Our guide to LinkedIn
Alistair Stafford

Our guide to LinkedIn

First published date February 14 2014 Amended date February 18 2014

When it comes to keeping our careers profile and CV up-to-date, we all need stay on top of the latest ways to help us stand out from the crowd. Unsure of how you can sell yourself online to a potential future employer? A LinkedIn course will reveal all the tips you need to look like a must-have member of staff! 

Generally speaking, the days of having a printed CV and hand-written cover letter when applying for job are in decline, with online job searches replacing the more traditional methods of visiting job centres and small businesses in person when looking for employment. A LinkedIn course will show you how the website covers every stage of the job application process, making your life even easier.


Who even uses LinkedIn?

It may seem like an unknown or niche website to you, but LinkedIn actually has hundreds of millions of users worldwide and an audience that continues to expand. The site has become so powerful that Forbes, the global business magazine, has referred to LinkedIn as ‘far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today’. It’s not just those looking for regular work that have accounts on the site, with huge companies and billionaires like Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson also registered to LinkedIn, meaning that your profile on the site will be in good company.


What LinkedIn does

Like we’ve already mentioned, LinkedIn can help you all the way to the interview stage of the job application all on the same site. The site allows you search for vacancies online and apply for them directly using your own account. The profile you have is essentially a digital version of your CV, covering letter and portfolio all in one place, so potential employers can easily see all your strongest assets when weighing up who will be their latest staff member. One great advantage of the website is that whereas when you send an application via e-mail you have no idea whether it has been received and read or not, on LinkedIn it shows you who has viewed your profile or not.


But I’ve already got a job...

A LinkedIn course will prove to you that the website has so much more to offer than just a directory of job vacancies. For those already settled in regular employment, the site allows you to connect with work colleagues and other people from your line of industry, giving you the opportunity to build new relationships with people in your sector of work. Your connections can then endorse you for the specialist skills mentioned on your profile, boosting your reputation in the sector you work in.


Big for business

Companies use the site to advertise any vacancies they have within the organisation, as well as share any news coming from the business that they’re keen to promote. As you’ll see when enrolling on a LinkedIn course, a business can also use the site to build partnerships with other companies and boost their awareness by getting their information shared by the masses. Organisations of all shapes and sizes can use the site, whether they’re a small company slowly building up a reputation or a larger corporation like Google or Apple already able to boast millions of followers.


Facts at your fingertips

If you thought that LinkedIn was limited to big-time businesses and their well paid-staff then think again, as a LinkedIn course will prove to you that staff at any level of industry can benefit from having an account on the site. Here are just a few of the surprise stats about the popularity of LinkedIn:

Ø  There are over 277 million LinkedIn users worldwide, which if all put in the same country would be the fourth most populated nation in the world.

Ø  Nearly one third of the British working population are members of the site, with over 13 million registering since the site launched.

Ø  The website is published in 21 different languages and has members in over 200 countries, meaning that your profile is really getting you connected to a global audience.

Ø  Although English speaking social media sites like Facebook or Twitter are generally banned in China, LinkedIn isn’t blocked for users to sign up to.

Ø  Statistics show that around 94% of all recruiters look at a candidate’s LinkedIn profile before offering them an interview, so more reason to keep your account as up to date as possible!


Think that a LinkedIn course would benefit your career prospects? Perhaps you feel you’d rather learn how to create your own website to promote yourself online?  If you’re still uncertain about the career path you want to take, then a careers course or visiting our careers advice pages will help you make a decision.