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LinkedIn add news features: how to use them effectively

It's time to brush up on this rising social media star

(Image: © Shutterstock / Ink Drop)

For a long time LinkedIn was the ugly step-child of the social media channels. While many businesses and individuals used it, it remained strictly functional. COVID-19 has increased the sites popularity and led to new innovations from the team. 

LinkedIn has grown from being a job posting board with a newsfeed, to incorporating more upskilling possibilities and a smoother way to look for and post jobs.

The biggest new addition is called career explorer. This takes into account skills assigned by yourself to the platform on your profile and shows how they relate to jobs on the platform. 

The aim is to help users broaden their scope and improve on skills that could land them higher paying jobs and more tailored employment opportunities.

The recommended upskilling is linked to online courses that are suggested to the user. 

While these features are incredibly useful, they only work in conjunction with a good LinkedIn profile. Here is how to make sure yours is ready and attractive to possible employers. 

Complete your profile properly and professionally

Nothing looks better than a completed LinkedIn profile. Make sure you include a succinct and clear bio as this will be the best introduction for those looking over it and trying to find out exactly what your skills are. 

Ensure your photo and cover photo are professional, this doesn't have to mean a full studio portrait with suit and tie but avoid pictures from a party or those that don't clearly show your face. 

Make sure all the information is clear and accurate, don't think that adding skills or achievements that aren't true will help you as this may be the reason someone reaches out and you end up falling short. 

Make sure you're allocated as actively searching

On your profile, you can assigned yourself to be "actively searching" which allows LinkedIn to recommend you to recruiters. 

You page is among many on the site and while the algorithm is trying its best, make it extremely clear to the site that you're looking for a job helps it out and allows you to input what roles you're looking for, the areas you're looking in and how flexible you are with remote work. 

This feature is right at the top of your profile and is often prompted by LinkedIn so you can't miss it. 

Set up email alerts for new jobs

LinkedIn wants you to work so they make it easy to be constantly applying and receiving heads up about new offers brought onto the site. 

While it can be overwhelming to be inundated with alert emails, setting up refined searches for the kinds of jobs you really want means you can be an early applicant and never miss a posting. 

When you search for a job in the jobs bar, at the top there is a toggle to turn on alerts for that job. From there you can tailor it to a specific company, location or experience level. 

Don't sleep on the Premium trial

While most of us don't want to be paying to look for work, the trial is worth it. 

This extra level allows you to see how you rank next to others that applied, how well you match up to the job and you can see who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days. 

There are also skills courses offered which can help boost your CV and make you a more attractive hire. 

Keep connections relevant so your feed works to your advantage

In the beginning it's easy to just click accept on any invite that pops in but keeping tabs on who you connect with can actually make the entire experience better tailored for you. 

By having more people who work in your field, you news feed will be more relevant to you. Some even post jobs there that you could have missed in the queue and others even offered tailored insights into courses and events that could help push you further in your career and networking, 

If you have too many people who aren't in your sphere, these useful posts can easily be lost under things that are not helpful to you. 

Leila Stein

Leila Stein is an experienced multimedia journalist and content producer with a special interest in data journalism. she is skilled in news writing, editing, online writing and multimedia content production and have a Bachelor of Journalism  from Rhodes University and an Honours in Historical Studies from University of Cape Town.