Networking is more than just a trend; it is a step toward success. If you do it right, branding yourself and connecting with professionals can spark your career and turn the Internet into your personal phone book.
What does it mean to “do it right?” You should make the most of LinkedIn – the largest professional networking service available on the web. The site allows you to connect with employers/employees, co-workers, alumni, and friends. You can share updates on your career advancements, learn from your network, and engage in giving or receiving advice for professional advancement. Following are three ways to make the most of LinkedIn:
1. Join Groups
LinkedIn in has over 300 million users, and some people have thousands of connections alone. Groups allow you to narrow that number down to a specialized member base and create discussions with people of the same interests. According to Miles Jennings, there are five main reasons to use LinkedIn Groups:
- Learn from your network
- Discover your passion
- Engage with your community
- Develop a focused audience
- Deliver high quality, curated content
Join our IWU Alumni Group of over 5,000 members to engage in discussions with some of our brightest alum. This is a great opportunity to learn what colleagues are doing and share a learning experience together. Examples of some articles posted within the group are:
- Creating Your Own Content Marketing Strategy
- Digital Tattoo: Lasting Effects of Social Media Posts
2. Connect it to your Twitter Account
This feature allows those who consider themselves avid tweeters to link their two accounts together. Within the settings, you will be given the option to make your Twitter account visible on your LinkedIn profile and to share tweets that contain #in in your LinkedIn status. This application is beneficial because it allows you to post statuses simultaneously to Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also follow your LinkedIn connections on Twitter or create a LinkedIn-specific Twitter list. Read this article to learn more on how to utilize the tweets application to build social influence.
3. Use LinkedIn Tools/Resources
Shortly stated, LinkedIn offers more than we realize. There are resources available that many people overlook or do not know exist. LinkedIn offers a way to add apps to your profile such as Google Presentation. It also features an “Answers” tool that enables you to ask questions regarding your field of interest. The advanced search allows you to better search for both people and jobs by keyword, name, company, industry or even interests. Lastly, you can always see who has been viewing your profile.
LinkedIn is the best way to discover new opportunities and accelerate your career. Engage with our alumni by joining our group to improve your own personal brand and catch up with old friends.
Check out a related article about Todd Rhoad who contributes much to LinkedIn Discussions.
Written by Kelly Reed. Kelly is a senior Strategic Communications major with a focus in Public Relations. She is the President of IWU PRSSA and hopes to work as a communications director of a nonprofit organization after graduation.