linkedin tool

Maximising your prospects: LinkedIn as a tool to reach your career potential

Are you looking to get ahead in your career? Want to build relationships with potential employers?

LinkedIn is just the place to do this; using it correctly can put you one step ahead of your peers.

LinkedIn is a social media site with a difference. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn is used primarily to establish and maintain business connections. While the site is used by people with a variety of careers, it’s use is especially common in professional industries including the public service.

Many employers use it as a recruiting tool, to help them attract suitable staff. Use it correctly and you may be provided with recommendations of jobs suited to your skills and interests. In many cases, you can even apply for jobs directly on the site. 

According to CNET (Looking for a New Job? LinkedIn’s New Tools Could Help – CNET)  LinkedIn has recently introduced new tools which make job searching on the site even easier. 

LinkedIn Collections

Recently introduced by LinkedIn, collections is a feature which allows you to broaden your job search on the site. The feature groups jobs into different categories, such as administration or media and communications. These categories are generally designed to align with interests, preferences which the user has previously identified.

LinkedIn Preferences

LinkedIn Preferences is another new tool which allows you to set your job preferences based on features. For example, you can prioritise jobs based on salary, location or method of work. Jobs that match your identified preferences will be highlighted in green making your job search more efficient.

Business News Daily (What Is LinkedIn? ( also highlights some other LinkedIn tools that you can use to help you grow your career.


Groups are private spaces that allow you to connect with others in the same industry. In groups you can ask questions and engage in professional conversations. In some cases, interacting in LinkedIn groups can lead to real-life connections.


A portfolio is a featured section on your LinkedIn profile. Building a portfolio allows you to provide concrete examples of the skills that you have outlined in your resume. While a resume is useful to list what you can do, a portfolio will show what you can do.


According to Forbes (The Super Simple Guide To Maximizing LinkedIn For Your Career (, the ability to create blogs is an important component of LinkedIn. Using this feature, you can create posts on an area of your expertise. Typically, these are between 500 to 1,000 words and can be shared within groups.

Common Mistakes

However, with so many employers using the site, LinkedIn is all about first impressions. Making a good impression is critical if you want to take the next step in your career.

According to Forbes (Learning 5 New Ways To Make LinkedIn Work For You (  and Business News Daily ( What Is LinkedIn? ( there are a number of things you should try to avoid when using LinkedIn.

Having a profile that is complete including a profile photo is essential.  Leaving your profile incomplete could give a bad impression to prospective employers. Your profile photo should be a headshot or portrait, with minimal distractions in the background. Having a photo makes your account look professional and allows contacts to easily identify you if they meet you in person.

Make sure your profile includes the value you can provide, not just your job title. It’s important you don’t just use the site to put pitches to others, make sure you connect with them first.

Also, you should post on LinkedIn regularly, not just when looking for a job. To maximise the site’s potential it is critical that you keep your account up to date and add new achievements to your profile as they arise. If your account is inactive and then suddenly flooded with new information, your employer may be suspicious that you are looking for a new job.

job application

Maximising your LinkedIn potential isn’t easy and takes time and effort.

Public Service Resumes can take the stress out of getting your LinkedIn profile in order.

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