Getting Started on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the largest business oriented, online social network in the world. Used effectively, LinkedIn can be a great tool in your career search. Charles Gillis will explain the growing significance of LinkedIn and provide tips to help you maximize your experience this great resource.
Part II: Getting Started on LinkedIn
The good news about LinkedIn is that is it easy to just dive right in. Before you create your account, grab your resume and have an electronic photo of yourself ready. In the time it takes to brew a cup of coffee you can be online and active in the LinkedIn community.
The entire system works around the individual profile. The first thing you do when you create an account is create your own profile. LinkedIn will prompt you for information on your past work history, your education, and so on to build your profile. As you populate the fields your profile takes shape. LinkedIn uses that information to create your place in the network. In the beginning you have no connections, so your network is only you. As you create connections, your network will grow exponentially.
The more people you know, the better it works, so after you update your personal information you want to start adding contacts. Use the search feature look for everyone that you know on the system. Teachers, old bosses, friends—they’re all there. LinkedIn in will even allow you to upload your contact list to find out who is already there. Once you identify your existing contacts reach out and connect with them. You will be surprised at how many old co-workers, colleagues and friends are already online.
Once you make your first connection you are now part of a network. It’s only takes one contact to get the ball rolling. Let’s say my first connection is Bob, a former co-worker. Bob has been active longer than me and already has ten other connections in LinkedIn. By connecting with Bob I now have access to him as a first degree connection, but I also have access to his friends because his first degree connections are now my second degree connections. To put it simply, my network now consists of Bob and ten of his friends. Technically I could reach out to any of Bob’s contacts and make a connection. I have access to my friends, and the friends of my friends.
It actually doesn’t stop there. LinkedIn allows access to connections up to three degrees away. Let’s say that one of Bob’s friends has a connection who is a recruiter. Bob may not know the recruiter, but he has a friend who does. Through LinkedIn I could reach that recruiter through Bob, who would pass my request to his trusted contact, who would then pass the request to the recruiter. The system works because trust exists all along the chain.
This is just the tip if iceberg. The more you put into your networking, the more you will get back. LinkedIn makes the entire process even easier.
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