumni from universities: Sometimes when employers notice that their best employees are from a particular university, they tend to search for alumni of that university to get preferred candidates.


Top Mistakes LinkedIn Job Seekers Make

  • Having an incomplete Profile: An incomplete profile totally puts people off especially employers. An incomplete profile tells very little or nothing about you. If you aim at getting the jobs of your dreams using LinkedIn, then creating an incomplete profile is one mistake you should never make.
  • Non-searchable headlines: One mistake job seekers make is having a non-searchable and unprofessional headline. Your headlines say so much about you, if your headlines are informal and totally out of context, then there is a likelihood that very few people will be interested in you. LinkedIn is a professional network, so you have to be professional to effectively use LinkedIn.
  • Having no recommendations: Recommendations and endorsements showcases your strong skills and abilities. Many job seekers don’t pay attention to having recommendations, which is necessary for your job search on LinkedIn. Having recommendations help prospective employers have an idea of your skills and abilities easily. It is important for you to solicit recommendations to help you sell your skills and abilities.
  • Neglecting LinkedIn groups: LinkedIn groups help you participate in discussions and also start your own conversations. Employers visit groups to find candidates.
  • Not checking out LinkedIn company profiles: See if your current and former companies have a company profile. If your company of interest have one, then find out which co-workers on your company’s profile are busy on LinkedIn and connect with the ones you know. Research other companies’ profiles for market intelligence.
  • Overlooking the LinkedIn Jobs tab: LinkedIn brings together many job postings, some of which are exclusive listings. It is important for you as a job seeker to always use the LinkedIn job tab regularly.


Building your career has become much easier with social media platforms like LinkedIn. With LinkedIn, building a successful career is just at your fingertips.

Do you use LinkedIn as a job searching tool? Tell us your experience in the comment below or hop to our social media platform either on twitter or Facebook to continue the discussion.

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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