What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site, similar to Facebook, but for professional networking rather than social. It is the world's largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly. Individuals and companies use LinkedIn for networking, job searching, hiring, company research, and connecting with affiliates, including alumni, industry, and a variety of other business related groups.

Quick Start Guide To LinkedIn

It's quick and easy to get started using LinkedIn. One of the most important parts of LinkedIn is your profile because it contains information about your skills and experience.

In addition, your LinkedIn profile can increase your visibility online and help you build your professional brand that showcases your background to prospective employers.

Here are tips for how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd.

  1. Add a photo (a headshot) to your LinkedIn profile. Do be sure the photo represents the professional you and isn't too casual.
  2. Make your profile public and customizing your URL which will be easy to share. For example;
  3. Include a Headline section on your profile. This is visible on LinkedIn search results.
  4. Include a Summary section on your profile to briefly highlight your experience.
  5. Include an Experience section to include employment (current and past), education, and industry. This is your online resume.
  6. Use the Additional Information section of your LinkedIn profile to include links to your company, your website, your blog, your Twitter account, and/or to other sites that provide professional information about you.
  7. Include at least three recommendations from people you have worked with in the past. When you recommend a LinkedIn member you are attesting to their qualifications and people love being recommended. They will most likely reciprocate if you take the time to recommend them.
  8. Select your contact setting which indicates to your connections and recruiters know what you're available for. Contact setting options include: career opportunities, consulting offers, new ventures, job inquiries, reference requests.
  9. Start building your network! Use the member search function and connect with other members and start building your LinkedIn network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have, but don't randomly connect with people you don't know; use your network to help you introduce you to other members. Also, don't use the automated LinkedIn request to connect invitation. When you request to connect with a member, remember to include brief information about yourself and why you are interested in connecting with that person.

    LinkedIn can help you with your job search by keeping you connected with alumni. Typically, people who share a school in common have an ongoing affinity, whether the school is an undergraduate or graduate college, or even a high school. You can rapidly increase the chance of someone considering your LinkedIn request if you and that person are alumni of the same school. Therefore, take advantage of your alumni status and try to connect and work with people who went to one of the same schools as you.

  10. Join LinkedIn groups to discuss topics relevant to your interests, discuss ideas and meet people to network with. Groups are a powerful tool for expanding the depth and breadth of your LinkedIn network. An important strategy is to join a group and be an active participant. Simply joining gives you some benefits, but being active in Group news and discussions is where the real value and leverage is.

    Don't forget to join the UM Alumni Association group! The UM Alumni Association group on LinkedIn provides an ideal starting point and becomes more useful as it grows. It will also provide you with a point of contact for individuals outside the UM community who are connected to your fellow UM members.

    Join the UM Alumni Association group!

Remember, the more robust your profile, the more you will get noticed by potential employers.

If you are interested in learning more about LinkedIn, how to use it, and what it can do for you? The LinkedIn Learning Center page is a good place to begin.

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