How to make LinkedIn work for you.

 This is not a LinkedIn manual but a compilation of thoughts based on my personal experience using the application and may not apply to everyone
 I was introduced to LinkedIn by a friend and 2 years later I am grateful for it. I remember stabbing classes for the whole day to learn code and build my LinkedIn profile. This was the point in my life where I had an increased appetite for building a professional portfolio outside the classroom.
 Building my LinkedIn profile at the time, I was not really concerned about the benefits or possibilities of getting a job from the platform. To be very honest my major motivation was seeing people at my workplace with very structured profiles highlighting key achievements in their professional career. 
 So I started building and now with over 2000 connections, an average of 50 profile views and connection requests per day. LinkedIn described my profile as an “all star profile”.

Yes so James what has this done for you?
 Good question. 
 1. Due to my promising and well structured profile I have been able to attract authentic job offers from companies (even as a fresh graduate). 
 2. Views from recruiters and top people in the industry- some of which did not result in job offers but has clearly made me visible to professionals in my field
 3. Receive replies to messages sent to top individuals in my field. Getting one on one advice from a person at a top level may just be what you need
 4. Connecting with people with same dreans and aspirations is also another one.
 5. And of course! Access to industry-wide updates and information- ranging from best practices to new standards and all.

6. I read an average of five articles written by top people, relating to my field and interests per day thanks to LinkedIn

So how can you make LinkedIn work for you?

 In doing this, check out top profiles in your field and try to use them as a benchmark for yours. Be very honest and creative whilst still maintaining a professional outlook. No need to overstate any accomplishments, represent yourself in the most unique way possible. Using pictures to describe your experience also makes your profile look better.
 This is not just even applicable to LINKEDIN. Articles on LinkedIn are filtered by tags. For example : Entrepreneurship , Finance, Engineering, etc. These tags especially popular ones like entrepreneurship have a lot of followers. You may not be a writer but you definitely should have a passion? Interest. Write about it!. Writing is very good for enhancing visibility on LINKEDIN.

 Now that you have structured your profile and have a good number of connections. Of you need a job opportunity dont be afraid to send a message to anybody working at the firm of your choice. I have had an almost perfect record of getting replies from every contact I send a job prospecting mail to.
 Quick tips for sending messages
 1. It is not a charity, don’t sound beggarly
 2. Briefly state what you are looking for and how the person may be of help
 3. Be very short and apt.
 4. Carefully pick out recipients for your mails. Dont just send to anybody.

 Many employers on LinkedIn post job vacancies and ask people to comment if interested. From experience if you indicate interest, they would send you message. Your Feed may also contain articles from industry heavyweights (depending on who you follow) and may just provide you with enough information to navigate effortlessly in your career.
 In conclusion, LinkedIn is not the only platform for getting jobs or building connections neither is it the most effective. But there are a lot of opportunities too good to be ignored. It is definitely an investment worth making !

I hope this article was helpful.

Kindly comment below if you have any questions, suggestions or additions.

Thanks for reading.

You can also follow me on Twitter @jinadujames