LinkedIn is a great resource for students looking for an additional edge as they network and job search. It’s easy to sign up for an account, but new users often get stuck asking "what next"? Simply having an account isn’t enough, so here are a few tips for students on getting started with LinkedIn:
Make Connections. If you can build a decent sized network on LinkedIn, all the other features will work much better! The first thing you should do is import contacts from your address book or webmail account, by clicking on ‘add connections’ along the top navigation within ‘Contacts.’
LinkedIn automatically selects all of the imported contacts, so first you should uncheck the ‘select all’ box. Now take a look through the list for people marked with the blue ‘in" logo to the right of their name (this means they’re already on LinkedIn), and select the ones you want to connect with. Good choices are fellow students from class/activities, former co-workers and supervisors, or close family friends. You can also search by graduating class and company, for those peers/colleagues for which you do not have their email address.
Join Relevant Groups. Groups are a great way to expand your network even further. Join alumni/UM related groups such as Wolverine Networking and University of Michigan Alumni. Next, try seeking out a group related to your chosen industry. Some examples are Public Relations and Communications Professionals, Sports Industry Network, and Consultants Network. Joining relevant groups will allow you to view and participate in discussions with industry professionals, as well as allow you to get closer to connecting to all of the members that are already a part of that group.
We have plenty of next-level ideas for how to take advantage of LinkedIn in your job or internship search, as well. Once you get some of these steps taken care of, feel free to make an appointment for additional guidance.