Taking the Mystery Out of LinkedIn by ed2go Instructor Ron Nash
You’ve probably heard about how great LinkedIn is, and you’ve likely gotten some invitations from friends and colleagues to connect. But if you’re like a lot of people out there, you don’t really get why you should be using it. What’s in it for you?
Well, I’m happy to explain. If you’re serious about your career or job search, you’ll want to learn how to leverage LinkedIn.
I was an early adapter to LinkedIn, and I’ve benefited from it for more than a decade. There are too many uses for me to state in this article, but here are a few ways LinkedIn can help you:
- Get a job offer before you graduate
- Change careers
- Transition back into the workplace
- Find mentors in your industry
- Find a job or an internship while in school
- Generate business opportunities
- Build new relationships with potential employers
- Increase your face-to-face networking effectiveness
- Research people and companies
- Connect with business associates and colleagues
- Maintain connections with your past classmates and alumni
If I were a student or a professional, I’d create a LinkedIn network in my desired industry that consisted of:
- Decision makers
- Industry thought leaders
- Industry-specific recruiters
- Industry peers
- LinkedIn industry-specific groups
This would give me access to industry professionals within three degrees of myself at all times. In other words, I could connect with people who are connected to people who are connected to people I’m connected to! Wait. What?
Three degrees of separation. And this means that if I ever needed anything—including a new job—I’d have the resources available within my network.
Here’s a rule to keep in mind: Reciprocation is part of networking. Friends help friends!
Learning to Use LinkedIn Effectively
It’s not difficult to use LinkedIn. If it were difficult, it wouldn’t be one of the most successful business networking sites on the Web. Millions of people around the globe are using it, and millions of people are benefiting from it.
I’m here to give you some tips for using it effectively. This is simple to do—it just takes time and commitment. The good thing is that we’re all lifelong learners. You already know that the more time you put in, the more efficient you become.
So let’s look at a few quick tips for how to use LinkedIn:
- Create a LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn basic accounts are free!
- Connect with everyone in your class or alumni. This will help build your network quickly with people you have something in common with.
- Connect with all of your friends. Adding as many people as you can to your network will increase access to the vast database of more than 240 million professionals.
- Join a LinkedIn Group. A LinkedIn group is an industry-specific community that anyone can join or start.
- Find an industry-specific headhunter. There are many recruiters using LinkedIn who are looking for talent every day.
- Use LinkedIn Jobs. LinkedIn is a significant job aggregator. And many of the postings you’ll find on LinkedIn you won’t find anywhere else.
- Research potential employers. Before you apply for an opportunity, research and interview employees who work there. In many cases, you make new friends who are willing to help.
- Be consistent. Schedule your usage of LinkedIn, and visit the site regularly to check for updates, make connections, improve your profile, and search for jobs.
My Online Course on LinkedIn
Introduction to LinkedIn Career Networking is an online course that you can take over 6 weeks with 24/7 access. Not only will you learn everything you need to know about LinkedIn and how to use it effectively, this course will also give you the tools you need to succeed in today’s competitive market.
Think of me as your personal career coach. I’ll walk you down the path to success, and along the way, I’ll show you how to use LinkedIn and what to do with the connections and leads you get from this 21st century business networking platform. We’ll cover the hidden job market, online research tools, email and correspondence etiquette, netiquette (etiquette for online communication), interviewing techniques for phone, Skype, and in-person meetings—and we’ll even discuss how creative individuals can use LinkedIn to boost their careers.
As you can see, we cover a lot in this course. It’s 6 weeks packed full of helpful career strategies that you won’t find anywhere else. Introduction to LinkedIn Career Networking will take the mystery out of LinkedIn and career networking. I hope to see you there!