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Whether you’re social media savvy or not, it is hard to ignore the obvious career perks that can come about as a result of social networking. LinkedIn is clearly the leader of all the professional social networking sites, connecting professionals on a more personal level and allowing recruiters to view an ever-present online resume, accomplishments and other valuable links. Whether you’ve been on LinkedIn for years or are new to the platform, there are a number of ways you can leverage it for your success.

Search Company Profiles

If you’ve wanted to work for a specific company or perhaps get into business with one, LinkedIn is a great place to find out more information about it. Sure, a company’s website may be packed with useful information, but a LinkedIn profile can give you current news and other industry updates you’d want to know about. You’ll also be able to stay up-to-date with job opportunities, new hires and more. This could lead to potential career opportunities or even simply expand your network.

LinkedIn Recommendations

We all know the value of having references on your resume. But it can feel awkward to contact your references every time you apply for a job to inform them that they may or may not be getting a call, especially if they are your current employer and they did not know you were looking for a new job. This is where LinkedIn recommendations come in. You can reach out to past or current employers or even colleagues of yours to write some LinkedIn recommendations for you, which act as an ever-present reference visible on your personal profile. Potential employers can gain a lot of insight into your work ethic by viewing these recommendations.

Write a Solid Summary

Social media bios, in many cases, are short snippets of yourself, limited to a certain number of characters. On LinkedIn, however, you should use the summary section to write a solid bio of yourself. While there is an eventual character limit, LinkedIn allows you to write a few paragraphs, and you should ensure that you make the most of this prime real estate. Make sure to use keywords in this section, as it will give a higher chance of directing the correct individuals to your page. Though you want to highlight your professional experience, you should also put a bit of your personality into it, approaching it as you would a cover letter.

As job searching continues to evolve, it is crucial to stay on top of networking opportunities like LinkedIn. With this public form of networking, it is important to put your best foot forward and utilize the services to the best of your abilities.