LinkedIn is a great networking tool to help veterans connect and job search, making the transition to civilian life a little bit easier. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started on how to use LinkedIn.
1. Sign up for an account and create a profile.
The first thing you want to do is sign up for an account with LinkedIn and create a good profile. This will help you connect with other professionals in your field and people you may know, including other veterans or active military personnel. Creating a good profile allows you to showcase your education, your service history, areas of expertise and any skill sets you possess. It is also important, when creating your profile, to upload a professional-looking photo. This will make your profile more appealing.
2. Build your LinkedIn network.
An important feature on LinkedIn is the ability to add connections to your network. Connect with people you have served with in the past or have a business relationship with. Sending invitations to join your network is a very straightforward process. There is also a message feature on LinkedIn that allows you to message individuals you may wish to get career advice from or talk with privately.
3. Receive recommendations.
Try to get endorsements from folks who you have worked with in the past or with whom you served previously. These individuals can endorse your expertise and your skills. This enhances your profile and allows potential employers to see the areas of expertise and skill sets that you excel in.
4. Join LinkedIn groups.
Joining LinkedIn groups that relate to your job search, current industry and past military service is a great way to help with networking and to gain access to potential job openings. It is important to note that some groups are public, meaning anyone can join the group, while others are private and may require permission to join.
5. Using LinkedIn to job search.
One of the best tools in LinkedIn is the “Search” feature that allows you to search for jobs by location, by experience level, by industry, by date the job was listed and much, much more.
6. Consider using LinkedIn Mobile.
LinkedIn Mobile is available on any mobile device with web capabilities. This feature allows you to stay connected whenever, and wherever, possible.
7. Last, but not least, consider joining the Veteran Mentor Network.
LinkedIn has launched a new smaller site, within its main site, tailored just for veterans. It is called the Veteran Mentor Network and gives veterans tips, tools and information specific to you in your job search. This important site also allows all U.S. veterans, as well as current service men and women, to gain access to a free one-year Job Seeker subscription.
Starting with LinkedIn can seem overwhelming at first, but utilizing these tips and tricks will help you confidently build your profile, add to your network connections and use all the features available to you.
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