First, there was MySpace. Then, came Facebook, followed by Twitter. So then what is LinkedIn and where does it come in? LinkedIn is the perfect website for professional networking. It is a site that allows you to reconnect with past and present colleagues and classmates; it allows you to power your career by discovering connections during job searches; and you can receive advice from countless industry experts. The opportunities are endless! So let’s get started.
First, join the site by filling in your information on the homepage when you get on www.linkedin.com, and get your professional profile started! Once you verify your email account and reach your homepage, it’s time to start building your network. If you wish, you can find people you may already know on LinkedIn via searching their email addresses. There is also a search bar located on the top right-hand corner of the page. We are going to start by editing our profile. On the top of the page there is a toolbar, and you can click on Profile, which is located next to the Home tab. Under this page, you can edit your current, past, and present history (all this will differ based on whether you are a student, employee, employer, etc.). Your number of connections are also listed as well as any websites you have added to your page. The URL of your public profile is also listed on this page.
You can also view your profile. Here you can edit your contact settings, which will determine how different users can contact you. For example, if a connection is viewing your profile, they can view your email address. If a user that is in your network is viewing your profile, they can “Get Introduced” to you. And if a user in the general LinkedIn network tries to view your profile, your profile will appear anonymous and they can choose to “Contact Directly” if they so choose. These are the default settings which can be changed at any time.
The third option under the Profile tab is Recommendations. This brings you to a page in which you can manage the recommendations that you have received. Getting recommended means being recognized or approved for your work by colleagues, clients, and managers. Recommendations can help in terms of getting future job offers and opportunities based on what your past employers and colleagues say about you and how much they support you. You can also make recommendations by entering in the individual’s information.
There are three tabs under the Recommendations page that also helps you to further navigate: Received Recommendations, Sent Recommendations, and Request Recommendations. Recommending colleagues and business partners can help these individuals win clients, get hired, and it can also strengthen your own personal network.
There are many more features to LinkedIn, which we will discuss in upcoming tutorials! Happy networking!