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“Should I be on LinkedIn?”

by Leslie Warner, Associate Director, Alumni Career Services

For most people, the answer to the question, “Should I be on LinkedIn?” is “Yes, but you will need to know how to use it effectively.” LinkedIn, the professional online networking resource, can help you expand your network, increase your job search options, and grow your business. This article will offer tips to help you get started and some strategies that may be new to even savvy networkers.

LinkedIn is an online social media resource for professional networking – no pictures of your vacation or pets here! Instead, your first step will be developing your professional profile, which is similar to an online resume/bio with some expanded features. To get started, check out these articles and books that have step by step instructions for how to build your profile on LinkedIn and use it effectively:

 "Getting started with LinkedIn"

 “I’m On LinkedIn, Now What?”

After you’ve posted your LinkedIn profile, check out this article for ideas for improving the content and formatting, making it easier for people to find you:

"How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile: Stand out to Employers"

Once you have written your profile and invited your colleagues and professional contacts to “link” with you, your next step will be to learn to use the information on LinkedIn to help you in concrete ways with your job search and career management. The following articles provide excellent tips for beginners, as well as experienced networkers..

 “Social Networking Tips”

There are many additional options for online networking and resource sharing - once you are comfortable with the basics, you may want to check out other sites. While some focus on a specific industry or type of job, others help you connect with professionals with common interests, and some help you use online tools to set up “real world” networking events. The following list has 50 social media sites….no one would (or could!) use all of them. However, new sites are developing all the time, and you may find a resource that is just what you need to build your visibility, grow your business, or expand your job search.

"50 Social Media Sites"

Learning to use some of these social networking sites may be crucial for your industry and can expand your resources for reaching any goal. Start with LinkedIn, using the tips from the articles listed above, and you’ll find new ways to access the information you need.

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