United Blog – LinkedIn 101: How to Advance Your Career Using LinkedIn

When working to advance your career, LinkedIn is more valuable now than ever. With over 645 million users in more than 200 countries around the world, LinkedIn can help you get your dream job regardless of where you are or the type of job you want.

LinkedIn is a combination of your living resume and a place to network with other professionals, search for career opportunities, and showcase your knowledge and expertise. As the largest professional social network, having a presence on LinkedIn can help advance your career. Keep reading to find out how!

Create Your Profile

Creating your profile is the first step to advancing your career using LinkedIn. As your living resume, your profile gives you the opportunity to show off your education, skills, experience, and more. Building a complete and professional LinkedIn profile is necessary before applying for jobs on LinkedIn because recruiters will look at your profile when you apply. Here is the list of what to include:

  • Photo – Use a professional looking headshot to help you get noticed.
  • Name – Add your first and last name to be easily found via search.
  • Headline – Include a headline that describes your career, such as “Medical Assistant”.
  • Location – Include your current location, or the location where you’re applying for jobs.
  • Contact information – List your email address, phone number (if you want to include it), and the link to any website or portfolio you have.
  • Background Image – Add a professional background photo that is relevant to your field, such as a photo of you in scrubs if you work in the medical field.
  • About – Use this section to talk about your career, including past experiences and future goals.
  • Experience – List your experience including the organization, your job title, dates employed, and a short description of the job you performed.
  • Skills – List your specialized skills, including both hard and soft skills.
  • Education – List your education, including the school, degree, and years attended.
  • Licenses and Certifications – List all licenses and certifications you hold, including the name, issuing organization, and dates valid.
  • Volunteer Experience – Include volunteer work, including the company, your role, and a description.
  • Accomplishments – List your accomplishments, such as awards, courses, projects, articles, and additional languages you speak.

As recruiters and hiring managers search LinkedIn for potential job candidates, they use keywords to find ideal candidates. For this reason, be sure to include these keywords in various sections of your LinkedIn profile as you are writing the content, as this will make you appear more in search results.

Build Your Network

If you’re just starting out in your career and do not yet have a large professional network, LinkedIn is here to help, as it provides the perfect place to build your network. Start by adding people you already know. Import your phone and email contacts into LinkedIn and send connection requests to them. You can also add teachers, fellow students, alumni from your school, supervisors, and coworkers.

For companies that you want to work for or are well-known in your industry, follow their LinkedIn pages as well so that you see their open positions first. You can also join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your career in order to meet and connect with other professionals in the groups.

Ask for Recommendations

Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile from supervisors and coworkers can make a huge impact when trying to advance your career. When potential employers see these, they get a sense of how great you are at your job and how valuable you are to others.

When just starting out in your profession, you may not have many people you can ask for recommendations yet. Even if your past work experience is in a different field, begin by asking previous supervisors and coworkers for recommendations.

If you’re currently in school, ask teachers, classmates, and people you’ve worked with at your externship site for recommendations. Even though you haven’t worked directly for other students, they can still recommend you for things like a positive attitude, work ethic, and teamwork skills.

Share Content and Engage

As the largest professional social network, LinkedIn is the perfect place to share your knowledge and expertise. Relevant photos, videos, articles, infographics, and status updates are all great to share. Sharing content from other people and pages is great as well.

Engaging with other professionals on LinkedIn by liking, commenting, and sharing their posts will help you build positive relationships with them. Congratulating others when they get a promotion or have a work anniversary, and reaching out to people individually are also great ways to engage. For example, if you’re applying to a specific job, you can message the recruiter who posted it with questions.

Search for Job Opportunities

With your awesome profile and great recommendations, you’re ready to search and apply for jobs on LinkedIn. Finding the perfect job for you has never been easier because you can search based on many different criteria, such as job title, keyword, company, location, industry, experience level, and more.

If you’re serious about a job, send a connection request to the recruiter who posted the job. This shows that you’re interested in the position and have done your homework.

There is a “Career Interests” section in LinkedIn that allows you to let recruiters know you’re open to new career opportunities. Turn this on and add your preferred job title, job type, and location. Doing this increases your chances of recruiters contacting you because they already know you are interested.

Fast-Track Your Career Today

Now that you’re on the way to advancing your career using LinkedIn, get the training and certifications needed for your dream job. United Career Institute is here to help you succeed with fast-track training programs in Medical Assisting and Medical Office Administration. Call (724) 515-2440 or request information to get started now!

How to Create Your Personal Brand

Creating a strong personal brand can advance your career by gaining the attention of potential employers and other professionals, but how do you create a strong personal brand?

Personal branding gives you the opportunity to be known for anything you want by creating a specific image of yourself. Just like companies create brands to be known for things like great running shoes or awesome technology products, you can do the same thing for yourself.

An example of a company that has used branding to become extremely successful is Apple. When watching an iPhone commercial, you know it’s an Apple ad before seeing the product, but how? What about that feeling you get when walking into an Apple store or why Apple products always have the same look and feel? This is all because Apple has spent years branding themselves so that we all know when we’re having an Apple brand experience.

How to Create Your Personal Brand

You can use the same power of branding to get your dream job, but how do you do it? Read on as we share the five steps to create your awesome personal brand!

Step 1: Align your personal brand to your professional goals

Deciding exactly what you want your personal brand to be and what you want to be known for is the first step to creating your personal brand. This is known as your brand identity. Figuring this out is essential because everything else builds on it. Ask yourself these questions to figure out your brand identity:

  • Why are you creating a personal brand?
  • What are your professional goals?
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your strengths?

After you’ve answered these questions, you should have a clear picture of what you want your personal brand to be. For example, if you’re a student training for a career in the medical field, your answers could be to start a career in healthcare and build relationships with local medical professionals.

Step 2: Choose your platforms

With the increased usage of social media and mobile devices, personal branding is much easier now than it has been in the past. You can literally create your personal brand at any time, from anywhere. With so many options, how do you decide which platforms to use? Will Facebook or LinkedIn be better for you? Or are Instagram and Twitter the better choices?

When deciding which platforms to utilize for your personal brand, you need to answer this question: Who do you want to reach with your personal brand and which social media platforms are they using?

This step is really that easy. Using our medical student example, Facebook and LinkedIn are the best choices to reach potential healthcare employers and get them to notice you.

Step 3: Network with relevant professionals

Now that you’ve determined what your personal brand will be and chosen your platforms, it’s time to start networking and building relationships with other professionals. Start by finding and following relevant accounts in your field. Like and comment on their posts when you have something to add, as this will help you start to build relationships.

For our medical student example, following industry organizations, community healthcare leaders, potential employers, and industry experts will help build their professional network. When you see posts that align with the personal brand you’re trying to create, feel free to share them! For example, if a healthcare industry organization shares a post about an updated procedure, you can share this to your page as well.

Step 4: Share your knowledge and expertise

Social media gives you the perfect opportunity to show off your knowledge and expertise. Photos, videos, status updates, articles, blogs, tweets, and story posts are all great ways you can showcase your personal brand.

To figure out the best types of content to post, think about what the people you are trying to reach would be interested in. Photos and videos of hands-on skills like phlebotomy and taking vital signs would be great for a medical student to share. These show potential employers that you’re a trained professional who can get the job done.

Step 5: Always be yourself

Remember to always be yourself when creating content and interacting with others online. Your trying to build your personal brand to advance your career, but don’t forget to let your awesome personality shine through! People can tell when you’re genuine and authentic and this will help you make professional connections with them.

Put Your Career On The Fast Track

Now that you’re building your personal brand, get the education and training you need to put your healthcare career on the fast track with United Career Institute. Learn more about our Medical Assisting and Medical Office Administration programs and request information today to get started!