How to Network on LinkedIn

How to Network on LinkedIn

Get connected and get your career going.

Networking – in person or online – is enough to make some of us break out in hives. Even for the extroverts among us, it can present a challenge. Follow our tips to harness LinkedIn’s power to connect, and get the most out of your networking efforts.

1. 100 Percent Complete = 40 Times More Opportunities
Building connections starts with people seeing all you have to offer. Members with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.

2. You’re More Experienced Than You Think
Think broadly about all your experience, including summer jobs, unpaid internships, volunteer work and student organizations. You never know what might catch someone’s eye.

3. Use Your Inbox
Networking doesn’t mean making a cold connection with a stranger. Start building your LinkedIn network by uploading your online address book (from your email account) and connecting to people you know and trust.

4. Get Personal
As you build your connections, customize your requests with a friendly note and, if necessary, a reminder of where you met, through whom you met or what organization you have in common.

5. Join the “In” Crowd
LinkedIn Groups can help you form new connections. Start with your school groups and reach out to alumni (they love to connect with students). Find volunteer organizations and associations you belong to.

Tip: Learn more about the LinkedIn Alumni Tool, which can help you make academic and career choices based on the actual paths of alumni. Explore more than 23,000 colleges and universities worldwide, and make connections that can help you with your job search.

6. Lend a (Virtual) Hand
As you build connections, think about how you can support others. Comment on a classmate’s status update or forward a job listing to a friend – your generosity will be returned!

7. Update Your Status Early and Often
Networking isn’t just about who you know; it’s about who knows you . Stay on your network’s radar by updating your LinkedIn status regularly – what you’re reading, working on and more.

8. Request Informational Interviews
As a student, don’t ask professional contacts for a job. Instead, ask for a brief phone conversation to seek their job search advice. Alumni, family friends and industry leaders are often willing to do so.

9. Do Your Homework
Before an informational interview, a formal interview or a networking event, use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search and Company Pages to learn about the background and interests of the people you’re meeting.

10. Step Away from the Computer!
Support your online networking with in-person connections. Set up calls, attend live events and send snail mail notes to people you interact with on LinkedIn.

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