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Everything in your LinkedIn profile can be edited and customized; however, here are a few tips to consider:
Add to your connections. Invite past and current coworkers, classmates, friends and family to connect with you. Invite only those people that you know; using these connections as a starting point. The benefit of building your network is that it increases the number of professionals you can contact. 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.
There are four levels of connections: first, second, and third degree, as well as group. A first level connection is your direct connection with someone, second is essentially a “friend of a friend.” And a third degree connection is essentially a “friend of a friend of a friend,” and therefore connecting to this person may prove more difficult. We recommend that you focus on your first and second levels, as well as groups. Reaching a second or third degree contact is done by requesting an email introduction from your intermediary contacts.
Join groups. More connections give you greater access to the millions of other members, so expand your network by joining groups. Using the search toolbar, choose Groups from the drop-down menu to find groups in career fields, organizations or schools attended. Both Northeastern alumni and students should search on the word “Northeastern” to join alumni and Northeastern networking groups. We also invite you to join the “Northeastern University Career Services” group.
Post and answer questions. The Answers function on the search menu is where members post responses to questions. Posting and answering questions can help you develop connections and visibility, which could lead to informational interviews, and possibly to information helpful to you in your job search.
Networking is the most effective job search tool. You can greatly increase your chances of finding job leads or even securing an interview by conducting a type of networking conversation called an informational interview. These informational meetings add to your insight about the company, which will help you write a great cover letter and excel in a job interview. Later on you may be able to ask those you have interviewed to introduce you to a hiring manager or pass your resume along to the right person. (See Informational Interviewing and Networking, on the Career Services website.)
Check out who’s on LinkedIn. Choose “People,” then Advanced Search in the search menu to locate people in your network who work at companies (including corporate, nonprofit, education and government) that you are targeting in your job search. Entering “Northeastern University” in the School box will yield Northeastern students and alumni in your search results.
Use your group memberships to network effectively (and for free).
Company pages are a goldmine of information. They include current and former employees, career paths, company statistics, activity, selected job openings and news. Use the “Follow Company” option on the company’s page to have weekly updates emailed directly to you.
Search Jobs that are posted directly to LinkedIn by employers. Some listings include the name of the person who posted the opening.
The purpose of an informational interview is to ask for advice and information, not about jobs. Useful topics are:
See sample letters for requesting an informational interview.
Possible questions to ask: Can you tell me about your career path? Can you describe a typical work day? What are your biggest challenges? What do you enjoy most? What can you suggest to someone starting in this field? Are there any professional organizations I should consider? Is there anyone else that you might recommend I speak with?
Follow up after the meeting. Send a thank you note (in the mail, or via email), to reiterate what you learned and to thank the person for taking the time to meet with you. If a position should open up at the company, get back in touch with that person and ask if you can talk about the opening. He or she might even forward your resume on for you.