I’ll admit, LinkedIn isn’t super useful when you’re in your first year or so of college, but once you start actively looking for internships and jobs, it becomes a much bigger player. Within the last year and a half, I went from checking LinkedIn a time or two a week to at least three times a day.
Building a Network with LinkedIn
First and arguably foremost, LinkedIn is fantastic for building your network and making connections. You can add connections just like you add friends on Facebook. If you meet someone at a networking event, job fair, or just at a party or other social event, you can “connect” on LinkedIn and keep in touch for professional opportunities. My connections are a mix of former coworkers and bosses, classmates, professors and friends from VT and Elon, and people I’ve met through networking.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with someone you’ve never actually met! When you send them a connection request, add a little note to briefly introduce yourself, how you found his/her profile, and why you’d like to speak with him/her. There’s nothing wrong with that!
Posting Updates on LinkedIn
You can post updates on LinkedIn, too. The content you share here should generally, if not always, be professional and industry-relevant. I admit I’m not great about sharing updates on LinkedIn, but I’m trying to get better! Sharing posts and articles on LinkedIn shows that you stay up to date on what’s happening, and you know how to talk about it with others.
Aside from connecting with people and posting updates, you can follow companies on LinkedIn, too. It’s similar to following them on Twitter. Following companies lets you see industry updates, comment on their posts, stay up to date with their happenings, and even see when they have job openings. This is a great way to keep up with your favorite companies, in addition to following them on Twitter or another social network.
Job Searching on LinkedIn
And speaking of, last but not least, LinkedIn is great for job searching!
Tip: I wouldn’t center your job search around LinkedIn. While there are great postings on here, other sites like Indeed and Monster have a ton more postings. I use LinkedIn as my starting point, and then progress from there.
How do you use your LinkedIn profile?