LinkedIn has revolutionized the world of professional networking, allowing for members from more than 200 countries to create and advance business connections.

Though it’s used by many as an online version of their resumes, LinkedIn has the ability to be so much more. Here are ways to maximize the platform to build connections, connect with others, and find your next career (by the way, Nelnet is hiring):

Maintain an Active Profile

While it’s very easy to toss all of your resume information on your profile and log in once you receive a request to connect, it’s incredibly worthwhile to stay active by:

  • Sharing industry content that your connections might find valuable
  • Interacting with your connections to grow relationships
  • Building your network through other connections and opportunities

Follow Influencers in Your Field

One way to find interesting and useful content is to follow the experts who are creating it. You’ll not only have valuable content to share with connections, but you’ll learn more about the leaders and updates in your field. If you’re looking to grow as a marketer, here’s a great list of people to start with.

Tip: When connecting with leaders and influencers in your field, make sure to avoid using the default note created by LinkedIn when requesting a connection. Crafting a personalized note makes connection requests stand out, showing that you care about the connection.

Tell Your Story

When you write a resume, the goal is to condense all of your relevant experience into one piece of paper or PDF. LinkedIn offers the opportunity for you to enhance your profile based on your skills and experience. You can also upload as many creative work files as you’d like to enhance your past positions and showcase your experience.

Tip: Optimize your profile based on what you want to be found for. If you are an accountant and are seeking connections or new opportunities in that area, optimizing your profile to be found for those skills is important.

Don’t Skimp on the Details

Make sure your profile picture looks professional. That means no pets, family, or group photos. It also means no images that are cropped from a bar or party.

As we’ve mentioned in our resume writing blog post, you can clean up your profile’s URL to make it easier for people to find you. You can turn the long list of numbers and letters after your profile into a tailored LinkedIn URL.

Use the Job Search Tool or Job Search App

Looking for a new career? You can search for jobs within the platform or from the LinkedIn job search app to help you find a new career in your respective field. You can also have new postings emailed to you whenever they are updated.

Tip: Applying for jobs within the app? Letting recruiters know you’re open to opportunities? Don’t forget to go through and refresh your profile so that it best reflects your current experience.

LinkedIn allows you to share and view professional content with a network of people from around the world. It means no more hunting for misplaced business cards or digging through inboxes for long-lost email addresses. By using LinkedIn productively, you’re creating a true community of professional connections to learn and grow from every day.

If you haven’t followed Nelnet Careers on Linkedin, follow our page for updates and new opportunities.