For students and alumni alike, LinkedIn is THE professional networking website. Below is information on what can it do for you and why should you participate. For a critique of your LinkedIn profile or to discuss how you personally can make the most of LinkedIn, contact the Career Center at 717-245-1740 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. LinkedIn can house your public professional profile. When people want to check you out professionally, they google you. What will come up at or near the top of the results is your LinkedIn profile. The profile can contain far more information than would typically be in a resume, including such things as expanded summary and experience sections, volunteer experience and causes sections, honors and organizations, courses, projects, recommendations, and the ability to link to your work products such as PowerPoint presentations, speeches, blogs or websites.
2. LinkedIn lets you maintain and expand your networking contacts easily in one place, and because LinkedIn is a "visible network" it allows participants to see who others are connected to. This feature facilitates networking conversations and network expansion.
3. LinkedIn can be used to research career paths, job titles, employers of interest, and your connections to people or organizations. Use the Advanced Search function to find people doing the job you want in order to learn more about what they do and how they got there. Research and "follow" employers of interest. Use the 'How you're connected to...' function to discover connections to people or companies of interest.
4. LinkedIn allows participants to learn about or keep up with industry trends through participation in Groups or Answers. Being a member of a LinkedIn group enables you to directly email other group members, great for networking or informational interview outreaches.
5. Job opportunities. LinkedIn enables you to learn about jobs through participation in Groups or through LinkedIn Jobs. Recruiters learn about you through your LinkedIn profile (they do keyword searches) or through your participation in Groups (recruiters look to these self-identified pools of experts for potential candidates).
For more information on LinkedIn, take a look at these videos in the LinkedIn Grad Guide series.
Video 1 - What is LinkedIn and Why Should I Join? (5:07)
Video 2 - Building Your Professional Brand (4:07)
Video 3 - Finding and Pursuing Your Career Passion (4:27)
Video 4 - Building and Maintaining a Professional Network (4:42)
Video 5 - Turning Relationships into Opportunities (4:42)
Video 6 - Researching and Prepping for Interviews (4:13)
To get started with your profile, view Video 2 (above), register at LinkedIn.com, follow LinkedIn's prompts for creating a profile, and consult the Dickinson suggestions on creating a great LinkedIn profile.