How to light up your career with LinkedIn

Work prospects for skilled employees and contractors are excellent in the current market.  There are more vacancies than applicants and hiring managers are wondering where their next employee is going to come from. 
You already have a fine job, enjoy good relationships with your colleagues and a comfortable work schedule.  For these reasons, you probably have not been looking for a new role.  Did you know that your experience has probably never been more marketable?  This is the perfect climate to use LinkedIn to be seen by the right people.  Why? 
LinkedIn is a professional social network and a growing number of FTS100 companies are focusing their talent development efforts on the platform.  Top employers have recognised they need to promote their opportunities where skilled professionals and the upwardly mobile are networking. 
Here are some quick steps to take on LinkedIn to light up your career with a dream job.
Connections:  LinkedIn is a network that allows you to connect with people you know and have done business with.  You can also be introduced by your connections to key people in your industry.  This gives you the opportunity to make yourself visible to top influencers in your sector.  Make use of this feature to link to a wide range of people in your sector – you never know where your next introduction or offer is going to come from.  On the other side of the coin, be prepared to introduce your contacts to influencers that you know.
Networks:  Open and closed industry and professional groups offer you the opportunity to contribute to discussions and show off your knowledge.  This also gives you the opportunity to interact with top individuals in your areas of interest without necessarily being connected to them.
Profile:  The key to a strong LinkedIn profile is to complete all the relevant sections.  This allows your profile to feature in more searches, both in LinkedIn and search engines like Google.  The ‘Summary’ section is particularly important in highlighting your key skills.  Another great feature is the customisable profile URL.  With a bit of ingenuity, you can create a personal profile URL that encapsulates your skill such as
Dynamic features:  You can include dynamic media such as the Professional Photo Gallery and even upload video to feature past projects or portfolios on your profile.  Make use of these features where they will add to your strengths and set you apart from others in your sector.
Recommendations and endorsements
These two features act as your public domain reference.  Colleagues past and present can endorse you for various skills while recommendations are written testimonials provided by clients, employers and other influencers.  Recommendations from the right people can be very powerful instruments in getting you access to that prestigious role you always coveted.
Making use of the above features will light up your career accomplishments and progress like few other social platforms can.  You will also benefit from sector updates, peer knowledge, and make important contacts in your field of expertise.  
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