By: Kalin Noel, Business, Entrepreneurship and Consulting Career Community Advisor

One of the first questions I ask when presenting to a class is how many students have a LinkedIn account. Most students raise their hand. I then ask how many people actually utilize their LinkedIn account. Fewer than half usually raise their hand. In my opinion, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools a person can use when managing their career.

Here are some examples of how it can be used effectively:

Job Searching

LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways a company can post about open positions and find top talent. There are thousands of different jobs that are posted in a multitude of different industries. The key is not to apply for anything and everything that looks interesting, but do research and make sure that it is a fit for you and your skill set.

Investigating Employers

When you find a job posting, click the company’s name to be directed to their home page. This is useful information when you are trying to learn about the company or prepare for an interview (hint hint: they want you to know this stuff!)

Don’t just stop after the basic information. Dig in to the company, see what is important to them, what news articles they post about, and what other jobs they have available. This will give you insight on who they are, the company culture, and if they have a lot of turnover/are growing rapidly.

Networking

One of the easiest ways to find a company’s employees is from their LinkedIn page. At the top of the page, you will see a link that says “See all ____ Employees on LinkedIn.” Start exploring! You now have access to a list of employees that can provide insight about the company.

Instead of randomly reaching out to any employee at a company, I would recommend trying to find DePaul alumni or mutual connections who work there to reach out to first. Ask a few people if they would be willing to meet with you for an informational interview. Like I mentioned, these are powerful people with direct insight into the company. This could also be a great chance to build relationships that may lead to a referral for the position.

Finding Your Earning Potential

LinkedIn Salary is a free resource where you can find job salary insights and better understand what impacts pay, so you can make more informed career decisions. The tool shares salary insights for specific job titles, and different factors that impact pay scale: location, years of experience, industry, company size, and education level. You can use the Industry and Years of Experience filters to learn how these factors impact pay for a given role.

If you have any questions or would like help navigating LinkedIn or updating your profile, schedule an appointment with a career community advisor!