Five Tips for Leveraging LinkedIn
#1: Personalize your invitations
No one wants to get generic messages! Personalizing the invitations you send to someone you might not know very well can help make that connection concrete and fills you out as a person in that connection's mind. It might not seem important to get in the habit when you're sending a classmate an invite, but it might make a different if you're networking with an alum!
#2: Search Effectively
Be sure to use the Advanced Search option if you're having trouble finding someone. Advanced Search also gives you the option of using Boolean search terms (e.g., "Alex" OR "Alexandra"). You can use several different filters, including location, school, and company.
#3: Use Tags
Tags are very helpful in organizing your connections. It may not seem necessary when you're starting out and only have 25 connections, but Future You will thank College You... tag your connections by industry, school, company, etc., to make it easy to organize your network later.
#4: Join a Group
Groups are an awesome way to get connected to people in your major... or people in the industry/industries in which you're interested! There are groups on LinkedIn that are both location- and non-location specific.
#5: Highlight your Strengths and Interests
LinkedIn is not your resume, it's a website for professional networking. Make it work for you! There are two important ways you can do this: Skills and Volunteering Experience. Your LinkedIn profile is a great place to showcase your skills, and this section of your profile is what potential employers look at. Similarly, you can share your personality in a professional way by listing organizations you're passionate about and the work you've done with them.
Alex Jester '18