Linkedin is a:
- Free online network for professional networking with more than 400 million members in 200 countries and 170 industries. Go to www.Linkedin.com
- Resource for career exploration, networking and job search.
- Resource to share advice and information with professionals in your field through updates and groups.
- Resource for recruiters to post jobs as well as to screen and search for possible candidates.
Your 10 Point Check List - for a Savvy Profile (also: Visual Profile check-list for Students)
1. Professional Headline can be your current job title (“Project Manager”), your career goal or focus (“Engineering Graduate Student focused on Medical Device R&D) or components of your work (“Communications Professional | Writer & Editor | Creative Writing Instructor”). More tips from Forbes.
2. A Photo of yourself, in professional attire, is recommended.
3. Customize your Public Profile URL for use on business cards, resume and in your email signature.
5. Sections can be added (while in edit mode). Consider adding sections such as Projects, Courses, Certifications, Languages, and Volunteering Opportunities.
6. Experience section contains a version of your resume. Use targeted key words and accomplishments.
7. Skills & Endorsements is a very important section to customize since others can “endorse” these skills.
8. Recommendations from past supervisors, co-workers, professors, and others who know you well, enhance your profile.
9. Media Links allow you to upload and/or link to media such as websites, video, and PowerPoints. Review 18 Ways to Turn Your Profile into a Portfolio and this Linkedin blog for more ideas and examples.
Build Your Network
Add to your connections. Invite past and current co-workers, classmates, friends and family to connect. Be sure to add these 3 things to your customized invitations: the person’s name, a personal message, and the words “thank you”. For ideas on customizing invites, see this blog from the Muse.
There are four levels of connections: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and group. A 1st level connection is your direct connection, 2nd is essentially a “friend of a friend,” etc. Focus on your 1st and 2nd levels, as well as groups. You can reach a “2nd level” connection by getting an “Introduction”. Within Linkedin, you can contact only people who are linked to you, to one of your connections, or who are in a group with you.
Add Updates. “Share an Update,” found on your home page, is perfect for publicizing new accomplishments, sharing industry information, or passing along a great blog post. Your updates will appear on every 1st level connection’s home page in their activity feed. Review 10 Tips to Amp Up Your Reputation Using Linkedin Updates.
Join groups. You can join up to 50 groups. Using the top search bar, add in a key word, then choose “Groups” from the menu on the left to find groups in industries, organizations or universities attended.
Networking is the most effective job search tool. Increase your chances of finding job leads by conducting a type of networking conversation called an informational interview. Go to sample request for informational interview in the handouts section. These informational meetings can add to your insight about the company, which will help you write a great cover letter and excel in a job interview. Later on, after doing an informational meeting, you may be able to ask those you have talked with to introduce you to a hiring manager or pass your resume along to the right person.
Ask for an Introduction. You can ask a 1st level connection to introduce you to one of their connections. Go to any 2nd level connection, who you’d like to reach out to. On the 2nd level connection’s profile, scroll down until you see how you are connected (right-hand side). You’ll then see a button saying “Get Introduced”. At this point, you’ll want to add in the person’s last name as well as a longer message about why you’d like to be introduced. Write this short but very professional message to your 1st level connection, asking her or him if they will forward your message along. See a sample request for an informational interview here.
Another option you can consider is to send a regular email to your 1st level connection with this same request. Since not everyone reads their Linkedin messages, this method might be the better approach.
Use “Advanced” Search + your groups to message fellow Linkedin members. Click on the “Advanced” button to the right of the search box to locate people in your network who work at companies that you are targeting. Here’s a step-by-step process to identify people of interest. Once you do, go into groups to message them to request a networking meeting / informational interview.
- Go to “advanced” search, add keywords such as job title, company, etc., also consider adding in Northeastern under the school category to find alumni
- On the sidebar, in the section called “Relationship” you can then filter by “Group” – to show only group connections
- Identify someone of interest from this new list, open their profile to see which group you have in common, then go into that group
- Once in the group, click on the number of members tab, and then enter the person’s full name in the search box
- After their name comes up, you will now be able to “send a message” without using Inmail
Look for Alumni. Go to “My Network” and “Find Alumni” to search for people from your alma mater directly.
Use the “Husky Nation” Alumni Directory. While on Linkedin, if you find a Northeastern alumni that you would like to talk to or ask for an informational interview, consider using the “Husky Nation” alumni directory to send them a message. Juniors, seniors and graduate students have access to this directory. Use your myNEU username and password to get in.
Search Your Friend’s 1st Level Connections. By going direct to one of your 1st level connections' profiles you can do a search by keywords on their connections. Go to the person’s profile and scroll all the way down to their list of contacts. Click on the search button and type in a keyword, location, company name, etc.
Search Jobs. While looking at postings, you can also see if you are connected to anyone at the company.
Explore Company pages, they’re a goldmine of information. They include current and former employees, selected job openings and news/updates. Consider “following” the company too.