LinkedIn is a valuable career management tool with which most UConn students are just starting to become familiar. While LinkedIn is best known – and increasingly gaining recognition – as a social media site where professionals can post their digital résumé, it is less well recognized for its utility in helping to build a broad and robust professional network. To that end LinkedIn’s UConn Husky finder tool is a simple yet powerful relational database currently available to and serving over 100,000 people that have “joined” and now “follow” the UConn Hartford Connecticut Area’s LinkedIn Group page. How can this tool help UConn students (and alumni) in their career development and planning efforts? The first thing to do is to “follow” the Group, which is done simply by clicking the Follow button on the UConn Hartford Connecticut Area Group’s LinkedIn homepage. After that, the LinkedIn user can begin the process of sorting the database to identify fellow Huskies that share similar academic backgrounds, interests, career paths or skills and then seek to “connect” with them, ideally by first securing the support of a current LinkedIn connection to provide an “introduction” via LinkedIn’s introduction tool. LinkedIn’s Group sorting and identification processes are extremely powerful, and enable the user to pinpoint people by each of the following variables.
- Geographic location
- Academic field
- Areas of Endorsement
Also, the finder tool has another feature that specifies how the user is already connected to fellow Huskies that are already following the Group, and that feature helps determine the most efficient and effective way to connect with the right people who just might be the key to your next career move.
Of course, it is best not to spend too much time digitally networking on LinkedIn until you have built a strong and complete LinkedIn profile (including a high-quality headshot photograph) that impressively showcases your abilities, talents and interests, much in the same way a paper résumé would. Also, continue your career development efforts with using LinkedIn by attending an upcoming Using LinkedIn workshop (the next one sponsored by the UConn Center for Career Development is scheduled for Thursday November 13th at 3:30 PM in room 218 at the School of Business building). Lastly, make plans to visit the Center for Career Development (Wilbur Cross Room 202) with your LinkedIn-related question(s), or connect with your Career Consultant (Paul Gagnon firstname.lastname@example.org), to meet to learn more about using LinkedIn as a career development tool.