LinkedIn – what is it? Master the tools of the working life network

Emmi Keskiaho, Communications Specialist

Wondering what LinkedIn is and what good it could do for you? Or have you got started already and need more LinkedIn sparring to get the most out of it? LinkedIn trainings are one of the top wishes of our members. We once again listened to you and organised an online training for taking over LinkedIn in cooperation with LinkedIn professional user and work and organisational psychologist Juho Toivola. Read the webinar FAQ and answers in our blog and check out Juho's instructional videos!

Frequently asked questions and answers

What is a good LinkedIn profile like? What does networking mean? How are you present, become active and make your own publications in LinkedIn? These are the questions that many people are thinking about and wondering where to start. Read the questions and answers gathered below from our webinar!

  • What is LinkedIn and how is it different from Facebook and Instagram, for example? The clearest difference between LinkedIn and other social media services is that LinkedIn is clearly linked to working life. People are there in a working role and represent their employer and talk based on their professional role.

    Why join LinkedIn? If your work involves communicating with people outside your organisation or, for example, gathering information, LinkedIn is a good tool for doing so, along with the phone and email. If you need to sell, acquire partners, recruit or market, LinkedIn is also a good platform. LinkedIn can also be used to achieve other goals related to working life: learning new, finding new work, building networks, gaining a reputation as an expert, or achieving some of your other goals can be achieved through LinkedIn.

    Who is LinkedIn suitable for? ​​​​​​​There are certain sectors and professions where people are more on LinkedIn. These include the commercial and technical sectors and IT. LinkedIn is actively used by various managers, supervisors, experts, vendors, marketers, HR professionals, finance professionals and different types of office employees. Many people think that LinkedIn is the social media of office employees, while in some other countries, LinkedIn is specifically a workers’ media. If you represent a job that doesn't exist much on LinkedIn, you can be a pioneer and join. Increasingly, sectors and jobs that have traditionally not been represented on LinkedIn are also beginning to appear there, such as hairdressers or dental nurses.

  • What is the role of the profile on LinkedIn? The profile contains information that can be used to find a person. It allows you to get to know a person and their background. For example, you can view the background of a person who contacted you on LinkedIn. You can also search for experts in a specific organisation and get to know their profiles before contacting them.

    How can I improve the discoverability of my profile? When searches are done on LinkedIn, they are often done in English. This should be taken into account, and a list of keywords in English should be included in the summary text. You can also consider the content of your profile by thinking about what kind of keywords you would use when searching for the competence and strengths you have and then check your profile for terms that are typically used in your sector and whether you describe your competence with words commonly used for your work tasks and competence.

    How do you make your profile look professional and as good as possible? The most important thing is that there is a lot of information on the profile. The biggest challenge is that the profile does not provide sufficient descriptive information, for example, about work tasks, or that the profile has not been filled in comprehensively. So fill in your profile carefully and tell us about yourself and your work tasks. In the About field, type a free-form presentation, and then type a firm headline next to your name. It is also worth investing in the cover image and your profile image.

    Who can see the profile? Can I influence what is seen and to whom? You can specify who can see your profile. If you want to be found, you should make your profile public. In this case, however, you can specify what information in your profile will be seen by users who do not yet have a profile on LinkedIn and, on the other hand, those who already have a profile. You can adjust your visibility settings by clicking Edit public profile & URL in your profile.

    Finnish or English? Or both? Does it matter? This depends on your own goals and what kind of people you have contacts with. If you mainly work in Finland, with Finnish-speaking people, but if your work involves contacts with whom you work in English, it is advisable to draw up the profile in English. However, it is also good to have a few keywords in English in a Finnish profile.

    Is it worth taking out a premium account? Why and where does it work? You should explore LinkedIn sales materials on Premium content and assess for yourself whether these additional services are needed. A good rule of thumb is that you should first familiarise yourself with the free version of LinkedIn carefully and if you feel it is not enough, you can consider switching to the paid version.

    Do I have to list all my jobs on the profile? You can view the job list the same way you would on your CV. At least list your most recent and most important jobs.

    What should be in the headline? The headline is an important part of the profile. It appears in the search in addition to the image and name. It should say something central about your competence or job.

    Where should I add my contact information? Email address, telephone number, etc. contact information appears at the top of the profile under contact info. Make sure that the contact information can be found at least there. You can also add it to the About section if you want.

    How do I write an interesting presentation? The presentation often summarises the person’s competence and experience. In addition to this, say what interests you and where you see yourself in the future, where you are going and what kind of professional goals you have. So tell not only about your past, but also about your future. This is especially important if you are looking for a job.

    Should I add a CV to my profile? However, if your CV is exceptionally meritorious in some way, including descriptions of projects you've been involved in, visually impressive, or acts as a sample of your professional skills, you can link it to your profile. On the other hand, it is possible to add the same information to your LinkedIn profile, so the CV may not have much added value.

    How do I add my skills to my LinkedIn profile? To add these, go to your profile and select Add profile section. There you will find Skills.

    Who can see my profile? You can specify the publicity level of your profile under Edit public profile & URL. You can find this menu in your profile.

    How should work experience in volunteering or organisations be entered on LinkedIn and how to do it? The profile has a separate section, Volunteer experience, where these can be highlighted.

    How to mark in the job list if you have had several different roles in the same organisation? When you add different roles for the same employer, LinkedIn knows how to organise them so that the employer is mentioned only once, and the different roles appear below it in chronological order.

    How do I change a new email address? Email addresses linked to your account are managed under Settings - Account - Login and security - Email addresses.

    Where do I turn off the feature that sends notifications about changes to my profile? Under Add experience - Share with network – Off.

    A lot of people know me by my former name, how do I add it? You can add your former name on your profile under Edit Profile - Former name.

    How do I delete my profile if necessary? The profile is deleted under Settings & Privacy - Account Preferences – Account Management – Close Account. Account Management also lets you freeze your profile for a certain period of time, or connect your profile to another profile.

    What kind of employment history text is the most functional? Share your work tasks, responsibilities and achievements extensively enough to give the reader a good overview of what you've done and accomplished.

    How do I type text in the large top image bar of my page in connection with the picture I've uploaded? On LinkedIn, you should add a rectangular background image to your profile. Text is added using an image editing programme before you upload the picture into LinkedIn. If you're not familiar with image editing, we recommend looking for support from an acquaintance who can combine image and text.

    How do I add e.g. Hobbies to the profile section menu? LinkedIn doesn't have a separate section for hobbies. These can be added under Skills if you want to highlight them, or you can tell about them in the introductory text (About).

    Show recruiters you're open to work – How can I adjust this so that my selection isn't visible to everyone? When you are adding this option to your profile, you can select who you want this selection to be visible to. There are two options: all LinkedIn users, or only users with a recruiter licence. If a representative of your current organisation uses a recruiter licence, LinkedIn will try to make sure they don't see your Open to work status. However, LinkedIn cannot fully promise this.

    How can I provide a recommendation to a member of my network? Go to the profile of the person you want to recommend and select Recommend from the More menu. From there, you can also ask for a recommendation from them.

    Will LinkedIn be published in Finnish sometime? It has been talked about for some time, but there is no official information on the launch.

    Where can I report a fake profile or an inappropriate contact? ​​​​​​​Open the person's profile, then click the More icon, then click Report/Block.

  • How do I use LinkedIn to find a job? If I want to change jobs, how should I express it? The biggest challenge is that the profile doesn't show that you're looking for a job. So write it on your profile. Describe what kind of job you're looking for and where. State it in your posts as well. The more you tell about your skills and yourself, the better employers can assess your suitability for them.

    How will I stand out as a job seeker from others? Should I know how to post stories and chat on LinkedIn? Is it useful when looking for a job? According to many studies, about 90% of people leave no trace (i.e. comment, react or make their own publications) about themselves on LinkedIn. Thus, a small minority of 10% are active on LinkedIn. If you belong to this minority and make your own posts, you'll already stand out from the crowd. Networking invitations with a cover note and private messages are also a good way to stand out from other jobseekers, as very few people do this.

    If you have two very different skills, should you make two separate profiles? This is, of course, an option, but together these skills can also be a strength that may have unpredictable benefits in working life. It is the combination of these skills that may open doors for you. Often people with diverse backgrounds and different careers are interesting, and these different sides and skills should be boldly highlighted.

    Can you apply for a job hidden from the current employer, what are the ways to do that? Have you considered telling your employer that you have job change wishes? The attitude to this can even be constructive and you may even get support from your employer. Another option is to make the Open to work option active in your profile so that it only appears to people with a Recruiter licence. Thirdly, it is worth considering where you would like to work and communicate directly with the recruiters, managers or other representatives of these employers and start discussions in private messages.  

    Where can I find job vacancies in LinkedIn? Jobs can be found in many places. The LinkedIn Jobs section has plenty of jobs and can be searched with a variety of search features. You can also find vacancies in LinkedIn groups. In addition, jobs are published in individuals’ posts or organisations' pages, so it's a good idea to follow organisations that interest you and network with people who interest you to see their posts in your feed.

    What key things should be done on LinkedIn when applying for a new job?​​​​​​ LinkedIn should be used as versatilely as possible. Fill in your profile carefully and write about your work tasks, projects, achievements, interests and future goals. Invite people who interest you to your network and open conversations with them with private messages. React and comment on posts made by others, and be encouraged to make your own posts as well. Remember that only about 10% of users are active on LinkedIn and you can be part of this small group.

  • How much is LinkedIn used in recruitment? LinkedIn is currently by far the most popular platform for searching for talent. In recruitments involving professional recruiters, experts are almost always searched on LinkedIn.

    People who have worked in certain organisations or people with certain skills are often sought. Then we narrow down and start searching for these types of people. Recruiters look as much at people who are now working as they look at people who have previously held a suitable position and have interesting skills.

    Can a recruiter see my profile if it's not public? ​​​​​​​You cannot see information about such profiles using the recruiter's separate user interface.

  • What kind of topics should I publish and is there something to avoid? There is no need to take too much pressure about the content of the publication. Write about what's on top of your mind and see what kind of reactions it provokes. You can browse other people's publications and you will find that everyone writes their own thoughts on topics such as work, themes of interest to themselves, current issues and even family life, connected to working life. Find your own style and boldly write your thoughts.

    How to bring out your own expertise in publications? You can bring out your own expertise, for example, by sharing your thoughts on current issues in your field in your posts, sharing your expertise with others in the form of various tips and lessons, and participating in discussions by sharing your views and thoughts.

    Where to get the courage to make your own publications? Remember, we're all human. Too often we think about what others think of us. But people don't think about us, they have other worries. People take a gentle or neutral approach to LinkedIn activity. Nothing will break and nothing bad will happen if you are active on LinkedIn. In contrast, a lot of good things can happen when you dare to take that step and become a more active user.   

    What time of day should I post? Publish on a weekday and in the morning. However, the choice of when to publish does not make a big difference. Despite the time, publications receive viewings and the attractiveness of the publication determines whether it will spread more widely.

    What is the difference between a post and an article? An article is a longer publication than a post. Articles aren't very popular on LinkedIn. They don't collect as many viewings and rise to the data stream as frequently as posts. For this reason, the post is better than the article. 

    What is the role of hashtags in posting?​​​​​​ Hashtags are especially related to discoverability. If you wish to be linked to a specific theme, you should use related hashtags.

  • Where's the line, who to network with and who not? Can I send invitations to strangers? How can I make more contacts with people I don't know? The official terms and conditions state that only add to your network a user you know. At the time of its founding, LinkedIn was a trust network where you vouched for who was in your network. Today, LinkedIn is more of a means of communication and its nature has changed. You can send a contact request to any user who interests you, and add a cover note explaining why you would like to network with them. People are usually happy and sympathetic to receive such invitations.

    How do I add a cover note in the mobile version? In the mobile version, you can add the cover note by using Personalize invite under More.

    What's a good networking invitation like? A good networking invitation includes an accompanying message. Tell the recipient why you're inviting them to your network. You can also tell them a little bit about yourself.

    Anonymous stalking or fairly under your own name and image? Everyone can consider this for themselves. Is there something problematic about it that other LinkedIn users can see that you have visited their profiles? If not, you may well appear under your own name and image. LinkedIn profile visits can be viewed in the same way as visiting someone's website. It is useful to see who has visited your profile. You can contact the visitors, offer your help, and send networking invitations.

    What's the best way to start networking? If you’re just beginning to use LinkedIn and start growing your network, you can start by inviting people who you know through your work or hobbies, for example. You can then expand networking to organisations that interest you and the people who work there.

    How should I maintain my network? You can chat with network members in private messages and thus maintain contacts. You comment on their posts and they can reciprocally comment on posts you make. This will create a good professional debate. Monitor what's going on with your network, what kind of job changes and other career changes are happening to them.

    What does the serial number mean in the profile of my contacts? ​​​​​​​Number one means that you are connected with the person. Number two means that the user is connected with someone in your network.

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