How To's

How To Use LinkedIn as a Networking Tool

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LinkedIn has become the best networking tool for people who are actively looking for a job or internship. The website is social media networking on a whole other level. Not only can you connect with friends and family professionally, but the website gives you a chance to connect with recruiters for jobs or internships you may be interested in.

First and foremost, LinkedIn should only be used for professional reasons of networking. There seems to be many people who see LinkedIn as another Facebook, although it is formatted in many ways the same, there is a different etiquette that is expected on LinkedIn. You need to have a clean and pristine LinkedIn page to get noticed. It is important to refrain from posting content that is too extreme for a professional setting.

When I first got LinkedIn I was confused as to how it worked but eventually I got the hang of it and you will too. I never saw the day I would hit the coveted 500+ connections mark but I did and so will you! The connections you make on LinkedIn shouldn’t just be treated as part of that number but a nurturing network that will help you score a cool internship or job you really want. Here are some ways you can use LinkedIn as a networking tool:

    1. Connect with fellow classmates, former classmates, professors and anyone in your school network. Many times the quiet person you sat next to in Biology will end up working at a large company and the only way to know might be through LinkedIn! Professors are important for your network because you can go through their network to see if they have any interesting connections you would like to network with in your field.
    2. Connect with colleagues, fellow interns and supervisors! It is important to keep in contact with fellow interns because many times they will end up interning or working at another media company that you will eventually want to work at and they can hook you up with an informational interview. Adding your direct team from your internships is crucial to expanding your network because once you have them on LinkedIn you can ask them to connect you with someone at a company you want to interview at if they have a connection there. Also, staying in contact with supervisors via LinkedIn keeps them up to date with what you are up to after the internship ends and can make it easier to contact them for job favors in the future.
    3. Connect with talent acquisition, internship recruiters and hiring managers. You should take advantage of the fact that LinkedIn can connect you with people who are in charge of giving people jobs. If you see a job at a company, make sure to look up the direct recruiter for that position and connect with them on LinkedIn, but don’t forget to add a note to the invitation specifying who you are and why you are requesting to connect with them. Many times you can also simply begin by telling them you want a simple informational interview with them.
    4. Keep up to date with new jobs! LinkedIn has recently been great about adding a section for job searching. There is now a separate app that sends you notifications for any job you search in your area of interest. For example, if you look up “Account Coordinator” on LinkedIn’s job section, you will get a large list of current Account Coordinator positions in your area and you can request push notifications to be sent to your email and phone whenever any new jobs are posted on LinkedIn. By using this, you can always be on the lookout for jobs without having to individually looking them up on Google or Indeed.

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