1. Go to http://linkedin.com to open an account.
Caution: Students, do not give out social security number or credit card information.
2. Complete your Profile – according to LinkedIn website, you are 40 times more likely to receive results through LinkedIn if your Profile is complete.
What makes your profile complete?
- Your industry and location
- An up-to-date current position (with a description)
- Two past positions
- Your education
- Your skills (minimum of 3)
- A profile photo – this should be a professional headshot.
- At least 50 connections (note: for our class, you will only be required to have 10 connections. You should continue to expand your network.)
- A summary
It is important that your Profile is not only complete, but that it is also interesting. Your LinkedIn Profile is your first impression. Your Profile should emphasize your area of expertise.
Don’t have an area of expertise?
Many times community college students have not yet developed an area of expertise. Start developing your knowledge in a niche. Don’t wait until you complete your degree. Start now. Begin to read and blog about areas in your niche. Focus on what will set you apart from everyone else?
3. Connections – Unlike Twitter and Google+, on LinkedIn you should only connect with people you actually know. Don’t randomly accept invitations on LinkedIn. Make sure you know your connections.
You may also want to read 5 Ways to Develop Meaningful LinkedIn Connections (Stephanie Sammons)
4. Join Groups. Students should research groups in your chosen field and join groups on LinkedIn that interest you. Try to contribute to the group by responding to others and answering questions in your area of expertise. Make sure your do your homework and research the answers. Groups are a good way to create connections.
5. Participate in the Question and Answers section on the LinkedIn site. Ask thoughtful questions. Respond when you know the answers to questions posed in the Question and Answer section.
You may also want to read:
5 Tricks from a LinkedIn Jedi (Eric Markowitz)
How to Make Great Connections on LinkedIn (Marla Tabaka)
Do you have questions or comments?
Click on the link to the Comment Section of this blog to ask your questions or let us know about your experience with LinkedIn.