How to Make LinkedIn a Strategic Career Networking Tool

How to Make LinkedIn a Strategic Career Networking Tool

By Sharon Boerbon Hanson

LinkedIn exists to make connections between career professionals. It’s an online professional networking site the way Facebook is a social networking site. Elevate your use of LinkedIn to another networking level using three simple strategies:


  1. Make a statement about yourself that helps build your network.

At the top of every LinkedIn profile page, you’ll see a picture, name, usually a job title, a geographic location, and career discipline. Use that valuable space to cleverly promote your particular talent, skill, passion, or expertise. Since your current job title is listed in the Experience section, there’s no need to list it again.


Your personal promo:

  • On your profile page, click on Edit Profile under Profile in the menu at the top of the page.
  • Next, click the Edit link by your name.
  • Now get creative. In the Headline box, tell viewers something unique and special about yourself, something that goes beyond what is in your resume. For example, “IT expertise coupled with business acumen” or “My passions: IT skills, clear communication, business goals” or “Passionate about the details that create success.”


  1. Use advanced networking techniques.

If you are actively seeking a new position, try this “approach HR” strategy:

  • Click on the Advanced link at the top right of the page.
  • In the Title box, enter “HR” or “human resources”.
  • Add the necessary location information.
  • Click Search. LinkedIn will generate a list of HR professionals with whom you share a connection.
  • Click on link next to In Common to find your mutual connection. Then ask that person to make an introduction.


  1. Find out how others got the job you want.

Use the advanced feature to find profiles of people who already have the type of job you want:

  • Click on the Advanced link at the top right of the page.
  • Put the job title in the Keywords data field.
  • In the Industries box, check the industry you want to search. (For example: to search for IT, check “Information Technology and Services.”)
  • In the Groups box, check All LinkedIn Members.
  • In the Relationships box, check All LinkedIn Members.
  • In the Language box, check all that apply.
  • Click Search. A list of members will appear. Review their career progression to see how they got there.
  • If you share a connection, click on the shared connection link to see who your mutual connection is. You can now ask that person for an introduction.

Sharon Boerbon Hanson is associate executive director of Advance IT Minnesota, a Center of Excellence that promotes awareness of and excellence in IT careers in order to ensure business success. She has over 25 years’ experience marketing and brand-building, and has been a resume and interview coach 15 years.

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