LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site, with over 100 million members and growing. It is the site that employers and HR professional use most when searching for candidates. You can use it to network and connect with other professionals, join and participate in groups, provide answers to questions posted by other members, research company information, connect with alumni and interact with each other. The free basic version is all you need.
To access the site, go to www.linkedin.com and create your account. LinkedIn provides easy to follow information about how to get started, how to create your professional profile, how to connect with friends and colleagues, and how to explore opportunities. Here are some helpful tips:
- Start by completing your profile and aim for 100% completion. That maximizes your chances of showing up in a hiring manager or HR professional’s search.
- It is a good idea to summarize your work experience, but also take the opportunity to let your personality show and tell something about you that may not come across on the resume.
- Use keywords and industry verbiage that relates to your field of interest. If you are not sure what these might be, read job descriptions and other professional’s profiles to get an idea.
- Connect to everyone you know, including friends, family, and previous co-workers, to expand your network.
Search for companies that interest you and industry groups, as well as job seeker groups, local networking groups, alumni groups and groups for your skill sets and interests. For example, ALA (American Library Association), SLA (Special Library Association), and the LIS Careers group.
- Watch for indirect connections you have to anyone in the companies and groups you find, or try connecting with people indicated as new hires, as they may be willing to share their experiences with you. After you have made a connection at a conference, for example, find them on LinkedIn and send a request to connect.
- Participate frequently in group discussions to provide valuable commentary and your opinions.
- Always be professional and appropriate in your correspondence and communication online.
- Ask questions in the Q&A section, or become an expert at answering questions in a topic relevant to your profession and skills.
- Keep an eye on job listings within groups.