LinkedIn – a beginner’s guide

LinkedIn is by far the best known and most popular recruitment site in operation today. But some have complained that it’s not user-friendly or that its uses and benefits can be vague. In this article, we offer you a beginner’s guide to LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn?

Regardless of whether one sees imperfections with LinkedIn, it’s a vital step in landing a job and maintaining a career. Think of it like having an email address: easy to set up and essential to have.

Whether you are using LinkedIn to network, show off your brilliant work, or look for a new job, it’s important to know how to use this incredibly useful platform. Once your set up, LinkedIn is a platform that can give you satisfaction and even find you new work. Here’s a quick LinkedIn guide to getting you started.

LinkedIn Guide

  1. Setting up your profile
    Your LinkedIn profile is not just a copied and pasted CV. It’s an accessible, unique description of you and your strengths – more conversational and less formal than a CV, but still professional and within a formula.
    LinkedIn has a step-by-step guide on building an effective profile.
    Building it from scratch can be daunting, so have a look through some good examples (here’s a nice list of profiles recommended by LinkedIn) and see how you can make yours individual to you.
  2. Choosing your photo
    Your LinkedIn photo doesn’t have to be taken by an expert, and it doesn’t even require that you dress formally, but it should at least look somewhat respectable. This means no party pics, goofy faces or novelty photos. It should also show your head and shoulders and not be a group shot.
  3. Highlight skills – and get endorsed
    List your skills, endorse connections, and encourage endorsements from others. This will make you look more hireable and will make your profile more likely to appear on searches.
  4. Make the most of other profiles
    This applies to connections and to places where you’ve studied or worked. Whether you’re a graduate of Code Institute or still studying with us, make sure to add it to your profile. The qualification will help put you on the radar of recruiters and employers while saying that you’re studying (and where) shows the level of commitment, and it helps get your name out there for when you are applying for those IT jobs.
    Either way, adding Code Institute will raise your profile and appearances in searches.
  5. Build your connections
    Finally, connect with people! Start with those you’ve worked with, studied with, socialised with, and work your way outwards. The more connections you have, the more visible you become. And eventually, you might see that some of your connections are employed in places where you want to work.

LinkedIn History

LinkedIn was launched in 2002, and since then, it has steadily become the number one global directory for professionals. As of 2021, the company reached a milestone of nearly  800 million members

Whether you’re a LinkedIn advocate or not, with 800 million members, there’s no denying the power of this social media platform. Maybe you’re on the lookout for a new job opportunity, or you’re getting back to work after a break in employment. LinkedIn can be of major assistance in building a career. However, to get the most benefit from LinkedIn, it’s important to use it correctly. 

How to use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is like a live CV. With it, you can connect to businesses you’re interested in, other developers, employers, and more. This is your vehicle to show off your work experience to date. On it, you can link to your websites, apps, videos, and more. In addition, you can get recommendations or references from your peers, and likewise, you can show your worth by recommending your own connections. So here are some tips on how to use LinkedIn correctly.

  • Networking
    Networking is essential to today’s workforce. Whether it’s looking for a new job, searching for collaborators, or searching for mentors, LinkedIn is an excellent place to be. Use it to connect with people who operate in businesses you want to work for or people you’d like to work with. 
  • Location, Industry & Education
    Clearly outline the industry you are in and your role. When it comes to location, let them know your city and country. This is essential, especially for someone who is seeking someone with your skills in your region. If you have the skills you think a certain employer would look for, make sure you include them. For example, list them if you’ve done any courses or programmes. This experience will show prospective employers that you possess the skills that they need.
  • Create a good summary
    Every LinkedIn account should have a summary. It sits under your name, photo, role and location. This summarises the skills and attributes that you possess. It needs to have a catchy opening statement, and it should highlight some of your personality. It should tell your career story today and your key accomplishments. While you may want to highlight yourself as a developer, it’s important to show your experience in other areas too. Potential employers want well-rounded staff with more than software development knowledge.
  • Optimise your LinkedIn
    LinkedIn can be seen as a search engine for employers. Therefore, to help them find you in their searches, your keywords need to be good. If you’re a Code Institute student or graduate, talk about your skills in Python, Javascript, HTML, CSS, etc. Some of this can be highlighted within your summary, but don’t forget to put it in your education summary, in relevant past job descriptions, and more. Similarly, talk about your other skills, for example, marketing, management, hospitality, retail, administration, content, etc. These are all good keywords that highlight your overall experience. 
  • Link to past projects, websites, and more
    Remember, LinkedIn is a place to show off your abilities. Link to samples of your work in relevant areas of your profile. Show off your videos, websites, apps, etc. Make sure to use the good stuff!
  • Join groups
    LinkedIn has many groups connected to it, including our own “Code Institute Student’s and Alumni” group, be sure to join and network with fellow students. You never know what connections you could make. 
  • Be a thought leader
    Sharing content on LinkedIn is easy, and it once again highlights your interests. However, if you have theories and thoughts, share them through an article on LinkedIn. In addition, get your friends to share them. 

Use the LinkedIn Jobs Portal

If you’re looking for a new job and want full visibility of job postings, you need to be on LinkedIn. There are 55 million companies listed on LinkedIn, and in 2021, they had more than 24 million open job listings. You can look for jobs by industry and location, and you’ll get job suggestions based on your previous searches.  

Many employers use LinkedIn as a recruitment platform. If your profile has been updated recently or if you’re active regularly, you’ll appear more often in employer job searches. Try and carve out half an hour to work on updating your profile so that you know you’re capitalising on every opportunity for professional success.      

5 Day Coding Challenge

If you want to start building some new experience for your LinkedIn, why not try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge to see if you might have the aptitude needed for software development. This free challenge will take you through some of the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Then, after an hour a day for five days, you will have built your first webpage. Register now through the form below.

Your first year as a Software Developer

Are you making a move to software development? Have you just started learning how to code? Or, have you finally landed your dream career as a software developer in your dream firm? Wherever you are in your coding journey, congratulations on getting this far. Today, we’ll give you a peek into some of the challenges […]

Coding Careers for Women

Coding Careers for Women is a joint initiative between Code Institute, Education and Training Boards, Regional Skills Fora and tech employers in Ireland. It offers women who are unemployed or returning to the workforce a pathway into tech careers.

The Advantages of Learning Code 

Coding is a rewarding career. Software developers are generally well-paid, they can work on exciting and creative projects, and importantly, they are in huge demand. It’s worth noting that the World Economic Forum reckons that by 2025, as many as 85 million jobs will be at risk of being automated. On the positive side, these are to be […]