LinkedIn can be your next source of employment. No, I’m not kidding. LinkedIn is a social networking website built for professionals offering employment opportunities and a chance to know renowned people from their field.
Well, the 1st post discussed the basic features of LinkedIn and what the social networking website was all about. If you haven’t read the 1st article, now would be a good time to read it in a new tab by clicking here.

In this post, I will discuss how LinkedIn is supposed to work and how you can tweak (or try to) your profile to get the most out of it.

1. LinkedIn is a social networking website

LinkedIn declares itself as a social networking website for the professionals. As soon as we hear the term social networking, people often misinterpret it as a website where they can like pictures, comment on them, share their thoughts and join pages that don’t mean anything. To break the ice, LinkedIn is not about that. It is a website where people should meet other people from their professional fields or other areas of interest. For example, being a database administrator, I would like to meet other database administrators or people working in Oracle, PostgreSQL, etc.; and if I’m lucky, even get to add a few people from the HR department of these companies to my list of connections.

So let’s get this clear – LinkedIn is a website where you can find like minded people with whom you can share your thoughts and potential employment opportunities. For example, I have done a certification in Oracle database administration, so I would like to add HR representatives of Oracle, people working at Oracle and Oracle’s group on LinkedIn.  How does this benefit me? Well, I get to know about genuine job postings, insights to the company, latest development tools and products that they are working on.

However, LinkedIn suggests that I should not add people I don’t know. I choose to disagree. Imagine this – If I don’t add people I don’t know, how will I get to know them better? If you are an employer who wants to recruit new people to his/her team and I am a student seeking employment and have all the necessary skills that match the profile provided by your company, what is the harm in adding you as my connection for the job opportunity? And to be honest, it is impossible to know more than 200 (just a rough estimate) people with whom you are constantly in touch with.

2. Maximizing your profile

Like I discussed in Part 1 of this 2 part series on LinkedIn working to your benefit, there are a variety of features offered by the website. To get the most out of your profile, these features should be explored to their maximum potential. Let’s go through each of them one-by-one, learning how to tweak them to our benefit.

A) Complete your profile – Add your name, display picture, hobbies/interests, additional information, skills, expertise, awards (if any) and certifications (if you have any).

Completing all these fields mentioned above adds up in the end. If an employer happens to come across your profile, the 1st thing they’ll notice is your display picture, which makes a profile personalized and genuine at the same time. Then the number of connections (I’ll discuss this as a separate point later), followed by your skills, expertise, etc.

B) Make connections – Add as many people to your connection as you can. Whatever your profession is, there are thousands of people on LinkedIn having the same profile as yours… Add them. The more your connections, the more job opportunities you see in your feed.

An easy way of adding connections is by heading over to the ‘PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW’ section of LinkedIn. This can be accessed in your home page of linked and the section can be found on the top right part of your home screen, below the search option.

I cannot lay enough stress on how important it is to make connections on LinkedIn. It is just like making contacts which you can use in the time of need.

C) Get endorsed – I’m assuming most of the people reading this are graduates or freshers but let’s not disregard the experienced people trying to improve their LinkedIn profiles. Keep your skills and expertises updated, and add people to endorse your skills. There is no shame in asking people to endorse your skills and expertise. You can do so by asking the connections you know to do the needful. By looking at the number of endorsements, an employer gets the idea that you are not fooling around and the people who have endorsed a particular skill, have faith in you and your work; and needless to say, the more the endorsements, the better it is for your profile.

The number in the blue box indicates the number of endorsers of a particular skill.

D) Recommendations – This is another excellent feature of LinkedIn that can make your profile stick out like a sore thumb… just in a good way, though. Recommendations on LinkedIn work just like a letter of recommendation from your professors. The only difference being, a letter of recommendation is a hard copy which can be viewed only by the recruiters you apply to, whereas, a recommendation on LinkedIn is visible to all the potential employers.

The best way to get some recommendations is by giving some first. This will work in your favor in two ways – Get you recommendations and display yours. How exactly will the recommendations that you've given, work in your favor? It displays your teamwork/leadership qualities as recruiters can see how the other person has been beneficial to you and vice-versa.

E) Get the interactions going – The entire purpose of a LinkedIn profile is defeated if you don’t interact with new people. A good way of starting an interaction would be thanking a stranger from your profession for accepting your connection request. It puts you in their good books as well. However, don’t go overboard with the thanking and constant messages for interaction. Some may respond to your messages, others won’t.

A job opening listed at one of Oracle's Senior Recruiter's profile.
Going by the LinkedIn profile of this recruiter, it's safe to assume that this job posting is quite genuine. He has over 500 connections, quite a few recommendations, immense experience and an extremely active profile.

On the contrary, the jobs section is not too helpful and you can often end up with the similar results as those on job portal websites. The best way to look at job opportunities on LinkedIn is through the connections you make. You can even message connections, asking if they have any opening in their firms. These might not be a sure shot way to get jobs, but they help promoting you as a brand rather than an individual and even provide genuine job openings if exploited correctly.

As a beginner, I would not suggest you to go premium. Once things start clicking for you, you can choose to do the same. Going premium has its own benefits but those are beyond the scope of this post.

So start building your profile today and if you want to connect with me, click on the button below and I’ll be more than happy to join your professional network.

View Vinamra Kokane's profile on LinkedIn

All images are the properties of their respective owners. Images have been used only for illustrative purposes and I do not claim ownership of the content of the images.


  1. I've always wondered what LinkedIn was all about, but never really ventured into the site. I think I'll have to set myself up on there now. Good Post!

  2. Today's grads need all the help they can get. Using LinkedIn is a great tool. Thanks for explaining how it can help.

    1. Being a recent graduate myself, I'm always venturing into the best ways to secure a job. LinkedIn can be quite useful.