How LinkedIn Connects Me to Future Opportunities: Tips for Getting Started on LinkedIn [VIDEO]

May 13, 2015

Editor’s Note: We’re inspired every day by how our members use LinkedIn to find and create opportunities for themselves. Today, we get advice from Jess Ratty, a Brand Communications Manager at Crowdfunder, a rewards-based crowdfunding platform in the UK.

Why do you feel it’s important to use LinkedIn?

I believe that our voice is one of the most important gifts we’ve got. LinkedIn offers a place where we can share our voice – to impart knowledge, help shape opinions, and leave an imprint on the world.

Having spent the better part of fifteen years building my career – and my best friend along the way has been LinkedIn. Not only am I inspired by people and their journeys, I’m also able to inspire others hoping to take a similar path. By writing on LinkedIn, I know that my content is reaching the very people who want to read it. My audience has been curated, aggregated, and seamlessly ordered among my groups, followers, and contacts, and I’m always finding great suggestions of new people to network with. It’s the ideal living room from which to share professional content. When my content is read and shared by my network, I’m building my own professional brand alongside that of my company.

How do you use LinkedIn in your daily life?

I check LinkedIn regularly during the day to offer advice on crowdfunding, project ideas, and thought leadership, to see how my posts are doing, and get feedback from my connections.

I also enjoy keeping my profile up to date by cataloging my achievements and sharing professional wins – be it a great article in a national newspaper or the successes of Crowdfunder. I’m slightly obsessed with who is looking at my profile – you never know where the next opportunity is coming from – and that “opportunity” may have just been looking at you!

How has LinkedIn played a role in helping you connect to opportunities?

My current dream job came to me through LinkedIn. One of the Directors of Crowdfunder found me on LinkedIn and went on to offer me a role with the company – so you can’t get a better opportunity than that!

I’ve worked hard in my career and my LinkedIn profile documents each step along my journey. I truly believe that whatever future opportunities will come next will be from the experiences and achievements I’ve shared with the world. I love the fact that my LinkedIn profile is an unfinished story – as my career grows, so will my profile. It’s a pretty brilliant way of keeping a “live CV” (and believe me, I hated having to update my CV when I was younger!).

What advice would you give to someone who's just starting on LinkedIn or doesn’t use it often?

Keep your profile updated, build your network, and be open to opportunities.

One of the most frustrating aspects of meeting new people is when I can’t learn more about them because they haven’t updated their profile. If you’re going to be on LinkedIn, make the most of it.

When it comes to building my network on LinkedIn, I’ve been quite brave – I’ve often added people I’d like to get in touch with, or people who I think I’ll have business in common with, but I always personalize the message when requesting a connection. I love networking and I love talking business, and LinkedIn has given me incredible opportunities, conversations and a place to share professional content - further expanding my career.

If LinkedIn has helped you transform your career or business, please share your story with us or write a post on LinkedIn with the hashtag #MyLinkedInStory. For more inspiration, check out more success stories.

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