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The Secrets to Using LinkedIn For Your Career

Written By: Dan Schawbel
October 19, 2012
3 min read

LinkedIn has become one of the most significant tools in building an online personal brand in the past five years. They have over 175 million professional users from more than 200 countries and garner over 47 million unique visitors globally. These days, everyone is searching for work regardless of occupation or employment status. A new Jobvite study shows that 75 percent of the American workforce is either actively seeking or open to new jobs.

In the same study, it showed that 38 percent of job seekers use LinkedIn to help them find work. Here are some of my secrets to using LinkedIn to build your career:

1. Solicit recommendations for your positions and endorsements for your skills

As you build your career, always collect recommendations and endorsements for your work and skills because you can always leverage them. An endorsement that you get today can be used to prove competency a

2. Keep updated with industry news

One of the biggest challenges for workers these days is to stay relevant and aware of what’s going on in their industry. LinkedIn offers what I believe is one of the most valuable media properties on the web in LinkedIn Today. It’s acts as an aggregator of the top stories shared on LinkedIn every day. You can subscribe to the industries that are most relevant to your world and then get email updates every day that will notify you of new stories.nd likability ten years from now. After you leave a position, ask for an endorsement from your manager and closest co-workers. Don’t do it while you currently have the position or it will signal that you’re looking to leave soon. Aside from your overall performance, these nods from the people you work with will show give you more credibility and a stronger reputation as you progress through your career. The best way to get recommendations and endorsements is by giving them first. It goes without saying that if you help other people out, they will reciprocate.

3. Maintain an active profile by sharing

By sharing professional related content related to your expertise, you become known for it and people keep seeing your name and face, which builds your brand. Professionals who share articles or content with their LinkedIn network at least once a week are nearly ten times more likely to be contacted by a recruiter for new opportunities than those who don’t. You should also participate in LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers so that you can display your expertise to the right people and have a larger pool of potential opportunities.

4. Become a mobile user

Lets face it, we’re always on the go and we’re constantly meeting new people. The best way to manage contacts and stay updated on their careers is by using LinkedIn’s mobile applications. In addition, you should use LinkedIn’s CardMunch application so that you can quickly scan business cards and add contacts to your LinkedIn database. It’s easier to manage digital contacts than a thousand business cards. By using LinkedIn mobile, you will be aware of new opportunities on the go.

Written By: Dan Schawbel
Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting firm. His new book, a New York Times best seller, is called Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin's Press) and his previous book, Me 2.0, was a #1 international bestseller.

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