Perhaps you are a blind or visually impaired job seeker and you’re ready to create a LinkedIn account or you have a LinkedIn account with an underdeveloped profile and connections.
First, you’re going to want to know how to utilize LinkedIn as a person who is blind or visually impaired. Yes, LinkedIn and its general features are accessible!
Second, you’ll want to read AFB’s reprinted article Grow Your Connections Through LinkedIn. Here, Ms. Thomas instructs us to complete every [that’s right, every!] section of the profile, promote your personal brand (as opposed to a current or former employer), max out the available skill slots, utilize key words from your career field, upload a professional-looking head shot, “invite” connections, connect to groups, and ask for recommendations from your contacts.
Benefits of Using LinkedIn
Assuming you invest the time to follow the advice from Ms. Thomas, these are the benefits you can reap [while some are specific to having a visual impairment, most are not]:
- Your profile (which is your full-bodied resume) can be read while your visual impairment is not even on the table (the way it should be!).
- If the prospective employer knows you have a visual impairment, showing and telling your high-quality work, talents, and job-related successes on LinkedIn is one opportunity to answers the question he or she is wondering, “Can he perform the essential job functions without sight?”
- You can have career-related discussions with other professionals within a specific LinkedIn interest group. You’ll be strengthening your social network as you learn from one another.
- You can browse recommended jobs, as well as research individuals who work in the offices…just remember the individuals are alerted when profiles are read!
- You can learn skill sets needed for specific jobs by exploring profiles of ones in your desired career field.
- You can look to see if you have any connections who work in your desired career field.
- You can expand your knowledge base by reading recommended articles.
- You can share your knowledge and expertise by publishing or sharing articles and resources.
- You can connect others who would benefit from each other, leave positive feedback and recommendations for others, and endorse the skills of others—the secret to unlocking the potential of your social network.
Now get to preparing that profile! Don’t wait—LinkedIn is an incredible tool for today’s job seeker!