LinkedIn is a social network for professionals and companies. And in some fields, having a profile on this platform is paramount for networking, career opportunities, and hiring skilled professionals.
However, it can still be a bit complicated to understand the dynamics of LinkedIn and how to use it correctly to make the most of this modern tool.
As a UX Designer, creating and keeping an updated profile on the platform is essential to find opportunities and most importantly, spreading the word about your work and expertise, so recruiters can find you.
This article was based on the Aelacast episode (available in Portuguese only) about LinkedIn for Designers.
LinkedIn for UX Designers
Using LinkedIn is a topic that always raises questions for Master Interface Design (MID) students and Aela podcast listeners.
"How does it work? How to position yourself on this network? What is the best way to use it?" are the most recurring questions.
The first point to stress is: LinkedIn is not Facebook!
And as much as it is considered a social network because people can share content and connect, the focus is completely different from Facebook.
LinkedIn was entirely planned for networking between professionals and hiring purposes. The goal is to put your work experience out so that companies can find you.
Unfortunately, it's astounding to see how some people use LinkedIn. There are always personal posts popping up on our feed that have nothing to do with business or career.
Remember that your LinkedIn profile is just like a resume, so it should constantly be updated with your experiences and quality content. Therefore, keep everything you share related or relevant to your work life.
Take, as an example, the LinkedIn profiles of our mentors:
- Felipe Melo Guimarães;
- Hanry Kluk;
- Bruno Duarte;
- Leandro Lima;
- Thais Souza;
- Rick Freitas;
- Felippe de Pin;
- Daniel Furtado;
- Naima Barbosa.
What should you share on LinkedIn?
Among the main objectives that the network promotes, we can mention:
- Search for opportunities and job openings;
- Present your professional experience;
- Establish partnerships;
- Spread the word about your work;
- Promote your company.
Therefore, be diligent with what you post, and think about who will read your content, and what the person is looking for on your page. A good tip is not to post something you wouldn't do or talk about during a job interview.
Also, it's important to note that LinkedIn's algorithm is different from Facebook's. When a person likes a post, it is as if they are sharing it, so its reach increases with the number of likes.
See your posts as a reflection of your professional life. Based on this knowledge, be aware of the posts you like because they will resonate with your entire network of contacts.
Create valuable connections
The opportunity for networking is another important topic when it comes to LinkedIn. The network makes it possible to connect both with other professionals and with recruiters who contact you to announce job opportunities.
For this reason, it is advisable to keep a good relationship with everyone you communicate with.
Keep in mind that every contact means potential opportunities, either for the present or for the future.
Even if you are not interested in the job offered at the moment, every contact and conversation should be established in a human and friendly way.
This shows friendliness and professionalism on your part. And who knows, maybe this communication will create an important professional relationship for you.
Our mentor Felipe Guimarães has a very interesting tip in this regard.
He is very keen on answering all the messages he receives from recruiters, be it for any type of opportunity. He thanks them for the contact, and if he is not interested in that opportunity, he tries to connect or spread the word to other professionals.
Tips for creating a professional profile on LinkedIn
For those starting out on LinkedIn, two factors are essential to align the network with your professional goals.
- Take into account the platform's SEO: companies and recruiters search for terms and keywords, and your profile needs to be found by these searches. To this end, present your skills in the introduction and describe your experiences with words related to Designer (if that's your case);
- Organize your profile more clearly: Divide it into top skills to make it easier for those who are looking for the ideal candidate. Also add a brief explanation of your experiences, not just the name of the position you held.
Also, consider creating a sort of cover letter in your LinkedIn profile. Write a summary of your skills and experiences to introduce yourself professionally and create an expectation of what people will find further in your profile.
When you write this text, always keep in mind who will visit your profile, because many recruiters read hundreds of profiles and yours needs to have good readability and, above all, stand out among so many others.
Another tip is to be careful with the profile picture. Remember that LinkedIn represents your resume. Therefore, the photo needs to be clear and professional. Avoid too many colors or personal shots.
Fill out your profile status
An interesting tool that LinkedIn offers is a kind of status on your profile. If you are looking for a position, you can choose "Open to work", the type of contract, and your availability. These tags direct and speed up the recruiters' work.
Another possibility is to put your profile in other languages. So, if you are interested in working for international companies, or are looking to relocate, it is essential that your profile is in the language of focus. Especially English.
There are many questions about having a Premium profile or not. This will depend on the moment the person is in. The advantage of the Premium account is that the search is better, and when it comes to communicating you can do it faster and more efficiently.
There is also the option to upgrade the basic LinkedIn profile which will allow unlimited searches during the month.
Search for companies
Another interesting point of LinkedIn is that you can visit companies' profiles to get to know them better.
Finding out who works or has worked there is a great filter for researching more about the companies and the opportunities they offer. With this, it is possible to have an overview of the possibilities that you can get in the future.
Aela is also on LinkedIn and always bringing content about the UX Design area that will help you develop your career as a Designer. Follow us there.
Update your profile frequently
Many people create a LinkedIn account just to search for job openings and don't care about their profile. However, it is advisable that the profile is well written and always updated with your experiences and relevant content about your professional area.
This constant updating generates an impact on other LinkedIn users and you establish your network. Adding recruiters, companies and other professionals in the area generates knowledge and opportunities for users.
LinkedIn even allows you to leave a note when adding a contact. It's interesting to leave a short message introducing yourself – name, where you are from, what you do – because it shows professionalism.
Another piece of advice is about the search bar. Try the keyword you are looking for, but also variations. Your keyword may change from place to place. For example, if you work as an Interaction Designer, you can also search for terms like UI/UX, Lead Designer, among others,
The last tip is to clean up your feed to always see relevant content that will contribute to your professional knowledge.