What is LinkedIn?


Job boards and sites like LinkedIn bridge the internet gap between recruiters and applicants. You don’t need to visit multiple companies, submit your CV, and wait for interview invitations to apply for a job. LinkedIn helps you find jobs, hire for positions, and network with others. The platform is similar to Facebook, except it assists you in progressing your career. LinkedIn is also similar to job boards like Indeed but has advantages over other platforms. Let’s find out what makes LinkedIn stand out.

Exploring LinkedIn: A powerful platform for professionals and businesses

A chart showing LinkedIn's membership distribution around the world

LinkedIn was founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, a former PayPal COO, along with some of his former colleagues from SocialNet, an early dating and social media website. It officially launched in 2003 as a professional social networking platform, so it’s been around longer than other major platforms like Facebook, Twitter (now X), Snapchat, and Instagram.

Job seekers can create a profile, add a resume, and list credentials such as education, certifications, abilities, experience, and achievements. Then, they can apply for open opportunities that match their expertise. Users can browse job listings and apply directly through the platform. They can also create job alerts based on keywords, companies, or titles and communicate with recruiters interested in their profiles.

Businesses and recruiters may use LinkedIn to hire staff and vendors, create leads, and advertise their enterprises. LinkedIn is a great place for businesses of all sizes to have a presence since it provides various options and services. This platform is easy to use and can be used on any device, including your Android phone, tablet, computer, and Chromebook.

What are the key features of LinkedIn?

LinkedIn offers professional tools that benefit job seekers, recruiters, and businesses. Here are some common features:

  • Search for jobs: Search thousands of job advertisements. Hiring managers may contact you through LinkedIn if they identify a suitable position in their firm.
  • Keep in touch: Communicate with coworkers and colleagues at any workplace. Connect with LinkedIn users from various organizations to receive updates on new roles and opportunities.
  • Professional help: Broaden your network to reconnect with old friends and make new ones who can help you advance in your profession. Some people publish job-searching ideas and guides to help you move forward.
  • Recruit new employees: Hiring managers post jobs, scout potential employees based on skills and experience, and connect with candidates to learn more about them.

A quick tour of LinkedIn

After creating your LinkedIn profile, you’ll see an interface with multiple buttons, tabs, and options. Let’s take a quick tour.


Home tab on LinkedIn website

The Home tab is your news feed, similar to Facebook and other platforms. You’ll see posts from connections, groups, and companies you follow. You can comment, like, and repost. Instead of liking a post, you can react to posts based on emotions like “love” and “support” to elevate the experience.

You can sort the posts in your feed and choose between recent and top posts. You can also view how many times your profile was seen by other LinkedIn users, as well as the performance of your posts. Then, there’s the LinkedIn News area in the upper-right corner, where you can browse the day’s top articles and conversations. The Groups tab in the lower-left corner displays the groups you joined or created.

My Network

My Network section on LinkedIn website

My Network displays pending invitations for connections. The People You May Know section shows LinkedIn users from your industry that you may know, and you can connect with or follow them. A comprehensive list is available by clicking the buttons in the Manage my network area, such as connections, contacts, groups, events, and hashtags.


Jobs section on LinkedIn website

This is where you’ll search for and apply for jobs. It displays jobs based on your profile, criteria, and previous job searches. Go to the upper-left corner to view applied jobs and notifications of new ones based on your criteria.

You’ll also find smaller features to enhance your profile:

  • Skill Assessments: Earn badges by completing tests that demonstrate your knowledge of a skill.
  • Interview prep: Get answers to commonly asked interview questions.
  • Resume builder: Gain insights on improving your resume.
  • Job seeker guidance: Read tips from experts to land a new job.
  • Application settings: Set your default resume and more.


Messaging section on LinkedIn website

Here’s where you’ll find your message history and start private messages with others. You can send documents, photos, videos, and more. You can also manage previous conversations and set an away message.


Notifications section on LinkedIn website

The Notifications section displays who viewed your profile, how your profile or post is performing, if someone messaged you, if a company you follow posted something, and more. You can also manage your notification settings if you get too many or not enough.


Me section on LinkedIn website

Select the Me drop-down menu to view your profile, go to settings, manage your profile, get help, select a language, and sign out of LinkedIn. You can also upgrade to LinkedIn Premium from here.

How can businesses use LinkedIn?

Along with providing features for job seekers and hiring managers, businesses benefit from the tools LinkedIn offers. It can be a great business tool if used correctly.

  • Create a business or company page: Use your desktop or mobile device to create a LinkedIn business page for your company.
  • Post content to bring traffic to your company page: Share your page with your connections, add a LinkedIn profile to your website, ask your employees to get a LinkedIn profile and update it, and expand your network.
  • Have a social media strategy: Select a niche or content your LinkedIn profile displays and frequently add new posts.
  • Use LinkedIn Page analytics: Track what readers want to see to understand which content resonates with your network.
  • Create sponsored content: Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn offers sponsored content, which is more effective since it targets a specific audience.
  • Join or create LinkedIn groups: Interact with users with the same interests and expand your network.

How does LinkedIn differ from job boards like Indeed?

LinkedIn is a professional networking and career development tool. You can promote your brand, experience, credentials, and skills, as well as locate hidden chances from firms worldwide. Using LinkedIn Learning, you can complete webinars and courses to advance your career. Businesses can publish job openings and hire staff. Companies might even promote their company culture to attract candidates. Companies and professionals can generate leads and expand their businesses using B2B marketing solutions like Sales Navigator Core.

On the other hand, Indeed and other platforms focus on job listings and application handling. Using Indeed, you can browse thousands of jobs and apply to them using your resume. Indeed gives insights such as average salary by location, required skills for each job title, company reviews, resume help, and market trends. Companies can post jobs for free and promote jobs from their career websites. The dashboard helps hiring managers efficiently deal with thousands of job applications.

Both LinkedIn and Indeed are great tools for job seekers and hiring managers. Still, both platforms have strengths and weaknesses.

Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?

LinkedIn offers a premium membership that offers access to additional features. LinkedIn offers four Premium accounts:

  • LinkedIn Career: For job seekers. It costs $29.99 per month.
  • LinkedIn Business: For professional networking and growing business opportunities. It costs $47.99 monthly.
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator: To generate sales leads and customers. It costs $79.99 per month.
  • Recruiter Lite: To find, recruit, and hire qualified candidates. It costs $140 per month.

Here are some extra features that come with a LinkedIn Premium subscription:

  • Premium Profile badge: A badge on your profile picture helps you stand out from standard users.
  • Applications sit above the rest: Your application skips the queue and sits above non-premium members.
  • See who viewed your profile: See the people who viewed your profile and how they landed on your profile page.
  • Access to InMail: Contact members outside your LinkedIn network using LinkedIn’s message system. Subscribers to LinkedIn Career get three, Premium Business members get 15, Sales Navigator Pro members get 20, and Recruiter Lite subscribers get 30 InMail credits to use per month.
  • Advanced search: Access unlimited searches and granular controls to fine-tune your searches. For example, search for LinkedIn users based on company size, ranking, and seniority.
  • Access to LinkedIn Learning: Take over 15,000 courses led by experts who teach skills that will improve your job search. Check out these popular LinkedIn Learning courses to upgrade your skill set.
  • Get Business Insights: Visit a business profile to view data points such as how fast the company is growing and changes in its top executives.

LinkedIn offers a free premium trial subscription to anyone with a LinkedIn account. Go to your profile’s home page and click the Get hired faster. Try Premium free link on the left, below your profile details.

What is the difference between LinkedIn Apply and LinkedIn Easy Apply?

When you apply for a job on LinkedIn, some jobs have an Apply button while others have an Easy Apply button. What’s the difference? The Apply button redirects you to the company’s job site. Easy Apply makes it simple to apply for jobs using the information on your LinkedIn profile, without building a new profile for each job application and filling in the data.

Common mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn

While LinkedIn is a great platform for recruiting, finding jobs, and marketing, there are some common mistakes people make. Here’s how to avoid those mistakes:

Write your own summary

Don’t use AI or somebody else. It won’t be authentic. Explain your achievements and showcase your skills in your own words. LinkedIn doesn’t have a perfect summary length, but it shouldn’t be a long essay. Keep it short and concise.

Get a profile picture

Under Edit your custom URL on the right, click the Edit icon next to your current URL.

One common mistake job seekers make is not adding a professional profile picture. A profile picture is the first thing people notice in a profile. If it isn’t a professional photograph, it reflects the same to the hiring manager. Ensure your face is visible and wear a smile.

Post articles and interact with people

Add posts to your LinkedIn profile

To stay relevant and grab the attention of hiring managers, comment, like, or post. You don’t need to post regularly on LinkedIn, but a few posts here and there make a difference. The same goes for hiring managers. Share statistics about your company, congratulate an employee for completing the term, and more to grab the attention of job seekers.

Fill out your profile completely

Fill in every detail of your LinkedIn profile with the correct information. After filling everything in, look at your profile through the eyes of a hiring manager and make improvements. Add your skills, education, and everything in between.

Don’t make it personal

Use LinkedIn only to connect with people, look for jobs, or do hiring. Refrain from posting about politics, religion, and other sensitive matters. It could reflect poorly on you and your organization.

Build a network that isn’t generic

When you have more connections, your LinkedIn profile stands out better. However, avoid connecting with people just for the sake of it. Build a network tailored to your niche. Also, avoid sending random invitations.

Should you join LinkedIn?

US desktop traffic to LinkedIn 2023

With over 900 million users worldwide and 199 million users in the US, LinkedIn is the place to be for your job hunt. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting your professional career or are the CEO of a corporation. As a beginner, LinkedIn helps you build a brand identity that assists hiring managers in evaluating you for suitable positions. As an experienced professional, use LinkedIn to expand your network, highlight your expertise, learn new skills, and catch the attention of hiring managers.

Having a LinkedIn profile doesn’t guarantee you a job. More goes into whether you’ll break into an industry. You’ll need relevant experience, the necessary certifications, and an apt educational background. You’ll also need to make a positive first impression.

If you run a business, use LinkedIn’s robust employment platform to hire applicants and fill open positions. LinkedIn offers a pool of candidates your recruiting managers can tap into to fill roles in your organization. All you do is post a job on LinkedIn and sift through the hundreds of applications.

LinkedIn gives you an edge regardless of whether you’re looking for a job or trying to fill a role. But it’s up to you to use the platform effectively.


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