Three Tools and Functions to Use on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a powerful platform that can be used for different reasons depending on your goals. If you’re a first-time user, keep these three tools and functions in mind as you kick off and/or advance your career.
LinkedIn Page Alumni Tab
The alumni tab on your school’s LinkedIn page allows you to explore the profiles of graduates. What’s great about this tool is the ability to access a breadth of information. From where they work, what they do, to what city they live in. This information comes in handy when engaging in career exploration and relationship building.
Case in point: If you ever decide to move to a new country, consider scheduling a conversation with an alumnus. Learn how they navigated the transition. Sometimes, there’s no better person than someone who is within your social network. How come? Well, people are more likely to help someone who has something in common with them! In this case, being graduates of the same school. On the other hand, if you’re uncertain about the type of career opportunities you can pursue with a degree, this tool can help you visualize the possibilities.
Tip! If you come across a profile of a person you want to speak with, set up an informational interview! For guidance, check out the HSTalks online course, Finding purpose-driven work through informational interviews. Also, if you’re new to the country, check out Toronto Public Library's New to Canada blog.
Career Breaks on LinkedIn
LinkedIn recently introduced a new way of communicating a career break in your profile. This feature provides a clear way of showing a reader what you’ve been up to. Decided to take a gap year to travel? Perhaps you needed to act as a caregiver for one of your family members? With over 13 options available, you can show a recruiter how this lived experience has transformed how you navigate the world. Moreover, it can show how this experience will positively impact the work you would do with their organization.
As a career educator, I love this function. It helps normalize that sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances people need to take time away from work. If this applies to you, head over to the experience section of your LinkedIn profile and add a Career Break now! Learn more about adding career breaks to your profile.
Tip! There are ways to do this on your résumé as well. Book a free appointment with a Career Coach In Residence for guidance on updating your résumé. Also, check out a past Career Coach online event, Résumés are Marketing Brochures, and learn how to answer the question: Why should we hire you instead of your competition?
The news feed is one of the most important functions on LinkedIn that many people forget about! It’s what truly transforms LinkedIn from a user- to a community-centric platform. What does this mean for you?
Consider more active engagement. For example, if you ever see a post that resonates with you, move away from a “like” and instead leave a comment. Commenting on posts is a new way of engaging with someone you may not know.
Does networking with strangers make you nervous? This technique is a wonderful way to begin a relationship: follow someone on LinkedIn to see a person's posts before you connect with them. From there, actively engage with their posts!
Next, build your community and brand. Adopt the mindset: “give with no expectation in return.” Consider following subject matter experts in your field. These individuals sometimes get too busy to address all the questions left in the comments of their posts. As appropriate, respond to those questions. This can encourage folks to connect and follow you!
In summary, make sure to check out the LinkedIn’s alumni tab, career break function, and news feed!
A note for teens: LinkedIn has a minimum age, so you need to be 16 years old to access its services.
Want to learn more about LinkedIn? Join Ken on May 12 for a workshop Building Community and Creating Content on LinkedIn.
Post written by Ken Lee, 2022 Career Coach in Residence.
The Career Coaches in Residence program is generously supported by RBC Foundation and with the support of several donors.