To date, LinkedIn has played a pivotal role in changing the lives of over 756 million users in approximately 200 countries around the world by opening new doors of opportunity.
It is the biggest online professional network in the world, which was created to help people find the right job or internship, make and deepen professional connections, and develop the skills they need to succeed in their careers.
Over time, LinkedIn has gained a lot of popularity in our country as well. As the number of users on this platform grows, so does the number of people who are not aware of its proper use.
Thus, someone sharing photos of a plate of chicken pulao that he recently enjoyed is no longer a rarity in LinkedIn.
As hilarious as it may sound, there are people who even use this platform to find a date.
So, making people aware of how to use LinkedIn properly has become an urgent need.
It goes without saying that having a completed and well-organised profile increases your chances of impressing the person viewing your profile significantly.
As Mohammad Monjurul Ahsan, Director of Business Operations at the Academy of Business Professionals (ABP), pointed out, "Among other things, you can include a high-resolution photo of yourself, add an appropriate backdrop image (banner or cover), write a brief description of yourself, your present/previous work experience, and education."
LinkedIn allows you to connect with people in your sector as well as professional groups. This is an excellent method to keep up with current events and share information with others in your field of profession.
While you can invite anyone to connect with you and accept their invitations, they must also have their own LinkedIn account to do so.
In this regard, Monjurul Ahsan said, "It is more vital to make appropriate connections than to have a large number of them - quality over quantity. So, it is wise not to make connections with everyone. The aim should always be to include those who are relevant to your field of work, can lead to a career opportunity or give useful advice when needed."
However, if you do not communicate with your connections, they will be of little use to you.
If you are smart in your approach, the simple act of communicating with people on a regular basis can do wonders for you by allowing them to better understand you and thus create new opportunities.
Another important thing to mention is that your connections can make 'recommendations' for your profile and 'endorsements' of your skills which can also be reciprocated by you.
Personal testimonials that highlight your professional qualities are referred to as recommendations.
You should be able to collect a few of them by asking your co-workers to write for you.
T M Shadman Shafiq, Legal Associate at Dr Khaled H Chowdhury and Associates (Dispute Management Specialists), said, "You should ask your connections to focus on specific traits or accomplishments that you have pleased them with rather than making vague statements like 'you are a good co-worker'."
Endorsements are basic confirmations that show you possess a specific competence.
They may not have the same weight as hand-written recommendations, but if a friend or colleague praises you for your communication skills, for instance, it does have the impact of making people notice you.
Again, if necessary, ask for endorsements from people you know, but do not overdo it to the point where they become irritated.
The best way to do it is to drop it in the middle of a regular conversation as it may not make you look like someone who is desperate for it.
Another tip is to make every effort to establish and maintain a solid reputation. This implies that you must always keep a professional image.
There are some people who use LinkedIn in the same manner they use Facebook (and, at times, Tinder), without realising that they should avoid revealing private details on LinkedIn that they share on these platforms.
T M Shadman added, "While you are free to say whatever you want on other social media platforms, it is strongly advised that you exercise caution when posting anything on LinkedIn, as you are here to form professional relationships rather than personal ones."
Be honest with yourself and with others. Do not lie about your accomplishments in the same way that you would not in your CV.
Furthermore, you can create or join groups to discuss ideas and industry news. This will help you to expand your professional network.
Once you have joined a group, you can participate in discussions, ask questions, and send messages to other members.
Anika Jabeen Loshkor, Programme Coordinator and Academic Guidance Tutor at London College of Legal Studies (South), believes, "These groups can be a great place to get information, share ideas, and get support," and her advice is, "Share your knowledge and they will almost certainly give a response. This gives you an excellent opportunity to stand out from the crowd through showing your knowledge and skills."
You can post text updates, photographs, videos, and links to other websites, much like other social media networks, and you can also share posts of other users on LinkedIn.
However, Anowara Rayhan Arusha, an independent researcher who has earned many clients through LinkedIn urged to "make sure that the content is interesting, thought-provoking, helpful, and caters to the needs of your connections and/or professional field."
Interestingly, LinkedIn's publishing platform allows you to write, edit, share, and publish full articles.
These articles will be visible on your profile. They can not only be shared by other users, but they may also appear in search engine results.
This is an excellent way to show how deep your understanding is of a certain topic to relevant people.
Another thing to keep in mind is that including hashtags in your posts will assist these materials in reaching a larger audience.
Entering a hashtag into the search box is a good way to see how many people are following it and what kind of content they are interested in.
You should also consider creating a LinkedIn page for your business so that customers, suppliers, and others can learn more about you.
As Arusha said, "If you can use it properly, you will be able to form a close connection with your potential clients and employees. So, it can help your company, its brand, and its products gain more visibility and recognition."
You may also use the site to conduct research on your competitors and possible partners to stay ahead of others.