After you have fully completed (entered Education, Experience, and a Summary) and reviewed your LinkedIn profile (we can review it in the CDC office), you are ready to start making connections. It is best to start with people that you already know. One way to add people is to simply search for them by name. You can search for past supervisors, advisors, professors, colleagues, classmates, and family members. You never know who knows somebody that knows somebody else that can be helpful as you navigate your career path and search for jobs and internships. On the contrary, you don’t want to just add everyone you know and have 2,000 1st connections on LinkedIn. Be strategic about who you add and who their connections might be.
Another way that you can add people that you know is to use the email function to find connections. Look for the add connections icon in the top right corner:
Then you can select the email account that you would like to use to generate previous contacts. Log into your email and select the people that you would like to add to your network that are already on LinkedIn.
Make sure that you don’t just select everyone! There may be people who you emailed once a long time ago that will receive a request and not really know or remember you. For your family and friends, you can select to add them and send the generic message. For past supervisors, colleagues, and professors, it would be best to add them seperately and personalize the message that you send. Adding a personal message would be more professional than the standard message that would be sent out to the group.
Once you have connected with people that you already know, then it is time to start building your network with alumni and other professionals in fields, occupations, and companies of interest.
Next week we will focus on how to write an introduction message to make a connection with someone that you don’t already know, how to find UST alumni on LinkedIn, and why joining groups and following companies can benefit your opportunities in the future. Follow the LinkedIn Challenge at #USTLIC!
Originally written by: Laura Kloss