LinkedIn logoLinkedIn can help you connect with professional contacts and potential employers. Learn how to set up a strong profile to show off your professional experience and skills and advance your job search.

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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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An Introduction to LinkedIn

Aug 3, 2017

LinkedIn logoIf you're searching for a job, you may already know about LinkedIn, the free social media tool that's geared toward business and employment networking. Because about 85% of critical jobs are filled through networking, joining a platform like LinkedIn with its more than 500 million users makes sense for many people.

A good way to think about LinkedIn is as a community of people with whom you can connect through common interests. It's up to you how you participate. You can write a professional profile, post your resume and hope someone sees it and offers you a job. Or, you can increase your visibility by actively communicating through the LinkedIn tools. If you haven't already joined or would like some ideas on how to make the most of the features LinkedIn offers, we have a few tips that may help.

Getting started

Before joining LinkedIn, make sure your resume is up to date. You'll need it as you start to fill in your LinkedIn profile. 

  • To make your profile stand out, use your own words to say who you are and what your professional interests are. Use key words that people in your field of work will recognize.
  • When you write your headline, describe how you see yourself. You are more than a job title. For example, "A social media strategist with a strong interest in environmental issues" is a lot more interesting than "Manager of Digital Strategy."
  • You can add a sample work product if that's appropriate to your field. For example, a speech you wrote or a video you made can draw people's attention.
  • When you add your photograph, it should be a headshot of you alone. A photo in which you're facing forward is best.
  • The next step is completing the experience section. You'll use information from your resume to list your work experience and accomplishments. Remember, you don't have to include every job you've ever had; just include ones that are relevant to the job you are looking for.
  • Finally, fill in the other sections of the profile, like education, skills and volunteer activities. Those features show people who you are and what matters to you.

Follow the Ticket to Work program!

Once you set up your LinkedIn profile, you can follow the Ticket to Work page for updates on the Ticket program and resources for creating a strong resume, connecting with employers and requesting reasonable accommodations on your path to work.

Getting connected

  • Once you have completed your profile, the next step is to create your professional network. You'll do this by sending people an invitation to connect.
  • Networking doesn't mean reaching out cold to strangers. You can start building your LinkedIn network by uploading your online address book (from your email account) and connecting to people you know and trust.
  • When you send your invitations, make your request to connect personal. For example, you can send a friendly note or if necessary, a reminder of where you met, who you met through, or what organization you have in common.

Getting engaged

Now that you have completed your profile and gathered your network, it's time to plan how you'll use LinkedIn to find job leads, stay current with trends in your field and learn what your colleagues are doing. Our blog, Finding Work through LinkedIn, talks about how you can make LinkedIn work for you.

About Ticket to Work

Social Security's Ticket program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket program, visit www.ssa.gov/work. You can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.