Step one – Adding your name email and password
Open up a new browser page and type in LinkedIn.com.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account already the splash screen above is the first screen you will see when you go to LinkedIn.com. Add your first name and surname; it’s important to add your first name and surname exactly how it is written i.e. don’t have shortened versions of your name or aliases.
The reason this is so important is because recruiters and employers who choose to headhunt prospects would offer and start by searching for their target via search engines like Google and type in the first name last name to find the person they are looking for. The great thing about LinkedIn is that you can either choose to have your name indexed in the search engines or not, having your name appear in search engines means you’ll be easier to find.
Then add an email address that is entirely dedicated to your job search so that it was easier for you to monitor and organise incoming messages; the idea here is to use a professional looking and sounding email.
And finally, add a password that is memorable and secure and press the’ join now’ button highlighted in yellow.
Step two – Creating a professional profile
Some of the next few fields i.e. country, post code, job title, company have an asterisk next to them because they are key pieces of information that recruiters and employers will use to search for prospective employees so it goes without saying that when I was creating my basic LinkedIn profile, I wanted to be as accurate as possible here so I added the United Kingdom and relevant postcode and my job title.
Note that it is important to review the job title once you’ve set up the basic profile to ensure that it is optimised as much as possible. I’ll go over this at a later stage in this guide.
I also selected the employed radio button although this didn’t limit the number of emails I received from prospective recruiters and employers.
When adding a company to your profile it’s really important to choose a company from the drop-down box which will appear when you start to type in the company field. This is because from time to time recruiters and employers will perform company searches to find a candidates according to where they work. When they choose a particular company to search they will be presented with a list of people who work for that company so if you duplicate a company name by adding a similar name, you might be overlooked.
The final field on this screen to complete is the ‘industry’ field and he should pick the industry which most closely matches your niche.
LinkedIn.com will also present a list of industries for you to choose from and again it is important to be as accurate as possible when you choose an industry related to your experience. From my perspective the Internet industry was most relevant to me however if I was looking for a job in recruitment I might well have chosen ‘human resources’.
Once you’ve filled out all sections of this particular screen press the blue create my profile button.
Don’t ‘grow your network on LinkedIn’ at this stage
The next section will encourage you to grow your network on LinkedIn by pressing the ‘continue’ button which you can see pictured below the email box. This is not something I chose to do at this particular stage and if your profile is incomplete I would discourage you from adding your email.
I know what you’re thinking ‘I added my email to the previous screen so why am I being asked to add it again?’ Adding your email-as LinkedIn puts it – really means that LinkedIn will cross check your email contacts to see which of them are on LinkedIn so that you can notify them that you now have a profile on LinkedIn. But as I said wait until your profile is at least presentable if not complete before publicising it to anyone in your network.
Skip adding email for time being by clicking the ‘skip this step’ hyperlink which you can see beneath the light blue box even though it tells you that you will miss out on finding other people. You can find other people later once your profile is complete.
Once you have pressed the ‘skip this step’ hyperlink you will be asked to confirm your account so that LinkedIn can verify that you own the email address that you had earlier entered. LinkedIn will present you with two options to confirm your email address;
- *confirm your email via signing in to your Google account from LinkedIn or;
- sending a confirmation email to your email account so that you can retrieve the email and click on the LinkedIn link within the email
* you will only see this message if you are using a Gmail email to add to your LinkedIn profile, I am using a Gmail address for this demonstration and strongly recommend using a Gmail account for your job search.
Choose the second option and click the hyperlink which says ‘send a confirmation email instead’ .
You will be presented with the following screen so go ahead and check your Gmail inbox, check your spam and social tab to find the email from linkedin.
When you click the link in the email you will see the screen below and for a second time LinkedIn will ask you to ‘grow your network on LinkedIn’ by ‘adding your email address’. Once again I would advise that you Skip adding email AGAIN, for the reasons I highlighted earlier on. You can ‘add’ your email later in order to find contacts on LinkedIn who you already know so don’t worry too much at this stage when your profile is incomplete and not very interesting to read.
Even when you press the ‘skip this step’ hyperlink you will receive a warning that if you skip this step you will ‘miss out on finding people you know on LinkedIn’ . Once again press the ‘skip’ button shown in grey to skip this step, because it’s easy enough to find people on LinkedIn at a later stage once a profile is complete.
The next screen will give you the option to choose a premium email account which will cost you around $25 a month or a basic account which is free. At the start of this tutorial I describe all the things I have been able to do with free account and it is possible for you to do the same with a free account so click the yellow ‘basic account’ button.
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